"Ricky Martin Ain't No Dixie Chick": Or, How We Can Learn A Few Things About Citizenship And Invisibility From Popular Culture

Lugo-Lugo, Carmen R.
April 2012
Centro Journal;Spring2012, Vol. 24 Issue 1, p68
Academic Journal
In a San Juan, Puerto Rico, concert held in February 2007, the pop singer Ricky Martin made an obscene gesture with his finger while singing a line about having his picture taken with President Bush. This essay uses the backlash emanating from the gesture to illustrate a two-part argument: (1) after September 11, 2001, American citizenship (both political and cultural) became a tenuously tied to ideas about patriotism and non-immigrant status, and (2) patriotism was linked to an unyielding support for President Bush and his administration. We can see demarcations between notions of "the citizen" versus "the other" in United States mainstream discussions of the finger incident. Responses to the reports about Ricky Martin's gesture showed a distrust of his Puerto Rican body, which stemmed from a general distrust of deemed non- and un-American bodies. The essay outlines a specific relationship between social narratives, popular culture, and post-9/11 constructions of citizenship.


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