Tyga Apologizes for ‘Ay Caramba’ Video, Then Real Controversy Begins

Aug 8, 2022
4:08 PM

American Cholo/YouTube

HOUSTON — Recently, Tyga removed his latest music video, “Ay Caramba,” following criticism from Gil of the American Cholo podcast who said the video was using offensive Mexican American stereotypes.

Tyga, who was raised in heavily Latino Los Angeles, issued an apology to Gil during an interview on the city’s Power 106 radio station.

The video of his apology has since been taken down from the station’s website.

After Tyga’s apology and taking down his music video, a manipulated video of Gil using the n-word, among other racial epithets, went viral on social media. While the video is grossly taken out of context, most people —especially Black people— don’t see any context where that type of language is acceptable.

However, the edited video isn’t being discussed anymore. Instead, the conversation has shifted to anti-Blackness among Latinos.

In another video clip shared online, guests on American Cholo are seen discussing reparations for Black Americans, saying “we, the Raza” —a Spanish word that means “race” but is used to refer to Latinos in general— need to protest against such moves recompense Black Americans for centuries of slavery and the subsequent institutionalization of racism, which has cost Black America not only politically and socially, but also economically.

It’s unclear what would motivate any Mexican American to protest against restorative justice for Black people, but one thing is certain: White supremacists would be there in droves feeding the divide.

“That’s where we, the Raza, need to step up, protest, and I’m talking major… turn around and tell ‘em, ‘No one is getting reparations until the Native Americans and Mexicans get ours first,'” said one guest on recent episode of American Cholo. “We’ve been going through this crap a lot longer so I don’t wanna hear it. Because it’s not fair, dog. How are you gonna give a bunch of money to a specific group, dog? This is the United States, a melting pot. How are you gonna give it to a specific group?”

“Because right now they’ve got the white people with so much guilt,” Gil responded.

Since the video clips have been shared on social media, Gil has been open to listening and discussing both video segments that are being spread by xenophobes trying to sow discord between Latinos and Black people. Unlike them, he deserves the acknowledgment and props for directly meeting with and talking to Black people who have taken issue with his comments.

The Broader Issue

While Gil doesn’t consider himself racist, their discussion —which employed the use of anti-Black rhetoric— speaks to the broader issue among many Latinos in the U.S, many of whom harbor anti-Black beliefs. It’s a topic I’ve covered extensively, starting with my own people: the Cuban-American community.

That the vast majority of Latinos born in the United States were exposed to racism and colorism in addition to homophobia as they were growing up is a huge issue. But most of us who grew up in diverse communities were able to tell that the rhetoric we heard was wrong. Beginning with first-generation Latino Americans, we were able to see right through most of the bigotry.

That doesn’t mean some didn’t adopt certain views that were born of hate. However, this is an issue for various communities outside of the Latino one, too. There’s xenophobia and outright hate for Latinos from various factions of certain online movements. The reality of it all is that these numbers are very small whether you’re talking about “Mexicans” —as all Latinos are commonly labeled in the United States— or Black people.

And these numbers are nothing compared to how many white people harbor those beliefs and ideas.

This brings us to the white supremacist infiltration of various movements. They’re everywhere acting as representatives for minority communities. In the Latino and Asian communities, they spread racist anti-Black language. In Black-led groups, they spread xenophobia. And regardless of where they find themselves, they always add transphobia to make it more broadly accepted in the U.S. They help to amplify those among us who harbor anti-Black beliefs.

They are in our spaces sowing chaos.

While white nationalists might be good at online infiltration, knowing they’re there helps counter their words of hate and bigotry. We can easily ignore them. What we can’t ignore are those in our proximity that think like they’re in the Klan. Our friends, family members—we all know racist white people hate them, too, and there is nothing a wannabe white can do that will appease the growing movement of hate towards all of us.

What white supremacists are so focused on tearing down is the growing coalition of Black and Latino leaders in the U.S. The last time this happened, many civil rights leaders were killed.

Never forget that.

‘American Cholo Doesn’t Represent Us’

There’s a massive disconnect specifically between Latinos that defend language like what Gil used in the video and the portion of the Black community that peddles xenophobia. However, more Latinos than not speak out against hate, as do Black people against xenophobia.

The disconnect between small factions of Black people and Latinos doesn’t represent the coalition building we’ve seen over the last decade. But when hate shows itself, whether in Los Angeles or Miami or anywhere else, it behooves us to call it out when we see and hear it.

American Cholo doesn’t represent us,” said music producer Carlos “Cee” Castillo. “The Chicano community is hurting because individuals who aren’t Chicanos have entitled themselves to speak for us—this while profiting off the community. I blame us, the Chicanos, who should have spoken against it. We can’t have someone who isn’t Chicano, that has offended the other cultures, speak and represent us regarding Chicano issues.”

Castillo echoes what most Latinos in the U.S. have been saying since the videos of Gil were posted. The vast majority of us don’t want anything to do with that type of language and have worked diligently to distance ourselves from it. But another aspect resulting from the language used on the American Cholo podcast is how it’s been attached to the broader Latino community.

Not only are white nationalists trying to exploit the debacle to create division, but many Latinos have noticed that some in the Black community are also using it to promote xenophobia. Both factions are using the same talking points saying that the words of one man represent how we all talk and think about Black people. But members of the broader Black community have tried to distance themselves from this discourse.

American Cholo’s comments about the Black community were racist, ignorant, and unforgivable, but they should not be used as the catalyst to spread hatred,” said Allison Gaines, co-founder of the Writers and Editors of Color Collective (whose leadership council, in full disclosure, I am a sitting member of). “Generalizing all Mexicans is xenophobic and nonproductive. Let’s challenge those spreading hatred, whether it’s from Black American groups like FBA, and ADOS, and individuals like American Cholo, without making the mistake of thinking we are against one another.”

The Importance of Discussion

For all the damage that can be done when one person’s words are exploited like this, it’s important to discuss it out in the open no matter how painful. While hate and bigotry continue to grow due to the amplification social media provides, it’s up to society at large to counter the narratives that are putting lives at risk.

Hateful rhetoric has lasting consequences that go beyond what the perpetrator of that language sees. You don’t have to look far to see it: Alex Jones and Sandy Hook. Donald Trump and the rise of domestic terrorist attacks. The rise of the far-right and the explosion of Klan-like language toward Black people, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, the Asian community, and any other community that isn’t white, protestant Christian, and male.

Entire communities are becoming further marginalized, making them targets of those who harbor extremist thoughts. It’s not just about our language either. We must be conscious of how we think and how we act so that we can better address our implicit biases and racial prejudices towards one another. If you find yourself basing your arguments and beliefs about people based on stereotypes, you’re likely pushing a white supremacist ideology.

Many white nationalist groups have mentioned their intent to start an ethnic war. Yes, it’s a fantasy, but they think they can infiltrate us enough to get us at each other’s throats. And when it happens organically, as it did with American Cholo and Tariq Nasheed, hate groups celebrate because we’re doing their work for them.

This is why it’s so important for us to address such issues every time and everywhere they arise.

Latino Rebels reached out to Tyga, American Cholo, and Power 106 for comment. We have received no response as of this publishing.


Arturo Domínquez is a first-generation Cuban American, anti-racist, journalist, and the publisher of The Antagonist magazine. Twitter: @ExtremeArturo