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Once again, the Washington City Paper has loudly and clearly articulated its preference for being cute (or is it hip?) at the cost of professional and substantive journalism. Rather than analyze the extraordinary demographic shift occurring within D.C.’s Latino community that has radically changed the face of this city—and that promises to further impact the District’s political and economic landscape—the City Paper opted to comment on “cheesy” overtures made by candidates in the current electoral campaign. Even the article’s title—”¿Quien Es Más Macho?” (9/11)—demonstrates a blatant disregard for the Latino community—a community which, by the way, accounts for 12 percent of the city’s population, and which is one of the few groups that has actually grown in recent years rather than flee to the suburbs. Would you have entitled a similar article about another community “Whose Balls Are Bigger?”

Granted, the Ward 1 race could use a candidate who is not estrogen-challenged, but, fellows, this is 1998. Moreover, even the verbiage used to describe the music to which Todd Mosley danced prior to one of the debates showed that your reporter was more interested in sounding as though he’s with the scene than in actually writing what is factual. As the woman with whom Todd momentarily transformed the sidewalk into a dance floor, I’d like to give your reporters some free advice: If you don’t know the difference between a mariachi and flamenco, fine, but don’t make yourselves look like fools by definitively throwing around terms that all sound alike to you. I can assure you that neither mariachi music nor flamenco dancing were present that day, although I for one would support any campaign to require dancing prior to, during, and after debates in all political races.

One final word of wisdom that the City Paper may consider: Just because a person is Latino doesn’t mean that Spanish is his or her primary language—and just because a person can say “Yo soy un candidato” does not bestow Latinhood upon them. Ernesto Clavijo, the Univision reporter who was quoted in the article as saying that society is not black and white anymore, is right on the money. The City Paper has a journalistic responsibility to treat all of us who live here, all of our communities, as dynamic and as complex as we are, and not settle for one-dimensional hipness.

Adams Morgan

via the Internet