August 1, 2021

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Anti-racist women call to eliminate racist programs and ads




"There should be no room for racism on Puerto Rican television." .

With these words, a group of black women anti-racists made a call to the media today, Thursday communication to adopt editorial anti-racist policies and to prevent impunity from permeating racial discrimination, which causes so much suffering and marginalization to black people.

The Ilé Collective, which is dedicated to anti-racist education, called a press conference in which they expressed themselves against the racism of the puppeteer Antulio "Kobbo" Santarosa, who in his program La Comay, on Mega TV, made a degrading characterization of the black lawyer Ana Irma Rivera Lassen whom she presented as a slave. [19659006] "This aggression has not been only against Ana Irma, but against all black and anti-racist women" said Kimberly Figueroa, representative of the Network of Afro-Latin American Women, Afroca from the Riberas and the Diaspora.

The communicator and founder of Ethnic Magazine, Gloriann Sacha Antonetty Lebrón, said that it is impossible to disconnect the ridicule promoted by television and radio from those that are replicated in other spaces such as school. That's not just limited to entertainment shows, but to advertising brands, which depict black people in a degrading way.

Women called on executives of the Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), the parent company of Mega TV, to withdraw the La Comay program, at the same time that they extended their call to all the media and advertising agencies that present racist content, including the brands Café Yaucono and Azúcar Morena.

"Everything that is communicated and It appears in our media and in advertising it is constantly promoting racism and lacerating the dignity of black people in Puerto Rico "denounced Antonetty Lebrón.

He said that while in the United States, media managers are aware that they should withdraw racist content, "there are still executives from advertising agencies who think that this is not important to deal with in Puerto Rico." "For us, it is inconceivable that a space like La Comay continues and is used to continue perpetuating racism," she added.

Professor Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro, founder of the Chair of Ancestral Black Women of Puerto Rico, commented that the action taken by WKAQ management to remove Luis Dávila Colón's El Azote program from the air, for using the racial slur known as “N-word”, “should be the standard procedure for all this entertainment, believed to be entitled to make black people feel inferior in Puerto Rico. ”

Arroyo Pizarro criticized the artist Bad Bunny for using La Comay's character to promote his concert, without considering that this program had been removed from Wapa Television after a boycott for homophobic and racist expressions. "Despite having financed a campaign to paint the letters Black Lives Matter, the reality is that Puerto Rican black lives do not matter to him," said the teacher.

"The fight does not end with Kobbo"

This recent case of racism on Puerto Rican television should not be viewed in isolation. The adviser to the Ilé Collective, Mayra Díaz Torres, denounced that the State "by design, makes it precarious, criminalizes, and robs black populations in this country of opportunities of dignified life." Proof of this is the pronounced inequality where the majority of poor people are black.

The group shared statistics that show that 60% of black women in Puerto Rico are outside the labor force and 46% of women Black women live impoverished.

Anthropologist Bárbara Abadía Rexach recalled that recently a neighbor of Canóvanas used racial violence against her neighbor and went unpunished without the lawsuits prospering. He stressed that impunity makes that and other incidents be considered as a mere gossip between neighbors without thinking about the irreparable damage to black lives.

The group demanded candidates for political positions to present anti-racist platforms; that the Department of Education adopt an anti-racist curriculum; and that the media and advertising agencies adopt anti-racist editorial policies.

During the conference, Antonetty Lebrón mentioned a column published in this newspaper in 2016, by the writer Mayra Montero, in which the author questioned “the burial” of the character Chianita, played by actress Angela Meyer.

In addition, a recent podcast entry was brought up in which Montero debated whether or not to remove the logos of brands such as Aunt Jemima and Uncle Bens, and questioned the prohibition of the use of certain expressions that anti-racist groups and sociologists consider to perpetuate racism.



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