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Empodera Latina
Empodera Latina

Season 2, Episode · 2 years ago

American Dirt - A Special Edition Episode

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

American Dirt was published in January by Jeanine Cummings about the ordeal of a Mexican woman who had to leave behind her life and escape as an undocumented immigrant to the United States with her son. Unfortunately, the fiction story failed to meet so many marks of authencity. In a collaboration with Denise Soler Cox of Proyecto Enye (www.instagram.com/proyectoenye)  and the Co-Founders of Latina Podcasters (www.instagram.com/latinapodcasters) , Rita Bautista (www.instagram.com/ritaebautista)  and Nicole Hernandez (www.instagram.com/thedaringkind) along with fellow latina podcasters, developed a piece with  community that involved the host of the podcasts Let there be Luz  (www.instagram.com/lettherebeluz) - Linda Garcia, Aboutconsent (www.instagram.com/aboutconsent) Rosalia Rivera and Tamarindo (www.instagram.com/tamarindo) -host Brenda Gonzalez. Everyone shares their personal perspectives on what was right, what was wrong and how we can do better in the future. Our goal with this episode is for you to listen with an open mind and open heart.  This podcast is dedicate to all my empowerment circle of supporters and patrons who are loyal followers and support this podcast. For more information on becoming part of the goddesses, visit: https://www.patreon.com/Empowermentandallthat --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/rita-bautista/message

You're listening to empowerment and all that podcast, your favorite podcast for women's empowerment, hosted by Rita Bautista. It's time to be reminded of the authority of your inner goddess and elevate the power within. Are you ready? Hey everyone, it's ready here and I'm in the midst of covid nineteen, as the rest of the world and everyone else who's listening to me. I wanted to let you guys know that, as of right now, I mark myself safe and hope that everyone who's listening to this episode also has the ability to mark themselves safe as well. My heart goes out to anyone and everyone whose family has been affected or is currently personally affected by the COVID virus, and I want to give a big heart felt message out to any first responder, nurse, doctor, medical rep or family practitioner or anything in between in the medical field. I want to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for doing what you guys do genuinely every single day, heartlessly and honestly, in a very genuine and selfless space that you do it in. I hope nothing but the best for you guys, and I want you to know that we're all rooting for you in every single space that we're in and thank you for all the service that you do for us on a regular basis and only hope that, moving forward in the future, for what's going to happen, that you guys stay safe as well. Now, going into this episode, it's a very touchy subject for me. This book, American dirt, was published in January by Gineine Cummings. Engineine comings wrote this book about the immigrant, illegal immigrant pilgrimage to the United States. What's interesting, though, is that the book got a lot of negative reviews from the Latin x community, who you would think would just completely support the book. Well, what happens when a book is written from a perspective of a person who may not actually have a hundred percent of the full understanding and knowledge because they don't have the personal connection to the place, it turns into something interesting. So in this episode it's probably one of my favorites and probably one of the most proudest works that I have, because I was able to reach out to denise solid cocks, who is the founder of project an IT, which is a group that is founded for people who are trying to find their identity in the US and their parents are of Latin American heritage. Probably we first generation or second generation here who are still at the you knows, and they work and live within the come in the community of being an American, but still, you know, stuck in between almost, and so her community that she's developed has found a way to create a space for all of those people. Well, once this book came out, I told her, I reached out to her and I was like, Denise, we have to do something about this, we have to talk, we have to address why this could be a good or bad thing. And I was like, you know, sometimes people feel like they don't have the ability to do anything about anything, and I knew that because of the community of that Thea podcasters that we had developed in also because I do have a podcast and she has one as well. I was like, we have a microphone. You know, Oprah took to the Airways so let everyone know that she had put this book on her top lists until the Latin x community authors reached out to her and told her about the disrespect and the...

...things that were wrong with this book. But what I loved about this project too, is that not everybody has the same perspective. We all have different opinions, even though we all come from the same community, and I think that's also very apparent and true about our entire community as a whole. We're not always going to identify with the immigration portion of what happens to people when they come here. We're not all going to understand the immigrant migration here. We're not going to understand the pilgrimage. We're not going to understand all this because not all of our countries have to deal with that stuff, and the one thing that I ask of all of my listeners today, when you're taking a dive into this episode, is to listen with an open heart and empathy and understanding. We're all coming from different perspectives. We're all lending our voices to this episode for people to just be educated on what's right and what's wrong when talking about cultural connection to a book that's being authored by someone who potentially shouldn't have started this particular book per se. Now, if you want to know my personal opinion, you just have to obviously listen all the way through, but I'll just let you know this was a very interestingly traumatic and not traumatic sorry. It was a healing episode. It made me feel good once we were done. It made me feel happy that there's a future and moving forward, that hopefully we take all of the empathy that we're using during this time of quarantine and isolation and apply that to future thoughts of what immigration really is and the identity of people, and that at the end of the day, something as simple as a virus literally can cripple all of us and we can see each other just as who we truly are. At the bottom of everything. It's you know, we're human. We want the same things for everyone across the board and we want access and ability for all of us to be on the same page. All right, guys, I hope you see through this entire episode. It's a little bit longer than usual, but it's a great one and I promise you're in for a treat. So here goes. Hello, I'm genine Cummins. This is my new novel, American dirt. I love it so much. Why? Well, first of all, from Jenney coming on, coming here. I was in. I was in from the very first sentence. We should say this book is receiving critical acclaim for its powerful portrayal of a migrants journey across the border to the US focuses on this and if you're going to listen to anything, American dirt is the perfect one to listen to. I always knew that I wanted to write about immigration. I was interested in that topic and I wasn't. I resisted for a very long time and learned that the publishing industry was all a buzz about this was going to be a breakthrough, a breakthrough Bo was reading it from myself forward. When I was finished with it, it's out. They're wondering why was such a slog to get through, why the book felt so formulaic and so soul is. And then it hit me that this book has no soul because the author doesn't understands the story she set out to write. Gross to me out, it grows to me out that this novel was being constructed as a blockbuster. It's it's best seller, stuff out US was preordained. It was an anointed work and as an anointed work, I got to observe all this machinery come into place in order to elevate the book and profit. Could be a great piece of fiction, it could be whatever it is, but in this day and age where we are breaking away from the thievery of other people's expressions. It's not. It's not happening, it's not where, it's not working for other folks who do not partake. In the beginning is use. Publishers are stupid. Part Two, part to this time it's I...

...think what you're seeing is nothing less than the decline and fall of the when I call the folklodical industrial complex of us. Latino literature is different from a piece of journalism, piece of nonfiction. It's different from the script. You know. It has its own engine and it's got a roar for about your Chook says. Well, there are valid criticisms around our promotion of this book. That is no excuse for threats of physical violence. The novel by denyine Cummings as about a Mexican mother and her young son fleeing to the US border. Comments is of Irish and Puerto Rican descent on social media of firestorm. One person writing this book is a harmful, stereotypical and inaccurate representation of Mexican immigrants. Commons responded to the backlash saying she did five years of research because voices of color and women's voices have been hijacked. It for a very low when I first heard about the book, my initial thoughts were heavily charged with the emotion of pain and the emotion of anger. Welcome to the podcast let there be lose. I'm your host, Linda Garcia, also known as lose warrior, and I think what hurt me the most was seeing that Oprah was at the center of the pain that the community was feeling. Like many other people, I absolutely Adore Oprah. I see her as one of my greatest teachers and the person that put me on my spiritual path, and so I really wanted to assess her positioning, why she felt the need to endorse this book, why it was important to her, and just really understand her perspective, because that was the most detrimental relationship that was on the line for me as all of this information was coming through, I almost really didn't care about the author. It was more so who was endorsing this book, and there were so many in our community that were endorsing the book that I was a little confused. There was a big why? Why was the book being embraced in this way by people of Color, and what was it in the book that moved them to feel this way. Did they really read the book? Did they themselves at one point question why our story was being told via a white woman at this specific moment in time? The more and more I gave a time, the more I decided that I was not interested in reading the book, that if I was to read the book, it was to prove some point to myself. Once I solidified the decision of not reading the book, I felt really empowered in taking my power back, in protecting the way I personally feel and also protecting the work that I've done to heal my spirit. What I focus on expands, and so if I participate in something that is not serving me, it's not serving my higher self, then it's not helping the collective as a whole. One American dirt was a wake up call for many entities, but I want to talk about three in particular. The Publishing Industry, book lovers and, Quote Unquote, allies the publishing and industry clearly got a little slept in the face. Runda is one of the host of them out into podcast, and the reason why I chose her other than just loving her podcast. I really love her point of view, and I don't always agree with her point of view, but I love how confident she...

...is in her point of view and I also love how bold she is when she shares her point of view. The publisher can industry clearly got a little slap in the face and was shaken up by this, and that is one hundred percent because of the work of the organizers behind then that the dead idea, and specifically my Ra Borba, a Mexican American Writer. So they're going to have to pause and be more thoughtful about how they lift up the stories of Latin X, those Latin x stories, and maybe actually commit to some goals of reaching out to more writers, and I think, my opinion, I think they should be recent reaching out to more Mexican American writers in particular. And then I also think that this was a wakeup call for book lovers, because I think a lot of folks in that are in book clubs that were really excited about this particular book and just treating the Oprah stamp of approval as the best, the best mark for them to decide to select a book. I think we're also shaken up and surprised that, oh, it matters to represent stories accurately. And then I think this was also a way up call for allies. There are many people that were sell celebrating this book really because they was portrayed as giving the voice to the voiceless, that this was going to depict, that that horror story that people are allies here a little bit about in the news and they know they want to be empathetic to that, the migrant journey and what's going on with the drug wars and in Mexico, Etcetera, etc. They are lightly interested in the issue and they thought that they could be excited and to support and lift up a book so that they could feel good and pat themselves on the back. But I think that's going to force allies to dig a little deeper and recognize and listen to the actual voices of the communities that they want to be empathetic to and not feel like they need to have this translated to them through a white woman's Lens for it to be palatable. I really think that that's what this American dirt debacle and debate and discussion is is stirring up. It's helping for seeing allies to be more thoughtful on how they try to amplify our stories. I think it's important. We need amplify and we need to our stories amplified and we need their ally ship. But I think this is going to force them to do their homework and not just feel like, Oh, look, this book. This book has that imagery that I know, I recognize to be Mexican, and it's about the words that I recognize, like drug wars, like labest yeah, and I'm really happy that we're living in a moment in time that we can, we as Mexican Americans, we as Latinos, can check people, and that is what I'm most excited about this American dirt tobaccle, is that it's we own our voice and which we've had, that is ours and that we were able to check and I think this is going to be a turning point to how Latin next stories are represented. As I dug in a little deeper, I just I did decide to read. Actually, I should I take that back. I decided to listen at first. Hey, there, this is Nicole Hernandez, host of the daring kind podcast. Such a scandalous book in the way that it was portrayed and the cadence of things that were happening, crimes and killings, and it was rather gripping from the very start. My background is actually in journalism, my graduate work is in journalism, my Undergrad is in psychology, and so I decided to just get really...

...curious about it and use my journalistic training to evaluate American dirt and when I did a couple things became very clear. Number, when this is a fiction novel, it was quite clear to me that that the publisher had set such great expectations for this novel that was was just for pure entertainment. And I think that's actually where the trouble began, is that when you take something that is meant for entertainment, let's say, it's like the equivalent, and it's the equivalent of saying the bachelor represents the true love story of our time, and that is just how absurd the titles and the and the accolades that were given to American dirt became. They're absurd. So that's kind of where I ended up. I just took the book for what it is, which is really quick, easy read, not a lot of depths to the characters, but definitely at page Turner. Janine comings knows how to write a formulaic, gripping suspense thriller novel, and if you take it for that, then I think that you'd actually enjoy the book. I do think when I took it even a step further, I don't believe that Janine fully anticipated to. I don't think it was her intent. I should say I don't think it was her intent to misrepresent the Latin community by any means. I think she did try her best to interview the people that she could in and to have the all the sources that she had available to her, and and still she was writing at suspense thriller novel that's Totally Fiction, and so I think in that vein like you cannot expect it to be a true, accurate portrayal of someone's life, because it was never meant to be. Welcome to the selfish waking US podcast, where we get to be selfish together. Okay, are we running? There is a thing about our stories being told, like, whether or not they're told in the best sight or the worst like. There is a thing in our community that said, well, at least our stories are being told, and that seems like we can get our chin up over the bar and then we can raise the rest of our body over and there was backlash against that idea and I saw in the project and your community with people saying you know. At first I thought, listen, at least they're talking about us, and then the same you know. I'm thinking one person in particular that said you know, and then I changed my mind after I talk to my daughter about it. Admiral Salia is also addressing the same thing here. I believe the book is quite significant in the big picture right now in the way that it portrays the immigrant experience and the immigrant characters are very exaggerated and unfortunately there is a very negative stereotype as it is, and I don't feel that this is helping in any way. So, unfortunately, I don't see this as anything that is helping the narrative right now for the Latin culture, for immigrants and for the culture that lives south of the colonial border.

I think that what the anger that is currently being felt for this book is masking indignation and hurt. I think that the indignation aspect is that it was so poorly representative of true Mexican culture. There were a lot of false narratives. Again, just talking about how, you know, as one example that they gave in the book, that this main character would be giving a woman that he wants to impress, that he's so fond of, to give her Conchaz, which is considered to be such a common bread, and it was portrayed in the book to be something that was so amazing to give. But yet if you flipped it, culturally it would be the same as someone giving a woman a doughnut and, you know, instead of like a Crem Bru lay, and so missing those nuances was just such a gross misrepresentation that I think there was a lot of indignation for the way that it was portrayed for someone who, quote unquote, researched this for five years. They did a very poor job in researching and so I think indignation for one and hurt for the fact that it was something that this kind of story has been attempted to be told by more authentic writers who understand or are genuine, genuinely Latin x writers, and not to say that, yes, she has a percentage of Porto Rican. So I know a lot of people are discussing that, but I also feel like there is an aspect that was did not like, not denied, but neglected within her self of exploring her own culture, and maybe that gap has created also more hurt because she, as a writer, herself, as a person, didn't head, never really embraced that about herself and now she's going and portraying in a different Latin x culture in such a grossly misrepresentative or misrepresented way. So I think that the hurt is there from that, but even also from the publishing industry and how they have completely missed the mark and how they continuously look at helping writers who are not people of color to be represented versus giving the true diverse voices a platform. So it's eleven. Are we going to jump on? It's five. So what you're about to hear is a conversation between both founders of letting a podcasters read about the stamp and the Co Anandus and myself discussing the entire issue. Hey, guys, it's Ridaboutista here, the hosting creator of empowerment and all that podcast. It's your favorite podcast for women's empowerment. I started the podcast back in May and ever since then my world has been turned upside down in the most positive way. Okay, it says. Please requests record permission from the yeah, let me see. So one of the things I thought was really interesting missing...

...the nuances. I think it's one of the reasons why, in general, this book stood out to me, because I could connect to some of the characters in the story personally and also just on the on the broader topic. You know, I had my brother came here. My brother, my my father's son, came here illegally. His son was actually murdered by the drug cartel in hunter is, not too long ago. Sorry, miss me a little emotional, but I think the danger in stereotypes is that you miss thing you wants. It's and when you tell a story and you continue to miss the nuance, you pull this soul out of it, pulled the emotion out of it, and there are people who are continuously living this. I'm sorry, y'all, it's okay, it's okay. I need a second. I'm sorry, I didn't think it was going to like. I wasn't raised with my older brother, but I can't imagine that pain of like losing your child after not being able to see them again. And know that this book comes out and the story and I doubt he even read it or even knows about it right. But you know, one of the podcasters mentioned that it's like missing the little things that makes this so real and when you're sitting there and you're reading this book and you're listening to it. I read it and I listened to the Audio and even in the audio it was just like it wasn't it didn't feel real. But I know it's real because I've lived it and my brother's lived it and my father is a grandfather's lift it and it's like this is a true story and so when you're telling it, if you miss these little details, you're basically taking the emotion and the reality out of it. I think just even written in response to what you've said, I was I came from the book of being able to just like look at it as a fiction novel and suspense and Thriller and to take it for entertainment. And I don't have the connection that you do to that story because of a personal experience. And so even just hearing you express this emotion and the sadness I feel, I feel, I feel the empathy for you and and it does even now change how I think about this book. When I think about someone like you who has that personal experience. It's crazy. I didn't think I was going to share that, but it just I felt compelled to because I read listened to the book again last yesterday when I was on the airplane and I was like, God, Hi, I'm Rosali Udda, the founder of about consent. I'm a consent educator and sexual literacy advocate and the host of the about consent podcast and, course, creator of content parenting. I found it quite interesting how people have responded to the fact that she is a quarter Puerto Rican and were really attacking her on that, and I can understand the perspective because I've I've been in those corners of my own Lettinia, where I felt that if I didn't portray myself more Latina than within my own community, I would be bullied. I had actually experienced that when I visited El Salvador...

...when I was seventeen and I didn't speak the language very well, and so I can relate to aspects of that. But at the same time, when I what I found really interesting is that I didn't know that this author was at all Latin until I did more research and that information came out, and so it was curious for me to try to understand why she didn't lead with that, why it was such a section of her heritage, of her lineage, that was so much in the background instead of in the forefront. I was definitely triggered when I heard and she wasn't even Latina, and I thought, who the HECKT is this woman? Thing she is? That was my first response, and then I later found out that she was a quarter Latina and my own daughters are a quarter Puerto Rican. I work really hard to instill their Latin that into them every single day and I imagine them growing older into women and expressing themselves in a creative way and being criticized in this manner because they only were a quarter Puerto Rican. And it was really hard to ignore the fact that this comes up in our work time and time again, and you know, it's called the enoughness police. You know, we've even called it something. So you know, Latinos enoughing other Latinos, whether they be a hundred percent, a quarter, fifty percent. We're just there's people there that are just like waiting to criticize based on how Latino they think you are. And I'm going to say I actually, my first thought was who the heck does this woman think she is? So I almost can't even help my own thinking. But then I had the self awareness to say, hang on a second, no, that doesn't disqualify her. People write about communities all the time that they're not a part of. She just unfortunately, didn't do it well right. And my own daughters are a quarter Puerto Ricand, and that's when I started thinking about how some people and our community treat each other, and that's when it's stung, like are you kidding me? Here's yet another example of how we're enoughughing each other and disqualifying each other, and as someone going to disqualify my own children, that's not okay with me. I will first, I want to kind of address something that I used to be a bully. I was a bully about this for years and it took for me to watch someone that I love very much finally come to me and tell me like, you're not any better than I am just because you speak Spanish, and I realize what all I was doing was passing on the hurt that I had when I would travel to hunters and everybody used to call me a Yankee. I was passing that heart hurt on to my family member WHO and speak Spanish, who eventually teaches herself how to speak Spanish. Okay, so like it was this whole thing. It's like we're passing the pain on to the next person instead of just healing it and saying enough is enough. You're letting, I'm letting a how can we support each other? This is ridiculous, you know, and so for that I genuinely have to apologize to anyone that I ever heard in that space, because, you know, where we have it hard enough as it is as women. If you're Brown, you haven't problem, if you're white, you have a problem. If it's like everybody has a battle that they're already facing, and if we continue to add on more BS, it's just like layers that never end, and it's it's a historical trauma that we still have yet to to like really heal through.

You know, I mean people in our countries, colorism is like the thing, you know, and then we come to this country, which is very black and white still to this day, and we're trying to find our space here and then, on top of that, we're here and then they lump us in one under one name and then, on top of that, those people are categorizing themselves through colorism. It's like layers of bs that we just can't we just need to stop and say I'm sorry, I didn't realize what I was doing was passing the hurt along to the next person and damaging you even more. We just need to stop. I as a controversy escalated, we learned that the book tour was canceled, some libraries pulled the book from their bookshelves. Miriam Bouba, who was one of the first to speak out against the book, was put on administrative leave, which sparked a protest at the school that she teaches. That celebrities back pedaled their endorsements and Oprah hosted a special two part episode on Apple TV. So at one point I actually became concerned for Jinine Cummings after listening to her on the let they know USA interview, and this kind of came up in our group called to so I want you to hear that. HMM, take to it. Welcome to our world selfrespect set. She lost a live her, she lost her name, she lost her reputation. I don't really don't think so. That's the crazy thing. That book. Yeah, you got, have me know, but just because it's selling doesn't mean that she has a good name. I mean, look what happens. She'll bounce back. I look, there's enough money behind what happened. She'll bounce back. And that's the thing that we're missing here is if this was a Latin x writer, that person would never be able to write another book. And I don't mean to say this, it's probably going to come off wrong, but it's almost like the whitewashing is totally okay and she'll bounce back with another book. Interesting because I and the let they know USA interview she said she had one book that was already sold. I was unrelated to this, and then she said I don't know if I'm ever going to write another book again. So it's interesting read that you that you feel like that, because I definitely feel like she's I feel like she's in a bad way and I don't know if she continues to be in a bad way, but I felt like I don't know if she'd bounce back, you know. So let let me ask you this. You sold your wedding rings to continue on your project because you knew that you believed in what you were creating at the end of the day. HMM. This woman believes in her literary work and, as a person who continues to create constantly, you're not going to stop just because everyone tears you down. HMM. It's when things are getting really hard and when you're getting torn down, it's when you know that you're onto something. I love your bringing that up. So I was going to say one thing and I'm just going to say it as I can get out. I feel like my work and the work that I do here is extremely personal and I feel like, even though she's letting that this wasn't like she's projectating his personal these are my story and then trying to bring to light other people's stories, but that I feel very connected to. The immigrant journey wasn't her story, so that the Puerto Rican story. It just isn't right. So that's that opinion. What Henry wanted me to bring off, which is what continues to come up, which I'm not sure, well, you guys don't have an awareness of this, is that our next film is about secrets, secrets in the let the know culture. It's about the secrets we keep, it's about the norms. This norm in our culture looked RAPO Suciosa, love an Nakasa. It's about that norm that we have that says don't say anything because it could affect all of us, right,...

...and so we're all going to suffer if you decide to say something, even if that thing that they're asking not to be, you know, to be kept secret, is shredding that person emotionally. Okay, so at any cost, is what I'm saying. And it's going to be thoughtful, it's going to be hopefully, it's going to change a lot of lives. I am terrified to be the next on the chopping block and this what happened with this book brought up all kinds of fear for me. We're making this movie because so many, let the US, have come up to me and brought up their secrets and many have asked me, would you ever make a movie about this so we could deal with this as a fucking culture, right, and I and after let a know, I means many, many, many women have talked to me about this and I'm afraid of being misinterpreted. I'm afraid that my intention will be, you know, that I'll miss something right, that just bringing to light this thing that we do, that we but many of us participated in, will like out, ah, I'll get ridiculed and publicly stoned. So, yeah, I know. So I think one of the most beautiful things that you said earlier was that you connect to this because it's something that's a part of you. You know, I never knew what it was like or what a word I could use to make myself feel like there was a space that I belonged in, and I remember the first time I heard about your projects from my cousin Reille years ago. This is when you launch the map thing, and I was like, she's on something. I don't know what it is, I can't put my name on it, my finger on it, but I was explaining to my mother earlier today, because I let her hear some of the clips, and I was like, I finally understand where my space is in this community and I truly believe that what you're doing is something that is bigger than all of us and you're giving people a space to feel like they're part of the community. And as long as you put your heart into that space and you continue doing that and you continue doing it, because the only way to get rid of. Your right is to continue doing it and be in that fear and be in that space, but don't stop, because people need this and if the healing comes from it, you know, so be it, but I'll be here. I'll be here to tech you. I'm giving you a big ass hug right now. Can I just like, can you bring it? Definitely Denver to hug your that's it. Come on, my way to Denver, he skiing before the snow is over. Anyway. I mean, we better let me know if you come here. Yeah, we're like best friend. Commercial Pause here, commercial breaks pause here, speaking of what you guys have created and letting a podcasters I want. I don't even know how I found you, but I'm so glad that I did, and it reminded me because these guys were asking me like how did this all start? How did you meet them? How this happened? I saw what you guys were doing, and here's what I saw, that you guys were about raising people up and you guys were about supporting women, Lettinas and with what you had, and it was and it was, it was new, and I just I was like yes, right here, this right here, this is what we need more of and if everybody could just take their little corner of the world and decide, I'm going to take some time and I'm gonna I'm gonna plant some seeds here, right and you guys feature somebody knew every single week and that means the world to those people you know, and you chose me to do that and I...

...was so honored to be one of the people that you chose. And all the ways that you add a by the people in the group and try also to pour into the women that are in the group, whether they've started a podcast yet or they're just getting started or they've been around for a while. There's value for everybody and the tone is so important. What you stand for is really showing up every single day, and that's why I wanted to partner with you, because I you know, I see you, guys, watering and giving son to so many women in that group and I wanted to make sure that someone watered you and gave you some and that's going to make me cry, because this is how you do it. Yeah, this is how it's done and it's emotional and it means that you have to be real right. It's all the things but it's messy, right, we have to talk about hard things and we have to coordinate lots of stuff, but it's so worth it. Our goal with lets a podcasters and red and I set on many calls in the Saturday morning with our hair sticking straight out. We did not look cute and we just talked about how we wanted to come to this from a place of celebration and to stop focusing on what we can't do and what hasn't been done yet and to say this is where we're going and we want to take everybody with us, and our focus had to really be about how can we not let our egos get in the way. So how can we come to this without trying to compete with each other, which is so which I think so many of us come from backgrounds where we're constantly competing, whether it's in our our workspace or even just among like cousins, who's the prettiest, you know, like we all have these ways in which we could compete with each other. And how can we actually, like, put our it goes to the side and just say that we're going to do this for everybody, because everybody's going to benefit, and so that's what what we're doing is really about. Yeah, and it shows, and it shows. So those intentions were incredibly important, because that's what it feels like. That's exactly what it feels like. So thank you for that. So from my personal experience, I think that anger is a beautiful emotion as long as it is controlled properly, and I am proud of the authors who were appalled by this book and felt that they needed to band together, and because of that, now the publishing company that put out American dirt is looking at more Latin x authors. I do also believe, though, that at times we allow ourselves to go with the status quot because nobody pushes up against things that are just normal because that's just how it is. But when you know better, it's your sponsibility to do better. I think this anger certainly is a mask for the suppression of sadness and for the frustration. I struggle, I really do struggle sometimes with feeling like I have to be more than enough. I feel like I'm constantly having to prove myself and I remember, even as a young girl in high school, that my stepfather always hold me, you're going to have to dress up everywhere you go, you're going to have to wear the buttoned up shirt. You need to make sure that you always look professional, because you can't get away with just wearing a sweatshirt and jeans. You need...

...to always be polished, otherwise you're going to think you're uneducated and you're always going to have to bring in your big vocabulary words and that you are serious about your work in the world. And I think that's really hard sometimes, because as much as we want to progress and have these amazing careers and to make an impact in our community and to make our families, you know, proud of us, it's a lot of work to keep up with. And yet we find ourselves in a place still now today, where we cannot where we aren't seen as acceptable. This anger in our community is also masking the fact that we continue to glamorize the brutality of the cartels. I mean, we have allowed this brown skin is bad narrative to prosper and to thrive, and yet it belittles our efforts, and I think that is one thing that we really have to go after. We have to push back on all of these stories that are created for entertainment from American dirt to Narcos, you know, to so many other movies and documentaries about the cartels where we just focus on this Brownskid. Is Bad narrative. How do we get out of that? And not to say that those can't exist, but where's the other side of it? So I can't dwell in my anger. It's not productive. I have no creativity when I'm angry, I have no hope and I lose all faith. I can't do it. I could if I wanted to, but I just choose not to. I choose to to exist in in hope. I choose to exist in hard work and in faith that eventually will get to the mountain top when it's our time. But I'm not giving up on this. Even though these things happen, I'm not giving up on this. In the past, this book could have easily made me feel discounted or misrepresented. I worked in the television and film industry for over seventeen years. This was a battle that I would take very seriously day in and day out. It would completely consume me to fight with proper representation, with my employers, with my colleagues, and it was exhausting and it was also not healthy for my sanity, and I realized at one point in time that I was so focused on the problem that I was completely missing the solution. The solution for me personally was to hone in on my craft for storytelling, to not wait for a producer to come and produce me, to work on my craft diligently, day in and day out, for the love of it, for pure intention of it, not to be published by someone else, but to utilize the tools that are accessible to me. Just remember that we are all here on the shoulders of our ancestors and to continue growing and moving forward, we need to support each other. Whether you're in central or South America listening to this podcast, or you live here or your third generation here, or you're...

...an immigrant trying to make your way up here, we need to be able to come together as a community and understand that we all represent the Latin x letting a Lettina Latin community and if we don't support each other, this stuff's going to continue happening. Boom, I just got chills. To you. Thanks for tuning in to empowerment and all that podcast with your host, read a Bautista. Want to help me grow the listener tribe. Make sure to subscribe to this podcast and follow us on instagram and facebook. Under empowerment and all that, and remember keep it positive or don't keep it at all.

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