let´s talk about racism
I stopped wanting to be White a long time ago, but it wasn’t easy. Like many Latinos, immigrant or US-born, I was taught to be ashamed of my indigenous and black roots, of my language, and of my name. This shame is an enduring tool of colonization, and it is used to oppress us because it’s effective in seeding self-hate and insecurity, it positions us to turn against ourselves and other minorities that share our experience. It is time we stop living lives that kill us, our culture, our language, and our children. It is time we Latinos stand with our brothers and sisters, and scream the truth that Black Lives Matter!
We must recognize that while our histories may differ, our present realities are intertwined with those of Black Americans, that we suffer when they suffer, that we experience the same effects of systematic racism built into police forces, jail sentencing, as well as disparities in pay, education, housing, and healthcare, etc. For example, Blacks and Latinos were injured or killed by police officers in California in greater percentages than their share of the population in 2017. Latinos deaths accounted for almost half of the deaths resulting from police violence. This is a crucial moment in the history of this nation because as the last four years under the Trump administration have made very clear, we are disposable.
Let us do the work of loving ourselves and through that love find the courage to break the silence. It’s time to speak of racism, of colorism, and all the other isms that we foment by our inactions. I know some Latinos that think that Black Lives Matter, but they should matter only to Black people because after all, “my grandfather was a Spaniard…” I know Latinos who work hard and live comfortably but stop caring about others. I know Latinos that are so convinced that being in the grace of their White bosses makes them safe, so they turn a blind eye to injustice and inequality.
Wake up! Black Lives Matter because we matter.