Viewpoint

VW-adMuch ado was made last month on the televised VW advertisement that was scheduled to air on Super Bowl Sunday. If you missed the hoopla, the advertisement features a white actor who speaks Jamaican and urges his co-workers to get happy.

Several media and so-called experts have slammed the advertisement as racist, while Jamaicans themselves have largely embraced it, calling it funny and saying they are thrilled at the brand exposure it’s given to their island.
But while the New York Times’ Charles Blow calls it “black face with voices” and the Wall Street Journal described it as the “Jar Jar Binks of 2013”, lost in the entire brouhaha is not the advertisement, but the underlying ‘real’ discrimination that persists.

VW-adMuch ado was made last month on the televised VW advertisement that was scheduled to air on Super Bowl Sunday. If you missed the hoopla, the advertisement features a white actor who speaks Jamaican and urges his co-workers to get happy.

Several media and so-called experts have slammed the advertisement as racist, while Jamaicans themselves have largely embraced it, calling it funny and saying they are thrilled at the brand exposure it’s given to their island.
But while the New York Times’ Charles Blow calls it “black face with voices” and the Wall Street Journal described it as the “Jar Jar Binks of 2013”, lost in the entire brouhaha is not the advertisement, but the underlying ‘real’ discrimination that persists.

The White House and United States Congress must move quickly to enact just and humane comprehensive immigration reform. In the wake of the 2012 elections in the U.S., both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have expressed the need to act on the issue. The window for bipartisan legislation is now open.

Ethnic media have a high stake in the future of immigration policy in the U.S. That's why we are joining together to take an editorial stand to urge Congress and the White House: Make 2013 the year of immigration reform.
This is not merely a question of politics. We are calling for comprehensive immigration reform because it is the morally right, economically wise and pragmatically sensible thing to do.

The following is the edited version of the 13th in a series of ‘letters’ written to United States President Barack Obama.

Dear Mr. President,

They say 13 is a lucky number and I am now a believer! I never thought that at letter number 13 I, like so many immigrants and rights advocates in this country, would be celebrating an immigration reform bill that could become law and impact the lives of so many who desperately need relief. Finally hope we can believe in!

But now the real battle begins – getting this measure past the U.S. Congress and on to your desk so it can become law. Particularly, if it is to become a reality by the first half of this year as you say, for so many millions of hard working immigrants who desperately need it.

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