May 25, 2007

Bilingual radio show tackles senior, ethnic issues

By Pablo Jaime Sáinz

Many times, American and Mexican seniors are the ones that believe the stereotypes from each other because of the era in which they grew up in.

They were born in the times before the Civil Rights Movement. They grew up in a time of intolerance for each other.

As time passed by, the prejudices that each group had for each other might have grown stronger, because of cultural differences, because there was never true dialogue between the two groups.

That’s why executive producer Bill Clark (right photo), who is in his 70’s, has created the first bilingual radio show in the San Diego -Tijuana region. It focuses on seniors and at the same time tackle some of the most common held stereotypes between Mexicans and Americans.

The weekly program, called “It’s Time for Seniors,” will begin airing on Saturday, May 26 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on XEXX radio 1420 AM.

It will address the most controversial issues and stereotypes facing Mexicans and Americans today.

“The main purpose of the show is to create a better understanding between the two countries,” said Clark, a veteran radio newscaster and investigative reporter. “That understanding is not created when you build walls. You create understanding when you create honest dialogue between the two sides.”

“It’s Time for Seniors”, offers a no-holds-barred approach to common myths that generate cross-border and cross-cultural hostility.

“We take on stereotypes such as ‘all Mexicans are fat, stupid and lazy,’ on end of the spectrum,” Clark said, “to ‘you Americans are heartless exploiters of the Mexican people.’ We go into everything, north and south of the border.”

Clark promises brutally honest dialogue from both viewpoints with the goal of reducing cross-cultural tension through understanding and knowledge.

“We’ll discuss the origins of the word ‘gringo,’” he said. “We’ll analyze which country has the best transit system, and bring to light the real story of the boy heroes of Chapultepec castle. We’ll talk about what is a Mexican.”

Clark noted that the program, which encourages listener participation, will also present guest speakers on topics that range from scuba diving for the physically impaired to auto maintenance.

The program will also include a weekly segment offering financial information on mortgages, and tax and estate planning from Greg Plummer, president and owner of Creative Lending Solutions.

Jennifer Eastman, who this year earned a Telly for a piece she produced for the Clean Needle Exchange Program in San Diego, will serve as the American host of the program.

Eastman said that she’s really excited to get the conversation started.

She also said that it’s important for seniors to have a voice on radio.

“It’s a very undervalued population that has so much to offer us,” Eastman, who’s 35, said of seniors. “I think that if we all take baby steps towards improving the conditions of both American and Mexican seniors, we’ll make a huge difference”.

It’s Time for Seniors’ first special guest is David Mirisch, president of David Mirisch Enterprises, an international promotional firm that has raised more than $10 million for charities of all kinds.

It will be broadcast in English and Spanish simultaneously, with a translator at hand to translate from one language to the other live.

Clark’s goals are to invite the mayors of San Diego and Tijuana to the show, creating important dialogue.

“We’re making history here using both languages to unite seniors from both sides of the border,” said Clark, who has traveled extensively throughout Mexico. “I want to help our Mexican neighbors. I’m sincerely interested in the welfare of the Mexican people and of seniors in general.”

For more information call (858) 453-9600.

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