¿Y Tu Abuela, Dónde Está?
We believe each young person has a right to self-discovery so they can conquer adversity and thrive as community leaders.
But for our young people to #THRIVE, they must be able to #BREATHE.
We at Nexus Latinx stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in theAfrican-American community and call on all Latinx members to stand up against racism in their community, so our young people can BREATHE.
During difficult times, we look to leaders for comfort, solace, and direction out of the darkness. Arturo Schomburg was one of those leaders. One of the first self-proclaimed Afro-Boricuas, he was born in Puerto Rico but raised by his mother from St. Croix. Arturo moved to Harlem as a teenager and became an advocate for the African diaspora. As a child, a teacher told him that people of African descent had no history or achievements to speak of and therefore were not “worthy” of study. Arturo spent his entire life proving that teacher wrong in that he came from a worthy culture and therefore has a worthy identity. Arturo famously said, “the negro has been a man without a history because he has been considered a man without a worthy culture.”
This idea of worthiness struck me as I saw #GeorgeFloyd on the ground crying out for his mother. His life was not considered worthy enough to literally take a knee off his neck, so he could BREATHE.
For those who know me, you know I am a retired police officer and currently an attorney.I was very conflicted in writing this statement because of the lifelong connections and love that I have for our police officers. But this is bigger than one person. This is even bigger than one tragedy. This is hundreds of years of institutional racism that has reared its ugly head year after year and infected ALL communities. It speaks to the inequalities and disparities that are enhanced due to #COVID-19, the constant attacks on our immigrant communities, the rise of white supremacist attacks, the need for criminal justice reform and the constant state of fear, anguish and trauma that people of color face on a daily basis.
WE, as Latinx people come from Africans imported as slaves, indigenous Taíno Indians and European lineages. But the plague of racism affected all those lineages and as a result all of our families. ALL of us need to do our part in this fight and call out racism within our respective community. How many times have you heard your family members or friends speak derogatory about “ese negro”?Change starts at home. Have a talk with your children about race, have a talk with your parents about race and have a talk with yourself about race.
This is a fight for the future of our country and a fight to give fresh air to our young people.
So. They.Can. BREATHE.