5 Steps Latinos Can Take to Combat Anti-Blackness

5 Steps Latinos Can Take to Combat Anti-Blackness


Andrew S. Vargas

We are all reeling from the events of this past week. The deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police have become an all-too-familiar narrative in our public life, but each time we are confronted with these images it dredges up centuries of pain weighing on our collective conscience. Latinos of color acutely relate to the struggle African Americans face against their constant dehumanization by our country’s law enforcement institutions. It is a struggle that we often share on the streets, in the courtroom, and in our mainstream media. But we would be mistaken to assume that our experience of injustice is comparable.

The culture of the United States has been built on a racial binary designed to exclude and oppress the descendants of Africans brought into this country against their will. Anti-blackness is not the occupation of hateful individuals, rather it is embedded within the very notion of race in the US, and reflected in all of its institutions. As Latinos – which is, itself a designation of ethnicity, not race – we often find ourselves struggling to stake out a place within this rigid racial landscape, while dealing with our own internalized biases and societal pressures to assimilate into whiteness…

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