Anti-Blackness in the Latinx community is a real thing.
Actress Gina Rodriguez’s 2019 controversial racial slur isn’t the first indication of this.
Writer Diana Lugo-Martinez in her 2017 Medium article “What does Addressing Anti-Blackness in the Latinx Community Look Like in the Age of Trump?” writes, “calling out anti-Blackness in the Latinx community means acknowledging that Latinx folks can be anti-Black, perpetuate anti-Black racism, and can be white supremacists…”
It’s not exactly the easiest thing to acknowledge. Matter of fact it’s not easy at all.
The relations between Black and Brown people have historically been plagued by intense competition of relevancy and inclusion. It appears one can’t exist without the other. This is shown in comparisons between Martin Luther King Jr and Cesar Chavez. This is shown in the everyday experience of being an Afro-Latino.
Being a minority is a struggle across the board. However, the experiences of being Black and being Latino are not monolithic or synonymous. Then why is it encouraged to view them as such? Historically, both experiences were ushered in by two separate types of unthinkable hate. Does one or both still exist today?
Why or why not?
Whatever conclusion is drawn, in communities largely populated by several classes of minorities, it is a constant battle to be heard and given a mutually exclusive platform. Especially in communities where Black people and Latinx people live.
Lugo-Martinez argues, “Calling out anti-Blackness in the Latinx community means challenging our families to see the harm they are inflicting on their children, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends and community by posturing oneself as better than Black people, othering our own existence, and reliving the trauma of dictators and colonizers from the Caribbean and Latin America that taught us to hate ourselves.” Anti-blackness is nothing short of the colonial agenda that ushered in pseudo-scientific theories such as eugenics.
The same case could be made when unpacking the “one drop” rule in which the examination of how Black a person is according to heritage. Actress Gina Rodriguez also subscribed to this idea when she downplayed her racial slur by stating her father is Black which makes her Afro Latino. By claiming her Afro Latino identity, Rodriguez felt she had permission to say the “N” word.
This is a common habit of individuals who are not Hispanic and comes from other countries that fall under Latin America.
Is this the same as cultural appropriation? Not exactly.
Is it as problematic as cultural appropriation? To a certain extent.
Could the argument be made that perhaps cultural appropriation be the same as anti-blackness in the Latinx community? The argument can be made that it is a symptom because objectification of Black culture while showing complete disregard for Black people is, in fact, anti-Blackness.