An Open Letter to My Hispanic Brothers and Sisters

Sep 22, 2018
1:38 pm
Originally published at Medium

There are many cultural differences between Hispanic people based on where we’re from. No white folks, we aren’t all “Mexican” so stop it.

I’m Cuban (obviously) and aside from speaking Spanish, there aren’t many cultural similarities that we share with Hispanics from other regions.

We all have menu items we share, like Arroz con Pollo (chicken and rice) but we all have our own versions of those dishes. We’re all different. But in many ways, we are all the same.

The way our parents raised us, the way we are disciplined, the morals and values instilled in us, and not being afraid to stand up for what we believe.

And we fight. Boy, do we fight.

So I find myself a little dumbfounded when I see Hispanic folks taking sides with racist wypipo and echoing the sentiments of white supremacy.

It’s quite sickening.

I see a lot of this nonsense surrounding the issue of locking kids in cages because of Donald Trump’s zero tolerance policy. Put in place by none other than King Keebler, Jeff Sessions.

A lot of you folks have gone crazy on social media regurgitating the words of neo-nazis, white nationalists and the alt-right.

In other words, racists.

You are repeating the talking points of racists.

It’s the same nonsense that has been spewed by the Ku Klux Klan since the 1920’s and beyond. We were all “Mexicans” back then too.

Here’s the thing. Being called a Mexican by ignorant ass wypipo doesn’t really bother me beyond denying the culture of fellow Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and every other unique culture represented by our diverse heritage. It shouldn’t bother you either.

But make no mistake. When racists talk shit about Mexicans they are talking about all of us.

You and I.

Regardless of where you were born.

We are, for all intents and purposes, people of color. A term used to describe any non-white person. It’s a term that I accept because it unites us with other cultures and races in the fight against injustice and inhumanity. It’s something that gives all of us unprecedented power against the tyranny of evil men. Against the white supremacist State, we call home. America.

The United States was built by people of color. Sure wypipo like to imagine, in their feeble, racist little minds, that they are the ones who built this country. But we all know that they would have never survived back then and they would starve to death now if it wasn’t for people of color. We are all the backbone of this country.

The thing is, we have more in common with the indigenous people of this land than anyone else. I myself, have learned of my Taíno ancestry. Which by all accounts, makes me a Native American. It’s no secret that Hispanics also share common ancestry with Africans, Europeans, and Asians.

So what gives, yo?

How can any of you find solace in aligning with the ideals of white supremacists’ anti-immigrant rhetoric?

We aren’t as far detached as many wypipo are from our immigrant heritage. My parents were immigrants in the 1960’s. I’m sure most of you reading this have similar immigrant stories from your parents or grandparents. When you hear anti-immigrant rhetoric, you should be as appalled as anyone else.

Do you understand the fears that your abuelita must feel when she hears about people’s citizenship status being revoked for something trivial?

I hope so.

It’s quite likely that the majority of the folks reading this work around a lot of white folks, likely in a skilled trade or maybe even an office. Gaining acceptance from your co-workers is something we all strive for, but to what end?

Do you find yourself agreeing with your counterparts because you are legal?

Do they come at you talking shit about migrants and say things like, “I’m not racist” and “you’re cool because you’re legal” or “why don’t they just come here the right way?”

If so, dare them to explain exactly what the “right way” is. Chances are they don’t have a clue. In their minds, there’s a giant mass of brown people crossing the border unfettered, with little-to-no resistance. That’s obviously bullshit and we all know it. In fact, more than 40% of undocumented immigrants have overstayed their visas. Some are students, some are tourists, some are here on expired work visas.

They aren’t all “Mexicans” either.

I know. Shocker, right? Not really.

So next time your “American” friend or co-worker mentions “Messicans,” ask them about the countless Europeans who are here illegally. Chances are they’ll respond with some shit along the lines of “them too.”

But then ask yourself why it is that they never bitch about them.

The ones with no melanin.

The pale ones.

The fact is that most of this anti-immigrant rhetoric is one in the same as the nonsense that has been used for over 100 years in America. It’s fueled by what some on the far-right call “white extinction anxiety” while the rest of America calls it what it is.

White fragility.

White fragility is a term to describe the unfounded fears of wypipo becoming a minority because of a cultural shift in the United States. It’s the same bullshit that has been thrown around since colonizers started taking our land, enslaving our people, and trying to erase our history and our cultures.

It’s nonsense.

When I see my brothers and sisters spewing some of the vile and hateful rhetoric of white supremacists, I call that shit out because you are participating in the white-washing of our culture and history.

I’m as American as the next person, but I honor and celebrate my culture, my people, and my heritage. My family comes in every color known to man. We are White, Black, Brown, Asian, and even Jewish. Yes, Jewish.

Crazy, right?

Not really. That’s just how diverse our culture truly is.

I want all of my people to start paying really close attention to what’s really happening out here. Our people are having their citizenship questioned for nothing more than the color of our skin or the spelling of our last names.

Hispanics are being threatened not just by racists in public for as little as speaking Spanish, but by our own government at the hands of wannabe fascists.

If you find yourself still supporting anything relating to stopping immigration by this or any previous administration, you might want to check yourself.

Right now in America, none of us are truly safe. We even have our brothers and sisters birth certificates being questioned.

Yeah, it’s like that.

These racist wypipo spouting anti-immigrant rhetoric don’t want you in the United States any more than they want “Mexicans” crossing the border.

What do you think will happen if they get what they want and stop bitching about immigrants?

I’ll tell you.

They’re coming for you.

Instead of upholding the pillars of white supremacy in America, try enjoying your culture, your food, your heritage, and keep your family’s rich history and legacy alive.

Because at the end of the day, we’re spicy people who use seasonings. We don’t boil our chicken, and we sure as hell don’t put raisins in our potato salad.

¿Entiendes?

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Arturo Tha Cuban is front-line anti-racism activist, essayist and upcoming author who advocates for equality, justice and accountability. He tweets from @ExtremeArturo.

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