*I think the problem is that in the U.S. we see racism as a black/white issue, and we see immigration as a border thing, when in fact they are global issues. What’s happening in the Dominican Republic has a direct relationship with events in the U.S. because racism and immigration are universal. We shouldn’t act like it doesn’t affect us. VL
Antiblackness has run deep in the Latino community as long as there’s been a Latino community. Much like the wider American mythology of a glorious melting pot, we love waxing faux-etic about the multilayered fabric of our identity: We are a tapestry; we are a taco, a mofongo, a paella — so many flavors!In truth, we are a shattered family, a house deeply divided by white supremacy and colorism. It’s as true in Latin America — yes, even Cuba — as it is in the United States.
“… government buses are taking to the streets of Santo Domingo to detain and deport black Dominicans.”
Watching the news can make you feel like racism against blacks worldwide is on the rise, but what we’re really seeing is the hard work of dedicated activists demanding that the world pay attention, often for the first time, to ongoing legacies of police violence, cultural appropriation, mass displacement. There is nothing new about state violence against black life. And these are truths we all need to address directly in order to heal and move forward.
Meanwhile, we’re still stuck saying “black and Latino” as if they are mutually exclusive categories. Almost every facet of Latino culture that has exploded as a global pop culture phenomenon — from tango to mambo, cha cha cha, and salsa to bachata and reggaeton — has been rooted in black culture, even if the faces we associate with them aren’t usually black ones.
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