[ Kurly Tlapoyawa ]
I have been saying this for years: “Latino” identity is inextricably grounded in white supremacy.
Every single one of its many manifestations (such as latinx, latino, latin, etc.) privileges a Eurocentric ideology that actively erases indigenous identities and cultures.
Not many people know this, but the Latino identity was intentionally created in the late 1800s in order to supplant Indigenous identity in Mexico with an ideology that was friendly to French interests. Every time a Chicana / Chicano or Mexicana / Mexicano embraces Latinx, Latina, Latino, or Latin as an identity, they are complicit in advancing an agenda built on white supremacy.
And it appears that the mainstream media is finally catching on to this fact.
Recently, an article titled “With the rise of the alt-right, Latino white supremacy may not be a contradiction in terms” appeared online at the site mic.com. I have attached it below. Please take a look and consider the terms you use to identify yourself.
It’s time to reject Latin, Latino, Latina, and Latinx.
Here is the article:
Latino white supremacy may not be a contradiction in terms
The footage from Aug. 12 is shocking.
Five white men surround a young black man curled in the fetal position and beat him with sticks. Some of them back off when another unidentified man in a white tank top and red hat jumps in to continue attacking 20-year-old DeAndre Harris, who is writhing on the ground in the entrance to a Charlottesville, Virginia, parking lot.
Along with footage and images of a car plowing into a crowd of demonstrators and killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer, the video of Harris’ beating defined the violence that gripped the nation that day when white nationalists descended on the college town. Harris, who had been counterprotesting the “Unite the Right” rally, was left with a broken wrist and eight stitches in his head.
The clashes in Charlottesville catalyzed the American public’s reckoning with the budding white nationalist movement, which had accelerated after Donald Trump’s election. Afterward, the wave of public shaming of the violence in Charlottesville led at least one “Unite the Right” marcher to insist his participation in the rally was misinterpreted as racist. Others who attended quickly lost their jobs after online campaigns exposed them.
But the eventual identification of the man in the white tank top and red hat shook many: He was revealed to be a 33-year-old Puerto Rican resident of Georgia, originally from the Bronx. “I’m the only brown Klans member I ever met,” Alex Michael Ramos joked in a Facebook Live video before he turned himself into police Aug. 28. The Facebook post has since been taken down.
But Ramos wasn’t the only “Unite the Right” marcher with a Hispanic background.
Christopher Rey Monzon, a 22-year-old Cuban-American, is associated with the League of the South, which the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a neo-Confederate hate group. Monzon was arrested weeks after Charlottesville for charging at protesters in a separate Florida demonstration. And Nick Fuentes, a 19-year-old student who hosts an alt-right podcast called America First, said he had to leave Boston University in the aftermath of the Charlottesville protests after receiving death threats over his participation.
The presence of these Latino men at the largest white nationalist event in recent memory underscores the complicated racial position of Latinos in the United States. Latino white supremacy, it turns out, might not be a contradiction in terms.
Increasingly, Latinos are identifying racially as white. In fact, more than half did so in the 2010 U.S. Census. A March 2016 report from Pew Research Center found that 39% of Afro-Latinos also identified “as white alone or white in combination with another race.” With a current population of around 58 million, Latinos make up the second-largest ethnic group in the U.S., just behind whites.
Another Pew Research Center study from December found that 59% of U.S. adults with Latino heritage who identify as white believe others see them as white, too. Over time, the study found, descendants of Latino immigrants stop identifying with their countries of origin and consider themselves more and more American.
Fuentes — who says he’s about 25% Mexican — identifies as white, not Latino. In an interview with Mic, Fuentes also said he believes multiculturalism threatens white national identity. Monzon, meanwhile, has called for South Florida to secede from the U.S. His ties to the League of the South are generational, as his parents have also protested with the white supremacist fringe group, according to the SPLC. In a Facebook profile the SPLC has attributed to him, Monzon goes by “Ambrosio Gonzalez,” the name of a Cuban general who fought as a Confederate colonel in the Civil War.
Ramos, however, rejects any notion that he’s racist, insisting he went to Charlottesville in defense of free speech and as a show of force against left-wing groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
During the nearly hourlong video Ramos posted to Facebook, he became agitated at users who challenged him for marching with the KKK and jumping a black man.
“Yeah, I stood side-by-side with racist people, but they weren’t racist to me,” Ramos said. “They did not call me a ‘spic,’ they did not call me a ‘fucking wetback,’ they didn’t say nothing as such. We stood for the same common goal.”
Despite his stated goals, the brutal violence in the video from that day was enough for judges in Charlottesville to twice deny Ramos bond.
“The victim was defenseless,” Judge Richard Moore of the Charlottesville General District Court said at Ramos’ bail hearing in November. “Mr. Ramos rushes into something where people are pummeling Mr. Harris. He is an unreasonable risk to others.”
Ramos is facing a malicious wounding charge and could spend up to 20 years in prison if convicted, according to local station WVIR-TV. Through his attorney, Ramos declined to be interviewed.
Other alleged perpetrators include Daniel Patrick Borden of Ohio, who was identified online and arrested in connection to Harris’ attack. Like Ramos, he was also denied bond. Authorities arrested another suspect, Arkansas man Jacob Scott Goodwin, in October and extradited him to Charlottesville the following month.
Interested in learning more about Indigenous Mexican identity? Check out my book “Our Slippery Earth: Nawa Philosophy in the Modern Age” available on Amazon.com. In it, I discuss basic themes of Nawa philosophy, and how these themes can be practiced in the modern age.
Kurly Tlapoyawa is an archaeologist, author, and ethnohistorian. His research focuses primarily on the interaction between Mesoamerica, Western Mexico, and the American Southwest. Kurly has lectured at UNLV, University of Houston, and Yale University on topics related to Mesoamerica. His recent book, “Our Slippery Earth: Nawa Philosophy in the Modern Age” was published in 2017. In addition to his work in Archaeology and Ethnohistory, Kurly is a professional stuntman with over 35 credits to his name.
Follow Kurly on twitter @KurlyTlapoyawa
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