The Super Bowl half-game show on Sunday, February 3, had a “Latin touch,” according to the New York Times. And rightly so: During the 15 minutes of the rest of the famous American football championship, the famous singers Jennifer Lopez and Shakira led the performance with the Colombian J Balvin and the Puerto Rican Bad Bunny.
The performance, which also included songs in Spanish, was produced in Miami, a city where almost 70% of the population is of Latin American origin. According to CNN, “halftime was more commented than the game.”
This is the full video of the so-called “Halftime show”:
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pILCn6VO_RU (/ embed)
In an interview before the show, Shakira mentions that “Jlo and I are here redefining paradigms about age, race, origins… it doesn't really matter where you are from, how old you are or where you come from, what matters is the message “, While Jennifer Lopez said that” two Latinas doing this in this country in these times is simply very empowering for us. “
For the head of the New York Times popular music critic, Jon Pareles, the performance also went beyond fun.
Yet the halftime show was also a no-nonsense affirmation of Latin pride and cultural diversity in a political climate where immigrants and American Latinos have been widely demonized.
However, the half-party show was also a direct affirmation of Latin pride and cultural diversity in a political climate where immigrants and Latin Americans have been widely demonized.
On Twitter, the event got support for that same reason:
– Agnes Trampe (@VillaTrampe) February 3, 2020
That #PepsiHalftime !!! # Shakira and #JLo showed us how talented Latina women can keep a national audience captive. I loved every minute. Congratulations, girls.
Also the fact that they were two women who led the show inspired Internet users:
– ???? ㎡ (@AnnCarolis) February 3, 2020
In addition to the casting of the singers, the act had elements of political criticism, also, because during the show, girls appeared caged, which seems to make a reference to the girls, mainly Central American, who were held in large “coolers” of metal when they were separated from their parents in 2018.
Today, this practice of detention of migrant children is still in use in the United States, although less than before, according to Erika Andiola, the promotional director of the RAICES organization.
– Nicole Theodore Esq. (@BizLawyerATL) February 3, 2020
Powerful comment on the crisis at the border by J-Lo, taking the children in cages.
We got too emotional our Latinidad in this performance, we are overlooking @Shakira and @JLo political message: We still have kids in cages. Watch again #HalftimeShow #SuperBowl, #HalftimeShow, #PepsiHalftime @ julito77 @latinorebels #SuperBowlLIV @JulianCastro pic.twitter.com/Xf6uX5ferL
– Marlena Fitzpatrick García (@MarlenaFitz) February 3, 2020
We get too excited (by) our Latinity in this performance, we are ignoring the political message of @Shakira and @JLo: We still have children in cages. Look again #HalftimeShow #SuperBowl, #HalftimeShow, #PepsiHalftime
“Whitening” of Latin identities
Other people criticized the singers' lack of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, the defense player who launched a peaceful protest movement against racism and violence against Afro-descendants in the United States by stepping before American football games.
Rihanna, and before her, Cardi B, rejected the opportunity to head the Super Bowl show for the reason that, reportedly, Colin seems to have been “vetoed to return to the NFL,” for his activism. The NFL organizes the Super Bowl.
And while their performance at moments expressed Latino pride, Shakira and Lopez missed an important opportunity to ally themselves with black communities, including Afro-Latino ones.
And while their performance at times expressed Latin pride, Shakira and López lost an important opportunity to ally with black communities, including Afro-Latinas.
And then Petra continues explaining that this omission is part of a bigger problem of “whitening” of Latin American cultures and people, since Shakira and Jennifer Lopez both have light skin and dye their hair blonde, while singing created music genres by Afro-descendant communities.
This omission reflects a general preference for whitening within “Latinidad,” the construction of Latino identities. (…) But the Latino community is a racially diverse one, and antiblackness exists within Latinidad.
This omission reflects a general preference for whitening within “Latinity,” the construction of Latin identities. (…) But the Latino community is a racially diverse community, and discrimination against blacks exists within Latinidad.
Latinity is a sociological concept established in 1985 by Felix Padilla, who wanted to amalgamate Latin American identities and cultures in order to study them within a general framework. This concept is now being questioned by a new generation of indigenous and Afro-descendant people.
Anna N'jie-Konte, an American entrepreneur and communicator, also thought that the show was a “whitening” of the concept of Latinity.
– Anna N'Jie-Konte, MBA, CFP® (@anjiekonte) February 3, 2020
I feel particularly upset about the #latinidad whitening this morning. He is eclipsing any pride I feel for Latin representation in the Superbowl.