The murder of George Floyd sparked the biggest revival of the Black Lives Matter movement of this generation and has made huge strides in ending the generations of abuse Black people have faced. The movement has included people of all different races and ethnic groups joining together to dismantle the oppressive systems that America was founded on.
However, while we’ve taken many steps forward, videos of Black men and women being racist and/or violent to members of the Latinx community has resulted in a resurrection of Anti-Blackness sentiments.
I say resurrection because this racism and colorism has always been an issue that Afro-Latinx people such as myself have had to face.
While the videos are completely disgusting and deplorable, they shouldn’t serve as justification for blatant racism and hatred of all Black people. However, as I said before, the Anti-Blackness is nothing new in the Latino community. Its a result of the euro centricity that has been ingrained in Latino culture since colonization and imperialism, and now is being perpetuated by people using individual cases to justify the biases they already had.
This euro centricity is why so many Latino parents don’t want their children to marry a Black person, even if that Black person is Latino themselves. It is why white-presenting Latinos are seen as more desirable and make up a majority of the actors in mainstream Latino media.
It is why Afro-Latinos are not acknowledged as true members of the Latinx community despite making up a quarter of all U.S. Latinos, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
So many Latinos are unknowingly upholding white supremacy through their ingrained hatred of Black people, while simultaneously being mistreated by that same white supremacy that has children locked in cages and has made Latinos a target of hate crimes for decades.
It is completely valid to feel upset by the surfacing videos of Latino men and women being mistreated, I was upset when I saw them too. However, it is not valid to use those videos as an excuse to confirm your internal racism.
There wasn’t a widespread hate campaign geared toward Latinos when a Hispanic man murdered seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin or when a Latino cop murdered Philando Castile, nor was there an anti-Latino hate campaign when both of the murderers got acquitted.
It should not be Latino versus Black, Black versus white, or one race versus another, it should be everyone versus racists and systems that disproportionately target minorities.
There is also the argument that Black people don’t advocate for Latino lives, so Latinos shouldn’t have to advocate for Black lives. That argument is completely ignorant since many of the videos that surfaced show Latino mistreatment. These are being circulated by “Black Twitter” which is a subsection of twitter mainly made up of Black users.
Not only that but if you simply type in “ICE protests” you’ll see that Black people are present in every picture. And then, the most obvious reason this argument is completely ignorant, is that there are a lot of people who are Black and Latino.
Of course, Black people advocate for Latino lives, so many Black people are Latino.
It’s disheartening that there is such a blatant Anti-Black mindset in the Latino community, especially when such a huge amount of the culture was created by Black people. The majority of music in Latin America was heavily influenced by the contributions of African slaves that arrived in Latin America with their Spanish and Portuguese slave owners. These genres include samba, salsa, merengue, bachata, timba and reggaeton.
Rather than continuing to fight each other and perpetuate the years of violence and abuse each group has faced, its time non-Black Latinos and non-Latino Black people join together to tear down the white supremacy and institutional racism that has plagued minorities in America for generations.