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Are Latinos Racist?

Over the last two years Glocally Newark has been following the emergence of and growing awareness of race in the latino community.  Lets first say up-front, we are not suggesting that all racist.  From the discussion of Afro-Colombianas, Afro-Cubans to Dominican and Haitian disputes.  Are Latinos racist? Earlier this year the “Dominican Constitutional Court’s decision stripped tens of thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands, of Dominicans of Haitian descent of their nationality, violating what many in the world consider fundamental human rights. Many Carribean Latinos have been taught that in the Latino community that there is no racism because they acknowledge a mixer, of Spaniards (colonist), Tianos (natives), and Black (slaves), still some will argue in United States its solely about national origin that determines Latino affiliation.

However, with the most recent incidents, this notion is now being tested.  As a lynching just a month in Dominican Republic illustrates, when both ”Haitian and Dominican organizations in New York rally at the Consulate of the Dominican Republic in late  Feb. to protest against the lynching of a Haitian man Henry Claude-Jean “Hanging” in the Dominican Republic and followed by the burning of a Haitian flag was burned in his town of Santiago, Dominican Republic. And news headline of now Rodner Figueroa  fired from Univision after saying that Michelle Obama looks like someone from the cast of “Planet of the Apes.”  Which as recent as yesterday, is demanding his job back.

Complex and rarely discussed opening, even amongst family members racism and discrimination against.  Acknowledge by  the recent establishment of the Afro-Latino forum  a New York, New Jersey, and now Pennsylvania organization, taking on this topic head on.  Most recently they conducted a conference on Race and Racial Identity, and the challenges of being both Latino and of African descent.The reality of race discrimination in Latino communities are emerging to be real and vibrant. We have cover stories of discrimination within families.  How family members with darker skin are picked on ostracized, and marginalized for having darker  ”African” features. Afro-Latinos are beginning to speak out against a long held treatment of dark complexion people in the latin community.

The complexity of self identification of being “Black” in the latin community.  Not to mention the institution structures the forbid you to describe your self as a Black latino.  Last week I applied for a new position and after applying you are asked to complete optional description of sex and race.  When I looked at the options,  I was amazed,  surprised and never paid  much attention.  You can, check White (not hispanic), Black (not hispanic) Hispanic, More then one race (not hispanic), and no combination.  You can not be Black and Hispanic.  So okay you ask why does this matter.  This information is used in diversity targets for a corporation, further the government uses this data along with Census data to fund and distribute resources.

Does racism against in the Latino community? Such a conversation was published by journalists and NBC News Latino contributor Sandra Guzmán, and her response to Rodner Figueroa comments about Michelle Obama.  She writes, “One summer day, I was 14 and on top of the world. I’d just been accepted to represent my high school in a youth political convention at Rider University in my home state of New Jersey. My best friend and I were walking home, laughing and eating ice cream, when we came across my friend’s father, a black Ecuadorian immigrant. The dad sized me up and down and said that I would be a lot prettier if I didn’t have that “African” nose. What would compel an adult to say that to a young resplendent teen was beyond me. My shock and hurt were physically palpable; my buddy stood up to his father and chastised his ignorance. I cried myself to sleep that night. At 18, I had saved enough money and at 19, I got a nose job.


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Category: DR News |

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Last updated January 21, 2018 at 12:31 AM
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