North Texas Daily

Colorism and racism in the Latinx community is prevalent

Colorism and racism in the Latinx community is prevalent

Colorism and racism in the Latinx community is prevalent
July 12
19:00 2019

Racism and colorism in the Latinx community is just as prevalent as it is in white communities. It’s not always overt but it’s there. It’s there when your Tía praises how light-complected you are. It’s definitely there when you know your parents wouldn’t like it if you dated a Black man. It’s there when your family calls every Asian person they see a “Chino.” It’s in your face when your family is playing lotería and the “negrito” card comes up and someone says the n-word openly. It’s more than there if you think not being white makes it okay for you to say the n-word.

It’s there, and we as a community need to stop giving ourselves or our families a pass. It’s unacceptable. It’s an ugly relic of the Spanish caste system and colonialism that needs to be left behind in the past where it belongs. There are Afro-Mexicans. There are Afro-Latinos. There are Asian Latinos. There are Indigenous Latinos. Shouldn’t they be treated with the same respect that you expect to be treated with?

Pointing out the ugly history of racism not only in Mexico but all of Latin America pisses people off. Why? Because they know it’s wrong but are too stubborn to change or admit it. But amongst all the other problems we have in life that can’t be fixed, why not change the ones that can be?

Sure, change can be hard. It can be difficult to call yourself and your family out on the racism and colorism that seems to be embedded in our culture but that shouldn’t stop you. We should always be striving to be better versions of ourselves. Stop saying racial slurs in English or Spanish. Read up on slavery in Latin America and what role our Spanish ancestors played in it. Watch videos about racist stereotypes. Learn to recognize them in the media you consume as well as your daily life. Educate your family. The conversation may be awkward and difficult but that’s nothing compared to what Black people in the US, Latin America and the world, experience on a day-to-day basis.

Don’t allow your families or yourselves to perpetuate this idea of “fixing the race.” There’s nothing wrong with us other than the racism, sexism, classism, colorism and homophobia plaguing it. All of which are things that we should be working to fix, that we need to fix.

Educate yourself on the struggles of indigenous peoples in Latin America, and stop telling everyone your ancestors were Maya or Mexica (Aztec) because dude you know that’s not true and you sound like an idiot saying it.

Stop invalidating the struggles of Afro-Latinos, Black people and African Americans. Instead of asking why Black people “get (x)” and recognize the fact that turning on Black people for things they as a community fought for is racist. This isn’t and shouldn’t be a competition between minorities. We shouldn’t be fighting each other for a seat at the table. It’s not the fault of Black people that the (majority white) film industry doesn’t value us or our stories. It’s not the fault of Black people that when Latinx are shot by cops in the street there’s little to no media coverage. We as communities should be banding together to fight the systems of oppression that hurt us all.

We need to evolve as a community not because it’s “PC” but because all people regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation should be treated with dignity and respect that they are intrinsically owed as human beings.

Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon

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Emilia Capuchino

Emilia Capuchino

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