The Latinx community has been standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Yet, some feel it is quite hypocritical since anti-Blackness is intimately ingrained in our cultures. In fact, some believe Latinxs should focus on the movement against anti-Blackness within many Latinx communities before focusing on BLM. So is there anything that can be done for the Latinx community to be a better ally to our Black community? Yes.
Why should we care?
Something that is often missed is that under the Latinx umbrella, we have members who identify as Black, may be Afro-Latino, or mixed. Colorism within our own community exists with latinxs with darker skin color report more discrimination experiences than latinxs with lighter skin color. "No way that exists," you might be thinking. But it's true! For example, while I've experiences racism as a Latina, I benefit from light-skin privilege and being able to pass as white... so what I have experienced is nothing compared to my friends and family who have a darker complexion than me. Colorism is a form of racism that happens globally, but is so complex within the Latinx community because we cover the entire skin-color spectrum.
What is "true allyship"?
Many Latinxs wondered how they could be an effective ally to the Black community during the continued racial reckoning we are seeing around our world. Is it possible? Yes. But allyship looks different depending on your definition.
One great example was "Blackout Tuesday," a campaign that pushed for a day of reflection from music artists and labels in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd (an unarmed black man who was killed by police in Minneapolis). Countless Instagram users uploaded solid black squares in solidarity and added a #BlackLivesMatter hashtag while others did that as well as attending protests, posting countless stories and posts, signing countless petitions, etc. So who is the "correct" ally?
Everyone sees allyship differently. The first person may be an ally to some, while the second may be the "correct ally" to others. Personally, if you are actually supporting Black people and Black individuals on a personal level - and what you do for social media platforms isn't performative - then you are a good ally in my book.
SOME ACTIONS TO TAKE AS AN ALLY
The bottom line
If you do nothing else, please, just listen. Listen to what those who are not like you -- Black people, POCs, members of the LGBTQQIAAP (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Allies, Asexual and Pansexual) community, differently abled folxs, immigrants, etc. — have to say. Listen to what they need. That's the bare minimum you can do.
the world around us is very racist and anti-Black.
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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