WASHINGTON, D.C. — Protests across the United States demanding an end to police killings of Black Americans have gone on for nearly a week, starting shortly after George Floyd died at the hands of the Minneapolis police on May 25. Now, organizations like Mijente are demanding that the community speak up to condemn racism and support the protestors.
Major advocacy groups in the Latinx organizing space have begun to do so on social media, releasing statements condemning the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breanna Taylor in Louisville.
Latinx communities MUST show up powerfully right now.
We must go beyond hollow statements of solidarity & towards a genuine compañerismo.
We must take concrete action that goes beyond addressing intra-community anti-Blackness.
— Mijente 🐜🐜🐜 (@ConMijente) May 29, 2020
Janet Murguía, president and CEO of UnidosUS, not only released a statement on behalf of the organization, she also spent part of the day Sunday at the protest in the nation’s capital.
Showing up. At Lafayette Park across from the White House earlier today joining others and listening to local DC minister Rev. George Gilbert’s words about pain, reconciliation & unity. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd ✊🏽#NoJusticeNoPeace pic.twitter.com/MiQLzyfWVR
— Janet Murguía (@JMurguia_Unidos) June 1, 2020
In the statement Murguía released over the weekend, she said, “UnidosUS stands in solidarity with our African American brothers and sisters in Minneapolis and nationwide, and we urge our community to unite with them in seeking accountability and justice.”
— Janet Murguía (@JMurguia_Unidos) May 30, 2020
In the Latino community, racism against Black people —including Afro-Latinos— has a long history. So it’s especially important for leading Latinx organizations to speak up now and commit to standing with the protestors.
Murguía also made brief mention of the violence seen in the protests, refusing to either condemn or express support.
“While we have long supported only nonviolent protesting, the demonstrations and events in Minnesota and across the country reflect the intense emotions of a growing number of Americans who demand change and the principled leadership our communities and country deserve,” she said.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) criticized the violence seen in the protests in even stronger terms. It’s worth saying that the protests have been largely peaceful, and the police have played a big part in the violence so far. LULAC president Domingo García put out a statement urging an end to what he called a “civil disturbance,” saying that “two wrongs don’t make a right.”
Last night, Domingo Garcia LULAC National President urged for the end of civil disturbance in Minneapolis and across the country and called for #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.
— LULAC (@LULAC) May 30, 2020
Other organizations were more critical of the police and elected officials including President Trump, who openly threatened protesters on social media to the point where Twitter blocked one of his tweets last week, saying that it violated their rules against glorifying violence.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus
.@HispanicCaucus Statement on the Murder of George Floyd ⬇️
“This injustice is not the case of a few bad cops, but a completely broken police system”
“The anger and pain we see on the streets of Minnesota and all across America are the loud voices of people long silenced.” pic.twitter.com/kEID7ubaj2
— Hispanic Caucus (@HispanicCaucus) May 30, 2020
— Hispanic Federation (@HispanicFed) June 1, 2020
Latino Justice PRLDEF
"We stand in righteous mourning and indignant rage as we process the news of the murder of yet another Black person at the hands of the police in the United States," said @LJCartagena regarding the murder of #GeorgeFloyd. We demand justice #BlackLiveMatter https://t.co/FUCuFpZFWK
— LatinoJustice PRLDEF (@latinojustice) May 28, 2020
To our leaders reciting the same canned speeches about police brutality and systemic racism: how are you gonna say all that and then allow your police departments to shoot rubber bullets & tear gas, and beat protestors?
— Voto Latino (@votolatino) June 1, 2020
United We Dream
This is anti-black because the tone and sentiment are to purposefully to derail focus from the #BlackLivesMatter protests happening across the country.
Our liberation is together. Black are immigrants. Black people show up for us. We must stand up and fight for them right now.
— United We Dream (@UNITEDWEDREAM) May 31, 2020
Make the Road NY
Our full statement responding to the police brutality in Brooklyn last night. Our Adilka Pimentel:
— Make the Road NY 🦋 (@MaketheRoadNY) May 30, 2020
Last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) flew a drone over the protest in Minneapolis last week, stoking fears that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would soon follow. Immigrant rights organizations shared know-your-rights information for protestors to keep in mind.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS KNOW YOUR POWER.
— United We Dream (@UNITEDWEDREAM) May 31, 2020
In addition congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted out her frustration about increased funding to CBP that she had opposed.
A year ago, after CBP & ICE violently kidnapped children from families & traumatized thousands, a small # of us insisted that Congress giving them billions more money w/ 0 accountability was dangerous & would have destabilizing effects.
We were belittled & ignored.
Now this ⬇️ https://t.co/6PMXDNRtMh
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 31, 2020
Ana Lucía Murillo is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. and the 2020 summer correspondent for Latino Rebels. She tweets from @analuciamur.