How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

C'mon, she's just a kid!

This morning I linked to a story about Dora the Explorer that appeared in this weekend's Los Angeles Times, tracing the Nickelodeon cartoon character's existence from initial conception (as a cartoon rabbit, of all things) to a lucrative mega-franchise a decade after the show's television debut. There were a couple of lines in the story that I wanted to come back to, just because this sort of thing interests me:

But it wouldn't be the only controversy the animated youngster would face; next, her life and immigration status would be scrutinized. Several doctored mug shots — one depicting a battered and bruised Dora accused of illegally crossing the border — began circulating the Web earlier this year after passage of Arizona's controversial immigration law.

I remember when this was a news story, but I hadn't actually seen the doctored mug shots in question or, for that matter, the Facebook page that shows her flying over the border fence. Curious, I checked out YouTube, where I also found several videos, some more weird and rude than others.

But I wasn't quite prepared for this 2008 video below, in which a little boy matter-of-factly explains why "Dora is an illegal immigrant."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDInQt5rxUE&feature=related

Yes, of course, she speaks Spanish. Perfectly. The video left me speechless.

As an odd aside, the Facebook page (which is a spoof) makes sly reference to the boy's remarks ("She speaks spanish... she speaks spanish perfectly... what is she like...5?"). At least someone found some humor in it. As for me, even if the kid were joking - and I'm not convinced that he was - I found the whole thing unsettling, too much to hear from the mouth of an angel-faced babe.

So I adapted my search and fortunately, after trolling around a bit, came up with just the right antidote: a spoof video of Dora and her simian sidekick, Boots, shimmying to Down AKA Kilo's "Lean Like a Cholo."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEZEosWNWso

Whew, that helped.

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