Image Issues: Ending Stereotypes!

New York Puerto Ricans, specifically Boricuas For A Positive Image, are working to ban Coors Beer as a sponsor of this year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade because they feel that it is not only a symptom of the commercialism which has taken over the event but also because they want to promote a healthier lifestyle for Boricuas and other Latinos.

Many Boricuas want the organizers of the parade to move the celebration back to the original idea of a celebration of Puerto Rican culture and families and be less the promotion of the increasing number of commercial sponsors such as Coors.

Boricuas For A Positive Image also want Coors to remove the image of the Puerto Rican flag from the commemorative beer can that the company has planned on releasing for the event. “[The can is] an insult to our culture, history, and flag. We will not allow Coors to insult us,” Lucky Rivera of Boricuas for a Positive Image commented.

The group has promised protests if Coors does not comply.

The protest is also an attempt to change the popular perception of Latino men that is too often and inaccurately portrayed in the media, especially film and television, of ‘el borracho‘, the heavy-drinking Mexican or Boricua(Puerto Rican). This myth is the staple of many police procedural series set in New York City as well as many ‘gangsters in the hood’ movies. A notable exception to this stereotype can be seen in the movie, Trouble in the Heights, which I wroteabout earlier this year for Being Latino! Instead, community leaders want the positive characteristics of being responsible, hard-working grandfathers, fathers, sons, and brothers to be what is emphasized when the general public think of Latino men.

By Being Latino Contributor, Jeffery Cassity Jeffery Cassity is a mostly socially-liberal, fiscally-conservative Anglo male who is involved in his local Hispanic community as the widower of a 1st generation Mexican-American woman and his active, some would say hyperactive, membership in the local Council of the League of Latin American Citizens(LULAC)


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