Editor’s note: Additional reporting and writing by Bianca Nieves. Original photo by Johnny Silvercloud.
**This article is being updated constantly to reflect new resources.
Silence is not an option.
The recent riots following their murders, and the consistent violence against Black people shows now isn’t the time to stay silent. Even though they weren’t Latinx, this is a problem that concerns our community, given that white supremacy is embedded in the fabric of our culture. It is a time to realize that though we’ve experienced colonialism and imperialism, we don’t all experience them in the same way.
Take the word “Latinx” or “Latinidad”, for example and the ongoing discussion on how it perpetuates an anti-Black and anti-Indigenous discourse; the recent arrest of CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez, which shows that no matter your credentials or background Black people are criminalized; or how the Latinx community tends to selectively consume and celebrate our Black ancestry and culture, but still stay complicit by ignoring that tío or abuela when they make racist comments during family gatherings.
At Emperifollá, we recognize that as a team of white-passing and non-Black Latinx women, it’s our responsibility to educate ourselves on the fight against systemic racism and white supremacy, take a step back, and recognize how we may unintentionally participate and benefit from it.
As journalist and activist, Ashlee Marie Peston says on her Instagram, the first step is to ask ourselves, “What can we truly do to yield tangible results and save black lives?” After posing this question ourselves, we rounded up some of the ways the non-Black Latinx community can help demand racial justice and encourage cross-racial solidarity.
- Step Back:
Don’t place your comfort above the needs of human lives. Get uncomfortable and start doing your research by reading articles, books, listening to podcasts, watching movies and series, etc. There are plenty of sites like Racial Equity Tools and accessible Google docs, like this one compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein, filled with anti-racism resources. From there, you can determine what are the next actionable steps.
- Breaking Down the Anti-blackness of Latinidad
- When it Comes to Latinidad, Who Is Included and Who Isn’t?
- Black Skin White Masks by Franz Fanon
- Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
- Intersectionality Matters! podcast Hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
- The Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe Moraga
- Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed Race Stories of Discrimination by Tanya Katerí Hernández
- Op-Ed: On the Need for Cross-Racial Solidarity in the Latino Community by Ecleen Luzmilla Caraballo
- A Time for Burning (1966)
If you have money to spare, one of the first steps can be donating to the following organizations. They are bailing out protesters, ending police violence, defending the rights of immigrants and refugees, and actively taking care of their communities.
- Black Visions Collective
- Black Lives Matter
- Centro de la Mujer Dominicana
- Marsha P. Johnson Institute
- Instituto Cultural Steve Biko
- Minnesota Freedom Fund*
- Louisville Community Bail Fund*
- Brooklyn Bail Fund*
*These organizations have shared that they’ve been overwhelmed with donations. To see which is your local bail fund network refer to this site. Additionally, you can support black-owned businesses
3. Speak Up:
Start getting uncomfortable and having conversations about race, privilege, and systemic violence with those closest to you. If you want to go beyond donating, you can follow organizations surrounding racial justice like Black Women’s Blueprint, Audre Lorde Project, Reclaim the Block, Boricua Resistance, Revista Étnica etc. Instead of re-sharing traumatizing videos of black people getting killed, share templates, emails, and phone numbers of your local government officials demanding accountability. Once again, before speaking up make sure you’re taking a step back, amplifying Black, Brown, Asian and Indigenous voices and actively working against falling back into the cycle of oppression. Last but not least, if you’re able-bodied and privileged enough, say ‘presente’ when organizations lead protests. If not, don’t worry, there are different roles you can take on as an ally.
As mentioned above, this is an ongoing conversation for us over at Emperifollá and our community, to continue dismantling white supremacy, combating racism and encouraging cross-racial solidarity within the Latinx community. Please feel free to comment below, slide into our social media DMs, or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.