Category Archives: Commentary

John Leguizamo is Still Not Puerto Rican! WEPA!!!

A version of this article first appeared on Mike Robles Buzz

When I first heard about Mr. Leguizamo not being Puerto Rican
my first thought was – WEPA!!!

WEPA! for us Puerto Ricans is a trigger word used to express emotion, both good and bad. “Tito just got his GED – WEPA!” or your dad let’s out a nice, long fart and you go  “WEPA!!!”

You get the point. In this instance WEPA was used by me to express surprise!

jl I always suspected that John was not Puerto Rican but to me it was was always about his body of work, his passion for the art and his love of being Latino! John has represented Latinos better than any artist I know. The fact that he may have intentionally or unintentionally forgotten his roots is irrelevant.

He certainly didn’t do anything to hurt Puerto Ricans, did he?

John Leguizamo is a human being sharing his soul with the world!
Have you seen “Ghetto Klown” “Freak” “Mambo Mouth” – should I continue?

As Latinos, we get caught up in this self-pride as to whose race is better.  On my new Comedy CD “Mike Robles – Live From New York City -WEPA!!!” (shameless plug, I know) I have a track called “Don’t Confuse The Races” where I address this issue.

CD

Perhaps this incident will raise awareness to the fact that inter-racial racism is a more serious problem for Latinos than we like to admit.

For more information on the talented John Leguizamo check out his profile at IMDB.

WEPA!!!

Remember Folks, Puerto Rico Is America

Despite the long relationship the U.S. has enjoyed with the “Enchantress of the Caribbean”, Puerto Rico and its residents on the island and on the mainland remain a mystery to other Americans.

As a public service, Robles & Rosado will help clear up any confusion for you and save you the time and exertion necessary to Google the complicated relationship Puerto Rico and Uncle Sam share.

[Puerto Rico] belongs to the U.S. as an “unincorporated” territory. Unincorporated territories of the U.S. are places where the country’s constitution does not apply by default, except for in the case of certain “fundamental rights” owed to all Americans. 

The “Temptress of the Antilles”, nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean just east of the Dominican Republic, must continue to offer up its “charms” to the U.S. of A. because…it has no other choice.

Uncle Sam can come and go, do as he pleases, leave a few dollars on the dresser and tell Borinquen to buy a new dress for the next time. He doesn’t have to put a ring on it.

I’d like to propose a new slogan for the island’s tourism board. Puerto Rico: U.S. Side Chick Since 1898.

Here endeth the lesson.

Also on the show we discuss the troubling revelation that U.S. born Latino and Latina teens feel the psychological effects of racism and discrimination more than adolescents born outside of the country. The article was a wake up call for the both of us.

Listen to Mike Robles and Pedro Rafael Rosado  on the latest episode of Robles & Rosado

Remember to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Photo Credit: © Fifafofu | Dreamstime.comSan Juan, Puerto Rico 

Where Is This Post Racial Paradise I’ve Been Promised?

Recently the Supreme Court of the United States upheld a constitutional amendment that bans affirmative action in admissions to Michigan’s public universities. Seven other states already have similar bans and you know others are just itching to get in on the action. We’re told “race-neutral alternatives” will ensure diversity at public institutions so there is absolutely, positively no need to worry.

According to The New York Times, states that forbid affirmative action in higher education have seen a significant drop in the enrollment of black and Hispanic students in their most selective colleges and universities.

Not for nothing but I think that’s pretty darned worrisome right there.

In her epic dissent in the Michigan case, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote:

Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown, and then is pressed, “No, where are you really from?”, regardless of how many generations her family has been in the country. Race matters to a young person addressed by a stranger in a foreign language, which he does not understand because only English was spoken at home. Race matters because of the slights, the snickers, the silent judgments that reinforce that most crippling of thoughts: “I do not belong here.”

Race matters.

I was very blond until the age of four and born with such pale skin that it earned me the sobriquets “jincho” and “gringuito” in the South Bronx neighborhood where my family settled—the same neighborhood a certain Supreme Court Justice hails from.  Legend has it that while I was dancing to plena in a school play as a six-year old an exuberant member of the audience stood up and loudly exclaimed, “Ese yanqui baila muy bien! Wepa!”

The color of my skin has continually factored into how I’m treated by other racial and ethnic groups. I’m “an uppity spic who isn’t really white” to certain drunk Wall Street types I once met and a “wannabe gringo who only plays at being Puerto Rican” to a Boricua artist I know who believes her caramel-colored skin and curly mane of dark brown hair instantly validates her Hispanidad.

Race matters.

It matters to Cliven Bundy. It matters to Donald Sterling and to Frazier Glenn Cross. Hell, it matters to me.

Affirmative action allowed me to get an education. It evened the playing field and gave me an opportunity I would not have had a decade earlier.  Anyone who thinks we need no longer concern ourselves with protecting efforts toward achieving racial equality is dangerously naïve.

Or just plain dangerous.

These Funny Latinas Are Not Ready For Primetime

The Robles & Rosado show supports our LATINA artists.  We’re happy to help SNL find the funniest Latinas in the game and are committed to focusing a spotlight on all the wonderful Latin@ talent that’s out there. With that in mind we present a partial list of comedians for SNL and Hollywood to consider.  Hoping the hashtag #StillNoLatinas gets retired soon.

You’re welcome, Lorne.

 Anjelah Johnson

Anjelah Johnson

Cristela Alonzo

CristelaAlonzo

Aubrey Plaza

AubreyPlaza

Gina Brillon

GinaBrillon

Marga Gomez

MargaGomez

Sara Contreras

SaraContreras

Sandra Valls

SandraValls

Monique Marvez

MoniqueMarvez

Jill-Michele Melean

Jill-Michele Meleon

Shayla Rivera

ShaylaRivera

A Podcast and Blog Latinos Need

I really didn’t want to do this.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I really wanted to do a podcast with the terrifyingly talented Mike Robles (he thinks I’m joking when I use adjectives like that but the man is scary talented). What I was dead set against was making it a Latino-themed show.

I’m a fiercely proud Boricua who skews strongly towards the geek / nerd spectrum and genuinely didn’t see the need for what I believed would be just another show eating up bandwidth that explored Latino issues. I felt confident these worries were being adequately and professionally addressed on radio, television, and on the Internet.

Boy, was I wrong!

While there are some admirable attempts currently on the air that address the varied concerns many of us have while doing “Our Latin Thing” here in North America, they barely register on most people’s radar. None of them use humor, NYC attitude, and personal reflection to get the job done.  After having my eyes opened a light bulb went on over my head.

This was the perfect time to debut “Robles & Rosado”. Mike and I are both Latinos de pura sepa, have attitude to spare, and love telling stories.  We both decided it was the right thing to do.  We would create a chat based show with the occasional pre-taped segments featuring guests.

The goals for our show are simple:

  1. We want to entertain
  2. We want to open minds
  3. We want to have fun
  4. And most importantly, we want our listeners to have fun

We have tons of ideas for future shows but will need help. If you enjoy what we do please subscribe to the show on iTunes and please consider leaving a review on whatever podcast catching service you use.  All of it helps keep us doing what we’re doing.

Keep listening and keep visiting this site because the party has just begun!

We’re Just Having Fun

Prepárense todos because the Robles & Rosado podcast extravaganza is almost here!

The show is a no-holds barred look at the Latino-Hispanic American experience from Emmy winning comedian Mike Robles alongside web radio personality and journalist Pedro Rafael Rosado.

Will it be funny? Yes. Will it be controversial? Oh, yes. Will you find yourself waiting breathlessly for the next episode? Absolutely.

Look for the first episode  2/19/2014.