On Thursday, June 7, 2012, the Daily News printed a showcase advertisement for the National Puerto Rican Day Parade. In so doing, the paper transposed a Cuban flag for what should have been the Puerto Rican flag. The Parade will be held on Sunday, June 10, 2012, along Manhattan's glorious Fifth Avenue. As a testament to our orgullo, the Parade has grown to become the largest demonstration of ethnic pride in our nation.
It is unfortunate that in this day and age, with the Internet literally at our fingertips, this should have happened.
It is a particularly egregious error to make at one of the largest daily metropolitan newspapers with the largest Puerto Rican population in the nation - and which serves as an official media sponsor to the Parade.
Beyond lamentable, it is disrespectful to our culture, community and leaders.
Yet, there has been very little, if any, genuine remorse shown by the Daily News' editorial or management staff.
Our organization's history dovetails with that of the Parade's.
The Puerto Rican Bar Association ("PRBA") and the Puerto Rican Day Parade, were formed in 1957 and 1958, respectively. The attorneys of the PRBA began gathering socially to offer one another both personal and professional support in an era when it was difficult for attorneys of color to be accepted as members in established bar associations. The PRBA at that time focused its efforts on addressing the concerns of a rapidly growing Latino community and the legal services it required. Similarly, the Puerto Rican Parade was born of the need to translate the Puerto Rican achievements into a visible demonstration of the strength of the Puerto Rican community, in order to organize and support our Latino counterparts.
Both institutions, the PRBA and Puerto Rican Day Parade, were essential in carving out presence and identity when both are too readily denied. The symbolic nature of the flag is but representative of that critical narrative, and needs to be respected as such. As a testament to the symbolism the flag represents to our culture, it was designed in 1895 in New York City by a group of Puerto Rican revolutionaries who were fighting for independence from Spain.
We now call upon the Daily News to re-evaluate its commitment to both engaging the Puerto Rican/Latino community and addressing its issues and interests in light of decisions to shut down its Spanish-language magazine and letting go of a number of its Latino staffers.
Budgets, as we know, are ultimately about priorities.
The elimination and significant reduction of such resources bespeaks of a commitment, or lack thereof, to "getting it right."
And on this issue, the Daily News has done anything but.