We all know what talented musicians the Hip Hop Hoodios are. We recently featured their new video Gorrito Cosmico, they played at our Jewlicious conference and they are a client of mine. They’re pretty chill dudes too. Well, they were pretty chill until Heeb Magazine pissed them off with an ethnic slur aimed at latinos.
That’s right. A magazine named after an ethnic slur against one group printed an ethnic slur against another. Imagine that. Here at Jewlicious, we are shocked. Shocked! But seriously, what the hell is going on at Heeb anyway? Is this what they have to resort to in order to shock? Feh. Heeb is so over (but Seth Olenick is hella cool). Do however continue and read the whole story as we reproduce a letter sent out by Josh Norek and Abraham VÃ©lez that details this outrage. Read it, it’s pretty bombastic! Go Josh and Abe! OlÃ©!
THE NEW JEW REVIEWâ€¦OF MEAN-SPIRITED ETHNO-CENTRISM?
Wit and irreverence, we’re down with that. As a Latino-Jewish urban music collective that serves up our own fair share of trilingual irony, we in Hip Hop HoodÃos appreciate the fact that a magazine dedicated to Jewish hipsters â€“ and the goyim who love them â€“ exists. We’re no strangers to ethnic slurs, and re-claiming them as you’ve done with â€œheeb.â€ However, you went too far when you recently made a joke at the expense of Latinos.
Now let’s first get something straight: it goes without saying that what subjects and bands to cover â€“ or not â€“ is the prerogative of a publication’s editorial staff, period.
With that said, we have been suspicious for some time about the fact that a magazine like Heeb has never once written about Hip Hop HoodÃos, a young, openly Jewish act that continues to transcend cultures and land in heavy rotation on networks like MTV-Espanol, or in the pages of glossy Latin-alternative magazines like La Banda Elastica. (And that’s just the tip of the goldberg of our media profile.) We’ve been made aware of at least four writers who have pitched Hoodios stories to your editorial staff, without success. So you can imagine how we felt when we did finally find ourselves in the pages of Heeb — not as the subject of editorial ink, but in the form of a racially-dismissive â€œjokeâ€ that more than a few of our fans (and most Latinos who’ve seen it) find quite offensive.
Back in November 2004, we mailed you a copy of our new album â€˜Agua Pa’ La Gente’ accompanied by a good-natured letter in which we jokingly threatened to mail you bags of spicy chicharones until you showed us some love. We were greeted with these culturally-ignorant and racist words:
â€œWe refuse to dignify with a response to your insinuation that we are biased toward Latin Jews, especially since we hear you guys all carry knives.â€
Particularly in the context of your active disinterest in writing about the Hoodios, there is no way to take this â€œjokeâ€ as fun, funny, good-natured, or even edifying â€“ all it does is say, â€œWe don’t wanna write about you, and furthermore, here’s some defamation about your ethnic heritage on the way out, just for the heck of it. Bye!â€ Young and Hip, Old and not-Hip, either way, Jews should know better than to print ethnic slander so casually.
Care to explain yourselves, Heebiecito?
And something tells us that if we were black rather than Latin, you would not have dared write anything along those lines, i.e. â€œespecially since we hear you people chuck spears with such deadly aim!â€
Let’s flip the script for a second. Imagine if a hipster Hispanic publication greeted a Jewish artist with the comment â€œWe refuse to dignify with a response to your insinuation that we are biased toward Jews, especially since we hear you guys all have hidden horns on your heads.â€
Most likely, Abraham Foxman and the ADL would be launching a picket assembly in front of said offending Latino magazine quicker than you snobs could say â€œwhere’s my Dominican nanny?â€ And rightfully so.
Wake up, Heeb. If your idea of â€˜funny’ is mocking Latinos, it’s time to re-evaluate yourselves; it won’t be so funny next time when the shoe is on the other foot and some Chicano kid in Texas is laughing at the â€œJewish bloodsuckers.â€
Regardless, we demand a printed apology from Heeb. If your editors are too smug to recognize their mistake, our fans will be more than happy to point it out to you in the form of a high-profile online petition and cancelled subscriptions.
P.S. â€“ we still remember your editor handing out copies of Heeb at Hip Hop Hoodios’ very first concert at Makor back in 2002. Apparently, Latin-Jewish events are a really â€˜cool’ place for Heeb to self-promote and at which to be seen. As long as those Spanish-speaking folks don’t actually have to be seen in your mag â€“ other than for a mean-spirited racial jabâ€¦
P.P.S. – It is truly not just the members of Hip Hop Hoodios’ who found your comment offensive. Below is just one of several emails we received from a Heeb subscriber:
> Date: Tue, 03 May 2005 17:15:44 -0400
> From: J-Gro
> To: Hip Hop Hoodios
> Subject: Hoodios/Heeb
> If Heeb were smart they would do a music issue and
> feature Hip Hop Hoodios prominently. Their latest issue
> is pretty weak; the Heeb “Photo Issue” contains the “Heeb 100”
> which is supposed to be pictures and brief synopsis of Jewish
> movers and shakers. This appears to be comprised primarily of
> pictures of people that they think are cute, or their friends.
> I mean Gideon Yago, made the friggin list. I thought his 15
> minutes were upâ€¦.
> I’ll send a letter to the editor telling Heeb that I
> will not renew my subscription unless they show you
> guys some respect. That racist comment in the letter-to-the editor
> section is simply inexcusable.
Silly Heeb Magazine. Latino Jews don’t carry knives – Moroccan Jews do! And if you make fun of us, I will fucking cut you. I will.