Sunday, July 20, 2008

Latinos in fear

Today I heard something so appalling, I could scarcely believe it. I heard a Latino say that many Latinos are afraid of an Obama victory because that would displace them as the priority minority, meaning I suppose that since Obama is Black, he is just going to care about his homies, beaners be damned.
This is so stupid and racist and childish, I can't even begin to process it.
Most Spanish speaking countries have traditionally been extremely racist towards their own darker citizens. There was slavery in the Spanish colonies. There were castes. The Spanish conquistadors were not exactly paragons of human tolerance. Their racist attitudes have endured, now defanged and civilized but still insidious and learned from the bosom, to this day.
1. I really resent that victimized "look at me, I need to be marginal minority number one" mentality.
As if it were a contest.
2. It is a sad reality that even the downtrodden like to find someone they can feel superior to. Usually someone darker or poorer than them. Cf. Dominicans vs Haitians, for instance. And in the case of many Latinos, Brown vs. Black.
2. The fact that Obama is Black colors everything, so to speak. Not that he is an extremely capable, extremely smart, extremely presidential MAN. etc. But that he is Black. People just can't get past this.
Think of all the problems this man is going to have to deal with if he becomes president, and Latinos are worried he's just going to cater to his own. How petty and provincial and pathetic.
What really annoys me is the appalling lack of solidarity of such a statement.
I am well aware of the tensions between the Black and the Latino communities. But one would think that Latinos could identify with a man who rose from the bottom, whose father was a foreigner, who belongs to a minority like them.
But what do I know?

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