Is Dora The Explorer An Illegal Alien?
July 16, 2007, 01:59 AM
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Recently while perusing Facebook.com profiles (read: procrastinating), I came across an interesting group to which one of my friends had subscribed: "Dora The Explorer Is Sooo An Illegal Immigrant".

After doing a little e-research, I discovered that not only has the group gotten some extra-Facebook attention, but it has also ruffed some idiotic feathers.

For those of you who don't have five-year-olds addicted to cable TV, Dora the Explorer is the name of a children's cartoon that airs on Nickelodeon. In each episode, Dora, obviously Mexican with dark brown hair and brown skin, roams around trying to complete a task (usually consisting of solving a problem or doing a good deed). Impeding her way is a thieving fox named Swiper, who, if she's not quick enough, steals her valuable clues. According to Nickelodeon's webpage about the show, "the series is designed to actively encourage pre-schoolers in a play along adventure. Dora The Explorer builds on Nick Jr’s promise to �Play, Laugh and Learn.’" But what is Dora teaching?

For one thing, Spanish. There are several characters who are monolingually Spanish, with whom Dora communicates only in Spanish.

Now, Dora is probably harmless. But she has nevertheless caused some Facebook fanaticism to boil over.

The original Facebook group, which now has over 114,000 members, cited the following as evidence:

1. Both Dora and her talking backpack speak Spanish perfectly.

2. Dora carries everything she could ever need for survival (and/or climbing a wall) in her backpack - water, food, shoes, clothing for any weather, ropes, grappling hooks etc.

3. Dora has been known to produce a veritable menagerie of animals out or her backpack as well. In the group's founder's words: "What kind of legal immigrant has that many pets!?"

4. Finally, Dora is often attempting to transport a "package" to some destination, while being stalked by a fox trying to take said package. To the members of the Facebook group, Swiper is obviously "...some sort of border patrol agent trying to collect evidence of Dora's entire narcotics trafficking business".

It's all fun and games, right? I mean, being a member of a Facebook group means nothing more than displaying the group's title on one's profile, and even that much is optional.

Wrong. Certain other Facebookers were highly offended. Not only was the group "reported", (meaning a petition was made to take down the group because of alleged inflammitory content) but a counter group was formed called "Don’t call dora a beaner you stupid gringos" (sic). Amusingly, the counter-group was removed, but not the original.

Countless posts accuse the group of racism, ignorance, white supremacy...you name it. And as a result, most of the dialogue on the group's discussion board has deteriorated into explicit vulgarity and personal attacks.

After scrolling through a few of them, I can't help coming away with the feeling that not only is Dora quite probably an illegal alien - but also that her defenders have no sense of humor.