The Pope speaking in tongues! Today’s tongue: his mother tongue – Spanish.
We know the Pope cannot be an ‘illegal’ immigrant. He has a visiting visa but GOP’s logic says otherwise– if you speak Spanish or are Latino you must be ‘illegally’ in the USA or you are rapist, criminal, gangster or up to no good. Let’s see how Twitter and social media response when he arrives to the USA and starts to deliver his speeches in Spanish. I project GOP bigots will be spewing hate against Latinos and the Pope.
“Papa Francisco” redirects here. For the sports club, see Club Deportivo Papa Francisco.
Pope Francis (Latin: Franciscus; Italian: Francesco; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the 266thand current Pope of the Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, and Sovereign of the Vatican City.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio worked briefly as a chemical technician and nightclub bouncer before beginning seminary studies. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969 and from 1973 to 1979 was Argentina’s provincial superior of the Society of Jesus. He was accused of handing two priests to the National Reorganization Process during the Dirty War, but the lawsuit was ultimately dismissed. He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was created a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. He led the Argentine Church during the December 2001 riots in Argentina, and the administrations of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner considered him a political rival. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, a papal conclave elected Bergoglio as his successor on 13 March. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuitpope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere and the first non-European pope since the Syrian Gregory III in 741.
Throughout his public life, Pope Francis has been noted for his humility, his concern for the poor, and his commitment to interfaith dialogue. He is known for having a humble approach to the papacy, less formal than his predecessors, for instance choosing to reside in the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse rather than the papal apartments of the Apostolic Palace used by his predecessors. In addition, due to both his Jesuit and Ignatian aesthetic, he is known for favoring simpler vestments void of ornamentation, including refusing the traditional papal mozzetta cape upon his election, choosing silver instead of gold for his piscatory ring, and keeping the same pectoral cross he had when he was cardinal. He maintains that the Church should be more open and welcoming. Although he considers poverty a huge problem, he does not support unbridled capitalism, Marxism, or Marxist versions of liberation theology. Francis maintains the traditional views of the church regarding abortion, euthanasia, contraception, homosexuality, ordination of women, and priestly celibacy. Francis opposes global warming, consumerism, and irresponsible development, a focus of his papacy with the promulgation of Laudato si’. In international diplomacy, he helped to restore full diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba.
Joe Biden Slams Donald Trump For Selling ‘Sick Message’ On Immigration
“There’s one guy absolutely denigrating an entire group of people, appealing to the baser side of human nature, working on this notion of xenophobia in a way that hasn’t occurred in a long time.”
WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday said Republican presidential contender Donald Trump was selling a “sick message” about immigrants in America based on xenophobia.
Biden, considering a run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, told a small group of Latinos gathered at his home that they should not lose heart watching Trump climb in the polls while taking a hard line on immigration.
Trump, leading the pack of Republicans seeking their party’s 2016 nomination, has accused Mexico of sending criminals and rapists to the United States. He has promised to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to keep out illegal immigrants and deport the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.
Biden told his guests that he had seen Trump talking on television just before speaking to the poolside cocktail party, and decided to cast aside remarks his staff had prepared recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month.
“There’s one guy absolutely denigrating an entire group of people, appealing to the baser side of human nature, working on this notion of xenophobia in a way that hasn’t occurred in a long time,” Biden told the group of about 75 people.
“This isn’t about Democrat – Republican. It’s about a sick message. This message has been tried on America many times before. We always, always, always, always overcome,” he said.
Biden, who is Catholic, urged the group not to feel “down” about Trump’s popularity, noting that Pope Francis was about to visit the United States and likely would have a very different message about welcoming immigrants.”The American people are with us. I know it doesn’t feel that way. But I’m telling you, the American people agree with us,” Biden said.Biden, whose son Beau died recently, has said he is not sure he has the emotional capacity to make what would be his third run for president.His poll numbers have climbed as he explores the possibility and as the Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, grapples with a controversy over her use of a private email server while secretary of state.At the end of his remarks, a few people in the crowd shouted, “Run Joe, run!”Biden, making the sign of the cross as he hurried away from the podium, said “Oh no, no, no, no, no” as if to stave off the topic.SOURCE
The above video, approximately filmed during the 1960s/1970s, captures the racist mentality of whites towards ‘Negroes’ in America. Do you see the difference between today’s Republican party, Trump and his supporters, and the bigots interviewed in this video? No. American’s mentality towards people of color has not changed. It seems that this type of bigotry has been passed down from generation to generation, creating a division in America between some whites and people of color. The same words used to describe Blacks then are now being used to describe Latinos by Republicans. Have things changed much for people of color?
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s “passionate” fans will likely support him for any reason, even if it means going after U.S. citizen journalists. Soon after Donald Trump ejected the Spanish media Univision journalist Jorge Ramos from a press conference for asking questions about immigration on Tuesday night, a man told Ramos to “get out of my country.”
“You were very rude — this is not about you,” the unidentified man says, confronting Ramos outside the press conference, in video footage uploaded to the Univision‘s website. “Get out of my country. Get out–”
“This is my country — I’m a U.S. citizen too,” Ramos quipped.
“Well, whatever. Univision-whatever. It’s not about you,” the man shot back, before an uniformed individual separated the two.
Though Ramos was eventually let back into the press conference by a Trump staffer to ask his question, the media quickly pounced and panned him for being biased towards immigrants. Ramos had been trying to ask Trump for the specifics of an immigration policy plan to deport the country’s 11.3 million undocumented population when he was kicked out.
Since releasing a six-page policy plan calling for mass deportation and an end to birthright citizenship (among other harsh, anti-immigrant tenets to make life as miserable as possible for undocumented immigrants), Trump has indicated that undocumented immigrants “have to go,” but that he would let “management” give some consideration to letting the “good ones” back into the country.
Trump’s bombastic plan has largely been panned by Latino voters, but it has also stirred up anti-immigrant sentiment among his supporters. The vitriol from the man who confronted Ramos is just one of several recent indications of the kind of people who are attracted to his rhetoric. According to the New Yorker, Trump “made an incredible surge among the Tea Party supporters,” with 56 percent having a favorable view of him just one month after he announced his candidacy. The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi news site, endorsed him for president stating, “Trump is willing to say what most Americans think: it’s time to deport these people.” Richard Spencer, Jared Taylor, Michael Hill, and Brad Griffin are among some of the White nationalists that the New Yorker pointed out that support Trump. David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, described Trump as someone who’s “certainly the best of the lot” because he “understands the real sentiment of America.”
Trump’s fans are also proving that they can have incredibly hostile reactions to Latinos in general. After Trump delivered a speech to thousands of fans in Mobile, Alabama, a landscaping worker told the New York Times, “Hopefully, [Trump is] going to sit there and say, ‘When I become elected president, what we’re going to do is we’re going to make the border a vacation spot, it’s going to cost you $25 for a permit, and then you get $50 for every confirmed kill,’… That’d be one nice thing.” And two brothers in Boston, inspired by Trump’s rhetoric, beat up and urinated on a homeless Latino man. In that instance, Trump initially described the two men as “very passionate,” before condemning their action hours later.
Jeb Bush, Donald Trump Unapologetic for ‘Anchor Baby’ Language
Jeb Bush isn’t backing down over his usage of the phrase “anchor babies,” a controversial term both he and fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump have both used.
In one of his testiest exchanges to date, Bush pushed back against reporters today in Keene, NH who asked if he thought the term — referring to the American-born children of undocumented immigrants — was offensive.
A reporter asked Bush if he regretted using the term “anchor babies” on Bill Bennett’s radio show earlier this week, to which he snapped, “You give me a better term and I’ll use it.”
Trump: ‘I’ll Use the Word Anchor Baby’
Donald Trump’s GOP Rivals Blast His Immigration Plan
ABC News’ Tom Llamas asked if the language was “bombastic,” the same kind of talk from Trump Bush had knocked down just moments earlier.
“Look here’s the deal. What I said was it’s commonly referred to that,” Bush said. “That’s what I said, I didn’t use it as my own language…I think that people born in this country ought to be American citizens.”
This follows another heated line of questioning just last night directed at Donald Trump, the current front-runner in the GOP race. After being asked by Llamas if he was aware that the term was offensive, Trump eventually responded, “I’ll use the word anchor baby.”
It all happened as the campaign trail heats up over the topic of immigration. After Trump released his 6-page policy paper, calling in part for a wall to be built and an end to “birthright citizenship”, most of the GOP candidates have been asked to weigh in on their views.
Trump and Bush traded barbs last night, each with dueling town hall meetings in NH, just 20 miles from each other. Trump openly mocked Bush’s small crowds saying, “You know what’s happening to Jeb’s crowd right down the street? They’re sleeping!”
Bush instead pounced on Trump’s liberal record, calling him a “tax-hiking Democrat” adding, “He was a Democrat longer in the last decade than he was a Republican. He’s given more money to Democrats than he’s given to Republicans.”
Bush’s fiercest criticism today came from the other side — his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Her campaign tweeted their response to the debate.
Black Power is a political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies aimed at achieving self-determination for people of African/Black descent. It is used in the movement among people of Black African descent throughout the world, though primarily by African Americans in the United States. The movement was prominent in the late 1960s and early 1970s, emphasizing racial pride and the creation of black political and cultural institutions to nurture and promote black collective interests and advance black values. “Black Power” expresses a range of political goals, from defense against racial oppression, to the establishment of social institutions and a self-sufficient economy. The earliest known usage of the term is found in a 1954 book by Richard Wright entitled Black Power. Although he did not “coin” the phrase, New York politician Adam Clayton Powell Jr. used the term on May 29, 1966, during a baccalaureate address at Howard University: “To demand these God-given rights is to seek black power.”
Origin as a political slogan
The first popular use of the term “Black Power” as a social and political slogan was by Stokely Carmichael (later known as Kwame Ture) and Willie Ricks (later known as Mukasa Dada), both organizers and spokespersons for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). On June 16, 1966, in a speech in Greenwood, Mississippi after the shooting of James Meredith during the March Against Fear,
Stokely Carmichael said
“This is the twenty-seventh time I have been arrested and I ain’t going to jail no more! The only way we gonna stop them white men from whuppin’ us is to take over. What we gonna start sayin’ now is Black Power!”
Stokely Carmichael saw the concept of “Black Power” as a means of solidarity between individuals within the movement. It was a replacement of the “Freedom Now!” slogan of non-violent leader Martin Luther King. With his conception and articulation of the word, he felt this movement was not just a movement for racial desegregation, but rather a movement to help combat America’s crippling racism. He said, “For the last time, ‘Black Power’ means black people coming together to form a political force and either electing representatives or forcing their representatives to speak their needs.”
A range of ideologies
Some Black Power adherents believed in Black autonomy, with a variety of tendencies such as black nationalism, and black separatism. Such positions were for the most part in direct conflict with those of leaders of the mainstream Civil Rights Movement, and thus the two movements have often been viewed as inherently antagonistic. However, certain groups and individuals participated in both civil rights and black power activism.
Not all Black Power advocates were in favor of black nationalism and black separatism. While Stokely Carmichael and SNCC were in favor of black nationalism, organizations such as the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense were not. Though they considered themselves to be at war with a power structure that was indeed mostly white, they were not at war with all whites, merely the individuals in the existing power structure, who happened to mostly be white.
Bobby Seale, Chairman and Co-Founder of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, was outspoken about this. His stand was that the oppression of black people was more of a result of economic exploitation than anything innately racist. In his book Seize the Time, he states that “In our view it is a class struggle between the massive proletarian working class and the small, minority ruling class. Working-class people of all colors must unite against the exploitative, oppressive ruling class. So let me emphasize again—we believe our fight is a class struggle and not a race struggle.”
Bayard Rustin, an elder statesman of the Civil Rights Movement, was a harsh critic of Black Power in its earliest days. Writing in 1966, shortly after the March Against Fear, Rustin said that Black Power “not only lacks any real value for the civil rights movement, but […] its propagation is positively harmful. It diverts the movement from a meaningful debate over strategy and tactics, it isolates the Negro community, and it encourages the growth of anti-Negro forces.” He particularly criticized the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and SNCC for their turn toward Black Power, arguing that these two organizations once “awakened the country, but now they emerge isolated and demoralized, shouting a slogan that may afford a momentary satisfaction but that is calculated to destroy them and their movement.”
Internationalist offshoots of black power include African Internationalism, pan-Africanism, black nationalism, and black supremacy.
See also: Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
The movement for Black Power in the U.S. came during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Many members of SNCC, among them Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Ture), were becoming critical of the nonviolent approach to confronting racism and inequality—articulated and practiced by Martin Luther King, Jr., the NAACP and other moderates—and rejected desegregation as a primary objective.
SNCC’s membership was generally younger than that of the other “Big Five” civil rights organizations and became increasingly more militant and outspoken over time. From SNCC’s point of view, racist people had no qualms about the use of violence against black people in the U.S. who would not “stay in their place,” and “accommodationist” civil rights strategies had failed to secure sufficient concessions for black people. As a result, as the Civil Rights Movement progressed, increasingly radical, more militant voices came to the fore to aggressively challenge white hegemony. Increasing numbers of black youth, particularly, rejected their elders’ moderate path of cooperation, racial integration and assimilation. They rejected the notion of appealing to the public’s conscience and religious creeds and took the tack articulated by another black activist more than a century before. Abolitionist Frederick
Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. …Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.
Civil Rights leaders also believed in agitation, but most did not believe in physically violent retaliation.
During the March Against Fear, there was a division between those aligned with Martin Luther King, Jr. and those aligned with Carmichael, marked by their respective slogans, “Freedom Now” and “Black Power.”
While King never endorsed the slogan, his rhetoric sometimes came close to it. In his 1967 book Where Do We Go From Here?, King wrote that “power is not the white man’s birthright; it will not be legislated for us and delivered in neat government packages.”
Although the concept remained imprecise and contested and the people, who used the slogan ranged from businesspeople who used it to push black capitalism to revolutionaries who sought an end to capitalism, the idea of Black Power exerted a significant influence. It helped organize scores of community self-help groups and institutions that did not depend on Whites. It was used to force black studies programs at colleges, to mobilize black voters to elect black candidates, and to encourage greater racial pride and self-esteem.
Impact on Black Politics
Though the Black Power movement did not immediately remedy the political problems faced by African Americans in the 1960s and 1970s, the movement did contribute to the development of black politics both directly and indirectly. As a contemporary of and successor to the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power movement created, what sociologist Herbert H. Haines refers to as a “positive radical flank effect” on political affairs of the 1960s. Though the nature of the relationship between the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power movement is contested, Haines’ study of the relationship between black radicals and the mainstream civil rights movement indicates that Black Power generated a “crisis in American institutions which made the legislative agenda of ‘polite, realistic, and businesslike’ mainstream organizations” more appealing to politicians. In this way, it can be argued that the more strident and oppositional messages of the Black Power movement indirectly enhanced the bargaining position of more moderate activists. Black Power activists approached politics with vitality, variety, wit, and creativity that shaped the way future generations approached dealing with America’s societal problems (McCartney 188). These activists capitalized on the nation’s recent awareness of the political nature of oppression, a primary focus of the Civil Rights Movement, developing numerous political action caucuses and grass roots community associations to remedy the situation.
The National Black Political Convention, held March 10–12, 1972, was a significant milestone in black politics of the Black Power era. Held in Gary, Indiana, a majority black city, the convention included a diverse group of black activists, although it completely excluded whites. The convention was criticized for its racial exclusivity by Roy Wilkins of the NAACP, a group that supported integration. The delegates created a National Black Political Agenda with stated goals including the election of a proportionate number of black representatives to Congress, community control of schools, national health insurance, etc. Though the convention did not result in any direct policy, the convention advanced goals of the Black Power movement and left participants buoyed by a spirit of possibility and themes of unity and self-determination. A concluding note to the convention, addressing its supposed idealism, read: “At every critical moment of our struggle in America we have had to press relentlessly against the limits of the ‘realistic’ to create new realities for the life of our people. This is our challenge at Gary and beyond, for a new Black politics demands new vision, new hope and new definitions of the possible. Our time has come. These things are necessary. All things are possible.” Though such political activism may not have resulted in direct policy, they provided political models for later movements, advanced a pro-black political agenda, and brought sensitive issues to the forefront of American politics. In its confrontational and often oppositional nature, the Black Power movement, started a debate within the black community and America as a nation over issues of racial progress, citizenship, and democracy, namely “the nature of American society and the place of the African American in it.”. The continued intensity of debate over these same social and political issues is a tribute to the impact of the Black Power movement in arousing the political awareness and passions of citizens.
Impact on other movements
Though the aims of the Black Power movement were racially specific, much of the movement’s impact has been its influence on the development and strategies of later political and social movements. By igniting and sustaining debate on the nature of American society, the Black Power movement created what other multiracial and minority groups interpreted to be a viable template for the overall restructuring of society. By opening up discussion on issues of democracy and equality, the Black Power movement paved the way for a diverse plurality of social justice movements, including black feminism, environmental movements, affirmative action, and gay and lesbian rights. Central to these movements were the issues of identity politics and structural inequality, features emerging from the Black Power movement  Because the Black Power movement emphasized and explored a black identity, movement activists were forced to confront issues of gender, class and as well. Many activists in the Black Power movement became active in related movements. This is seen in the case of the “second wave” of women’s right activism, a movement supported and orchestrated to a certain degree by women working from within the coalition ranks of the Black Power movement. The boundaries between social movements became increasingly unclear at the end of the 1960s and into the 1970s; where the Black Power movement ends and where these other social movements begin is often unclear. “It is pertinent to note that as the movement expanded the variables of gender, class, and only compounded issues of strategy and methodology in black protest thought.”
Impact on African-American identity
Due to the negative and militant reputation of such auxiliaries as that of the Black Panther Party, many people felt that this movement of “insurrection” would soon serve to cause discord, and disharmony through the entire U.S. Even Stokely Carmichael stated, “When you talk of Black Power, you talk of building a movement that will smash everything Western civilization has created.” Though Black Power at the most basic level refers to a political movement, the psychological and cultural messages of the Black Power movement, though less tangible, have had perhaps a longer lasting impact on American society than concrete political changes. Indeed, “fixation on the ‘political’ hinders appreciation of the movement’s cultural manifestations and unnecessarily obscures black culture’s role in promoting the psychological well being of the Afro-American people.”. States William L. Van Deburg, author of A New Day in Babylon, “movement leaders never were as successful in winning power for the people as they were in convincing people that they had sufficient power within themselves to escape ‘the prison of self-deprecation’” Primarily, the liberation and empowerment experienced by African Americans occurred in the psychological realm. The movement uplifted the black community as a whole by cultivating feelings of racial solidarity, often in opposition to the world of white Americans, a world that had physically and psychologically oppressed Blacks for generations. Through the movement, Blacks came to understand themselves and their culture by exploring and debating the question, “who are we?” in order to establish a unified and viable identity.
Throughout the Civil Rights Movement and black history a tension has existed between those wishing to minimize and maximize racial difference. W.E.B. Du Bois and Martin Luther King Jr. often attempted to deemphasize race in their quest for equality, while those advocating for separatism and colonization emphasized an extreme and irreconcilable difference between races. The Black Power movement largely achieved an equilibrium of “balanced and humane ethnocentrism.” The impact of the Black Power movement in generating valuable discussion about ethnic identity and black consciousness manifests itself in the relatively recent proliferation of academic fields such as American studies, Black Studies, and Africana studies in both national and international institutions. The respect and attention accorded to African Americans’ history and culture in both formal and informal settings today is largely a product of the movement for Black Power in the 1960s and 1970s.
Impact in Britain
Black Power got a foothold in Britain when Carmichael came to London in July 1967 to attend the Dialectics of Liberation Congress. As well as his address at the Congress, he also made a speech at Speakers’ Corner. At that time there was no Black Power organization in Britain although there was Michael X’s Racial Adjustment Action Society. However this was more influenced by the visit of Malcolm X in that year. Michael X also adopted Islam at this stage, whereas Black Power was not organised around any religious confession. The Black Power Manifesto was launched on 10 November 1967, published by the Universal Coloured People’s Association. Obi Egbuna, the spokesperson for the group, claimed they had recruited 778 members in London during the previous seven weeks. In 1968 Egbuni published Black Power or Death. He was also active with CLR James and Calvin Hernton in the Antiuniversity of London,set up following the Dialectics of Liberation Congress.
Black is beautiful
Main article: Black is beautiful
The cultivation of pride in the African-American race was often summarized in the phrase “Black is Beautiful”. The phrase is rooted in its historical context, yet the relationship to it has changed in contemporary times. “I don’t think it’s ‘Black is beautiful’ anymore. It’s ‘I am beautiful and I’m black.’ It’s not the symbolic thing, the afro, power sign… That phase is over and it succeeded. My children feel better about themselves and they know that they’re black,” stated a respondent in Bob Blauner’s longitudinal oral history of U.S. race relations in 1986. The outward manifestations of an appreciation and celebration of blackness abound: black dolls, natural hair, black Santas, models and celebrities that were once rare and symbolic have become commonplace.
The “Black is beautiful” cultural movement aimed to dispel the notion that black people’s natural features such as skin color, facial features and hair are inherently ugly. John Sweat Rock was the first to coin the phrase “Black is Beautiful”, in the slavery era. The movement asked that men and women stop straightening their hair and attempting to lighten or bleach their skin. The prevailing idea in American culture was that black features are less attractive or desirable than white features. The movement is largely responsible for the popularity of the Afro. Most importantly, it gave a generation of African Americans the courage to feel good about who they are and how they look.
Impact on arts and culture
The Black Power movement produced artistic and cultural products that both embodied and generated pride in “blackness” and further defined an African-American identity that remains contemporary. Black Power is often seen as a cultural revolution as much as a political revolution, with the goal of celebrating and emphasizing the distinctive group culture of African Americans to an American society that had previously been dominated by white artistic and cultural expressions. Black power utilized all available forms of folk, literary, and dramatic expression based in a common ancestral past to promote a message of self-actualization and cultural self-definition. The emphasis on a distinctive black culture during the Black Power movement publicized and legitimized a culture gap between Blacks and Whites that had previously been ignored and denigrated. More generally, in recognizing the legitimacy of another culture and challenging the idea of white cultural superiority, the Black Power movement paved the way for the celebration of multiculturalism in America today.
The cultural concept of “soul” was fundamental to the image of African-American culture embodied by the Black Power movement. Soul, a type of “in-group cultural cachet,” was closely tied to black America’s need for individual and group self-identification. A central expression of the “soulfulness” of the Black Power generation was a cultivation of aloofness and detachment, the creation of an “aura or emotional invulnerability,” a persona that challenged their position of relative powerlessness in greater society. The nonverbal expressions of this attitude, including everything from posture to handshakes, were developed as a counterpoint to the rigid, “up-tight” mannerisms of white people. Though the iconic symbol of black power, the arms raised with biceps flexed and clenched fists, is temporally specific, variants of the multitude of handshakes, or “giving and getting skin,” in the 1960s and 1970s as a mark of communal solidarity continue to exist as a part of black culture. Clothing style also became an expression of Black Power in the 1960s and 1970s. Though many of the popular trends of the movement remained confined to the decade, the movement redefined standards of beauty that were historically influenced by Whites and instead celebrated a natural “blackness.” As Stokely Carmichael said in 1966, “We have to stop being ashamed of being black. A broad nose, thick lip and nappy hair is us and we are going to call that beautiful whether they like it or not.” “Natural” hair styles, such as the Afro, became a socially acceptable tribute to group unity and a highly visible celebration of black heritage. Though the same social messages may no longer consciously influence individual hair or clothing styles in today’s society, the Black Power movement was influential in diversifying standards of beauty and aesthetic choices. The Black Power movement raised the idea of a black aesthetic that revealed the worth and beauty of all black people.
In developing a powerful identity from the most elemental aspects of African-American folk life, the Black Power movement generated attention to the concept of “soul food,” a fresh, authentic, and natural style of cooking that originated in Africa. The flavor and solid nourishment of the food was credited with sustaining African Americans through centuries of oppression in America and became an important aid in nurturing contemporary racial pride. Black Power advocates used the concept of “soul food” to further distinguish between white and black culture; though the basic elements of soul food were not specific to African-American food, Blacks believed in the distinctive quality, if not superiority, of foods prepared by Blacks. No longer racially specific, traditional “soul foods” such as yams, collard greens, and deep-fried chicken continue to hold a place in contemporary culinary life.
Black Arts Movement
Main article: Black Arts Movement
The Black Arts Movement or BAM, founded in Harlem by writer and activist Amiri Baraka (born Everett LeRoy Jones), can be seen as the artistic branch of the Black Power movement. This movement inspired black people to establish ownership of publishing houses, magazines, journals and art institutions. Other well-known writers who were involved with this movement included Nikki Giovanni; Don L. Lee, later known as Haki Madhubuti; Sonia Sanchez; Maya Angelou; Dudley Randall; Sterling Plumpp; Larry Neal; Ted Joans; Ahmos Zu-Bolton; and Etheridge Knight. Several black-owned publishing houses and publications sprang from the BAM, including Madhubuti’s Third World Press, Broadside Press, Zu-Bolton’s Energy Black South Press, and the periodicals Callaloo and Yardbird Reader. Although not strictly involved with the Movement, other notable African-American writers such as novelists Ishmael Reed and Toni Morrison and poet Gwendolyn Brooks can be considered to share some of its artistic and thematic concerns.
BAM sought “to link, in a highly conscious manner, art and politics in order to assist in the liberation of black people”, and produced an increase in the quantity and visibility of African-American artistic production. Though many elements of the Black Arts movement are separate from the Black Power movement, many goals, themes, and activists overlapped. Literature, drama, and music of Blacks “served as an oppositional and defensive mechanism through which creative artists could confirm their identity while articulating their own unique impressions of social reality.” In addition to acting as highly visible and unifying representations of “blackness,” the artistic products of the Black Power movement also utilized themes of black empowerment and liberation. For instance, black recording artists not only transmitted messages of racial unity through their music, they also became significant role models for a younger generation of African Americans. Updated protest songs not only bemoaned oppression and societal wrongs, but utilized adversity as a reference point and tool to lead others to activism. Some Black Power era artists conducted brief mini-courses in the techniques of empowerment. In the tradition of cultural nationalists, these artists taught that in order to alter social conditions, Blacks first had to change the way they viewed themselves; they had to break free of white norms and strive to be more natural, a common theme of African-American art and music. Musicians such as the Temptations sang lyrics such as “I have one single desire, just like you / So move over, son, ‘cause I’m comin’ through” in their song “Message From a Black Man,” they expressed the revolutionary sentiments of the Black Power movement.
Ishmael Reed, who is considered neither a movement apologist nor advocate, said: “I wasn’t invited to participate because I was considered an integrationist” but he went on to explain the positive aspects of the Black Arts Movement and the Black Power movement:
I think what Black Arts did was inspire a whole lot of Black people to write. Moreover, there would be no multiculturalism movement without Black Arts. Latinos, Asian Americans, and others all say they began writing as a result of the example of the 1960s. Blacks gave the example that you don’t have to assimilate. You could do your own thing, get into your own background, your own history, your own tradition and your own culture. I think the challenge is for cultural sovereignty and Black Arts struck a blow for that.
By breaking into a field typically reserved for white Americans, artists of the Black Power era expanded opportunities for current African Americans. “Today’s writers and performers,” writes William L. Van Deburg, “recognize that they owe a great deal to Black Power’s explosion of cultural orthodoxy”.
It was August 2009 when I was admitted to the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras and that what was when I first saw the amalgamation of a new breed of Puerto Rican I had never encountered before in my life, the guaynabit@s/blanquit@s. Most impoverished and working-class people in Puerto Rico call them guaynabit@s, guaynabich@s and/or blanquit@s; derivatives from the word blanquito, meaning white Puerto Ricans with money. I remembered that I heard those terms when I had been in the barrio of Sabana Seca in Toa Baja and somebody started saying “En poco le rompo la cara al guaynabito pendejo ese…” and also heard, “Ese es un blanquito de la YUPI…” I wondered what could a guyanabit@ or a blanquit@ be? Most of the guaynabit@s or blanquit@s were dressed in different styles: some were dressed like hipsters, others dressed like yuppies, followed by west coast-looking surfers while others dressed in European fashions. Most of them were the whitest Puerto Ricans I had ever seen in all my life and had no problem in taking pride in their whiteness.
Many of them spoke English very well but unlike New York Puerto Ricans they spoke like white Americans with the ‘bro’, ‘totally’ and ‘dude’ colloquialisms. They uttered the words, ‘like’ and ‘loca’, in the same sentence every time they spoke. I was impressed by the way they were speaking in Spanglish with an Anglo-American twist because it was these people who were supposed to hate Nuyorican Spanglish and be patriotic ‘Spanish Only’ Puerto Ricans. They behaved very similarly to U.S hipsters who talked about hipsters but never admitted they were the very hipsters they criticized. These blanquit@s were the same way, always criticizing upper-class people without looking in the mirror.
There I was with an old New York Yankees fitted baseball cap, a long white t-shirt, and my crusty Nike sneakers. My black skin covered in tattoos wanted to disappear in thin-air like Chevy Chase in the movie Invisible Man. It was obvious that they enjoyed a good chunk of white supremacy and privilege and didn’t mix with Puerto Ricans of darker hues even if Puerto Rican nationalism stressed that we were all mixed. One could tell that most of the professors at UPR-Rio Piedras came from the same blanquit@/guyanabit@ stock, which probably did not think much of me either, even though they never gave me an unfair grade and even to this day I am grateful for that. It might have been because they had the privilege of being color-blind. Most of those professors also refrained from talking about blackness, stateside Puerto Ricans or anything that questioned their privileged gatekeeping, prophetic intellectual identity and above all; archetypical Puerto Rican identity. I would spend five more years defending the Puerto Rican diaspora and contemporary blackness in those classrooms which was usually rebutted by a simple silent treatment by the professor and the students.
It was surprising for me to see white privileged Puerto Ricans play plena, bomba, and salsa music considering that those are Afro-diasporic derived musical inheritances of black resistance.This usurpation of black culture caused me frustration because I knew that black Puerto Rican culture was more than listening to salsa while getting drunk off of Medalla Lights on the Juan Ponce de Leon Blvd. I noticed that what acclaimed Afro-Puerto Rican scholar, writer and researcher, Isar Godreau argued was right: that there is a selective celebration of blackness in Puerto Rico. A selective blackness that was folklorized and distanced that does not require critically assessing inner-workings that contribute racial inequity and injustice. In these academic spaces most black Puerto Ricans seemed more interested in being accepted as Puerto Rican first before being black and never spoke about racism and white supremacy, always reinforcing racial harmony.
Felipe Luciano’s publication A New Deal Between Stateside and Island Puerto Ricans: The View From a New York Rican (2012) predicted the problems with the ongoing smug institutional racism in Puerto Rico. He comments:
We’ve noticed that your professional class has been coming in droves to America, many with their bourgeois attitudes on class and race, their inability or unwillingness to deal with Black people and their occupation of top level positions in our cities based on their educational attainment. In the main they’ve done well, but, now, they’ve got to take a back seat. They’re hurting us.
Nowhere is Luciano’s comments truer than experiencing it oneself in racist institutional spaces surrounded by blanquit@s/guaynabit@s. Only, in spaces that certainly contribute to glaring racial inequities in higher education and lack of black racial advancement, one has to find out exactly who are these blanquit@s/guaynabit@s that Feliciano mentions and how they came to be.
One of the most well documented and researched works on gated communities in Guaynabo City is Carlos Suarez-Carrasquillo’s dissertation Marketing and Gated Communities: A Case study of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico (2014), which examines the emergence of surveillance and luxury gated communities and its relationship to race and class. He posits,
Homogeneity can be accounted, for in these communities in the Puerto Rican context is dominated by income, and not surprisingly, the spheres of power that belongs for the most part to white Puerto Ricans. A clear example is how the term guaynabito has been gaining more prominence in popular conversations. This in my opinion certainly an offspring of the term blanquito which is how whiteness has been defined in the Puerto Rican context that not only includes race but income as well.
Shockingly, however, over the past ten years white middle-class Puerto Rican migration to the United States is on the rise and continues to change the Puerto Rican landscape. The massive population decrease in Puerto Rico and the alarming reconfigurations of Puerto Rican destinations to mainly Florida, the Midwest amongst other regions requires an examination through an Afrolati@ lens and epistemology if we are to condemn black racism and continue anti-racist organizations that began in Latin America and the Caribbean in the 1970s. The term Afrolatin@ was reared in the United States with a transnational cross-fertilization between the United States and Latin American and the Caribbean. This movement stresses anti-black racism within the Latin@ communities themselves who stress a propensity to uphold mestizaje while upholding blackness at the bottom of the racial hierarchy.
What implication do these blanquit@s and guaynabit@s have in the way that transnational Puerto Ricanness is constructed? How does the Puerto Rican construction of whiteness and white supremacy reflect on the massive population decrease in recent years? Are these blanquit@s/guaynabit@s going to be in solidarity with marginalized folks in the U.S upon their arrival, or will they assimilate to U.S notions of whiteness?
The lack of sustained academic attention of this new wave of Puerto Ricans is worrisome from an Afro-latin@ epistemology. Puerto Rican racial politics is in deep connection with the whitewashing of Latinos in the United States in order to give them honorary whiteness. Despairingly, the significant academic and cultural politics of the Nuyorican movement, and Afrlolatin@ movements amongst other community initiatives by important figures like Tato Laviera, Miguel Pinero, Mariposa Rodriguez, Pedro Pietri followed by foregrounding works of scholars like Juan Flores, Miriam Jimenez, Jossiana Arroyo, amongst others, are under scrutiny by many Ivory towers in Puerto Rico and the United States. This reminds us that we have a strong base and our presence cannot be ignored, especially in mainland territory. The Afrolatin@ and Latinegr@s movements are in the rise and would benefit from analyzing the constructions of Puerto Rican whiteness and recent migrations. The crux of my argument suggests that with the increase of white Puerto Rican migration in mostly white American spaces intersected with the already racist culture and customs of Puerto Rican culture, Puerto Rican blanquit@s/guaynabit@s in the United States and the island will continue to efface the Afro-diasporic linkages of black cultural and political heritage of Puerto Rican culture supported by their dissociation with blackness.
According to the lauded Puerto Rican scholar, Juan Flores, more than just economic remittances result as a circular migration between countries of origin and the United States. Flores coined the term “cultural remittances” as the process that results from the cultural exchanges, interactions, and experiences Puerto Ricans have in the ebb and flows of migrations resulting in a fluid re-construction of Puerto Rican identity. Flores has investigated on how Puerto Rican migration from below, meaning; marginalized classes from the U.S and Puerto Rico have influenced Puerto Rican culture with the introduction of converged musical forms such as New York salsa and hip-hop amongst political movements. I predict that due to white Puerto Rican migrations toward predominantly white spaces will create cultural remittances that will rapidly increase the already racist establishment in Puerto Rico and the mainland. White U.S supremacy and racism can also become part of “cultural remittances” affecting Puerto Rico. Conversely, the racist baggage Puerto Ricans bring with them is also worrisome. Simply writing of blackness in Puerto Rico and the United States gives Puerto Rican academics the impression that race only has to do with blackness and nothing to do with whiteness making it fundamental to further investigate how whiteness affects the process of Puerto Rican migration, the construction of a new state-side Puerto Rican and development of racial politics.
White supremacy has increased exponentially in Puerto Rico since the island has experienced economic recession, severe population decrease and talks about statehood further alienating the Puerto Ricans Caribbean heritage. The same way social media creates groups of resistance through global hip-hop movements so has social and corporate media propagated the construction of guaynabitonness in Puerto Rico. Many scholars refuse to write about blanquit@s/guaynabit@s because scholars of them are in fact blanquit@s/guaynabit@s, an issue, which continues to diminish spaces for black introspection in the academy.
Construction of White Puerto Rican identities in the Island
Isar Goudreau argued at the Second Symposium of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg: Culture, Race and Gender (2014) at The University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras while accompanied by Miriam Jimenez: “Taino culture is explained thoroughly while black history starts in slavery without mentioning powerful African nations and cultures prior to resistance, capture and slavery.” Indeed, very seldom do Puerto Ricans in general ask the question: How did plena and bomba come to emerge? Was there a black consciousness taking place that created these Puerto Rican elements? Does blackness have to always be examined with a national lens or is African diaspora really credible? Do black Puerto Rican figures like Arturo Schomburg, Tego Calderón, and Mayra Santos-Febres have a black consciousness? How has it been obliterated and swept under the rug by a ruling white middle and upper-class by calling one a vende patria or a Boricua de embuste whenever one claims an existential right to have our reason to exist and recognized as black bodies. There is a white Puerto Rican history; it is called Puerto Rican history. There is white Puerto Rican poetry it is called Puerto Rican poetry. Puerto Rican culture has been unable to shepherd our people out of the wilderness of racism and inequality. U.S colonialism was resisted while simultaneously privileging whiteness and denying any charges of racism while controlling blackness through a nationalistic agenda.
In her book Locked In and Locked Out: Gated Communities in a Puerto Rican City (2013) Zaire Dinzey-Flores, investigates how spatial boundaries are deliberately delineated to enforce and reinforce boundaries of inequality based on social class and race. Gates were erected during the 1970s and 80s, which led to more unequal segregation. Increasing fear of crime led to voluntarily erected gates for the rich and involuntary gates for the poor. The most famous epicenter known to harbor the construction of whiteness and gated communities in Puerto Rico is the city of Guaynabo.
White racialized homogeneity excludes black and low-income people. Guaynabo City was a microcosm and paradigmatic example of the future new waves of white Puerto Ricans that would immigrate to the United States in the 21st century. During the 1970s while the development of gated communities or controles de accesso was on the rise, so were low-income government housing projects. During this time there was a massive return migration from stateside Puerto Ricans usually seeking alternatives to post-industrial economic hardships. It was from these interstices that salsa, reggeaton, and hip-hop germinated, feminist and queer ideas fertilized and flourished into the eventual conduit of poor working-class and Afro-Puerto Rican identities. Institutional racism neglected working-class and black populations and sought to control a Puerto Rican national identity that stressed racial harmony. Puerto Rican became a race in itself that ignored racial hegemonies in the island further exacerbating equality for black people, which increased white privilege.
Institutions like El Instituto de Cultura, Department of Tourism and the University of Puerto Rico amongst other prestigious universities and government agencies are in part responsible for making sure the politics of exclusion within Puerto Rican identity went unmentioned. These universities very seldom teach Black Studies, African Diaspora studies, or Puerto Rican diaspora and migration, which further emphasizes how Puerto Ricanness should be envisioned—another project of white supremacy.
Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 3.35.18 PM
White middle-class Puerto Ricans would benefit and appropriate the ideological social problems of the 1970s without the benefit of having to engage in self-criticism by scapegoating U.S colonialism as responsible for all the problems in the island, including racism. More compellingly, the crack-cocaine trade was attractive as a counter to poverty within the postindustrial cities of Puerto Rico. Furthermore, during the 1980s many black Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, particularly, young black men, were excluded from both the service and high tech industries that were developing in the island, leading to high unemployment rates among black youth.
The white Puerto Rican middle classes benefitted from these social inequalities and were recruited for well-to-do jobs by family members also colloquially known as palas, which goes unmentioned as a destructive economic element. These inequalities led to emerge of illegal activity as a primary conduit for economic survival amongst poor segments in Puerto Rico. Illicit activities like petty thievery, prostitution and even drug dealing had been a small part of the informal economy of segregated black spaces throughout the twentieth century. Reggaeton, a genre despised by most white middle-class Puerto Ricans would be an important representation of these lifestyles confronted and far removed historically and intellectually from the landscape of Puerto Rican epistemologies. After years of Puerto Ricans’ blatant dissociation with stateside Puerto Ricans for not being “real” Puerto Ricans, has now become a reality for themselves.
Massive Population Decrease 1990s-Present
Puerto Ricans in the island have been an important presence in more recent massive migrations to areas of the U.S. without previously established Puerto Rican communities, which some analysts read as brain drains and as a drastic population decrease. Puerto Rico has been experiencing a massive population decrease in the last fifteen years with a new type of Puerto Rican moving from Puerto Rico to the United States. Although many are poor working-class Puerto Ricans who are seeking a better life, an abundant white Puerto Rican population is also migrating to the United States. Unlike poor working-class Puerto Ricans, many guaynabitos have a strong academic background, enjoy white privilege in the U.S, and continue their studies and thrive among their white constitutes while working-class Puerto Ricans benefit from their whiteness and anti-black attitudes. Many of these white middle-class Puerto Ricans have white counterparts and are creating the new Americans. As Arlene Davila’s states in her book Latino Spin: Public Image and the Whitewashing of Race (2008):
In dispute is whether Latinos will mongrelize America, or become the new group on the route to whiteness, the new Italians or Irish Americans; or whether they will become the new “mainstream”, or perhaps, the new base for the Republican Party
In the last decade various racist videos in YouTube have been uploaded by Puerto Ricans from the island to discuss “Boricuas Vs. Nuyoricans The Truth!” stressing the difference of white and sophisticated islanders in comparison with the ghetto uneducated stateside Puerto Ricans. In her article Boricuas Vs. Nuyoricans–Indeed! (2008) Miriam Jimenz argues:
It is to this white identity that our amateur video-maker pays homage citing census figures and mitochondrial-DNA studies of University of Puerto Rico biologist Juan Carlos Cruz to “buttress” his argument that “real” Puerto Ricans owe their genetic and cultural mestizaje to European and indigenous peoples. And it is this understanding of a de-Africanized mestizaje that many Puerto Ricans cling to when they first arrive to the United States.
The perils and advantages of these attacks underscores that not identifying as white is a clear indication that white Puerto Ricans want to continue to enjoy white privilege in the U.S while also claiming Puerto Rican identity through a racist agenda. Stateside Puerto Ricans who refuse to acknowledge their whiteness due to defiance to white Anglo supremacy also do a disservice to Puerto Rican equality due to lacking an acknowledgment of white privilege and multi-dimensionalities within Puerto Rican identity. This indoctrination has been ingrained in them since birth with hopes of forgetting powerful African empires, African slavery, black resistance, the aesthetic Caribbean transformations that resulted from it and also the black consciousness that lead to the creation of black culture. Many recently Puerto Rican migrations have settled in locations that tend to be predominantly inhabited by Anglo-Americans. According to Jorge Duany and Felix Matos’ investigation of Puerto Rican migration to Orlando, the media falsely portrays Puerto Ricans from the island as an educated middle-class, white collar, and from the suburbs while they conclude that many come from working-class backgrounds as well. Yet the report states:
In particular, Puerto Rican communities in Orlando differ significantly from their counterparts in other major U.S cities, such as New York, not only in their historical origins and settlement patterns, but also in their mode of economic, political and cultural incorporation. Economically, Puerto Ricans have been more successful in Central Florida than elsewhere, as measured by their income, occupational, residential and cultural incorporation.
Duany’s and Matos’ 2000 census analysis in Florida also underscores:
More than two thirds classified themselves as white, the highest proportion of all states. Inversely a smaller proportion of Puerto Ricans identified themselves as black or some other race. According to the census, Island-born Puerto Ricans are more likely to describe themselves as white and less likely to describe themselves as black than mainland-born Puerto Ricans.
These investigations are helpful but do not address white privilege and discrimination. Also, there is a possibility that due to living in the U.S south, a region known to be extremely racist, Puerto Ricans may identify as white as a protective measure. This also shows that although not all Puerto Ricans are identifying as white in the United States and prefer the option of ‘Puerto Rican’ or ‘other’ in the census, it tells us that discussion of race is still an unspoken issue in Puerto Rican culture. No longer can we allow racism and white supremacy in the Latino and black communities.
In September 2014, director and activist Cesar Vargas published an article: “The privilege of White Hispanic II, Facts, Stats and Cognitive Dissonance” arguing that white Latinos enjoy more privileges than Black or Afro-Latinos and more opportunities for upward mobility. He also underscores the white middle class complaining about alleged racism for not being white enough. However, Vargas argues:
Do you know what’s the biggest struggle white Latinos face according to these articles/blogs? Being confused for white and having to prove to other Latinos their Latino-ness. Seriously, if that is your biggest struggle then it would behoove you to reconsider your entire existence and why you think that should supersede any other issue we’re facing today.
The article was an extension of his first version “The Privilege of White Latinos: Leaving Out the Rest” that infuriated many white and black Latin@s when it went viral in the Huffington post. He argues “People talk so much about Latin@s denying their blackness but bring up the term white Latino and you will see an extreme reaction, visceral attack by white Latin@s themselves”.  This exemplifies the extent to which white supremacy and racial harmony admonishes any pathway toward racial equality.
Puerto Rican diaspora research needs to focus on white supremacy in the island and the uncritical celebration of “Latin@ middle class” desires that is masked by the continuous mainstreaming of racism in the Latino media, color-blind ideology, and false pan-Latin homogeneous racial makeups. Arlene Davila’s research on the controversial transformations by El Museo del Barrio and other Latin@ institutions discussed in her book Latino Spin (2008) exemplifies how the gains of the Afro-Latin@ movement have begun to faltered due to white Latin@ establishments who are obsessed with “Latininzing” (aka whitewashing) our black identities.
During the 1970s a massive migration of stateside Puerto Ricans returned to Puerto Rico only to be mistreated and referred to as immoral, violent, Afrocentric, lazy, welfare-dependent and drug-addicted felons consumed by American values. Ironically for white Puerto Ricans the script has flipped and now they are the ones who are moving to the United States and “consumed” by American values. In these times, new research agendas should focus on destabilizing any purity with Puerto Rican identity and asking on which side of the struggle with the U.S are they? Are they for white supremacy or are they for equality and justice for all? Will black Puerto Rican island scholars take off their anti-U.S. Black and Puerto Rican Studies blinders and help us achieve racial justice?
The recent white Puerto Rican migration to the United States is further co-opting Puerto Rican identity and culture into a larger project of whitening that, far from acquiring honorary whiteness, has contributed to the multiple marginalizations of Afro-Puerto Ricans, other Afro-Latin@s and people of color in general. Many middle-class Puerto Ricans are strikingly reminiscent of Puerto Rican identity while embracing romanticized articulations of nationalism. More compellingly, it carries its white consciousness and culture through its racist efforts to diminish seeing the Puerto Rican experience through the black lens. Their lens provide a view that stems from European colonialism that perhaps will not leave its inherent influence that now has further spilled to the stateside eradicating strenuous years of counter-culture stemming from the Nuyorican movement to the Afrolatin@ movement.
Afro-Puerto Rican scholar and writer Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro published a short article suggesting that Puerto Rico should follow African studies in the United States amongst other countries. Many Afro-Puerto Rican scholars refuse to deconstruct white supremacy and white privilege. While return Puerto Rican migrants in the 70s were treated harshly, our national identity loyalties obligate us to give white Puerto Ricans a break and a right to be as racist as they want to be simply because we are all colonial subjects. Sympathetically, matters of national belonging and a fear of becoming completely invisible and unaccounted for is the space of liminality that black Puerto Ricans live in.
The options are limited: Black Puerto Ricans in the island either confront white supremacy straight on using their voice and risk being completely obliterated from belonging to a Puerto Rican nationhood, or not take the risk and continue to enjoy a small piece of belonging within a liminal space. It is a space of having a social life in a very limited and marginal space. We need to explore the space of liminalities of national identity in order to understand their fears of confronting an identity that attempts to erase them completely. How do people make the best out of this space of liminality? What does it allow us to do? How can we position ourselves as black bodies in order to have some agency? It goes back to strategic exceptionalisms. If we are to unite against the U.S it will not be by upholding a flag that represents white supremacy.
As a colonial territory there is little inkling in criticizing our own people while achieving autonomy and belonging. Many black subjects that seek independence in the island are often supported by many white middle-class blanquit@s/guaynabit@s who want the same thing, resulting in leaving race in the back seat for another discussion. As a U.S colony there is fear to erode any hopes of achieving independence; hence the fear of critiquing racism and white supremacy. These multiple positionalities are in contradiction sometimes. I say it is time we continue to explore white supremacy and white privilege in Puerto Rico while understanding our own afro-diasporic and multiplicities of black consciousness. Not just our African heritage, like bomba and plena, but our black Afro-Caribbean and diasporic inheritance as well. We do not owe anything to blanquit@s/ guaynabit@s or any other white racist Puerto Ricans.
Miguel Pinero’s poem, A Lower East Side Poem, stresses he does not want be buried in Puerto Rico and instead prefers to be near the stabbing, shooting, gambling, fighting, and unnatural dying and pleads to have his ashes scattered throughout the Lower East Side. This poetic statement may be interpreted as a cognitive dissonance in Puerto Rico for its unpatriotic tone but I wonder: Where are these recently arrived Puerto Ricans going to want their ashes buried at?
William Garcia is an Afro-Nuyorican by way of Staten Island. He is an MA candidate in history at the university of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. His research interests are Afro-Latino history, hip hop, and reggaeton in the Caribbean and Puerto Rican transnational migration. He is currently a bilingual elementary school teacher in Austin, TX.
Bonilla Eduardo, Racism Without Racists: Color Blind Racism & Racial Inequality in Contemporary America, (2010) Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Betances, Samuel, The Prejudice of Having no Prejudice in Puerto Rico. 1972. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ081957
Chaves, Linda, Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politic of Hispanic Assimilation, (1991)
Duany, Jorge, Blurred Borders, Transnational Migration Between the Hispanic Caribbean and the United States (2014), The University of Carolina Press.
Flores, Juan. From Bomba to Hip-hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity. (2000) New York: Columbia University Press
Flores Juan. “Créolité in the Hood: Diaspora as source and challenge.” Centro Journal, Fall 2004, number 002, City University of New York, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños.
Flores Juan, The Diaspora Strikes Back: Caribeño Tales of Learning and Turning (2009) by Routledge.
Flores Juan, Jimenez Miriam. The Afrolatin@ Reader: history and Culture in the United States. edited, Duke University Press.
Fountain-Stokes, Larry La, Queer Ricans: Cultures and Sexualities in the Diaspora, University of Minnesota Press, 2009
Godreau, Isar (2006) “Folkloric Others:‘Blanqueamiento’ and the Celebration of Blackness as an Exception in Puerto Rico” in Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness. Deborah Thomas and Kamari Clarke ed. 171-187 Durham: Duke University Press.
Goudreau, Isar Scripts of Blackness: Race, Cultural Nationalism and U.S colonialism in Puerto Rico, University of Illinois Press, (2015).
Gonzales, Lydia, la Tercera Raiz: Presencia Africana en Puerto Rico. 1993. Centros de Estudios de La Realidad Puertorriquena de instituto de cultura Puertorriquena.
Kantrowitz, Nathan, Algunas Consecuencias Raciales: diferencias Educativas Y Ocupacionales entre los Puertorriqueños Blancos y No Blancos en los Estados Unidos continentales 1950, Revista de Ciencias Sociales 15(3): 387-97.
Luciano, Felipe, A New Deal between Stateside and Island Puerto Ricans: The View From a New York Rican (2012) Latinegr@s Project, http://montyandme.tumblr.com/post/6469349094/a-new-deal-between-stateside-and-island-puerto
Pabón, Carlos, Nación Postmortem: Ensayos Sobre los Tiempos de Insoportable Ambigüedad, 2006, Ediciones Callejon.
Rodríguez Olleros, Ángel, Canto a la Raza: Composición Sanguínea de estudiantes de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, (1974)Rio Piedras colegio de Farmacia
Vargas, Cesar The privilege of White Latino: Leaving out the Rest (9/92014) Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/casar-vargas/the-privilege-of-white-hi_b_5780940.html
Vargas, Cesar: The privilege of White Hispanic II, Facts, Stats and Cognitive Dissonance, UPLIFTT, http://www.upliftt.com/film/the-privilege-of-white-hispanic-ii-facts-stats-and-cognitive-dissonance/
Wise, Tim, Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and white Denial in the Age of Obama (2009) City Light Books.
 See Isar Godreau, “Folkloric Others:‘Blanqueamiento’ and the Celebration of Blackness as an Exception in Puerto Rico” in Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness. Deborah Thomas and Kamari Clarke ed. 171-187(2006) Durham: Duke University Press.
 Isar Goudreau, Scripts of Blackness: Race, Cultural Nationalism and U.S colonialism in Puerto Rico, University of Illinois Press, (2015).
 Luciano, Felipe A New Deal between Stateside and Island Puerto Ricans: The View From a New York Rican (2012)
 Carlos Suarez Carrasquillo, Marketing and Gated Communities: A case Study of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico (9-1-2009), University of Massachusetts-Amherst, pp.: 179.
 Sookhee, Oh, Locked in, locked Out: Gated communities in a Puerto Rican City (2014), Book Review, published the American Journal of sociology, vol. 120, Nov 1, 2014.
 Arlene Davila Latino Spin: Public Image and the Whitewashing of Race (2008), New York University Press: pp. 1.
 Boricuas vs. Nuyoricans The Truth! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDvMf_DLrbE
 Miriam Jimenz, Nuyiricans Vs. Boricaus Indeed!, Revista, Harvard rEview of Latin America. http://revista.drclas.harvard.edu/book/boricuas-vs-nuyoricans—indeed
 Jorge Duany, Felix V Matos Rodriguez, Puerto Ricans in Orlando and Central Florida.
 Ibid, p. 21.
 Cesar Vargas, The privilege of White Hispanic II, Facts, Stats and Cognitive Dissonance (2014)
 Cesar Vargas, The privilege of White Latino: Leaving out the Rest (9/92014) Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/casar-vargas/the-privilege-of-white-hi_b_5780940.html
 Op Cit, Miriam jimenez.
 Op Cit, Arlene Davila, Latino Spin, pp. 18.
 Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro, Estamos Listos Para Tener Nuestra Propia Facultad de Estudios Africanos en Alguna Universidad en Puerto Rico?, Revista Cruce, Critica socio-Cultural Contemporanea, Universidad Metropolitana, http://revistacruce.com/politica-sociedad/estamos-listos-para-tener-nuestra-propia-facultad-de-estudios-africanos.html
The Unknown History of Latino Lynchings
(Warning: this article contains images that some may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.)
The following is a summary & analysis of Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review article, “Law of the Noose: A History of Latino Lynching” by Richard Delgado.
Delgado attempts to shed light on a largely unknown history of Latinos, particularly Mexican-Americans in the Southwest U.S., who were lynched between the years of 1846 and 1925. This is roughly the same time that many Blacks were lynched in the U.S., as well. While many know of the ominous and horrific fate that Blacks and African-Americans saw in the U.S., few know of the lynchings that Latinos were met with. Delgado challenges scholars and institutions by trying to unveil the truth on this shameful past, while exploring the history of these lynchings and explaining that “English-only” movements are a present-day form of lynchings.
Although research on Latino lynchings is relatively new, circa 2006-2009, lynchings have a deep rooted history. Such acts can be described as mob violence where person(s) are murdered/hanged for an alleged offense usually without a trial. Through reviewing of anthropological research, storytelling, and other internal & external interactions, there is believed to have been roughly 600 lynchings of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans beginning with the aftermath of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (this document essentially ended the Mexican-American war, where Mexico surrendered half of its land to the U.S.). This grim fate of Blacks & Mexicans in the U.S. was intertwined; both groups were lynched by Anglos for reasons such as “acting uppity,” taking jobs away from Anglos, making advances toward Anglo women, cheating at cards, practicing “Witchcraft,” and refusing to leave land that Whites coveted. Additionally, Mexicans were lynched for acting “too Mexican;” for example, if Mexicans were speaking Spanish too loudly or showcasing aspects of their culture too defiantly, they were lynched. Mexican women may also been lynched if they resisted the sexual advances of Anglo men. Many of these lynchings occurred with active participation of law enforcement. In fact the article reiterates that the Texas Rangers had a special animus towards persons of Mexican descent. Considering that Mexicans had little to no political power or social standing in a “new nation,” they had no recourse from such corrupt organizations. Popular opinion was to eradicate the Southwest of Mexicans.
Many of these lynchings were treated as a public spectacle; Anglos celebrated each of these killings as if the acts were in accordance with community wishes, re-solidifying society and reinforcing civic virtue. Ringleaders of such lynchings often mutilated bodies of Mexicans, by shooting the bodies after individuals were already dead, cutting off body parts, then leaving the remains on display perhaps in hung trees or in burning flames.
These lynchings took place in the Southwest U.S., in present-day Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada, amongst other states. The killings were carried out by vigilantes or other masked-men, as a form of “street justice.” These killings became so bad that the Mexican government lodged official complaints to the U.S. counsel in Mexico. Given that this region of the U.S. was at one time Mexican land, and it was shared with Indian/Indios, Mexicans, and Anglos, protests against the lynchings emerged. As legend has it, Joaquin Murrieta took matters into his own hands by murdering the Anglos responsible for the death of mythical figures Juan Cortina and Gregorio Cortes. Such acts were short-lived and perpetuated the conflict between Mexicans and Anglos.
Delgado goes on to cite that only some U.S. historians have written about these Latino lynchings and have pointed out that they occurred due to racial prejudice, protection of turf, and Yankee nationalism left over from the Mexican-American War. However, it has been concluded that such lynchings are a relatively unknown history due to a global pattern of shaping discourse as to avoid embarrassment of the dominant group. Those in power often have the ability to edit official records.
Further exploration reveals that these lynchings were not only edited & minimized outright, but were also ignored or misrepresented due to primary accounts in community newspapers being written in Spanish. Since very few mainstream historians read Spanish or consulted with these records, they were left to flounder. Also, many Latinos knew of these lynchings; their accounts were maintained, shared, and solidified as Mexican lore through ritualistically songs (corridos, actos, and cantares). Many oral cultures have equivalences of such interpretations. Today, Latino scholars are not surprised by history’s ignoring of such events; postcolonial theory describes how colonial societies almost always circulate accounts of their invasions that flatter and depicts them as the bearers of justice, science, and humanism. Conversely, the natives were depicted as primitive, bestial, and unintelligent. Subsequently, colonialists must civilize the natives, use the land & its resources in a better fashion, and enact a higher form of justice. The “official history” is written by the conquerors, thus showing them in the best possible light.
Delgado questions whether such remnants of Latino lynchings may still be present in society today. This can best be exemplified through movements to make English the official language of the U.S., forcing immigrants to assimilate to the dominant Anglo culture. Such actions can be illustrated in movements to end bilingual school opportunities and enforce English-only speaking at jobs, businesses, etc. Postcolonial scholars argue that such movements facilitate children to reject their own culture, acquire English, and forget their native language. These actions have far dire [documentable] consequence, like social distress, depression, and crime. As such, Delgado ventures to say that these actions are an implicit form of lynching.
Delgado ends the piece by saying that hidden histories of aggression, unprovoked war, lynchings, and segregation are corroborated/proliferated today by the mass media and entertainment industry. These groups, along with other scholars, have the opportunity to redress this history and reject further practices against Latinos. Otherwise, marginalized groups find themselves in a position where they are alienated from their family/identity/culture, co-opted, and unable to resist further oppression.
Such history is imperative to the framework of Americana and for acknowledgement purposes, not only because it is a matter of fact, but because this history is relevant to the ancestors of the land. History has always been exploited to benefit those who are in power, so to maintain their structures. However, today, I would argue that current powerbrokers would gain more respect & credibility by being honest with themselves and the actual history. Continuing to deny or ignore the history does an injustice to all. Current Chicanos, Mexican-Americans, and Americans alike would most benefit from this restoration for a few reasons.
First, a corrected version of history helps the people better understand themselves. Americans, Mexicans, the fusion of the two, in addition to people of the world, would recognize a better sense of their true identity & culture. The exploration of such history can perhaps allow for analysis of current rates of depression, crime/incarceration, and socioeconomic status(es). If we, the people, want to understand ourselves, we need to know the truth.
Secondly, if we want to understand why things are the way they are today, we can look to history. This shameful past can assist us in the interpretation of Mexican/American relations. Additionally, I believe that this understanding will help both groups reach a common ground with current relations. Since the year 2000 alone, the FBI has reported over 2,500 hate crimes against Latinos based on race and ethnicity. The U.S. is marred with a nasty & stalled immigration battle that is masked for hatred against Mexicans. In 2014, there is a continued, on-going crisis at the Southwest border affecting many children and families. With the history of these lynchings, it is now time for the “greatest country in the world” to make the wrong things right.
Again, we know that history can repeat itself, but only if we let it. Thus, the entire world needs to be educated on the true history of these lynchings. The more we are educated on such atrocities, the less likely we will allow them to happen again. Attacking the access of this knowledge is the third reason to explore this history. Ignoring the disastrous past does not make the history go away. With the knowledge of the truth, the Latino people can empower themselves to conquer stereotypes and achieve further greatness. Most Chicano/Latino studies programs in schools allow students to learn about their past while achieving higher marks. But in states like Arizona, educational officials have banned Chicano/Latino Studies in schools, and as a result have not allowed students to know the true history of the land they currently inhabit. This is not only a further atrocity, but it reaffirms Delgado’s point that current lynchings, lynchings of the mind, are happening today. This is blatant lying and it is unacceptable; when we lie to our government, we go to prison. When our government lies to us, it’s no big deal.
Furthermore, for those who are tired of people of color in the U.S. raising points of contention about racial issues in this country, you now see the justification. This is why we won’t be quiet about racism, racial prejudice, discrimination, etc. This is why we’ll march in the streets for the Trayvonn Martin’s, reject the school to prison pipeline, and continue to spread awareness until administrative action is taken on a grand scale. Today’s generation is a bi-product and reflection of this history; not only are these “lynchings” continuing to happen, but the masterplan has worked. In order to achieve our full capabilities, we need to reject a fragmented history and seek a personal revolution, which starts with ourselves. And we can achieve this revolution through education & knowledge.
Maximo Anguiano is a scholar, actor, and creative. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.
The Law of the Noose: A History of Latino Lynching. R. Delgado (2009). Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, 44, 297-312.
Lynchings in the West, Erased from History and Photos. K. Gonzalez-Day (2012). New York Times.