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Anti-Blackness in The Latinx Community

 

Latinx is the non-gender binary term used to refer to Latinos while being gender inclusive. A common misconception is that Latino is a race when in actuality it’s an ethnicity. To be Latinx is to be of Latin American descent. The term is broad and includes a wide spectrum of people including white and black Latinxs and Hispanics.  According to Dictionary.com Anti-Blackness is defined as being resistant or antagonistic to black people or their values or objectives. Anti-Blackness in Latinx communities is due to preexisting colonial mindsets set upon us. In the colonial time period white colonists separated people of color into different categories in order to create and control a hierarchy set forth to oppress.  Ultimately, this social construct enforced artificial ideas of separation and prejudice on to people that if united could overthrow the power system set in place. Anti-Blackness affects the Latinx community because often times Latinx people with black ancestry refuse to be associated with that because they feel as though it degrades who they are as people. Anti-Blackness also plays a role in prejudice in the Latinx community because having antagonistic mindsets allows Latinx people to perpetuate stereotypes that harm members of their OWN community and the black community overall.

My experience with anti-blackness started close to home by literally happening in my home. I am a Puerto Rican woman,meaning my racial identity is a mix of Spanish,Black,and Taino (native American). I was raised in an multicultural household with a Black step-(second) father and Puerto Rican mother. Despite that, I have witnessed anti-black rhetoric in conversations between members of my Puerto Rican side of the family.  I have seen members of my family degrade the black community and deny their connection to it. I have seen other members of the latinx community create a harsh division between “us” and “them” as if we are not all oppressed and dealing with similar social issues. Growing up in an multicultural household made me sensitive to these comments,discussions and remarks. My sensitivity led me into being the voice of reason in these situations with both my family and members of my community. However, being the voice of reason is not always easy to do. This disconnect created between myself and others did not stop me from openly addressing and challenging their ignorance. Although these topics are often sensitive in nature, it is important that this issue is still discussed at length in order to do away these racial misconceptions. Ultimately they should be seen as learning opportunities, creating room for growth and reflection

Anti-Blackness is prevalent in society largely due to the history of oppression inflicted on people of color and can be see in our country’s judicial system, the media and day to day interaction. Despite the progress we have made, we need to continue to grow into a society that respects all people regardless of their differences. We are currently in a state of disarray with an openly ignorant, racist, and sexist president. People of color experience countless acts of police brutality and racial discrimination. This is evident in our school systems, which often times cater towards neighborhoods with high incomes. We grow up hating our physical features and ancestry. Yet, none of these issues can be fixed without UNITY amongst communities of color. However when we do not address these issues, we forfeit the  ability to make informed decisions for the greater good of our people. Consequently, we lose control of our own identity, and fall right back into the cycle of prejudice and separation by race. Therefore making us no better than our oppressors.

 

 

Miranda is a Junior Mass Media Arts Major Print Journalism Concentration at the illustrious Clark Atlanta University. Hailing from Chicago, IL, Miranda is looking to write for the politically conscious, fashion-forward, and everyone in between. Feel free to connect with her via social media as well as through LinkedIn!
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