AFRICANGLOBE – People talk so much about Latinos denying their Blackness, but bring up the term “White Latino” and you will see an extreme reaction, visceral attack from White Latinos themselves. Tactics such as (and I’m pretty sure you’ve read this a lot from racist Americans): Stop talking about race, Latinos aren’t racist, White and Black Latinos are still treated the same, your language is divisive. They love to pretend they don’t enjoy privileges afforded to them when they identify as Latino or Hispanic.
Embracing Latino or Hispanic has not benefitted Indigenous folks, Chicanos or Afro-Latinos because it has been robbed from the rest of us by white Latinos for their own agenda: money and political powers with brands, sponsors, the government, publications, grants, you name it.
We are here to demand to be included in Latinoness and not just with a label so we can be targeted for political and monetary gain: with positions in the government, with positions as brand ambassadors, with positions in both the film industry and TV networks. With jobs.
How can a people who know so little of what it means to be part of a majority represent so many of us? Can you really speak with authority about lack of diversity and discrimination when you have hardly experienced it yourself? There is a price of privilege and that price is having blind spots. You can represent as long as you acknowledge the disparity and relinquish some of that privilege. How do you do that? Recommend a mestizo or an Afro-Latino to a job within your industry. Hire a Chicano and not just for the jobs you think they’re qualified for. Leave your biases behind. Stop thinking that people are comprised of both negative and positive stereotypes, but as fully complex human beings. By not believing that we don’t also fall for the colorblind, merit, and bootstrap myths when it comes to judging our own.
Until then, I will continue to point out that that having a panel, workforce, or board full of White Hispanics is not representation of the majority of Hispanics here. The Latino representation in the States seem to be a microcosm of the racial and social disparity in Latin America. Which only solidifies my point of White Hispanic being ill-equipped to speak for the rest of us. At least when they’re the only ones who are considered for jobs and the rest of us as victims (or thugs) of a system so they can milk it for their own benefit.
The privileges of identifying as Hispanic are not trickling down to us. I want to see more Latinos in film, TV, publications, the government, getting grants for their orgs, and not just White Latinos. Add more sazón to the mix and then you can call it a true representation of what it means to be Latino.
By: César Vargas
Brazil An Inconvenient History