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J. Lo's halftime show was a gift to America -- wrapped in red, white and blue

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

SAN DIEGO -- The coronation is complete: Mega-performer Jennifer Lopez is the reigning Queen of America.

Correction. Should I have broadened that and said "Queen of the Americas"? This would include Mexico, Central and South America, maybe even the Caribbean.

What I mean is that the Bronx-raised "Jenny from the block" -- who showed during Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show that she comes to hot-button issues like identity, nationality, immigration and ethnicity on her own terms -- is the quintessential American.

It's not because, at one point during the show, Lopez draped herself in a feathered coat that had the red, white and blue American flag on one side, and the red, white and blue Puerto Rican flag of her ancestors on the other.

Nor is it because, while this was happening, Lopez's 11-year-old daughter, Emme Maribel, took the stage and started singing a few bars of Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA."

It's not because Lopez -- who shouted "Latinos" at the start of her set -- put on, together with fellow pop star Shakira, a celebration of multiculturalism in 21st-century America that also paid respects to Shakira's Lebanese and Colombian heritage.

 

It's not because Lopez broke new ground. This marked the first time in Super Bowl history that two Latinas headlined the halftime show.

What's this? Hollywood studios, the New York book publishing industry and the Democratic presidential primary can't find any Latinos to showcase. And the National Football League found two.

Also, it's not because Lopez speaks her mind and isn't afraid to use her platform to register disgust for President Trump and his regressive policies toward Puerto Rico, Mexican immigrants and Central American refugees.

The show also featured Emme and other children in "cages" where the bars were made of light beams.

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