Forget Dame Edna

The Latino voice needs to be heard on far more important matters

By Guadalupe Aguilar
Published on LatinoLA: February 23, 2003

Forget Dame Edna

Yes, I admit I was upset by the column that the "Dame" from Vanity Fair wrote in response to a reader's question about learning to speak Spanish.

In the past two weeks, I have received so many e-mails from across the country requesting a "boycott" of Vanity Fair. Now this I found amusing.

Where is the Latino voice when it really needs to be heard?

In California, proposition 187 was passed, but never enforced, thanks to the efforts of MALDEF and others. And California is the first, but surely not the last state to dismantle bilingual education. Utah and other states in our "great nation" are considering similar propositions. Affirmative Action: How many Latinos and other minorities are now in the UC and CSU system without it?

So, that is the million dollar question.

Where are we when we really need to be heard. We should be so "united" when it comes to issues that affect us, our children, our future. And if recent numbers indicating that Latinos will be the largest "minority" in the nation, which also includes the largest buying power, we can make our voice be heard at the polling booths, letters to our councilman, to our State Senators. In Los Angeles county alone, Latinos now comprise 51% of the population. That is no longer a minority, rather a majority.

In the late 1940's, and all of the 1950's, Latino parents were instructed to only speak English to their children at home.

Flash forward to 2003 and it seems to be 1950 all over again. The "advice" in Dame Edna's column was meant as a stab at the reader who was wondering if indeed Spanish was actually a language he/she should learn.

Offensive and insulting, it was, but "boycott" I will not.

I will make my voice heard with issues that are important to our community, our future and our children's future. This is where our voice needs to be heard, where we need to stop bickering with each other, and let the powers that be know that the sleeping giant has awakened, and we will turn the tide.

About Guadalupe Aguilar:
Guadalupe Aguilar is a LatinoLA corespondent. She has two children, lives in Highland Park, writes for the Northeast Journal and also writes poetry.

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