The Mextasy of William Nericcio dashes stereotypes and builds ‘mexicanidad’

EL PASO— The Mexican experience in America, presented with verve as a celebration of the culture and and as a bulwark against negative stereotypes in popular art and media was dubbed Mextasy by Dr. William Anthony Nericcio. “This anti-Mexican fervor needs to be met with a kind of invocation of mexicanidad that needs to be equally strong,” Nericcio says. “You got to attack it with the same power with the same fervor, with the same dynamic focus.”

Nericcio captivated a room of faculty members and students when he came to the University of Texas at El Paso recently to discuss and present his travelling art show,

TheMextasypop-up exposition contains objects that Nericcio has collected over the years, Ranging from dolls to posters that harken back to the 1950’s representing and satirizing the Mexican experience in the United States, representing an analysis of Hollywood’s contribution to perceptions of Mexican ethnic identities. Nericcio gets serious when addressing how consumers should fight the negative commentary on Mexicans that some commentators in media like Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter advocate. Ectasy healing

For Nericcio, Mextasy can be seen as a form of defense and cure against those Mexican stereotypes and tropes.

Song inspires writer to search for nameless victims in ‘Deportees’ plane crash

EL PASO — Folksinger Woody Guthrie wrote a poem In 1948 about a plane crash that year in which 32 people lost their lives near Los Gatos Creek in the Diablo mountain range of California. The flight was carrying 28 migrant farmworkers who were being deported back to Mexico. Guthrie was disturbed by press accounts at the time that didn’t include the names of the passengers. The poem was eventually set to music and was popularized by Pete Seeger as “Deportees,” which included the haunting line: “to fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil, and be called by no name except “deportees.” Sixty-six years later, writer Tim Z. Hernandez has made it his mission to remember those whose lives were lost by finding out their names.

Herbal remedies big sellers in wellness strategies for Hispanics

EL PASO— When it comes to trying to keep bodies healthy in the fit-vs-fat wars, this predominately Hispanic border city leans toward natural solutions. Seventy percent of residents here and across the border in Cuidad Juarez say they use herbal medicines to lose weight and treat a variety of illnesses, according to a 2010 study funded by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. Infographic: The pros and cons of 5 common herbal remedies

El Paso and Ciudad Juarez are essentially one urban metropolis of some 2 million residents divided by an imaginary political line. Together they make up one of the largest population centers to regularly use medicinal herbs. “It is definitely tied to the cultural factors especially among Hispanics,” said Armando Gonzalez-Stuart, one of the authors of the study.

New Fox TV show “Bordertown” treats Latinos with respect, cartoonist says

 

By Ramon Renteria – El Paso Times

Award-winning Chicano cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz describes the new Fox network comedy “Bordertown” as a historic step for Latinos in American television. “This is the first time that Latinos are going to play at least half the characters on a primetime animated show,” Alcaraz said recently before speaking to students at the University of Texas at El Paso. “We finally have an actual mainstream show that treats Latinos with respect.” Alcaraz, a nationally syndicated cartoonist and political satirist, is among five Latino writers on the 13-episode series which is scheduled to air next spring. The writing team also includes Gustavo Arellano, a newspaper editor who writes the nationally syndicated column “¡Ask a Mexican!”

Declining minority representation in American newsrooms dominates discussion at convention of Hispanic journalists

SAN ANTONIO – The celebration of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ 30th anniversary was brought to a sobering pause last week when Hispanic Link News Service publisher Charlie Ericksen voiced his dissatisfaction with the progress mainstream media have made in diversifying the staffs of their newsrooms.

Hispanic journalists from all corners of the country made their way here to the NAHJ convention to celebrate its three decades of advocating for more minority participation in news media. Much of the talk at the four-day NAHJ convention was on the diversification of newsrooms throughout the United States and that conversation became a strident argument. During the convention’s final event – the Gala and Awards banquet – the association recognized news organizations that had “increased the visibility and accurate representation of Latinos in cable news,” including CNN, PBS, Buzzfeed and Fox News Latino. Ericksen, 84, a founding member of NAHJ, was given a chance to speak when he was recognized for his lifetime of work in newsroom diversity. He told the gathering that celebrating increased visibility and accurate representation of Latinos in the media by honoring a network such as Fox News was a “kind of a farce.” He also said that despite the organization’s 30 years of work on increasing newsroom diversity the number of Latinos in mainstream newsrooms has actually declined.