022. racism in cubanity: reacting to ¿Qué Pasa, USA? with jason

* this is an automated transcript, please excuse typos


[00:00:00] Fryda: we're going to be talking

[00:00:20] Carmen: about, que pasa Que Pasa USA today and que pasa Que Pasa USA is America's very first bilingual situational comedy thing, all in the family. Thanks. Cheers. Think three's company that style of comedy. Imagine it like Miami Cuban flavored. So that's what we're dealing with. The entire show is available for free.

It was produced by PBS from the years of 1977 to 1980. And you can watch it on YouTube. All of it is mostly in Spanish. I don't believe I've seen. And the way of

[00:00:51] Fryda: subtitles. I think they did a great job at unapologetically being bilingual, but still trying to bring in people who either spoke one or the other language.

I grew up watching Que Pasa USA. And so I was watching it in 1995 and I realized that this show is like kind of old. And so whatever situational issues it was tackling, it was issues that were relevant to that period of time, which I think is really funny

[00:01:16] Carmen: because watching this stuff now, it's still.

[00:01:18] Fryda: That's what I was going to say, like somehow to, to this day, um, not many things change.

A lot of personalities are relatable. A lot of the motivations of the characters are the backgrounds, the trauma, the lifestyle in Miami. And so it's just a humorous, but also sometimes Sesame street style educational in terms of social issues. But it does have its flaws as it will, especially as an older show.

And so with us today, Is our, shall I say, number one fan.

[00:01:51] Carmen: I think our other fans are going to get offended, but yeah,

[00:01:54] Fryda: I think that there's money. Number one, places, but Jason is a number one fan of take it easy and also our friends, because of course, when we started this show, our friends were the biggest support we could have.

Hi Jason. Hey

[00:02:10] Carmen: Jason. So good to have you.

[00:02:13] Fryda: I'm glad. Yeah on a Sunday morning, there's nothing better. Nothing bad. That's

[00:02:21] Carmen: why we're easy, like Sunday morning. So we asked Jason to watch this episode of Que Pasa USA called computer friend. And Jason, I want to ask you first to give us the premise of the show, as you understand it for the audience.

Jason does not speak Spanish, but he has watched a computer friend from

[00:02:41] Jason: what I understood. One of the main characters, Carmen. It looks like the early stage of, of online dating. She's basically giving her profile and, uh, you know, getting set up with a computer friend, I used air quotes. And so it turns out that I guess the, uh, the computer friend.

That she gets matched up with is actually a black guy, which I guess in and of itself was kind of funny. There seems to be issues with her grandparents, as far as finding out that the guy is a black. It's so weird because before they meet him, they're like really excited and they're like, oh, well, is he a Cuban?

And she's like, no, he's not Cuban. So they say, well, you know, well, is he from a good family? And she's like, yeah. I mean, all I know is that we match up and we have a lot of things in common and it turns out that they do a lot of things in common. Like the guy that walks in the house and he looks at it and it's like, your house looks just like my house.

There's a lot going on there. Well, as. Are are very, uh, Very caught off guard by, by his very, very, very blackness. I still, no other way to say it. Like think first the, uh, mentioned that she thought he was the handyman and then she realized that he wasn't and she's like, Freaking out. And I think he's like picking up all this stuff and he's looking around and seeing a lot of this stuff and she thinks that like, he's, he's being rude and slash he might be trying to steal our stuff.

And it's so many cliches, so many like random. Really, but also like, yeah, I'm pretty sure that probably could happen.

[00:04:28] Fryda: So, um, just getting your first impressions as a first time, viewer of get bossa Que Pasa USA and then also a first time viewer of an episode that, that probably claims to deal with a social issue and has a start middle.

Conflict and so-called resolution around whatever this social issue is. And we're going to get to talking about whether that's, you know, whether that's a resolution or not. Uh, this show

[00:04:57] Carmen: features a Cuban family, and I'm not, not that I'm not saying Cuban American, but I'm specifically seeing a Cuban family living in Miami, specifically in little Havana.

And the people living in this household are the grandkids. Those are willows, the parents and two children effectively. There are male and female counterparts for each generation. There's a boy and a girl, child, obviously a mother and a father and an, a Willow and an abuela. They're all living in this house.

Carmen, which is the daughter. And I'm actually going to ask us to please refer to her as , because if not, I'm going to drive myself crazy listening to this episode later. Um, cause obviously my name is Carmen, so it kind of makes it does the daughter, the boy's name is Joe, which I think is a funny name for a boy that is supposed to be, you know, And bay, which is the father.

Juana is the mother. And then the grandparents are Antonio E Adela. We have many generations living under one household. We have the grandparents, the episode opens up with Godman SITA, sitting down with her two friends named Sharon, who is the American counterpart to karmic SITA. And. Which is what I argue the most Cuban counterpart to is sort of posed in this particular scene as being the middle of those two extremes.

And while they're filling out this application, the writing of the show, they specifically make a note that this computer friend is supposed to be just like you. So that's why they're gathering information. Like what your plan is five years from now and what your. Hold income is like, and you know, what things you value.

Right? And so kind of mosquitoes writing all of this information down, expecting that the computer will match her up with someone just like her.

Obviously as the episode progresses, we find out that this person who is just like her is a lovely young man named Charles Powell who comes through the door and immediately gets treated like shit for being black. And so that is the premise that we're talking about. I want to say one note about this whole plot.

I could see this exact story happening. Tomorrow a hundred percent, unfortunately. Yeah. This is not something that we saw. And we were like, oh, wow. But that was the seventies. No, no, that is

[00:07:28] Fryda: today. It's setting up. People as just the same and as having only like one minor difference between each other, I found it interesting that they would do that, that they would say that race is just a color.

That race is just the color of your skin. I think that the first reaction I had to the whole premise of computer friend is to say actually on paper, a lot of the time. Differences in race can be seen in terms of differences in socioeconomic status, in terms of difference in credit score, in terms of difference and other things.

I think I'm seeing it with like a critical island, like how simply this premise was brought in as a way of talking about race. And I know that's possibly a complicated way of starting this conversation, but I'm wondering like, If you had any thoughts about the way that the premise approaches this topic before we get into more specific, that's a good

[00:08:21] Jason: question.

I mean, from what I understood about the episode, it felt like, like you're saying, it's leading you towards this, this happy ending where everyone realizes that, oh, well, other than your skin color, you know, they're just like me. And it's like, I kinda thought to myself, like, so, but what if they weren't like you?

What if. We're a little different and there were still good people. What if that was the case? Why is that not an option for this to be a resolution? Why is there, why is this the only solution like, oh, well, you know, we have the same furniture and we have the same stuff, so we should be friends. And it's like, so what if you didn't have all those things, you wouldn't be friends then I wouldn't be able to date your daughter if, if we didn't have like learn values or, I mean, I get to an extent that all things like people want to have the same values.

They tend to gravitate towards people who are like them, or they can, I guess they can find some common ground where there's like, okay, well that's, you're like me in this way. So that makes you okay. So what if he was the complete opposite, you know, like how would you solve that,

[00:09:32] Fryda: man?

[00:09:33] Carmen: This is a very simple way of looking at a very complicated issue.

And I think at the time I hate saying that, but I think at the time, like this was pushing the on. Even just this way of looking at it was pushing the envelope. The fact that PBS public broadcast station, like tax dollars made this is already like a big deal, especially in the climate, in which it came out in, which is Miami in the seventies and eighties,

[00:10:01] Jason: you know, I didn't want it to be like, you know, just one side to pick the picture.

And I also noticed like, there's, the mom has like the same misgivings and it's like, oh, well I don't want my son to be like, I have a plan for my son where he married a black woman and he, and. It's like this, the whole solve didn't seem to solve anything in that, like, in that train of thought, you know, it's like, oh yeah.

Okay. Well, we're, we're all the same, except for our skin color. What if we're not all

[00:10:29] Fryda: the same? I think that what it shows is the level at which the show is approaching this topic. It's approaching it at a level of. We're going to assume that the reason why black Americans and Cubans are not getting along is because they don't realize how much they have in common or because they don't realize how much they could have in common.

But that just shows you. How low a level we're starting at as if ignorance where the problem as if, if only you all knew this thing about each other and sat down in the living room together that you would be able to at the end, shake hands as if not liking each other is the problem. And. Racism overall.

So at some point, Charles mom comes in and Charles' mom has all of these ideas around blackness and protecting blackness. And it seems to be shown in parallel to the Cubans plans for keeping things internal. But the elephant in the room is that the Cubans are like, are white there there's like a neighborhood watch alerting the grandmother at some point that there's a black woman in the neighbor.

And they're trying to keep black people out.

Hello?

[00:11:54] Jason: Oh, man. At that

[00:11:56] Fryda: gate that

no, no.

And I don't know how good a job it does of addressing the fact that like the same opinion that these two communities have. They have it for different reasons. It doesn't show how black people are actually trying to keep violent. And, and then these Cuban white people are trying to keep black people out.

[00:12:49] Jason: I had thought of like the mother and I thought about like personal experiences in my life. Like with just friends and family and friends who I know their parents are like weary of them dating outside of the quote unquote black race, just because of. For whatever reason, a lot of times, if you dig deeper, it's not necessarily because the person is another race, but it's because they're worried how that, that person's family is going to treat them.

It's like, Well, you just be careful because you don't know what might happen. Like, and I don't think the movie get out helped a lot. Um, but, um, but yeah, uh, there's, there's a lot of apprehension I can speak from my experience. Like it's, there's always going to be a lot of apprehension in black communities when.

Especially for a parent, like when their child is dating outside their race, especially in their dating, I said, or their race. And they feel like that particular community does not exactly look at you in the most positive light, like you're saying. So do they have like, there's a neighborhood watch.

They're looking, trying to keep black people out and now her son is over there in these people's houses. Coming to see their daughter, like that's, that's going to cause apprehension that's going to cause you to be quite alarmed. Like, I'm pretty sure this lady did not know that her son was even on this like computer friend dating.

Thing. And now when she finds out that it's a Cuban family, she made it a point to leave her job or cause I'm sure she's tired. You worked at a dress factory. So she's coming home and going to a completely different neighborhood to have a whole sit down with a family that she doesn't know, just off the strength that she knows what could happen with their suddenly there's always that level of fear, I guess.

From black dating. Anything else? I can also understand that he doesn't know anything better from what I watch. It looks like there there's this ingrained thought process of black people are criminals. They steal things. They're not good workers. They don't know as much. So he's already angry at the black bricklayer that dropped the brick on his foot.

So now he comes home and now his daughter is in the living room with the black. It's really complex. It's really hard to like nail it down as to what exactly it is. Is the solution karma SITA's brother Joe got into it with the guy that she's matched up with. The episode starts off with him coming in with a black guy.

And he's I guess he said something to the guy about his mother. The guy said something to him about being a Cuban cream puff.

You already had two of them,

but that's normal for black people.

a black dude started. Did he call me a name?

[00:15:49] Fryda: He called me up Cuban cream

[00:15:53] Jason: puff.

[00:15:59] Fryda: I

[00:15:59] Carmen: think it's funny that they chose to highlight the insult that the Cuban got, but we don't really know what Joe ever sent back to him. He

[00:16:08] Fryda: didn't know what Joe said back. And I, and I have a feeling. Way worse than being collided because it's because they're laughing. It was like, oh, you got called a cream puff.

Like, what did the other guy got called? I

[00:16:18] Carmen: understand the threats to masculinity and everything, but being called omitting Geetha is really not a bad thing. Like what is the problem here? I'm not throwing hands for being called omitting.

[00:16:29] Fryda: Those are delicious. My mom makes them

[00:16:31] Jason: there's that conflict. And then he clearly doesn't want to apologize for it.

I think he ends up hitting a teacher. So she comes to his house and like expects them to like make up in a, in a week. She gives them a week to like, Hashed out their differences and shake hands and be friends that's awfully ambitious for anyone who just got into a fight for you to just find common ground with that person.

And in a week, towards the end of the episode, they ended up in the same house again, and they realized that this is the guy that's trying to date my sister, and is also the guy that, that I got into a fight with. I think he says, I think Cuba's need to stick with Cubans and blacks needs just stick with blacks or something to that, that level of it.

And. I think his friend comes over, this is Joe's friend comes over. And the first thing I saw, I was like, you sure you want to just stick with Cubans and blacks versus black? Cause this guy is awfully dark. So Charles says like, this guy is blacker than me. And I relate with that so many times and that's a.

Throw shade at anyone in particular, but I've come across plenty of the mannequins. Who've said things like I'm not black, I'm Dominican. And Joe says the same thing about his friend. He says, he's not black. He's he's uh, he's honestly,

[00:17:45] Fryda: let's get into that because that is a huge, huge issue. But I want to take one step back.

Okay. So from the very beginning, When Carmen seat does parents are helping her fill out the information. When she asked the dad, are you a blue collar worker or a white collar worker? He tries to say, he's a white collar worker. When he's a blue collar worker, she asks what's her income level. He tries to say hi, when they're low to medium, they're in this country.

And their passing is as white to a certain degree, but they're also. And they're trying not to be what they are. I would say this idea of also thinking that you're like a white American, when you come into this country is another like detrimental and colonial idea that Latino people can have.

[00:18:34] Carmen: I think it's really crazy how.

There's this idea of what being that you're, if you're an immigrant, you come to this country and you're like lost, right? You don't know anything about the systems and just like living in, in this economy. And like in this environment is so different already. And especially not knowing the language, all of that stuff, like everything is different, but like, for some reason, this is something that is so quickly.

I think it's actually brought over because I actually, this already does happen in Cuba, but I think it's crazy how that continues to express itself. Even when you are able to see so clearly in your everyday life, how you are not like this idea of white and how it exists in this country, you do feel the privilege, but you also feel a lot of the consequences.

[00:19:18] Fryda: There's a social logical, the term called racial distancing that I remember learning in cutting-edge. And it's a term that describes a. We're actually practiced by many black immigrants and it's a defensive practice. If you're, let's say black Jamaican, black, Haitian, and black Jamaican, the black Haitians actually identify as black, but imagine you could also be black, Dominican, black Cuban, et cetera, et cetera.

Right. And you come to this country to the United States and it benefits you to distance yourself from African-Americans from black Americans. And it only benefits you because in calling yourself different. From the black Americans in this country, you managed to protect yourself against certain prejudices.

You managed to protect yourself against like a lack of social mobility, but you are still black. You absolutely still are, but there is a benefit to trying to distance yourself. And I can see this happening from a different degree for Cubans who might be of various different racial identities, distancing themselves and even distancing their fellow black Cubans.

And therefore erasing black identity and only for the benefit of white Cubans. I see all these things coming together in this one moment in the story where Jason, you said where a black Cuban walks in through the door and he's all super friends, friends with Joe, and you're just like, hold on. What is the hypocrisy here?

Did Jill just say this man's not black?

[00:20:50] Jason: How can we get along? So. He's blacker than I am not black, man. He's Cuban

[00:21:04] Fryda: and Joel, the white Cuban gets to decide that this black Cuban isn't black. No, he's one of the good guys, right? He's a Cuban. And I've seen this happen in my own family, a hundred percent. And it's just like, no guys, this. This person's black too. And then in Cuba, they, they still get the same. As a black person as well.

Like we don't get to ignore this. So in a way, bringing that character in highlights that hypocrisy and points that out. And I would say that I did enjoy seeing that, but what I didn't enjoy seeing was putting the burden on this character to be a bridge as if this character being a fusion of blackness and Cuban newness could have.

The black American and the Cuban way, man, holding hands at the end is that really his role, like his role is like to bring people together. If anything, he should understand how torn someone might be in that

[00:22:05] Jason: identity. It is often put on like black people in general, like to bridge the gap in any kind of a prejudice or racist issue where it's like, well, we need to solve this.

So Hey, black guy, how do you solve this? Like, I've experienced this in life in general. Like my previous job. Years ago, like, I think this was right after Freddie gray died and you know, he was murdered by the police and there were quote unquote riots in Baltimore. And one of my very white coworkers asked me, so Jason, why are they doing this?

And it's like, It's so hard, like having to realize like I'm at work. So I can't answer this the way I want to. I want to answer this. So I'm just thinking to myself, like, why would you even think to come to me about this? I don't live in Baltimore. I don't know why they're doing this. What was your solution?

The one black guy you could find, you just grab him and pull him over. He'll give us the answer as to what's going on in Baltimore with black people, or how do you solve this issue with. Where white people don't like black people. What's the solution. How do you solve these issues with cops and why they keep stopping you?

Well, maybe if, if we get a black guy in here, he'll be able to explain it, but it's like, I feel like deep down, most people know the answer. They know what's at the root of a lot of these things. They just don't want to accept it because then it puts some of the burden on them to fix it. So they'd rather say, well, there is no solution.

There doesn't seem to be a solution. So we just need to just act like everything's okay. Everyone, just try to assimilate, try to be like each other and everything will be okay. And you do tend to erase people's identity in the process because, and it never seems to be the white identity that seems to be being

[00:23:46] Fryda: erased is the oppressed group that gets the eraser.

Of course,

[00:23:51] Carmen: because history is written by

[00:23:52] Fryda: the victors fast-forward I don't know, 50 years. And we're still asking the people who are. Marginalized to fix a problem caused by these structures. And this is how this episode resolves, but it doesn't resolve with. Some jabs. I think that they let, they especially let Charles and the mother make some pretty fun jobs at like the whole situation.

Not only did Charles say you're blacker than me, but like after being blatantly fearful and, and racist who is the father sits down with the mother of Charles. And so they're sitting down and BIP is out here starting off by saying. The equivalent of, I voted for Obama, you know, like the equivalent of like, uh, like I have all the black friends, I have a black friend I'm not

[00:24:45] Carmen: racist.

I just don't want my daughter dating your son because he's black, but I'm not racist.

[00:24:50] Fryda: I'm not racist. Did you know that the patron Saint of Cuba was black? Like all of these things that apparently mean that you can not to be racist. And then she's just like, oh really? The only Cuban I know is Ricky Ricardo and he's white.

[00:25:06] Jason: I don't want you to think that we are, uh, uh, you know what I mean? In Cuba, we had many grades, I'm famous black people. Um, Mr. Penya, the only famous Cuban I've ever known was Ricky Ricardo. And he was white.

Well, let me say spouse. I think you got the wrong idea about us in Cuba had many friends and they were. Uh, I know you always believe that everybody should be free. Um, Mr. Penn. Yeah, he is such an open-minded man.

[00:25:46] Fryda: And I was thinking, okay, this is a PBS show. Is it criticizing the media? Is it criticizing representation?

Can it possibly criticize itself? Because this whole family is pretty white. This whole Cuban family did it just sneak in a burn at itself. And at media representation of not just Cubans, but of Latinos overall, because if you look at the media. It's so

[00:26:08] Jason: whitewashed. I definitely caught both of those and those little jabs.

Those are probably my favorite interactions. I did find it funny specifically, like soon as the dad like went onto the defense, I was like, oh, so it's okay to do racist things, but don't ever actually be called a racist. Don't imply that I'm being racist. And I often like lament to myself, like it's. More important to you and not to be called a racist and you stop doing or saying racist things.

I've heard some of the most racist things in my life come out of some of the most vile of people, but the second you call them racist. It's like, how dare you? That that is offensive. That is the most horrible thing you could call me. I would never be one of those people, but it's like, You are one of those people,

[00:26:57] Fryda: you know, it turns out that racism is insidious and it creeps into all sorts of people, even if you're trying so called trying not to be racist, you're still existing in systems that are benefiting a certain race over another in our society.

If we could just be more accepting of the fact that we are all living in a racist society, then we can start to fix the problem than just being like. Did you just, I mean, most people take

[00:27:22] Carmen: everything really personally. There's a difference between you thinking that you have racist behaviors and you have said racist things versus you accepting that you are a racist person.

It's kind of one of those things where like, if you're living in a glass house, don't throw stones, right. If you can't be criticized well, I don't know why you're so staunchly holding onto the idea that you are

[00:27:41] Fryda: or are not. We just finished doing an episode on Miami. We just finished of course, talking about like, this is a snapshot of a moment in Miami

[00:27:51] Carmen: slash a current life thing that still

[00:27:54] Fryda: happens.

Miami is like highly segregated city. It's a city of the south. It was a city of Jim Crow and it it's also a gateway to Latin America, but like the latest. Thing in Miami is the demonizing of just teaching people that our history is real and that like, we have to come together and think of something better than a handshake.

You need to sit down and be like, okay, like what just happened here? Why did we even fight? And that wasn't even resolved that no,

[00:28:27] Carmen: none of that happened. It was just like womp womp. I'm sorry. You're sorry. We're all the same. And now we're going to shake hands. And none of this happened moving on with our lives.

That was the anti-climatic for me. I

[00:28:40] Fryda: want to fast forward to like media today and ask them, is there anything good out there in the media offering something better like 50 years later,

[00:28:49] Carmen: the fact that this conversation is happening now, and the more of these types of conversations happen at a more public sphere,

[00:28:56] Fryda: Carmen, getting up.

In the eighties, you had

[00:29:00] Carmen: get Pasa Que Pasa USA. And that was like, that's, that was the dialogue. It was like, this is what it was. And now we get to talk about,

[00:29:07] Jason: I live for these conversations because I learn a lot. People learn a lot, you know, you get something from everyone. The way I look at this show is like, I can see why it got canceled.

Not because it was bad, but because it was so good, like. Even with all the flaws that we just spoke about, like all the things that they, you know, they didn't hit. We're talking about when was this? Like the seventies? So it's about 40 years ago. Like the first thing I said to myself, wow, this is pretty good for a show 40 years ago, addressing like some real topics and yeah, that's true.

I can also understand why. All in the family, you would last a lot longer than this because all in the family, the main character is a racist white guy. And it's like, oh, well, he'll learn his lesson. He'll, he'll get better. From what I understand from back then, there was not a lot of appetite for, um, anything Latino, much less a Latino show to actually address this real issue.

And real problems that are happening and they speak Spanish. Like there's, I feel like

[00:30:14] Fryda: that it's a very niche market there. There's still a problem with speaking another language other than English in the United States to be on a unapologetic enough to say, we're going to say some things in another language and you're going to have to be fine with it.

Like we're sometimes not even going to accommodate English

[00:30:32] Jason: even today. I wouldn't see that. And easy sell without subtitles at the bottom to explain what

[00:30:39] Fryda: absolutely

[00:30:40] Carmen: it isn't Latino representation has gotten a lot better. Obviously there's a lot more stuff now, but even now, like we're just having this whole conversation about how the entire narrative and dialogue in the Latin X space in general is about generally about immigration.

And then outside of that, anything is kind of like a different, you know, a niche sort of thing. Yeah, you're right. There's a lot here that is even now. I would

[00:31:04] Jason: absolutely watch your show. It's entertaining

[00:31:07] Fryda: storytelling, overall funding. And it does what it can with like the, how, how you have to be lighthearted, sick home format,

[00:31:16] Jason: whether it's PBS or not.

There's someone at the top that's telling you what you can and cannot do, and what's not acceptable or what we can't afford to put this out there because

[00:31:27] Fryda: maybe it may be some high executive was like, Where's the handshake at the end. You guys need to say

[00:31:33] Jason: you haven't resolved this episode. How do we all right.

Somebody give me an answer real quick. Oh, they should shake hands after they come across a black Cuban. I'm pretty sure these meetings do happen. Like nothing about that.

[00:31:46] Carmen: Not to change topics here, but I, speaking of the same lake censorship and stuff and what you can get away with, I thought it was fun that they named it computer friend, because most of the other episodes titles are very, very obvious.

Like the citizenship episode is literally called like citizenship, something or another. And the one about city. Keene says is called looking SIS. You know, so every other episode is by and large named very specifically to what the thing is, but this is called computer front, which is obviously not about the computer friend.

That's just the medium to try to get the character into the scene. They didn't mention anything about blackness or what themes that we're going to

[00:32:24] Fryda: explore. We're trying to set it up so that you weren't aware of what was going to happen or like how the story would introduce a black family and midway through.

They opened a door and you're just like, okay, that's what we're going to talk to. May I

[00:32:39] Jason: help you? Yes. Are you Carmen Pena? Yes. I am glad to meet you. I'm Charles Paul

my family has the exact same furniture.

[00:33:10] Carmen: This is a really good time for me to come in with some criticism of the way that they lit and set this episode. It is so hard to see black people in this.

[00:33:24] Fryda: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's poorly lit. They have

[00:33:27] Carmen: this man walking through the door and he's got like a mid-size fro and he's wearing this really cute button down the, I mean, it's the seventies.

So it's got like a fun print, but like the shirt is burgundy colored. And so it's. A lot of brown already starting. And then you open the door, which is by the way, brown, and then you open the door and you see more brown. And then this man walks in through the door and he closes the door behind him. And then he doesn't take any steps forward or backward.

He stays right in front of the

[00:33:56] Fryda: fucking brown door.

[00:33:58] Carmen: Why did no one tell this actor to move two steps so that he's contrast against the

[00:34:03] Fryda: white wall color does it, but

[00:34:05] Carmen: no. And then, and then. He does take two or three steps, but then he's in front of a dark olive green curtain, which is more

[00:34:14] Fryda: brown. He just cannot.

And then

[00:34:17] Carmen: his mom walks in through the door and then she goes to sit down on the dinner table to talk to and have this whole conversation about how she needs to protect her son's blackness. And she's against like more, it's just, you can never, you have all of these. Stars that are supposed to be representing blackness, but you can physically see them.

And then it doesn't help that it's like tape from the seventies. So it's already a bad quality, but it was just. Uh, disaster, first of all, from that perspective. And then the other thing that I did want to mention is in the parts, when the willows are being super racist and acting as though this kid, who's a kid he's coming and he does age 17 years old, he's 17 years old.

He's sitting in the kitchen table talking to gardening, see that, and they're walking around. Picking up all of the quote unquote valuable things, because they're implying that they think he's going to steal one of the things that they choose to zoom in on, or like go from wide shot to medium shot is the taking away a guile, which is a rooster, like a giant rooster figurine.

And this has nothing to do with race, but it's just like, nothing is more Cuban than having a rooster in your apart. No, that's not true. Having an elephant with its butt facing the doors more Cuban. But I thought that it was funny that they chose to highlight that. And I

[00:35:39] Jason: thought it was, you need to elaborate on the elephant with the butt facing the door, or

[00:35:44] Carmen: I really can't.

I want to so bad, but it's just for luck. That's all I know,

[00:35:48] Fryda: pointing the wrong way. I know about the gut. I know about the guy, like definitely having like roosters are a big deal. But I want to steal a fucking rooster figuring like, let's just like, it's funny. Like what, what is valuable? What is

[00:36:02] Carmen: valuable is exactly

[00:36:05] Fryda: that is, that is comical.

Yes. Yeah. Yes. They managed to like the rooster. Well, though

[00:36:11] Carmen: there was, the rooster was shining. It was

[00:36:13] Fryda: like,

[00:36:16] Carmen: Jason, I wanted to get your thoughts on the representation of the white American perspective. Episode. So we have two perspectives. One is this sort of ditzy character, Shannon Sharon that is only seen at the beginning of the episode when Carmen C that's sitting down with the two friends, that's one perspective.

And then the second perspective is the counselor who walks in with a black eye. And she specifically says, I don't care who started it, or what I just want you to have made up in one week. Do you think that that was a conscious choice in representing the white American perspective of all of the.

[00:36:54] Jason: The counselor to me represents a lot of, uh, white Americans do in general, which is to.

Slap a bandaid on whatever issue and, and have that be the solution. And that's it. There doesn't need to be any further investigation and no further, like deep dive into like why things happened or what, what caused this? Or how do we stop this from happening again? It's her

[00:37:16] Fryda: job right to counsel. No, right.

[00:37:19] Jason: There's absolutely no counseling. No, no mediation whatsoever. It's just like, You need to fix this right now. And if you don't, there's going to be a

[00:37:27] Fryda: consequence. So

[00:37:28] Carmen: like, you know, you need to just figure this out. We shouldn't be having these problems is a stupid, your problems are stupid, right.

[00:37:35] Fryda: It

[00:37:35] Jason: absolutely stood out like it's, you don't want to deal with this.

You don't want to deal with this, which is usually. The solution that happens all over this country in general. Like no one wants to deal with it. No one wants to talk about what's at the root of the problem. They just want to solve the initial quote unquote problem. That's right in front of their face.

And that's it now not a problem to solve. It's like how people would say things like, oh, I thought racism was over Obama got elected and it's like, really? That, that was. That's your solution. Obama got elected. So there are no more racist, nothing racist can never happen in this country again, or happen to anyone ever again.

It's weird. It's weird that if there was a, if there was a, an issue with anyone else and you sit down, you talk to them, you figure out why, why are you doing this? Why did this happen? Why did it? But it seemed like this was just this like quick. Alright, let's just get this out of the way. So these minorities can stop

[00:38:29] Fryda: fighting.

It was kind of condescending. Wasn't it to say, like, You kids need to get it together. I'm the adult here as it, like stop playing around and get it together. And it's just like a kid fight, you know, something silly, something that if you just change the way you think about. It would go

[00:38:47] Jason: away. And that's what everybody's probably, it's like, there's this?

Oh, well I'll solve this little, this little minor fight, but I want to address the actual root cause because that's too hard. That's too difficult. That's got too much. I don't want to be a part of that. So I'm just going to diminish it and say, it's not systemic. It's not a problem. It's just these two people.

I'll just fix this problem. I don't have any other responsibility. You know, you guys talk it out, hug it out and. When you're

[00:39:13] Fryda: black or when you're a person of color, you're unable to ignore the fact that race is a problem in society, but when you're white, you might be able to somewhat ignore it or feign ignorance, and it would be to your benefit

that

[00:39:29] Fryda: was happening.

[00:39:30] Carmen: So I just can't. I came up with the best guanine smile for this episode. Are you ready? Yes, .

[00:39:38] Fryda: It means to cover the sun with a finger or with your thumb. So as

[00:39:43] Carmen: in you can't do this, right? Normally this is used in much less significant contexts, you know, like when you have a problem that you can't fix, but you still need to address it and you can't just like, make it go away or shove it under the rug for later.

You would say this? No boy, you can't, you can't cover the

[00:39:59] Fryda: sun with one finger that you can't just put a little bandaid on a big problem. The sun is still going to be there. Your fingers, just your tiny little finger. And now the only thing that happened is now you can't see the sun, but everyone else can see the sun, but everyone else is still out here

[00:40:12] Carmen: in the sun.

[00:40:14] Fryda: Fryda

you

[00:40:14] Carmen: and I have been discussing for a long time. I think since we started this podcast, how we were going to have conversations around race, because it's very obvious that you and I are both not black. So we were like, we can't be sitting in a room together talking to each other about like Afro-Cuban or like being black in any manner.

That's not how this

[00:40:34] Fryda: goes. Right. At least I wouldn't be a full pump. Like it wouldn't be too full of a conversation. We'd have to dude, Jason. Number one fan. Thank you so much that, that guy, Jason, thank you so, so much for joining us today. It's always such a pleasure to talk with you as a friend. And now thank you for letting us share a cornerstone of Cuban media

[00:40:55] Carmen: with you.

And I thank you, Jason, for lending us your time and your voice and insights. You're welcome guys.

[00:41:02] Jason: Thanks for having me

[00:41:04] Carmen: get back to Que Pasa USA is coming to Adrian, our

[00:41:06] Fryda: center and. May, 2022, give us a Que Pasa USA. Today is a. I think that they're amazing, but if you're going to re update something from the seventies, you're going to have to re update it.

So I wonder what they're going to do. Thank

[00:41:22] Carmen: you so much for listening to this episode and thank you to our patrons. Iliana, Catalina, Lauren Gianni, Christine D. Keller steric. Ryan. Who's there. SQue Pasa USAn Seliya Catherine Lauren, Kaylee mod. Kristen, Sarah got into Jason. Josh Yvette's. We are thinking easy pod on all social media.

And if you want to send this email, you can see our transcripts and merch for sale on our website. Take it easy. pod.com. We are still selling our NFT for the benefit of Cuban artists. We hope to see you at our lives on Instagram, every other Wednesday that we don't publish an episode and take it easy.

Take

[00:42:02] Fryda: it easy. Easy. Thank you.



5 views0 comments