Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gerson Borrero: The elephant in the room when it comes to the anti-gay attacks in the Bronx

If you are among those New Yorkers who have Time Warner Cable and tune in to "Inside City Hall" on NY1 on weekdays, you might recognize Gerson Borrero as the guy who spars with conservative radio host and former Guardian Angel Curtis Sliwa over the political news of the week.

But for Latino residents of the city, Mr. Borrero is a journalistic legend, having been the Editor-in-Chief at El Diario La Prensa, the largest Spanish language newspaper in the city, and a political radio personality as well.  He still has a weekly political column at the paper called "Bajo Fuego" ("Under Fire").

Over the years, he has also emerged as one of the strongest straight allies of the Latino LGBT community by challenging the homophobia of some of our elected Latino political leaders.

Mr. Borrero, who blogs at The Borrero Report, is also a guest blogger at WNYC Radio's It's a Free Blog and yesterday he penned an amazing post titled "Loud-Mouthed Homophobes Have Made Gay Violence Acceptable for Too Many" in which he takes on homophobic New York State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., his son, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., and even gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo.

An excerpt:
Let me point to the elephant in the room: Every individual involved in this odious crime is Latino. The vile act occurred in the poorest congressional district in the nation. All of the elected officials at the municipal, state, and federal levels representing the neighborhood where the crime was committed are Puerto Rican and Dominican.
Of these elected officials, the most vociferous anti-LGBT person in the Bronx is Rubén Díaz. The state senator has built his political career by vilifying the LGBT community at every turn [...] And yet, no critics have made the connection between the crime and the terrain, which has been poisoned against gays for so long by Rubén Díaz.
It's a great, great, great - and important - column and Borrero doesn't mince words.  I hope you take some time to click on the link above to read it.

In the meantime, I was invited to contribute a post to National Public Radio's Tell Me More blog on the same topic ("It's a Matter of hate, and a matter of safety"). I took a different tack and I'm not sure I was as successful as I intended. I did want to thank those people in the Bronx who did speak up to say 'not in our streets.'

By the way, Borrero also has a weekly segment in the Spanish-language NY1 channel called "Para Que Lo Sepas".  This week, he spoke about the topic in Spanish to the viewers.  You can watch that segment here.


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