What follows is my personal response, which may or may not reflect the opinions of El Cohete’s authors, participants, and readers. Any and all are welcome to sign on in agreement.
First, I note that this open letter has been posted in the comments of the most recent posts, rather than as a stand-alone post. I believe this accurately reflects the fragmented nature of the blog, where each “patio” is seen as separate and not responsible, or indeed aware, of what happens anywhere else on the blog.
I agree there have been changes to storylines and content of telenovelas and series, but I believe this is going in a more positive direction. I’m excited that we’re moving towards having more representation of people from marginalized communities. At the same time, I want to provide an environment that encourages and supports participation from people who might have previously felt excluded from conversation of Spanish-language television.
With regard to “The English language has also evolved and what used to be offensive is now part of social content nation-wide.” What I’m seeing is that language that used to be socially acceptable is now acknowledged as having a harmful effect. I have no wish to support the normalizing of racism, sexism, or general bigotry.
Absolutely, you can filter out the things you disagree with or find objectionable, but in the words of James Baldwin:
We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.
I do agree that your community is interested in “telenovelas, Spanish language and Central and Latin American culture,” however the tone and quality of the comments has become such that this interest is often expressed in a disrespectful way that “others” those cultures.
I’m not sure how you drew the conclusion that the availability of better closed captioning (I assume you mean in English) is the cause of the dwindling readership and participation on Caray, Caray! Your community has become smaller and several people have formed close personal relationships, which is not an issue in and of itself, but when the conversation drifts into the personal (which it often does) and away from the stated discussion topic, that may not create a welcoming environment for newcomers.
I wish you luck managing the technical aspect of the blog. I’m glad that during my tenure I took the time to streamline and update the template that provides the blog’s sidebar and that I came up with a solution that would allow the blog to be able to display a list of recaps for a given show.
I think it’s obvious we have different ideas about what makes for a good online environment. I hope this change ends up being a positive one for readers, participants, and authors and that everyone finds a place where they can feel at home.