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LOOKING PAST THE CONTROVERSIAL CARTOON

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Spanish language professor Rodriguez works to dispel stereotypes of Speedy Gonzales with local high schoolers.

 

By Madeleine List, The Diamondback

Inspired by a famously controversial cartoon mouse, university faculty and students plan to host local high schoolers on the campus next month to discuss racial stereotypes in the media.
 
In the coming weeks, Latino professor Ana Patricia Rodriguez and Salvadorian poet and actor Quique Aviles will be working with two Latino studies classes to create a series of poems, videos and skits deconstructing the Speedy Gonzales cartoon. The show — which starred a tan mouse in a giant sombrero who spoke broken English and constantly stole and drank beer — was banned from Cartoon Network in 1999 due to its negative portrayal of Mexicans.
 
At the end of April, the Latino Studies department will invite students from Northwestern High School in Hyattsville to the campus to watch the performances and discuss the implications of the cartoon.

Rodriguez and Aviles said they hope the event will not only educate the high schoolers on the history of negative Latino stereotypes and the presence of racial injustice today but also help them build connections with the university community.

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Date of Publication: 
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
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