Live-Blogging "We're All Mexican"By: José Manuel Simián
Let's state the obvious and say that, in many ways, Donald Trump's hateful words have done Latinos a favor by uniting the great majority of us (yes, not all of us).
Let's agree that the phrase "We're all Mexican" has strength in this context, an f-you attitude towards those who want to stigmatize any kind of immigrant, or unfoundedly accuse a particular group of us. That it also destroys the ignorant idea that a nationality can by itself be used as an insult, as many xenophobes have tried to do in this country with the word "Mexican."
But sadly, when Latin music mogul Emilio Estefan —someone whose own website describes as an "extraordinary leader" with "extraordinary vision"— decided to turn that phrase into a star-studded anthem à la "We Are the World," his extraordinary musical powers didn't allow him to do the shared sentiment or the incredible musical legacy of Mexico or the rest of the Latino world any justice.
We watched this refried disaster once in disbelief, and will now do it again, live-blogging as we go.
We can only hope it is the very last time.
0:05 Cheap synthesizers and a Spanish guitar over images of carnivals and digitally-added fireworks. We get it, Emilio, this is ironic and you want to make a point of rejecting cliches against Latinos. RIGHT?
0:10 Thalia appears to do a burlesque number with sombreros. She says, "Arriba Latinos!" and her number is cut, abruptly.
0:18 Frida Kahlo paints, we wonder what would her reaction be if she could watch this.
0:20 A chorus of "los mexicanos" (pronounced with an X instead of a J) starts repeating itself over and over.
0:26 The dancing chihahua. Ok. Scratch the idea of rejecting cliches. This guy is as literal as they come. Probably EXTRAORDINARILY literal. But why, then, does the official description of the song's video claim the song is "a metaphor"? Seriously: Why?
0:29 A singer raps. We reach for Google to find out who he is.
0:42 We still don't know who this guy is. When he rhymes "Latino" with "submarino" we give up.
0:51 Haitian-American rapper Black Dada comes in. We only know who he is because his name is cheaply written over the image of a US passport. He rhymes "beans" with "the American Dream" and we are supposed to think it's not offensive. (But hey, what if the key to understanding this thing is "DADA," you know?)
1:00 The third singer (who?) comes in, in a segment of the song devoted to food. There's a reference to "El Bodeguero" followed by the idea that guacamole is used to heal a broken heart ("mal de amores").
1:35 Wyclef enters the mix, with one of the most interesting bits, yet he sings that Latinos are the ones who "bring the flavor to the United States." It's a sad day for those who fight cliches.
2:00ish We stop trying to figure out who is singing.
2:20 Pitbull and Santana come in almost at the same time. Pitbull leaves almost immediately, the Santana solo overstays. For once, we wish we had followed the "Dale!" guy.
2:57 The torture ends when a group of chefs and restaurant workers (one of them holding a festive cow head) yell "Viva America!" apparently in reference to the country, not the continent. We agree with Emilio on one thing: he has produced something truly extraordinary.