If there is ever a concrete example that perfectly crystalizes the complexity of anti-blackness Latinidad in the United States, it is the following exchange between In The Thick co-host (and Latino Rebels founder) Julio Ricardo Varela and Mike German, a former FBI undercover agent who infiltrated the white nationalist movement and appeared on In the Thick with Julito and co-host Maria Hinojosa (yeah, THAT Maria Hinojosa). Here is the exchange about how white supremacists feel about white Latinos (it happens near the end of this week’s ITT podcast):
Julito: Mine’s a tough question and it’s actually for Mike, because being Latino is not a race. You know, when you’re Latino, it’s an ethnicity. So I wonder, what’s your experience in this movement and what you’ve covered, when people talk about Latinos… how do they feel about Latinos that are white or that are European? Are they part of the mix?
Mike German: So I spent that first investigation in Southern California, and a lot of the animus was toward Mexican and South American immigrants, but interestingly in the movement, if you trace your lineage to Spain, you were good. So for anyone who had some Latin background, as long as you said, ‘Oh yeah, my family is from Spain,’ you’re good to go.
Julito: Oh my God, this is like my Puerto Rican family…
Maria: Like my Mexican family!
Julito: Wait a minute, he’s good, he’s from Spain!
Mike: When you get down to southern Italy and Sicily, they get a little nervous, but otherwise Italians are fine too.
You can listen to the entire conversation, “Undercover With White Supremacists,” below: