“Latinos can go “blank” themselves!”
This is what Kennedy Center director Michael Kaiser must have been thinking when he screamed, “Go F___ yourself!” into the telephone when confronted by Felix Sanchez, director of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) on the continuing Latino Lockout at the Kennedy Center honors.
Since its 1978 founding, the Kennedy Center has only honored Latin@s Chita Rivera and Placido Domingo. I spoke to Sanchez about this disturbing incident, and the even more disturbing third-of-a-century-long diss against Latino artists in the United States.
LA: Felix, first of all I want to applaud you for revealing the media what Kaiser said to you on the telephone. Most people would defer and not speak up about a private and embarrassing (to Kaiser) conversation. Can you briefly re-tell what happened?
For two years we’ve been trying to reach the Kennedy Center chair, president, producer, and even Caroline Kennedy. We’ve sent letters, emails, phone calls and we’ve gotten ZERO response. We were able to talk to the assistant to Kaiser. This is the buffer they set up between us and the administration of the Kennedy Center. They refused to meet with us, saying they cannot meet with anyone lobbying for individuals to receive the honor. They have been fighting anyone who wants to get to the truth of the matter. They have no interest in resolving or cooperating this issue. So on September 12th they announced the 2012 honorees.
Mas…Viva Kennedy? The Latino Lockout at the Kennedy Center