Friday, March 12, 2010

Sticks and Stones.......Still a Slur

As the old saying goes, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me," well, that would depend on the word or words. In this case, the word is "spic." A word which has been used to negatively identify Latinos. While one should not dwell on it, the words negative reference should not be forgotten. To accept it in everyday language, is to accept its negative connotations.

Ed Morales writes about a panel discussion held at El Museo del Barrio, which drew a considerable crowd, in reference to the words use in a poetry series, held several months ago, entitled “Spic Up/Speak Out.”

S*** Panel Incites Controversy by Ed Morales

A few months ago a poetry series at El Museo del Barrio (peripherally located on 5th Avenue in El Barrio/Spanish Harlem) called “Spic Up/Speak Out” got so many folks riled up that El Museo caved just a week later and changed the name of the series. Apparently, the s-word has not lost its temporary currency as a revived slur, since last night, Taller Boricua, which might now be considered the “authentic” museo del barrio, held a panel discussion called “(Dis)empowerment: Addressing Controversial Subjects in Contemporary Latino Art,” to address a controversial work (“Round the Way Girl: Cultural Osmosis for a Native Gringa”) that foregrounds the word “spic” in what some considered offensive fashion.
Read the rest --->


In attendance and part of the panel was Nuyorican poet, educator and activist Jesus 'Papoleto' Melendez. The following letter was written by Melendez as a result of the the panel disussion....

Dear Self Respecting Puerto Ricans,

I am writing to comment on two or three points remaining yet salient, discussed or not, as a result of the panel discussion which was conducted at Taller Boricua on Thursday, March 4th, entitled “(Dis)empowerment: Addressing Controversial Subjects in Contemporary Latino Art,” on the topic of the use of the racial epithet “spic” in “Round the Way Girl,” a sculpture piece by Melissa A. Calderon.

Read the entire letter provided via Virtual Boricua.

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