NY GIANT Victor Cruz: Salsa, Sadness and the American Dream
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and erases the history and diversity of the community for the sake of an easily digestible cultural practice, is emblematic of contemporary multiculturalism.  In packaging his identity via accepted tropes of Latinoness, in absence of any discussion of the history of colonization of Puerto Rico, in absence of any recognition of the persistent forms of state violence besieging Black and Puerto Rican communities, in absence of any recognition of his mixed-identity, the power of Blackness within the cultural landscape, and the demonization of bodies of color, the media has grabbed hold of the “Salsa” factor as part of the great American “immigrant story.” 

David J. Leonard is Associate Professor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman. He is author of After Artest: Race and the War on Hoop (SUNY Press, spring 2012).