By Mark Travis Rivera, Fox News Latino
How much longer can we, one of the fastest growing minority groups in America, pretend that racism is not an issue within the Latino community?
To quote my friend, scholar, and poet Alysia Harris, “Some of us speak English because we were born and raised in America. Some of us are racist because we were born and raised in America…you think inside a racist hegemony. It is an unconscious choice even once politically correct language is acquired because racism is a part of your upbringing.”
Oxford Dictionary defines racism as the following: “Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” I contend that racism is rooted in privilege and power, and when asserted, is meant to create fear and to disempower an individual.
Often those who identify as Afro-Latino or as both black and Latino are treated as outsiders in our communities because many Latinos, in their assimilation to white American culture, carry the belief that being black means you are dangerous, that having a darker complexion means you are less.
As the issue of immigration continues to be a pressing one, as we continue to advocate for the needed reform, we must understand and acknowledge how varying shades of our brown and black skin plays a role in the anti-immigration debate. That while some of us have the privilege of being white, others do not, and racism is not just an issue for African Americans.
Some Latinos can walk into an establishment and not feel as if they are being watched because of their skin color. Some Latinos can turn on the television and see themselves showcased as the ideal beauty (i.e Jennifer Lopez and Shakira) but it’s a privilege to not be seen as a threat or less than beautiful. I am left wondering why the issue of assimilation, colorism, and white supremacy within the Latino community continues to often go unspoken of within our communities.
To read the full story: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/opinion/2014/06/13/opinion-often-unspoken-racism-within-latino-community/