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Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2003 at 10:02 PM
in response to Dishonest Abe's response to my earlier post about the Latinos and racism. I never doubted that there are Latinos who are racist or give preferential treatment to other Latinos. Please, I even alluded to that in my piece. But to judge Latinos in general based on two traffic incidents in Latino-dominant L.A. and based on Rafael Perez, come on. Do I judge all European Americans based on Trent Lott, David Duke, Jessie Helms, et al. Come on now, your liberal "white guilt," as Tim Wise would put it, is seeping through.
Maybe you should pick up a copy of "How the Irish Became White" or read the work of Ronald Takaki, which shows how the legacy of racial preferential treatment has a long history in this country, and undoubtably some Latinos are not immune to it. But we're talking about L.A. here, where Latinos are becoming the majority and
may have alot of spite based on a history of state and Anglo oppression, from the very founding of Calfornia to
the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943, to Operation Wetback, to the anti-immigrant hysteria of the 1990s and present.
And please, talking about Rafael Perez, a Black-Mexican (the last Mexican governor of California, Pio Pico Rivera was also a Black-Mexican), come on, we're talking about an individual who is a part of a system of
oppression (i.e. the LAPD), not a race of oppression. If these incidents happened in Simi Valley or
Orange County, or even the aforementioned Whitey-er, I mean Whittier, do you think they would have the
same outcome. Would they have the same outcome up north in Ukiah, Idaho, Montana, the South,
Kansas, etc. So please, do not judge based on these incidents.
Yes, there is racism in the Latino community based on the internalized class and race issues that stem
all the way from colonization. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the indigenous people of this land had
no concept of race, the Spanish and Anglo Saxons introduced it. Yes, now in Mexico there is a problem
in that many are in denial that racism exists in the country at all, when it does, especially toward Native
People and Mexicans of African descent, but this gets obscured by the de facto classism that is perpetuated
by Mexico's upper class and the government.
I never said Latinos couldn't be racist, just that to conceive of a "hispanic KKK" is ridiculous. Mecha never
burned crosses in people's front yards, burned churchs, hung people from trees (the KKK and romanticized
Texas Rangers did that), nor burned entire communities in Oklahoma (and that wasn't even the KKK, just
pseudo-Christian, law-abiding white people).
As for invoking Marx, please, as a red man in skin color I am sympathetic to such ideologies, but they
cannot transcend racism in a white supremacist society. Find out about how people of Arab and African
descent are treated in Russia. Castro's Cuba also had problems with racist preferential treatment for
light-skinned Cubanos in its infancy, but has transcended that because they have transcended communism
(for the good or bad, you decide).
I'm all for doing away with racism amongst Latinos and whites, but I can't do it alone until European Americans, including the white liberals on the IMC and at KPFK (where a very prominent program
director told me about how even some white liberals have serious anti-immigrant issues).
And to clarify the majority-minority perspective I mentioned, even if Latinos do become the largest ethnic
group it won't really mean anything if they don't have political power. And they don't when people like
Gonzalez et. al that I mentioned don't do anything for the community except suck up to bush and
send Latinos to war.
Sorry to make you conscious of your white privilege, or how you feel you are losing it.
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