*(Via Business Insider) – The fight against racism in the United States is often framed as a battle between two sides. White and non-white. Oppressor and oppressed.
It’s a myth I bought into for much of my life. As a non-Black Peruvian who grew up in a predominantly white and non-Black Latinx suburb of Southern California, I believed that white people were the only ones who could be racist, while people of color stood united in our oppression.
But when 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in 2012, my understanding of this false alliance crumbled.
Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, is a non-Black Latino of Peruvian descent. He is joined by Philando Castile’s killer, Jeronimo Yanez, a non-Black Latino of Mexican descent. Before Sandra Bland died in her jail cell in 2015, she was handcuffed by a non-black Latina police officer.
These people are not simply bad apples, nor are they anomalies. They sit at the far end of the spectrum of anti-Blackness in many Latinx communities. They are connected to the anti-Black statements made by our abuelas and tíos, of the images we see in telenovelas and Spanish-language news, and of the racial caste system Latin American countries were built on.
Now, non-Black Americans are reckoning with our anti-Blackness yet again due to the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.
As the US becomes less white and expands into infinite hues of brown, non-Black people of color must understand our role in upholding white supremacy and anti-Blackness. As the fastest-growing ethnic group in the US, Latinx people, in particular, must acknowledge the legacy of anti-Blackness in our communities.
The first place we need to start undoing this white supremacy is at home.
Read the rest of this opinion piece by Canela López at Business Insider.