Here I am once again. Another week gone by and a new one just began (depending on when you read this post, of course). Several things happened in the world last week and one of those is the news about Paula Deen been fired from Food Network and loosing many of her sponsors because she used the famous but hated “N” word. What is the impact of that word and Mrs. Deen’s end-of-job for us Boricuas? I will go into detail today, and you will understand how regular Boricua minds work.
Paula Deen is a famous cook and a funny talking person, at least for us Boricuas (any accent that is not ours is funny). She was fired as the entertainment world has gone crazy. Kim Kardashian gave birth and people still talking about Deen’s use of vocabulary. What is the impact for us Boricuas? NONE, nada! It has changed us in absolutely no way. It’s not that Boricuas in the Island don’t care. It is that the regular person doesn’t know who the heck she is or where she came from. Let me give you an example. Picture this old Boricua in the coffee shop, having his tostada de jamón, queso y huevo (ham, cheese and egg toast). He sits in the table, grabs the newspaper and reads: Paula Deen despedida de Food Network (Paula Deen fired from Food Network). I know that that guy’s, and millions of others in the Island, first thought was: Quién carajo es Paula Din? (Who the hell is Paula Deen?) Qué carajo me importa a mi? (What do I care?) And if he said that out loud, the person next to him, or in the kitchen, or even in the line, will either laugh or say: Lo mismo me preguntaba yo (I was asking myself the same thing). And the coffee shop will be full of people talking about the cook, the funny looking cook.
When the person continues reading, he will learn the reason why la señora Din was fired: she used the “N” word. In Puerto Rico’s paper the headline read Out of Food Network for racist comment. The next comment from that person is: Y qué le dijo pa que la botaran como bolsa?(What did she say to be kicked out?) The younger person next to this man will have to explain that Mrs. Deen used the “N” word, which most likely in Boricua Spanish would be used as Negro. Next question from the old guy, right after he takes another sip of his coffee: she was fired for calling a Black person Black? Should she use trigueño (lighter skin color) instead? If he’s black, he’s black! And then, everybody wants in that conversation. “You can’t be calling people Black like that”, “It is not polite to say that”, “She should have said something else”, “It’s the way she said it”, “She got money, she will find something new in no time”.
— Don’t get me wrong people; it is good that she was fired for saying what she said, but I’m giving you the way a regular Boricua would be lost in translation. —
Let’s continue… In the afternoon, after a hard day of work, the coffee shop guy will get home, turn on the TV and watch some news. At 5:35 p.m. the experienced looking old guy and the young dumb looking hot girl will discuss the news about Mrs. Din. Otra vez con la vieja esa? (Again with that old lady?) Up until that time, the guy has only read the information, but never heard Din speak. Once he hears her in the news, he goes: Y qué le pasa a ella que habla así? (What’s wrong with her that she speaks like that?) His wife will get to the couch too and says: Ahhh, ESA es Paula Din? Nunca la habia visto.(Oh, THAT is Paula Deen? I have never seen her before.) They will go on to discuss what they know about her and why she was fired. They will talk about Giovanna Huyke, or Cielito Rosado or Chef Piñero (all Boricua chefs). Then they will speak about el Show de las 12 and when Giovanna used to be there cooking, and Luisito Vigoreaux in el Show del Mediodia cooking. And asking if they think Luisito was drunk while cooking. And Paula Din will be forgotten as easy as she was met earlier in the day.
As I said, it’s not that Boricuas don’t care, but we will not give importance to something we don’t know. Or maybe we don’t care when a rich person is fired from work when we know she will continue to make millions of dollars somewhere else. Remember to share this post and comment if you like. Until next time, cójanlo suave!