Monday, July 26, 2010

The Virtual Life of a Teen

The Virtual Life of a Teen

Have you ever heard of a game called ‘Spin the blunt?’

I had the great misfortune of being introduced to this new age updated version of spin the bottle that we sometimes played when I was a young man, by my 18-year-old daughter Heaven, one afternoon on Facebook.

I was basically reading her virtual diary – her Facebook status updates – when I stumbled upon an update that both intrigued me and made my heart sink into my chest…

It seems that this next generation of teens has gotten so comfortable living their life in full view of the globe that Heaven had no problem sharing with the world – and her dad – that she was not only playing ‘spin the blunt,’ but was also now a pothead.

As any parent, I ran the full gamut of emotions from heartbreak and disappointment, to anger and rage. But after a few hours I came to the realization that I needed to place the same effort into speaking to my daughter about the negative affects of drugs, as I do every time I lecture teens across the country.

When I got her on the phone, in a calm tone, the conversation went something like this, “If I ever and I mean ever find out your driving under the influence of marijuana, that precious little car of yours that your parents pay for will be confiscated and sold at auction. No ifs, ands or buts about it… And by the way… smoking weed makes you slow…”

I thought I handled myself quite well – like the ultra-liberal parent I pride myself in being.

It was interesting that when I posed the question to my Facebook family a few weeks ago about what they’d like to see me write about next on this blog, they overwhelmingly voted in favor of a b
log suggested by Noel Ramos.

Noel was asking that I write about the affects of Facebook, My Space and other social networking sites on our youth.

The suggestion brought me right back to a year ago when I was volunteering at the Next Generation Center in the South Bronx. After 3 weeks of getting comfortable with the teens, a teen named Jesus, more affectionately known as Chuchi, had finally let his guard down enough to tell me that his friend had been killed over a My Space beef.

Honestly, it isn’t easy to shock me… But the realization that one of his closest friends had been murdered over ‘tough talk’ on My Space, and the sad fact that he held him as he took his laugh breath, was enough to reduce me to tears of anger as he cried and told me the story of watching his friend die over nothing.

And although he wasn’t ready to write in detail about his friends passing, he did touch on the subject just a bit when he wrote his first ever blog titled, “My Space Gangsters Learn Real Life Lessons…”

It was part of the “Unwritten Life,” blog series I was creating with the teens in order to give them a voice and an outlet to blog about what life is really like in the hood.

No actors here, no writers, directors or producers saying, “Be more street…” or “They don’t talk like this son… they talk like this homie…”

No, this was real talk and real writing from the teens that were surviving on these streets everyday, learning real life lessons about what happens when you take social networking and bring that consequence to the real streets, the same streets where even real gangsters have Facebook and My Space pages professing their allegiance to the gangs.

I recalled speaking to Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. in the offices of Urban Latino about these new issues our teens were facing, only to see him go on camera fifteen minutes later and speak word-for-word about what I’d just educated him about, as if he’d experienced the pain himself.

I suppose that’s why they call them politicians… it was of no great consequence to me, because the message was bigger than me, so I let it go in hopes that he’d use his position of power to spread awareness about this new epidemic.

My job was to continue to get the teens to open up and write the pain out of their hearts and onto the virtual paper known as the world wide web of blogging… Let’s call it the blogosphere.

Unfortunately, I was sad to discover recently that the statistics being put out by the Pew Internet Project about Social Media and Young Adults, in which they’ve discovered that the numbers from 2006 to 2009, have seen a decrease in the number of teens, ages 12 – 17, blogging from 28% (2006) to 14 – 15% in 2010.

That’s almost a 50% drop in the number of teens being represented through the written word on the Internet.

It seems that we’ve fallen back into that age old adage of erasing our stories from the history books before they’re every truly read and spoken about.

In another PEW study, it is stated that over 93% of Americans between the ages of 12 to 17 are using the Internet, with almost 73% of those teens accessing social networking sites.

That’s a really, really big audience that needs to be catered to and educated in so many ways, protected and pushed along in a progressive manner.

When I was thinking about all of the teens that drop of out school, as high as 80% in some poorer congressional districts, it became apparent to me that we’re truly not keeping the students engaged.

These are teens that are using Nintendo DS’s before they can make a sentence; they grow into preteens who spend more time communicating virtually than physically. And they are far more technologically advanced than that of our generation.

Place a hardcover, 500 page book in front of them and attempt to teach them in black and white… It’s no wonder they fall asleep in class and just stop showing up. They can get all of that information on Wikipedia for Christ sake.

Until we can find a way to incorporate technology in every classroom, for every educational opportunity we will continue to fall further and further behind other countries in regards to the education of our students.

For all the negatives surrounding social networking and our teenagers, there are far more positives – in my opinion – that should force us to use these as vehicles of success and not failure.

I tell the teens I speak to all the time that my book was discovered on a major level on My Space, that I’ve made more networking opportunities on Facebook in an afternoon, than I ever could’ve made attending 1,000 networking mixers in person.

I also explain to them that the opportunity for them to represent themselves and their work professionally utilizing these social networking platforms is truly limitless. But I remind them that their My Space and Facebook page is a direct representation of who they are.

When I was looking for work in New York as I prepared to relocate, I had a recruiter ask me to remove my Facebook and My Space pages. He said a simple Google of my name led them to those sites which had my book plastered all over them.

So I asked him what the problem was… his reply was that the description of my book, "Next Stop: Growing up Wild-Style in the Bronx,” explained that I was an ex-drug dealer and hoodlum and that I’d never find work with that as my past history.

I told him, I’d find work on my own… But it was an interesting learning experience for me. And one we all have to educate our teens about…

Beginning with me telling my precious little first born, Heaven that there should be, “No more posts of ‘spin the blunt,” as you prepare to go to college and enter the working world my love…”

Our virtual life… has now become our real life.

Ivan Sanchez is the author of Next Stop: Growing up Wild-Style in the Bronx (Touchstone – Simon & Schuster, 2008). The book is the first memoir released by a major publishing house written by a Puerto Rican from the Bronx. Sanchez is also the co-author of It’s Just Begun: The Epic Journey of DJ Disco Wiz, Hip Hop’s First Latino DJ (powerHouse, 2009). He was awarded the National Novel honors for his first fiction offering and is currently working on several new books about NY Latinos. He is also the co-host of Rebel Radio on Urban Latino Radio.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Art of the Question

The Art of the Question

Australian writer William Alfred (Bill) Beatty once wrote, “The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think – rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.”

When I write these blogs I never expect, or want my audience to accept at face value everything I’m inscribing. Nor to remember my opinion on the subject matter more than that of their own.

On the contrary, I write in hopes of conjuring up deep thought and critical thinking so that each person who reads my work will be left with an opinion of their own – in search of drawing personal conclusions in regards to the ‘why’s’ of the world.

Over the last few days while traveling with advocates of education with over eighty years experience amongst them, I learned a lesson that I will carry with me until my final breath… that lesson being that the answer is never more important than the question itself.

I learned over the last seventy-two hours that it is indisputably the question that is the seed of what eventually grows into a journey of roots, vines and leaves of answers… answers that allow us to grow into a tree of positive change only if action is taken. Thus the term activism is born.

Jorge Moreno-Cano, publisher of Urban Latino Magazine, coined the term “literary activist” for me, and placed the burden of responsibility on my shoulders to be active with my words… to take action when those around me choose to remain silent.

But it was starting to feel like I too was becoming stagnant myself. And I began to wonder if I’d ever have the answers to the question I am asked on a weekly basis after my blogs are published…

“OK Ivan we get it… this society is screwed up… But what can we do about it?”

And then the invite came…

I was honored to be invited to partake in a mission, which consisted of partnering with a college in Massachusetts to bring further education to the South Bronx, to our people and to one of the most socioeconomically depressed areas in New York City.

It was an emotionally draining experience, but one that has the potential to alter the course of society as a whole for generations to come.

And while I can’t share all of the details as of yet, what I can tell you is that through my journey with Attorney, Dr. Narciso Alemán of United Bronx Parents, Inc. and Activist Lupe Casares of Parents with Power based out of Houston, Texas, I was enlightened in ways that are truly immeasurable.

And that as the light bulbs began to illuminate in my head, it was as if a one-hundred light bulb cha
ndelier began to glow with thoughts of what a better tomorrow would look like. If only we could educate the uneducated and transform their hopelessness into self-confidence, a belief in their communities and a belief in a brighter future for all generations to follow.

After all, it truly is about the legacies we leave behind in the end.

Dr. Alemán and Mr. Casares awakened me to the fact that we’ve been preconditioned to already know the answers that ‘they’ want us to know. That we’ve been force-fed the answers before we’re even posed the question in an unbalanced game of memorization.

Quite possibly because if we become accustomed to already knowing the answer, we’ll never go back and question the question itself.

Does that make sense?

Case in point: Who discovered America?

Well in the Catholic School system I’d been educated in, I was already pledging allegiance to the Americas and the “founders” of this country, while being taught about the demonic Indians and our savior Christopher Columbus who discovered this great new world.

To explain away those who already called this world home, they used words like savages and showed us imagery of white people being scalped to induce fear in our hearts.

The indigenous people were no better than roaming packs of wolves looking for their next meal and they seemed to prefer white meat… The Puerto Rican Nationalists were terrorists. Shit, kind of looks like CNN today showing us how all Mexican’s looking for a better tomorrow are “illegal’s” and “aliens” at the same time…

By default they’re going straight to jail… Do not pass go, do not collect $200.00… and even worse, they’re of an alien race, and we all know the little green men are coming to end the world as we know it one day. That’s enough to scare the hell out of America isn’t it?

They want us to remain scared so that they may serve as the saviors and protectors of ‘we the peasants,’ in order for us to remain forever grateful and indebted to them for saving us from ourselves, from our dirty little histories and from ever discovering our own greatness. A greatness which remains clouded and hidden from full view of the truth. A greatness they’ll never want us to discover for fear that we’d want to rediscover what we’re truly capable of.

Mi gente, we’ve been erased from the history books for decades past… and we continue to erase ourselves every time we fail to write our own stories, family histories and to support the few in existence that do…

What I can tell you with all certainty, is that we must be worth more than a welfare system, an unemployment line, a food bank line and peasant wages for quality work and commitments to better the organizations we serve…

We must be worth more than that, ¿Qué no?

Every once and a while we’re enlightened to the answers we’ve been searching for.

And I now know with 100% certainty, that until we raise the educational level of Latinos and minorities as a whole, we will “never” be able to compete, we will never be able to evoke positive change and we might not even survive all of the atrocities this world has to offer.

The truest change will come from the top, but only if it starts with those at the bottom who’ve survived against unimaginable odds and made it there with their convictions intact.

I once was a victim of the American dream and it almost swept me away to a world of plush green golf courses, expensive Cohiba cigars, bottles of exquisite tasting Merlots and filet mignon cooked to perfection.

I’ve experienced it and I wasn’t asked to leave… I made the conscious decision to come back into the community that birthed me in high hopes of shaking the next person out of the brainwashed induced coma they’ve successfully plunged us all into…

The mission is clear: To bring higher education to 100 Bronxites in Human Services so that they may serve as the next crop of leaders, activists and advocates of change…

The question remains: Who will step up and take this challenge?

Ivan Sanchez is the author of Next Stop: Growing up Wild-Style in the Bronx (Touchstone – Simon & Schuster, 2008). The book is the first memoir released by a major publishing house written by a Puerto Rican from the Bronx. Sanchez is also the co-author of It’s Just Begun: The Epic Journey of DJ Disco Wiz, Hip Hop’s First Latino DJ (powerHouse, 2009). He was awarded the National Novel honors for his first fiction offering and is currently working on several new books about NY Latinos. He is also the co-host of Rebel Radio on Urban Latino Radio.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Latino controversy sells… But is it clean money?

Latino controversy sells… But is it clean money?

I was going to write this week’s blog about the negative impact social networking sites, such as Facebook and My Space, are having on our teenagers, thus on society as a whole. However, as I was doing research on the subject matter I also had one eye watching a seemingly quiet storm.

A Latino storm which was rapidly beginning to pick up a significant amount of force as it raced its way through the geographical bandwidth tunnels that connect us all in this Facebook domain, which is quickly becoming our virtual reality.

Welcome to the fast paced world of video blogs, blogs, status updates and enough controversy to put all daytime soap operas out of business at the close of my generation.

Several weeks ago my good friend Casper Martinez of Latino Film Chatter began to compile a list of top 1,000 reasons he was not going to attend the New York International Latino Film Festival this year.

Here’s an example of his list:

“Reason # 5 I’m not going to the wanna-be Latino Film Festival: Have you seen the idiot Tony Kaye telling us to cut the umbilical chord? Great, a British guy giving Latinos his take on our culture. Calixto you are an idiot for allowing that. Then again should we expect any better? Maybe Lyndon McCray can edit an apology video for you…” ~ Casper Martinez

A very comical and strongly opinionated entry no doubt… However, Casper has said on many occasions that he’s not personally attacking Calixto and this one seemed a wee bit on the personal attack side of life in my humble opinion.

I don’t think Casper will be happy with me for saying this. But we’ve always respected each others right to express ourselves. So I think we’ll still be friends after this blog goes up.

I don’t know anything about Tony Kaye other than that he directed American History X, which is a very powerful film that enlightens us all about racism in this country. And when I saw his interview, in my personal opinion, he seemed to be coming across as sincere in his suggestion that we’re all one people. Being that I have a daughter who is of African American, Philippine, Chinese and Puerto Rican descent, I’m very comfortable with the separation and segregation of races coming to an end in my generation.

However, Casper’s argument was that a Latino should’ve directed the commercial for the
“Latino” film festival… I can’t argue with him on that point, being that it’s so difficult for Latinos to get work these days. I also couldn’t see myself faulting Calixto for wanting to work with a talent such as Tony Kaye, so I stayed silent on the matter.

Or as I learned to say down south, “I had no dog in that fight…”

Interestingly enough I met Calixto Chinchilla, founder of the New York International Film Festival through Casper Martinez some years back, and I’ve always found him to be a very personable and likeable gentlemen. So my only wish would’ve been to see this come to the table to find a resolve that all parties would’ve been satisfied with. In lieu of once again airing our dirty laundry for the world to laugh about. It seems there truly is very little loyalty amongst Latinos these days.

It must be part of what diminishes our strength in Hollywood and keeps us from acquiring the type of power the Jewish, Italians, African Americans and yes, the Mexicans have acquired in filmmaking.

But Ivan, aren’t Mexican’s Latinos?

I’m not even going to touch that one right now in regards to the strides Mexicans have made in Hollywood that the rest of the Latino populace can’t even begin to come close to. That’s a blog for another day.

Lyndon McCray is a talented filmmaker in his own right who I first met on the Franc Reyes film, The Ministers, EPK shoot. I ran across Lyndon several more times including at a screening of the short documentary, This War At Home, that I was involved in. He gave me a great deal of praise on the piece and placed it on the Cinedulce website, which is run by NYILFF.

And true, as Casper said, if anyone could edit a nice apology together for Calixto, it would be Lyndon. But why should Calixto apologize?

Well here’s where it gets interesting and where I’ve now had to place a ‘dog in the fight,’ if you will, possibly at the expense of being banned from the festival for life…

My good friend Linda Nieves-Powell, author (Free Style), award winning playwright and all around bad ass Latina chick who took on MTV last year and won her battle to remove some bullshit portrayals of Latinos from the channel, has taken offense to the early cuts of the NYILFF commercials now airing on the website.

The commercial is of a snobby little future filmmaker directing her abuelita to say her lines correctly, even though her lines only consist of the words, “Yes,” and “Si...”

When abuela fails to deliver the lines to her satisfaction she yells, “You stupid old bitch… these generation gaps really piss me off...”

As if the words weren’t shocking enough, the next thing you see on the screen is a gun firing off two rounds.

Are we to assume that this “pissed off” mini-filmmaker just smoked her abuela for not delivering her lines?

Only time will tell how the commercial ends… but so far, in my opinion… No Bueno!

I watched the commercial many times to see what it was that bothered me, or if anything about it bothered me, not to be the bandwagon guy…

And in all honesty, the only thing that bothered me was the gun being brought into the equation at the end. I see too much violence out here in the streets of the South Bronx to be turned on by the sound of gunfire.

I’m much more shocked when I see a four-year-old in the street call her mom a bitch and watch the mom laugh about it – but it happens all the time.

I’m much more shocked that we do have a generational gap that is so large that our elders truly are no longer respected in any communities I’ve been to recently.

I’m much more shocked that while I agree with Casper’s initial assessment, complaint and argument that he merely wants the NYILFF to live up to it’s mission statement, at least the part that reads, “Our mission is to showcase the works of the hottest emerging Latino filmmaking talent in the US and Latin America. Offer expansive images of the Latino experience. And celebrate the diversity and spirit of the Latino community…” That we still can’t come together as professional Latinos and find peaceful resolve to these conflicts.

Casper has helped many talented people find their way in this entertainment business – Shit, he discovered my book and placed me in a position to be writing this blog… Calixto has provided a platform to many others and hopefully will one day be airing Next Stop: Growing up Wild-Style in the Bronx on the big screen at the festival when the right team comes along to produce it.

These are two brothers I have a great deal of respect and admiration for… I just can’t see why we have to continue to play the controversy card knowing it will help us sell but won’t help us progress… knowing it will also leave us all tarnished…

I guess Diddy has it right… It’s all about that dirty money.

Someone recently told me I’ll never be successful because I choose not to play the game dirty… I disagreed and told them when I get there I’ll change the rules. So get ready for a new game one day…

Until then, we’ll all have to agree to disagree.

And as NYILFF prepares to announce the panels for this years festival… there can be no better panel than to place Casper Martinez, Calixto Chinchilla, Linda Nieves-Powell, Lyndon McCray and Tony Kaye on a stage and let these great industry minds work their magic.

Towards a better resolve, a better festival, a better unity for Latinos and better days ahead.

Or is that just my wishful thinking getting the best of me again?

Ivan Sanchez is the author of Next Stop: Growing up Wild-Style in the Bronx (Touchstone – Simon & Schuster, 2008). The book is the first memoir released by a major publishing house written by a Puerto Rican from the Bronx. Sanchez is also the co-author of It’s Just Begun: The Epic Journey of DJ Disco Wiz, Hip Hop’s First Latino DJ (powerHouse, 2009). He was awarded the National Novel honors for his first fiction offering and is currently working on several new books about NY Latinos. He is also the co-host of Rebel Radio on Urban Latino Radio.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Die Peasant… Die

Die Peasant… Die

I have to admit that it’s growing more and more difficult for me to come up with new shock and awe writing campaigns for all of my Urban Latino Magazine blog supporters.

Yet somehow, someway I manage to stumble onto a new astonishing topic almost weekly. A topic that I know will make the readers ask, “What the hell?”

Furthermore a subject matter that will make people stand up, pay attention and have a strong reaction to what it is I’m trying to raise awareness about.

In other words, I love to make you all angry in hopes of building a revolt and bringing about positive change!

And of course this week was no different as I innoce
ntly pressed play on a Michael Moore documentary titled, “Capitalism… A Love Story.”

For those of you who know me well enough, you’d know that I’m a chronic crier when I watch love stories play out on the silver screen; it always makes me emotional when they find their Mr. or Mrs. Right and live happily ever after…

And in keeping true to my emotional side, this documentary (love story) made me cry rivers of tears, tugged at my heartstrings and once again managed to make me feel very disheartened to be represented by this American government of ours.

Oh shit, did I just say that out loud and blog it for the world to read?

I guess I should prepare for all of the, “Leave our country spic,” comments that are going to come my way as a result.

After all, lord knows we’re not allowed to be anti-government without also being considered anti-American. Truth is though, I could care less at this point as I am continuously exposed to just how dead inside we all must be, to continue to allow the tyranny of this government to rule with an iron fist… minus any opposition.

Yes, mi gente… I do want a revolution. And it seems that hunter Bob from Middle America is starting to feel the same way… Maybe we are headed in the right direction after all.

Shortly after Moore’s documentary opens, an older Caucasian farmer (Bob) says, “Ther
e’s gotta be some kind of a rebellion between the people that have nothing… and the people that’s got it all…”

Seems that after doing everything he was supposed to do to live out the American dream, the refinancing loans on his family farm and home, had finally inflated beyond the point of affordable payments. Thus leaving him in the street with the rude awakening that this country is no longer the land of the free… only the land of the rich.

As the foreclosure madness swept through this country like never before, the banks found ways to maximize their cost ability and instead of paying clean up services thousands of dollars to prepare foreclosed homes for resale… They offered one final slap in the face of a thousand dollars to the evicted residents to leave their lost homes spotless.

“Here’s your check… now get the hell out!”

While the majority of this country continued to slide into the depths of poverty, the rich gained more wealth than their wettest dreams could’ve afforded them ever imagining…

Citibank released a top secret memo to its richest shareholders stating that this country was no
longer a democracy; it was now a plutonomy, a fancy way of saying, an economy that is ruled by the very wealthy.

The country was now being run by the top 1% of households in America who now owned more wealth than the bottom 95% of households combined.

We were losing our lives, our jobs, our homes, our pension plans and life savings, while at the same time making the richest people in America 700 Billion dollars wealthier. What a sweet deal for them, huh?

In this same memo, Citibank wrote, “The most potent and short-term threat would be societies demanding a more ‘equitable’ share of the wealth.”

As Michael Moore stated, this basically meant that their only fear was that of the peasants revolting. And the peasants surely did…

Do you remember that vote for change we all excitedly and ecstatically cried about back in November 2008? Yeah, the new black president one… You know, the Obama is here to save the peasants vote that sent us to the polls in droves.

What a victory that was for we the peasants…

Unfortunately, we had no way of knowing that Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, UBS, JP Morgan Chase & Morgan Stanley began to fill his coffers in a way that would assure some loyalty just incase he did win the presidency.

They bought favor to ensure that the Treasury Department remained just another arm of Goldman Sachs and that’s exactly what’s happened since Obama’s been in office.

No Change, No Hope, No Victory after all… for We the People!

Make no mistakes about it… This country is being run by Wall Street bullies and the wealthiest of Americans whose only goal is to keep the poor man poor… while retaining their own family fortunes.

And when all else fails and these global corporate giants need just a few more bucks for themselves, they have one final trump card… a card nicknamed ‘dead peasants insurance,’ by the companies that take out life insurance policies on their employees without ever having to
inform them.

Companies including Dow Chemical, Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart, Winn-Dixie and Walt Disney… those bastards aren’t making enough money off their magical kingdom empire… they have to pump just a few more bucks out of dead employees. Isn’t that some shit?

The companies collect millions of dollars on low-level employees, while family members often have hard times gathering burial money to send them off peacefully. It’s capitalism at it’s best.

A few days after seeing the documentary I still felt sick to my stomach… I mean literally sick in a way that barely allowed me to keep my food down… and then I just about lost my food when I saw one of the most ignorant men in America take the stage at the BET Awards…

Yep, there he was singing and dancing for the other ignoramuses in attendance… Mr. Kanye West himself rocking a gold chain, so exaggerated, so costly, that it could’ve moved a family of five out of the back of the van they now call home and given them a decent shot at a
real life.

I know… I know… it’s not Kanye’s responsibility… But it still makes me nauseous to see such a ludicrous display of gaudiness and wealth being splashed all over the screen keeping us all blind to the true plight of America’s downfall… Keeping us stupid… Keeping us def, dumb and blind.

According to the people that now own most of this countries wealth… It’s those types of brainwashing displays of wealth that keep the rest of us dreaming, believing that it’s within our reach… the American dream…

They truly don’t want us to wake up, only to discover that we can’t even get a job to meet our most basic human needs…

They are successfully erasing the imagery of poverty out of our minds.

You don’t believe me?

Drive down any downtrodden neighborhood on any given day and see the hundreds of people lined up just trying to get a decent meal…

Now go Google “food bank lines…” and see how many pictures come up… very few, very small lines…

Now tell me they’re not hiding the truth of what’s happening to this country from us…

After all… we’re just peasants… voiceless, emotionless, unworthy peasants!

Unwilling to demand change… unwilling to even speak out about it.

Citibank was right… we’d only ever be a “short-term” threat.

Ivan Sanchez is the author of Next Stop: Growing up Wild-Style in the Bronx (Touchstone – Simon & Schuster, 2008). The book is the first memoir released by a major publishing house written by a Puerto Rican from the Bronx. Sanchez is also the co-author of It’s Just Begun: The Epic Journey of DJ Disco Wiz, Hip Hop’s First Latino DJ (powerHouse, 2009). He was awarded the National Novel honors for his first fiction offering and is currently working on several new books about NY Latinos. He is also the co-host of Rebel Radio on Urban Latino Radio.