As a Latina, I was so proud when I heard that Pitbull, Armando Christian Pérez, was hosting the American Music Awards. To me, it signified that Latinos are finally as relevant as everyone else on television. Pitbull is someone that I have long-admired. He is not only extremely talented, but he has helped build a charter-, middle-, and high school in Miami's Little Havana, the neighborhood where he grew up. He has been quoted as saying that he had to lie about his address to be able to attend one of the "better" schools and he did not want other kids to have to do the same.
So I, along with 12 million other viewers, tuned in to watch him do his thing on Sunday night. Soon after the show, viewers began questioning his hosting skills and this did not cause a stir because everyone is entitled to their opinion. But in what seems to be a growing trend, people began questioning his nationality, assuming that because he is Latino he is not American, but you can be BOTH. The Tweets did not stop there. When Marc Anthony received his award for favorite Latin artist, viewers began questioning why there is a Latin category. This type of lashing out also happened earlier this year when Anthony sang "God Bless America" at the All Star Game. Not even an 11-year-old was spared. When Sebastien De La Cruz belted out the National Anthem at game 3 of the NBA finals, he also became the target of angry Tweets.
I thought it was important to share some facts from the latest U.S. Census:
1) Hispanics are the largest racial minority in the U.S.
2) 14.5 million Hispanics live in California
3) 37 million people speak Spanish in the U.S.
It is important to note that with these numbers, Hispanics would actually be underrepresented in the AMA's if they were not included.