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Dear Kelly: About Cleaning Toilets

When  Kelly Osbourne made an unfortunate remark about Latinos and toilets Aug. 4 on “The View” while commenting on Donald Trump’s previous faux pas, she set off a hashtag frenzy on Twitter that gave Latinos and others a chance to talk about their real-life careers.

Osbourne, a British singer-songwriter and television personality, was guest hosting on the round-table talk show when the subject of Trump calling Mexican immigrants who cross U.S. borders “criminals” and “rapists” came up.
“If you kicked (slight laugh) every Latino out of this country then who is going to be cleaning your toilets, Donald Trump?” Osbourne asked before being interrupted by fellow panelist Rosie Perez making the point that Latinos weren’t the only ones who held those jobs. Osbourne countered that she would never mean to suggest that.

She later issued an apology to the Huffington Post and posted it on social media, but the response to her original remark and the apology from some Twitter users was quick and furious anyway. Many used the hashtag

“#QueridaKellyObsourne,” which translates to “Dear Kelly Osbourne.” It was attributed to Aura Bogado, a Colorlines news editor, as the originator. Users gave the phrase a sarcastic edge as they described their own careers and accomplishments, or those of their parents. The message was clearly that Latinos do more than clean toilets, and the Twitter comments offer a window on upward mobility and the work ethic among immigrants, especially Latinas.
Here are a few of the comments:

Concepción Lara ‏@lowsell  Aug 4
#QueridaKellyOsbourne, there is nothing shameful about domestic labor. All work is valid, but only one facet of a person’s life.

Stephanie Porcell ‏@stephporcell  Aug 4
#QueridaKellyOsbourne I come from a proud family of Cuban immigrants. They had six dollars to their name and dreams far from Trump’s toilet.

RantsyPants McGee ‏@IndignantNegro  Aug 4
RantsyPants McGee retweeted
Oh Kelly you didn’t. You did not just reduce Latinos to universally janitorial status. #QueridaKellyOsbourne  RantsyPants McGee added, @Colorlines
If you’re not following #QueridaKellyOsbourne….You should. Because…this…

abstinent attitude ‏@PalmTreesnGz  Aug 4
#QueridaKellyOsbourne domestic labor done by latin@, Asian immigrants and black American women made possible the white feminist movement.

Sleepy Spice ‏@Feministfists  Aug 5 Boston, MA
You don’t have to say slurs to be racist. Racism can be thinking an entire group of ppl exist solely to service you. #QueridaKellyOsbourne

Aura Bogado @aurabogado  Aug 5
Much love to two editors reaching out to see if I want to write about starting #QueridaKellyOsbourne. Too bad I’m so busy cleaning toilets.

gianna‏@giannafogelbach  Aug 4
#queridakellyosbourne i am latina and i am an educator, with specialities in #stem. i’ve worked part time to make it through uni, so what?

In her apology, that was laced with obscenities, Osbourne said:
“I want to start by saying I ALWAYS take responsibility for my actions,” the statement begins.

“In this particular case I will take responsibility for my poor choice of words but I will not apologize for being a racist as I am NOT. I whole-hearted (messed) up today. I don’t want to (patronize) anyone with lame excuses
“Although, I was stopped mid-sentence by Rosie and couldn’t finish my point I will not let Rosie take responsibility for my words. I should have known better as I was on The View and it was live. I’ve learned a very valuable lesson.

“It is my hope that this situation will open up a conversation about immigration and the Latin community as a whole. By the way I clean my own …  toilets.” Ironically, Osbourne is credited with quitting another television show over a host’s racially tinged remarks about a friends “dreadlocks” hairstyle.

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