Update July 16, 2012
George Zimmerman's racism starts at home, read the original tweet here. This is so sad,
The killing of Trayvon Martin is obviously a hate crime motivated by racism, so the conversation of race is necessary to understand what happened. Initially, most corporate media stated that the killer George Zimmerman was White but he can be considered as multiracial or Latino.
George Zimmerman can be considered as Latino because his father is White or a European descendant, while his mother is Peruvian of indigenous mixed heritage.
|Photo Roberto Gonzales / Getty Images via Colorlines|
This post is something that I wanted to write about since weeks ago, but I was too upset to even start. Honestly I thought other Latino bloggers would take on the initiative. So far there is a lot of silence among Latinos about this criminal who represents an embarrassment to any community that he is associated with.
George Zimmerman can be considered as a Latino because his mother is from Peru, a country that is part of the so called “Latin” America region. George Zimmerman is NOT Hispanic.
Remember that Hispanic is a term that refers to Spain and Portugal (Hispania). This concept does not include Peruvians like myself (I'm so upset that Zimmerman's family is from Peru). This is a historical fact, even if many White Americans insist in their attempts to impose the term Hispanic to Brown people.
A subscriber of my Youtube channel wrote this, before the media posted his recent photos where he shows clearly his indigenous Peruvian roots:
Hispanics are white people -like Zimmerman. He claims to be one cuz his mom is of "Peruvian descent. Peruvianess is political, not genetic. Most Peruvians are indigenous, but, from his looks, Mr. Zimmerman’s Peruvianess contains precious little, if any, Native blood. And if he was 100% Native,would that have prevented him from killing a black youth?Why am I writing about this? In this crime, the race of the attacker and the victim are important. Trayvon Martin was targeted for the color of his skin and his looks. Zimmerman has racist and supremacist views about Black people.
Despite how the media insist in portraying Zimmerman as White, some people already see him as Latino and some are turning their anger against us. You can see racist tweets already:
|Some racists twits using the term "spic" referring to Zimmerman|
Some Latinos can be very racist
Some people have asked me if the Zimmerman vs Martin case is another example of racism of Latinos against Blacks. I would say yes and no. Unfortunately there are many Latinos who have racist views against Blacks, Native Americans and any dark-skinned peoples.
This happens more often among Latinos who are White or White-wannabes, including new immigrants in the U.S., or those who live in mostly-White-neighborhoods. Unlike Latinos or Natives who are mixed with African descendants, or live in mostly-Black areas.
In a historical context, racism between Black and Brown communities shouldn't happened. We have coexisted in the American continent for centuries, today there are 5 times more African descendants in "Latin" America than in the United States.
However, racism among Latinos is promoted by corporate media and entertainment industry in Spanish-language, which are run mostly by European descendants both in Latin America and in the U.S.
No, I don't think most Latinos are racist, keep in mind that most "Latino" communities are very diverse culturally and racially, so we are not used to live in homogenous ethnic areas. Some Latin American regions though, don't have a large Black population so immigrants from those areas may follow certain stereotyped concepts they see in the media.
George Zimmerman grew up in a conservative Catholic family –which is a very Eurocentric religion- in the city of Manassas, in Virginia which along with neighboring Prince William County is home for very racist and xenophobic people. In the recent few years, their local governments have passed and implemented some of the most hateful, anti-immigrant and White supremacist laws in the country.
These anti-immigrant laws precisely have being used as model for similar laws passed in Arizona, Alabama, Georgia and other historically-racist States. These laws target Indigenous, Latino families and immigrants, in the same fashion that they used to target Black Americans a few decades ago.
Racism among Latinos can be learned also, especially Latinos who marry elitist Whites and tend to embrace their spouses racist ideas. I know of a few people who try to “act White” just to please their new relatives, and sometimes they learn to hate on Blacks, and even immigrants and Brown peoples like themselves.
Many immigrants learn to be racist here and others learn to respect diversity. In my life as a gay man I've met a few White men who have shared horrible opinions “warning me” about Black men -especially when I first arrived to this country- and Blacks who said horrible things about Whites. Latinos who do the same, there is racism in every community.
When Latinos come from certain countries, racism can be worse than in other regions. European-descendants in Latin America, are as racist as many of those in the U.S. Other Latinos are racists and maybe they don't even know they are, like Geraldo Rivera, the obnoxious Fox News TV commentators who thinks that wearing a hoodie is a good excuse to get killed.
Do I think George Zimmerman is racist because of his Peruvian heritage? It’s hard to say because some Peruvians can be racists but most are not. I don’t know him personally nor his family so I can’t really reply to this question. But there is a possibility.
Zimmerman is racist mostly because of they way he was raised. His family has worked for the Prison-Judiciary industry, his father is a retired Federal judge, they are Catholics, and they live in the segregated suburbs. A subscriber wrote in my FB page:
Zimmerman's father, Robert J. Zimmerman is a retired Virginia Magistrate. His mother is Peruvian, Glady C. Zimmerman was a court clerk and interperter. I believe their legal knowledge is the reason why George Zimmerman hasn't been arrested.No only his father is a retired Judge, but currently Robert Zimmerman lives in a town nearby Sanford, Florida where the crime occurred. CNN reported that a Florida district attorney demanded the Stanford police to release Zimmerman after his arrest.
In other words, Zimmerman might being protected because of his father influences.
Finally, I wanted to send a message to all the Latinos who are not paying enough attention to this case yet. We need to get involved in the movement demanding justice for Trayvon Martin and his family, because we face the same racism that killed this young man.
This is the same hatred that affects our families, especially immigrant communities. This sense of entitlement and privilege that many European Americans share, make them see us Brown peoples, Natives, Latinos, as foreigners in the land of our indigenous ancestors.
This movement for justice is not about promoting hate against Whites, at all. It's about fighting racism and especially when it becomes legal (Stand Your Ground laws).
This is about preventing mentally-ill people like George Zimmerman to get away with their crimes motivated by supremacist ideas. If this man is let go, other people may use the same excuses to kill non-White people using the "Stand Your Ground" laws. These racists views have poisoned the politics, culture and economics of this country.
Imagine for a second that you or your child faces the same fate of Trayvon Martin. Would your child to die while begging for help? Would you allow the killing of more innocent children and youth even if they look different than you?
Everybody should demand justice for Trayvon Martin, because his family deserves justice and because all hate crimes must be stopped and prevented, before this gets worse.
|Photo. Roberto Gonzales / AP|
Please watch these videos
Civil rights leader Dick Gregory speaks about the killing of Trayvon Martin. I recorded this last weekend in Washington, DC:
A very good speech given by U.S. Rep Frederica Wilson (D-FL) yesterday which expresses how Black young men feel about racial profiling.