*Insert token spanish music* / by Randy Ortiz

As I type this with a 20% left 20oz Coke I wonder if anyone even bothers to look this stuff up? There must be someone in TV world who at least says "I don't think that's from that country." Well I hope at least.

I keep seeing and hearing things that I guess you can say bother me to no end... Spanish music in TV shows that are played because a Latin person or neighborhood is shown on TV. I appreciate and am happy that they (TV execs) are showing more of my Latin peeps, but it really comes out looking ignorant most of the time. Yes I am a little tired of Latinos being portrayed as thugs, criminals, deadbeat dads, and hustlers on tv, and now your messing with the culture and music... cmon man. Still around are my Mexican brothers that are shown as gangsters more so than a leading/supporting role or anything that isn't criminal. Us Dominicans and the Columbians are usually portrayed as the drug folk and very rarely do they deviate from that stereotype, also when they play ambient music it is usually from a different country or something from Pochi y Su Coco Band's early hits.

One recent example was tonight's Burn Notice episode where the main character Michael is searching for a child predator in a "urban barrio" (God that sounds stupid), protected by some modern day Mexican Robin Hood. They roll up in the hood to the sounds of something that resembles Catalonia or Flamenco from Spain, surely I shook my head. It happened more than once... sure enough in the next barrio scene there it was. I also noted that in the bodega he owned (yes I know) he has Dominican flags in the inside and one on the outside door... yet him and his boys are portrayed like your typical Mexican gang from LA. Is anyone even researching this stuff before they all go "Ahh que bueno" in the worst Spanish accent possible?

I don't ask for much in this world and require little upkeep by way of water and food pellets, but I DO ask that whoever is in charge of these shows to not murder our beautiful cultures by misplacing our music, images, culture and take the time out to actually seem to care what they put in their million dollar shows as Latin portrayal. We all are very proud of our cultures and people in general deserve to be recognized as who they are and not have something placed there just because you need music in that scene. We are all one people, but sometimes it seems like there just isn't any importance shown when I see these things on highly watched shows. Makes me wonder if it would be ok to play Cotton Eye Joe or Hava Nagila every time someone went into a suburb or nice neighborhood on TV. Let's respect all culture's music and showcase them properly and not use them as filler just because you have someone of close kind there.

Giant out!