An Open Letter to Kim and Kanye West.

Dear Kanye and Kim,
You don’t know me, but I’ve known about you both for over a decade. As a member of the media, I’ve spent a great deal of my professional career playing your music, Mr. West, talking about your reality show, Mrs. West, and gossiping about your social lives, in between. Even with the never ending drama that seems to surround you both, I have, for the most part, been a supporter of your projects; today is different.
When I first saw your “Life of Pablo” merchandise and the very familiar Old English lettering, I knew how unoriginal it was and so did other Chicanos, yet I said nothing. Cholo gangs started that look in the 40’s in Los Angeles, in case you didn’t know. Even when Hypebeast noted Forever 21 “ripped off” YOUR steez, I kept quiet. When you released the Yeezy Jewelry collection, I raised an eyebrow at you hijacking another one of my Raza’s styles because I thought, “Overpriced, yes, but it’s tasteful.” This next venture, however, you’ve taken things too far.
If you do a search for La Virgen de Guadalupe, you’ll get a definition that reads:
“Virgin of Guadalupe (SpanishVirgen de Guadalupe), is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary associated with a venerated image enshrined within the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The basilica is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world, and the world’s third most-visited sacred site.”
Oh but Mr. and Mrs. West, she means much than that to me and mi gente. The faith passed down from my Mother and her Mother and their faith in our Blessed Mother is sacred. As a minority, I feel we share a lot of the same angst and face similar prejudices; having that connection means a need to respect one another’s history so that when it’s presented in artists form it’s done so respectfully.
Despite my love of self expression and disdain of hypersensitivity, I feel it’s important for MY cultura to ask you both to think about removing the “Kim as Virgen Mary” candle posted on the Kimoji website. Going through your products, it just doesn’t seem right that sacred image is placed between the ASS Tray and rolling paper.
As I was writing this, I glanced over to my nightstand where I keep my Veladoras y Santos, and thought about how much Mary has meant to my familia and maybe to you it’s a just a candle that cost $1.50 or a way to make more money, but for me it means family and FAITH.
Con todo mi corazon, your fan,
Dana Cortez

 

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