Regardless of how you feel about the outcome of the Zimmerman trial, we need to admit it: Zimmerman is Latino. He is one of us. Yes Latinos can be and are racists. We can and do vilify black men in the United States and in our home countries. We do not recognize our own racism because so often it is so culturally ingrained.
“Negro tenia que ser”- “He had to be black”
“Es un buen negro” – “He is a good black guy”
“No soy racista, pero ellos son asi” – “I am not racist, but they are like that”
These are a few of the phrases I have heard in polite company of friends and family. Friends and family who have African roots and yet refuse to acknowledge them. If I hear one more time how some mal de ojo ruined someones hair pelo malo not that their genetics, I am going to scream.
We as a community need to seize this opportunity to have a real dialogue about why and how racism is harmful to us. Adding a loaded gun and a sense of entitlement did not help in this case. We as a community owe the Martins more than rallies, we owe them ownership of our issues. No justice or peace will come about until we do the hard work of eradicating our own racist judgement.
To read more about my views on race, racism go to: http://www.altmami.com/2013/06/my-crush-of-the-week-dash-harris/