Demanding Apology To Puerto Rican Community
New York Daily News
Dear Mr. Holiber of the New York Daily News:
I write this letter in support of the Puerto Rican community and as an endorsement of Lorraine Cortés-Vazquez's demand of an immediate, front-page apology for the inaccurate, irresponsible and offensive coverage of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. We have reached out, posted on social media, and protested in front of your building, still without explanation you have not publicly responded.
Our demands have been published or televised on Univision, DNA.Info, SofritoForYourSoul.com, LatinoRebels.com, and The View on Channel ABC among a growing number of both mainstream and independent news sources. The offensive Page 8 photo with the caption "Rear view on parade" was actually taken in Times Square, not at the parade, and the women are not even Puerto Rican. Gaby Santos, 26, of Colombia, and Diana Peña, 22, from Venezuela, paint their bodies to receive tips from tourists in Times Square as reported by DNA.info.
Prepared by Juan Papo Santiago on behalf of #TeamCapicu and community members of the Puerto Rican diaspora and our friends. Original message to your office from Lorraine Cortés-Vazquez (National Puerto Rican Day Parade Chairperson) here:
On behalf of the Parade’s Board of Directors and the Puerto Rican community, I am writing to express our outrage and grave concern over the coverage published in today’s New York Daily News. As a long-standing Parade partner, my fellow Board members and I would never have imagined that our beloved Parade, arguably one of the world’s largest cultural celebrations, would receive such distasteful and inaccurate coverage by your newspaper, on page eight. The image published is not only disrespectful to the Puerto Rican culture, as it shows two topless women in g-strings, it is misleading, as they are clearly nowhere near the Parade route but in Times Square. We have seen them there before, and they have historically solicited payment for their dress. The Board and the community at large are deeply offended and concerned, as this mistake is a gross, overt misrepresentation of the Parade and it serves to reinforce negative perceptions about the Puerto Rican people and culture.
As one of our valued media partners, who received a prime position in this year’s Parade and played a leading role in several of our events, we would like to believe that the New York Daily News does not view the Puerto Rican community in the light portrayed on page eight. For that reason, we demand an immediate, front-page apology and a statement that clearly communicates these ladies were not participating in the Parade in tomorrow’s edition of New York Daily News. Furthermore, we expect accurate coverage that reflects the dignified, respectful and positive celebration that actually took place, yesterday, and we expect that your company take the necessary measures to guarantee this type of error will never happen again. This affects many in our collective community, including business people, community organizations, public officials, sponsors, and our community at large.
They are expecting this apology and correction or follow up action will be taken.
The Parade was founded as a result of the unjust discrimination, prejudice and hatred that Puerto Ricans living in New York experienced in the 1950s. At the time, the Parade’s organizers aimed to fight this by celebrating our people by showcasing the best Puerto Rican culture had to offer, on a world stage like New York City’s Fifth Avenue. The current Board of Directors carries on that mission and has strict requirements and mandates to ensure the Parade contingents have cultural components and that spectators dress and conduct themselves in a respectful and dignified way. The community, corporate sponsors and spectators have adhered to these mandates. Unfortunately, this image and lack of dignified coverage has taken us back to the 1950s and promotes the discrimination, prejudice and hatred our Parade was, and still is, working to combat. What’s more, it places the Parade in a position where we may risk the ability to retain current sponsors and seek new ones, as they will not want to have their brands participate in an event like the one your coverage inaccurately portrays.
We know we had a strong partnership, based on mutual goals of publishing content of interest to your sizeable, Puerto Rican/Latino readership. We are puzzled by this coverage and view it as an egregious error, as it clearly undermines these goals. Having said that, the Board of Directors, public officials, community based organizations and many other interested parties await your response.
Board Chair; National Puerto Rican Day Parade
* Cover Photo taken by Sergio Rosario at protest site on 6/17/15.
New York Daily News
From: [Your Name]
I write this letter in support of the Puerto Rican community and as an endorsement of
Lorraine Cortés-Vazquez's demand of an immediate, front-page apology for the inaccurate coverage of the Puerto Rican Day Parade noted here