"No matter gay, straight or bi Lesbian, transgendered life I`m on the right track, baby I was born to survive No matter black, white or beige Chola or orient made I`m on the right track, baby I was born to be brave"
Lady Gaga "Born This Way"
I cover pop culture for the SOP and NB, and it`s impossible to report on the world of music without writing a few essays about Lady Gaga. Whenever I pen an article that`s even slightly critical of the controversial diva, my inbox is flooded with letters from Gaga`s loyal monsters calling me everything but a child of God.
A couple of days ago I posted an editorial blasting Lady Gaga for the racist lyrics of her single "Born This Way." As usual I received many emails critical of my essay, but I also received a few thanking me for calling Lady Gaga to task.
I commend Miguel Perez, the head of Chicanos Unidos Arizona, I believe he was the first one to shed light on this controversy.
This is an excerpt from my original essay:
"As an Hispanic liberal who has been writing essays supporting gay rights for twelve years, I agree with the pro-gay sentiments of this song. But just because a song has life-affirming lyrics it doesn`t necessarily means it`s a great work of art. Lady Gaga`s new single has no subtlety or nuance, it sounds like something that a beauty queen who yearns for world peace would write.
Are Latinos supposed to be grateful that a white superstar, born of privilege, included a racist shout out to our community? Not all Latino ladies are `cholas` in the barrio, some of them are teachers, writers, engineers and nurses and doctors."
Lady Gaga uses the words "black" and "white" to describe African Americans and Caucasians, but she used the word "chola" to represent Latinos. Thereby implying that all Hispanic women are gangbangers who live in the barrio.
The words "orient" or "oriental" are highly offensive to Asian Americans. Lady Gaga bends over backwards to pander to homosexuals, but she doesn`t seem to care if she offends other minorities. I praise Gaga for her strong support for gay rights, but girlfriend needs to take pains not to offend her Hispanic and Asian fans.
"Don`t be a drag, just be a queen Whether you`re broke or evergreen You`re black, white, beige, chola descent You`re lebanese, you`re orient Whether life`s disabilities Left you outcast, bullied, or teased Rejoice and love yourself today `cause baby you were born this way"
Lady Gaga`s enablers excuse her racial slurs by saying that she used the offensive word "orient" because it rhymes (sort of) with descent. Lady Gaga, no shrinking flower is she, boasts that this one of the greatest songs in pop history. Then why was she so lazy in crafting her song, opting for a cheap rhyme, at the expense of alienating Hispanics and Asians?
I can tolerate Gaga`s juvenile and awkward lyrics, but I will not remain silent, when she callously and cynically dehumanizes minorities.
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