Dear colleagues in the Latinx Community,
If you really want to be an ally to the Black Community and/or if you don’t understand the complexity of racism please read this…
I will lead with this…
Racism is not simply reduced to hating a person of color. Having Black friends doesn’t absolve you from having racist inclinations.
Hence, I respectfully challenge you to ask yourselves the following questions so they may lead you to have profound realizations regarding the indoctrination you may have been exposed to through your families, cultural norms, the media, and your own personal experiences.
Would you consider dating a person of color? If you wouldn’t, why is that? Is it because it’s not your “preference”? But is it really about preference or the fact that you’ve been taught that lighter or white skin is beautiful and that it’s been ingrained in your head to “mejorar la raza” (better your race)?
Do you really find Black people beautiful? Do you make comments such as: “For a Black person they are beautiful,” “If I was into Black guys I’d date him.” Do you downplay the amount of melanin in someone’s skin so you can feel comfortable with their “Blackness”? “They’re not really Black…they’re ‘mulato,’ they’re ‘Dominican,’ “they’re more like a golden color…”
Do you allow your family members to make racist remarks in front of you? Do you correct them or do you dismiss it because “they will never change?” Do you allow others to make condescending remarks and remain silent? Because silence my dear friend is complicity…
Parents…do you buy Black dolls for your children? Do you watch movies / TV series with your kids that have an all-Black cast? Do you encourage your kids to befriend kids of color? Would it upset you if your kid married a person of color? Do you think that if your kid marries a person of color their kids would be “confused”? (PS this is a segregationist notion which is racism’s ugly cousin)
Do you know why Malcom X was so necessary? Do you think he’s an extremist because he preached “by any means necessary” on behalf of a community getting killed, tortured and lynched? Do you know who Louis Farrakhan, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale are? Do you know what they contributed to the community?
Have you ever cared to learned about Black history? In my high school they didn’t teach us Black or Latinx history. And why not? Is it because only the history of our colonizers is important? Because their skin color is closer to yours? Because you’ve been told you are descendent of White Europeans and you are superior?
Are you scared deep down inside of Black people in general? When you pass a Black person by do you have obtrusive thoughts they may steal from you? Would you be more scared if a Black person walked past you down a dark alley vs a White person? Do you realize that this is part of a larger issue in how they’ve been portrayed in general through media?
I encourage you all to sit with this. Change is only going to come when we start really giving a shit and removing the ugly roots of racism that are transgenerational and run deep in our subconscious. We have to do better. It’s everyone’s problem. The revolution must be televised!
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