No More Anti-Latinx Racism: Stop Hurting Us and Start Showing Up for Us
We’ve seen a lot of anti-Latinx sentiments recently and you know what? That shit has got to stop. It especially has to stop from white people and people of color who claim to be allies (or accomplices, if you’d prefer). If you show up for light-skinned Muslims (and you damn well better have showed up to protest the Muslim ban, either in person or by opening your wallets and doing your other resistance work), but you did not show up for the dark-skinned immigrants deported from the only home they’ve known in their adult life, then we’ve got a problem.
You know how infuriated you were, like we were, when many of your friends were sharing Black Lives Matter photos, affirming the rights of Black people and some of your clueless white friends didn’t say a fucking peep?
You know how even now that we’re in a national emergency, there are those privileged white Pollyannas in your Facebook feed who insist on focusing on things like the women’s march as something positive (read: white) that is happening now, but conveniently don’t post (or acknowledge) the not-so-positive things, the things that are calling out those joyful white women, the ones who took pictures of themselves with cops?
Well, we’ve noticed that there appears to be a definite hierarchy. We did a quick survey of our Facebook friends’ feeds. Seems that there’s an awful lot of white folks who show up for certain groups (Muslims, LGBTQ) and who do not show up for others (Black Lives Matter, the deportation of undocumented people from Mexico and Central America).
Did you kick up a fuss on your Facebook page about Betsy DeVos but say nothing about Jeff Sessions? We see you.
There’s been a shitload of anti-Latinx sentiments and — we want to make sure you hear this — specifically anti-Mexican and Mexican-American sentiments. Remember, 45 is a guy who did not think that a man — a U.S. citizen — should be a judge on a case that involved him. He kept referring to the judge as “Mexican,” despite the fact that he is not a Mexican national. He also did this to Jorge Ramos — a U.S. journalist born in Mexico — during the campaign. Watch till the end of the video and you can see and hear one of 45’s goons telling Ramos to “get out of his country.” We do not want you to forget that this happened. You must never forget that this happened. Don’t even get us started on his Mexican rapists or “bad hombres” bullshit.
So not only do we see a lot of anti-Latinx and specifically anti-Mexican rhetoric from the racists now in charge of the government but we also ALSO see it IN white liberal groups AND women of color groups. Sometimes from Latinx people themselves.
Example: a white liberal feminist came on one of our FB pages on election night to cry white tears and ask why “the Hispanics” voted for 45. “Is it because of abortion?” she said.
She blew right past that and she went on about her white feelings.
Example 2: In a private group, a Black Latinx woman called “bullshit on the Latino community.” Yeah, the WHOLE Latinx community. Why? Because of the ones who voted for 45.
Let’s get a few things about of the way.
You know that statistic you read about ⅓ of Hispanics voting for 45? That statistic is bullshit. We will repeat. It is a lie. The Washington Post explains why and estimates the Latino turnout for Hillary Clinton was 79%. Look at this research and look at the numbers before you start pointing the finger at us. Ask yourselves why “Hispanics who voted for 45” looked like a better story to the media than the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of us who rejected his orange ass.
Let’s get the Latino/Hispanic problem out of the way. Here’s a video on the difference as well as the difference between Latinx and Hispanics (it all has to do with the Census). So this is why a piece of shit racist like Ted Cruz in Texas (or Republican Marco Rubio in Florida), who are both white Cubans, can be called “Latinx” or “Hispanic” just like one of our hardcore Democrat Mexican-American communities can be as well.
When you paint the entire community as “Latinos” or “Hispanics” with zero understanding of the reasons why white Hispanics of certain ethnicities will uphold whiteness, and especially when you’re painting the entire community in a way that erases the experiences of the overwhelming majority of us who voted against 45, then we’ve got a problem. A big fucking problem.
Because although (thanks, Census!) there is not a lot of hard data in terms of which specifically ethnic/native backgrounds those Hispanics and Latinos who voted for 45 come from (and there’s a big problem with the fact that for years, some of checked white on the Census form; some of us still check white; and the problem isn’t only for the Census; it’s for most government forms for race since there is sometimes no other option for us because neither Latinx not Hispanic are races), here are a few facts:
- White Cubans differ tremendously from Afro-Cubans in terms of upholding whiteness. Therefore, the voting patterns for Cuban-majority cities differ from Mexican-majority cities (again, we’re talking about ethnicity not nationality) in the U.S.
- Mexicans know what the fuck is up. Except the light-skinned Mexicans from northern Mexican states might need to uphold whiteness. There’s that. They’re still self-haters in our book.
- Latinx people from Honduras or with a Honduran ethnic background have some shit to say about HRC’s policy about the Honduran coup (funnily enough, however, most of what we heard about Honduras was from white Jill Stein voters who got their information about the coup in Honduras straight from the GOP and Kremlin).
- Latinx people throughout Latin America have suffered not only from internal conflicts in which wealthy, U.S.-propped governments slaughter who they consider the lower-class people, often of indigenous descent, but also are fleeing due to U.S. imperialism which sees the U.S. government regularly invade countries and help destroy them.
- South America is also comprised of countries who have been at war with each other, and also have struggles within their communities, dealing with racism and colorism.
Anti-Latinx (specifically, anti-Mexican, mestizo, and Afro-Latinx) racism is a real thing within the Latinx community and a lot of it is straight-up anti-Blackness and colorism. Check out the Latin American anti-Black media racism and telenovas and how they portray light-skinned Latinx vs. dark-skinned Latinx.
So before you call bullshit on the Latino community, before you ask us why “the Hispanics” voted for 45, check yourself. Who are you talking about, exactly? The tejanos in Texas? The people whose heritage originate in El Salvador? The Dominican Republic? Guatemala? Columbia? Ecuador? Peru? Do we need to go on? Why are you pointing at us? We are aware of the issues within our own communities; why are you playing into the hands of 45 and his fellow oppressors?
Some of our ethnic communities are in conflict with each other; some of our ethnic communities have an investment in upholding white supremacy while others — the MAJORITY — have been fighting against white supremacy, colonialism, and the incarceration of our brown-skinned brothers and fathers and sons in the U.S. for a long fucking time.
One of us had the following to say about her family:
“Both my brother and my father, both dark-skinned Latinos, voted for Hillary. That these two men who still have machismo in them voted for a woman and were devastated when she lost — that means something to me. They were not blind to the problematic Clintons. Both of them have been pulled over for no reason (except they looked like someone the cops were looking for: Translation: they were brown) and have had police surround them and point their guns to them.
“My father was drafted into the Vietnam War and during his basic training in Texas in the mid-1960s, he encountered signs on the doors of restaurants and bars around the base: No Negroes. No Mexicans. No Dogs. He drank from the colored people’s fountain. Understand this: anti-Mexican racism is another manifestation of anti-Black racism.”
So next time you feel like saying some negative shit about the “Latino” community because we didn’t save you from 45, know this: We tried. No, we did not hit the numbers of Black women, who fucking rocked it, but most of us Latinas — 86% — tried. The ones who did NOT uphold white supremacy tried. The ones who do have interest in upholding white supremacy, being white-adjacent themselves like, for example the Latinx who do not have Hispanic last names: that group is an entirely different story. Cubans and Cuban-Americans are an entirely different story than Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, which is an entirely different story than … well, hopefully you get the idea by now.
As we enter into another administration of mass deportations and raids with the understanding that now “criminal” means pretty much whatever 45 wants it to mean, and with the understanding that most of those “bad hombres” are in fact, not bad at all and are from Mexico and Central America, we want you to show up and open your wallets like you did for the Muslim ban that horrible weekend. When we, your dark-skinned neighbors are deported en mass as part of the new deportation regime (do NOT whitesplain Obama to us and throw his deportations in our faces), we want you to step up.
Although, to be honest, we haven’t seen you all show up and open your wallets for the Movement for Black Lives, so we’re not holding our breaths you’ll show up for us. For us. For our families. For our neighbors. Four our classmates. We keep having the misfortune of seeing where you place us on your racial hierarchy.
We just want you to know that we see you.
*This is the collective product of women of color and allies, and this piece specifically comes from a Latinx voice