Another Puerto Rican man was murdered over the holiday. You've heard his name before, it was Hector. (In fact, Hector was one of more than 20 who were murdered in Puerto Rico.) When the news broke, the stories coming out were tearful and full of prayers, until Monday rolled around. I guess everyone was done mourning. By then the commentary had turned into vicious criticism and victim blaming. Crime is about violence, power and control. Clearly, no one deserves it. Murder is never justified.
Victim blaming is holding the target of a violent act partially or wholly accountable for the atrocities committed to them. One example of victim blaming is telling a rape victim they should not have had an alcoholic drink. Another example is attributing the type of clothing Trayvon Martin wore as provocation for murder.
Victim blaming is harmful for many reasons but primarily because it perpetuates the culture of violence Latinos live in. It lowers a person's status in society to where they are no longer a complete human being deserving of love and compassion. It completely disregards human suffering.
If anyone is to blame it is everyone who never lifted a finger or their voice to empower members of their community. In this scenario we are all victims as well as perpetrators. There are countless other Hectors out there right now struggling to stay in school or get a job in Puerto Rican neighborhoods all across the country. If you have the guts to see the bigger picture you will discover Hector's exist in every single Latino community.
Boys and girls growing up trapped in the cycle of a culture who at the very least condones violence by continuing to ignore it. An environment where young boys have to prove themselves physically capable. In Hector's case he was jailed but then society turned around and rewarded him for being a great fighter.
The very idea that success and failure result from individual effort rather than social circumstance is a cop out for lack of community building and involvement. This toxic way of thinking leads to the blame and punishment of impoverished persons for their lack of success. If you've ever used the internet you have a clear picture of how we are all connected. Hector could be your brother, cousin, son in law, or your neighbor. We all know Hector.
But wait, the US government gives a free equal basic education to everyone. Wrong.
Plenty of people use the excuse that they just don't have the time. Funny how those same individuals are ready reap the rewards of such a commitment without putting in the work. The real world does not function that way. The only way Latinos in America will thrive is when we unite and together take action. It takes involvement, compassion, hard work and a team of people to create positive change. Let's put the ideology of individualism to rest once and for all. A better life requires making sure everyone has the resources to be the best they can be. Begin making a difference today by reaching out to local schools and community centers or be prepared to mourn the next Hector.
Great points. I think you can take the old cliche that Camacho was pulled from the streets to box and live a high profile life, but the streets were never pulled from him. I have known several Hector Camachos in my life that had enormous talent (including fighting talent), but never caught whatever break Camacho did to get him in the ring and they are indeed the incarcerated, unemployed, and the dead. I think the victim blaming in this is more reflective of people’s own confusion over how somebody who at one time had a lot could die such a death that in terms of dignity was well below that of the mostcommon individual. When you beat the odds to make it to where he did, we don’t consider the odds that there are still working against him. So, yes, the proper response to this is to take this high profile case and remind ourselves of the frailty and lack of immunity to harm that exists within us.
[…] By Bella Vida Letty, Latino Rebels […]
[…] movement against Puerto Rico's tragic escalation in crime. (This is just a few weeks after Puerto Rican boxing legend Hector "Macho" Camacho was killed in Puerto Rico by gunshots.) In the following clip below, La Comay does her classic barrage of innuendos, suggesting that […]
[…] the movie I rooted for him to succeed for all the little boys and girls caught up in the cycle of our violent oppressive society, for those who never received the awareness, education, resources or tools to break free and the […]
After read a couple of the articles on your website these few days, and I truly like your style of blogging. I tag it to my favorites internet site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site also and let me know what you think.