After the awkward moment on live television, the memes poured throughout Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Steve Harvey made the mistake of announcing Miss Colombia as the winner of Miss Universe 2015. In reaction to his mistake, Latinos created memes with images of Pablo Escobar. These memes depict the drug lord ordering a hit on Steve Harvey and wanting him dead. Why are we using the image of a terrorist to represent how we feel? Why are we jokingly ordering a hit?
As a Colombian-American I understand that Pablo Escobar and his work is a piece of Colombia’s history. However, I don’t think it is fair for this beautiful country to be known for its drug war. While some Colombians are comfortable with publishing “Pablo memes”, I can assure you that they would be offended by anyone who sees Colombia as a violent and drug infested country. By posting these types of memes, they are not helping to remove this negative association.
Those that are not Colombian and post “Pablo memes”, simply do not understand the sensitivity of this topic and are influenced by the entertainment industry. Shows like “Escobar, Patron Del Mal” and Netflix’s “Narcos” give insight into Pablo Escobar’s life and his drug cartel. Instead of recognizing those who fought against Pablo Escobar, some audiences seem to identify with the drug lord. Some viewers are only looking at the power, money, and respect that Pablo Escobar had. They forget or choose to ignore that he was responsible for blowing up an airplane full of passengers, bombing cities, and assassinating anyone that stood in his way.
Pablo & Trap Music
The image of Pablo hasn’t stopped at TV shows, it has also penetrated the music industry. His growing fame from TV has influenced artist like Gucci Mane, Soulja Boy, and Rich Homie Quan. Artists that flaunt about their violence, drug businesses and their money seem to “praise” and compare themselves to Pablo Escobar. Trap music is extremely successful among a diverse and young demographic. I personally do not like listening to trap music and I especially dislike those tracks that idolize Pablo Escobar.
So now what?
There is only so much one can do. I can’t stop the spread negative ideas and perspectives. The only thing I can do is educate others and hope that readers pass on the information that I share. I encourage everyone to visit Colombia because the culture, the people, and it’s natural beauty is what makes this country so magnificent.