It’s only normal that the events of the past few days make us sad, angry, worried. It’s not because we think racism in the US is something recent, as many in the Hispanic community sadly know. Us Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans know too well we’ve been the target of our own share of racism from everywhere in our schools, streets and other places.
The gruesome video of George Floyd reminds us not only of what we know is out there, but of how often these situations happen – Floyd joins a list of other folks like Michael Brown, Eric Garner and so many others. The fact that it’s coming from those in charge of protecting us makes it all the more unsettling.
No one living in this country should look away from the reality of the endemic, institutionalized racism that runs deep in society. Much less us immigrants of color. We need to stand together with the Black community, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because many of us live the same reality. The Mexa community here and back in Mexico is a diverse one. Latinx skin comes in all colors and racists don’t ask for a passport. All people of color is the same to them.
Latino men and boys, Black women and girls and Native American men, women and children are also killed by police at higher rates than their white peers.LA Times
For some of us coming from Mexico or with Mexican ancestors, with darker skin and/or traces of indigenous looks, the issue may also take us back to our own country. The issue of racism seems even more complex to us because some have had to endure it coming from Americans and other Mexicans equally. Words like “Indio”, “Gato”, “Negrito”, are well known staples of the classism and racism in certain sectors of our own culture. Some carried from the Spanish conquest, then exacerbated due to economic and unequal development in the different regions and sectors of our economy. Because we’ve lived with it, it doesn’t catch us by surprise when we come to the US. I guess we expect it, but we shouldn’t be complacent with it.
Today, we stand with all people of color here in the United States and everywhere against social injustice. We want… no, we need for racism to be denounced, to be reprimanded, to be abolished. Sure, it’s not going to happen over night, some of us may not live to see it. But we still need to call it out and we need to stand together, regardless of nationality, race or tone of skin. Black lives matter. People of color matter.