This summer, I was interviewed by a gentleman that has been doing Chicano Lit online for some time now. I didn't want to do it because I felt more comfortable asking the questions than answering them. But the guy persisted and eventually I started to feel like I'd be helping him out by adding that much more content to his website and I know how hard it is to get good content for your website when you are starting out. I'll never forget those who helped me out and I also felt good inside knowing that I might serve as an inspiration to the young vatos out there who are considering starting up their own website.
Big mistake! I trusted that the interview would be verbatim and un-edited. It was not. Although the interview had not been entirely butchered, changes were made to my comments that changed the entire context of what I actually meant.
For example, I call the minutemen (you know those jelly roll eating amateur vigilantes that pick on migrants) "minute mensos". That was changed but I really did not care because it was a dumb joke to begin with. Two additional changes were made. One was inconsequential like the first, but the second was bad, REAL BAD. I immediately contacted this person and had him republish the original, un-edited version of the interview. He did and apologized for the "mistake". A week or two passed and he emailed me saying that the interview had been printed in LatinoLA. Wow, I thought to myself, not bad. He provided me with the link and when I clicked it the article opened in a new window and what did I see? The edited version, the one I asked him to not to publish. I would've loved to see the original un-edited, un-changed version, but no, he sent in the one that he himself had changed. Those were his words, not mine, and they didn't sound good. So much for thinking I was helping him out.
Well, anyway, knowing the traffic that this website gets I was now worried about my reputation. I'm pretty outspoken in my own right and I do not need anyone trying to deliberately make me look bad. I seem to do well enough at that, myself. So I contacted this person again and asked him why he submitted the altered interview. He basically dummied up and I could see that he wasn't going to take any action about correcting this mistake, having claimed that his assistant simply sent in the wrong one. "Oh well," seemed to be his position and that I was S.O.L.
Feeling real bummed out, I thought of emailing Abelardo, the webmaster here at LatinoLA. Abelardo and I have had a couple of conversations in the past and I figured I'd try to explain what had occurred. The next day I received an email back from Abelardo saying the interview had been pulled. Needless to say my spirits immediately changed for the better which was a good thing for me because earlier this year I developed osteo-arthritis and too much stress isn't good for me. Typing has become a very painful experience for me and I am someone that loves to write. But most of all, above all, the interview had been altered to the point where no one would want to be associated with a point of view like that. Thanks Abelardo. You are a true professional.
VirtualChicano is webmaster for ChicanoForums.com
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