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4075, An Open Letter To African Americans From Latinos
Posted by malang, Fri Sep-05-03 08:55 AM
for what its worth....

An Open Letter To African Americans From Latinos

An Open Letter To African Americans From Latinos


Peoples of color are being hurt more than ever today, thanks to the
"Permanent War on Terrorism" and the war at home. It, therefore, seems more
important than ever to build alliances between our peoples who have similar
struggles for liberation from poverty and racism, for peace with justice.

This open letter is offered in that spirit.

The media have been full of it this year, with such headlines as "Hispanics
Now Largest Minority," "America's Ethnic Shift," "Latinos pass blacks unless
you count black Latinos" and "Hispanics Pass Blacks." We even hear
late-night TV host Jay Leno 'joke' to his musician (a Black man) that since
Latinos are now the largest minority - not African Americans - he and the
musician are minorities together.

As Latino/a teachers, activists, community people, students, artists and
writers, we stand fiercely opposed to anyone making those statistics a
reason to forget the unique historical experience of African Americans, the
almost unimaginable inhumanity of slavery lasting centuries, the vast
distance that remains on their long walk to freedom. We cannot let whatever
meager attention has been given to the needs of Black people up to now be
diminished by those new statistics.

In the Latino/a community we will combat the competitiveness that could feed
on those headlines and blind some of our people to the truth of this
society. We will combat the opportunism that is likely to intensify among
Latino politicians and professionals. We celebrate the unique resistance by
African Americans over the centuries, which has provided an inspiring
example for our communities as shown by the Chicano movement of 1965-75. We
affirm the absolute necessity of standing with you against racist
oppression, exploitation and repression - the real axis of evil - and of
supporting your demand for reparations.

Latinos/as who may find it hard to see beyond their own poverty, their own
struggles against racism - which are indeed real - need to think about one
simple truth. Only solidarity and alliances with others will create the
strength needed to win justice.

Those newly announced statistics emphasize difference and pit Brown against
Black like athletes racing against each other in the Oppression Olympics.
But other numbers show how much we share the same problems of being denied a
decent life, education, health care and all human rights. In times of war,
look who fights and dies for the United States out of all proportion to our
populations: Black and Brown people.

To put it bluntly: We are both being screwed, so let's get it together!

History makes the message clear. It is worth recalling a major reason why
George Washington - the invader who wasn't our Great White Father any more
than yours - became president. He made a name for himself by successfully
using the tactic of divide and conquer against different native nations and
tribes. Divide and conquer, later divide and control, has sustained White
supremacy ever since. It will continue to do so unless we cry out a joint,
unmistakable, thunderous NO.

That will not be easy. Our peoples have different histories and cultures,
together with great ignorance about each other. Competition for scarce
resources, from jobs to funding for university departments, can be real.
Latinos/as do not always see how in a nation so deeply rooted in racism,
they may have internalized the value system of White supremacy and White

As Latinos/as, we are committed to help build alliances against our common
enemies. We oppose the divisiveness encouraged by statistics about who is
more numerous than who. As activists, we urge our community to support Black
struggles and to fight together at every opportunity for our peoples'
liberation. As educators, we work to teach about both Black and Brown
history, and our past alliances. As men and women, we can never do too much
to assert our common humanity across color lines.

Last, but hardly least, Latinas/os are a very diverse people with many
different nationalities and histories. We also have various roots. In
particular, we should recall that more Africans were brought to Mexico as
slaves than the number of Spaniards who came, as can be seen by the
all-African villages in Mexico today. The African in us demands proud


Dr. Rodolfo Acuña, historian and author, California State University at
Juan Carlos Aguilar, program director, Solidago Foundation, Northampton,
Gloria Anzaldúa, writer, scholar and spiritual activist, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Ricardo Ariza, director, multicultural affairs, Creighton University, Omaha,
Frank Bonilla, professor, University of California-Riverside and professor
emeritus, Hunter College, N.Y.
Roberto Calderon, associate professor, history, University of North Texas,
Antonia Castañeda, associate professor, history, St. Mary's College, San
Antonio, Texas
Marta Cruz-Jansen, associate professor, Florida Atlantic University, Boca
Raoul Contreras, associate professor, Latino Studies, Indiana University-NW,
Kaira Espinosa, student activist, San Francisco State University at San
Estevan Flores, executive director, Latino/a Research & Policy Center,
University of Colorado, Denver
Bill Gallegos, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Los Angeles
César Garza, graduate student, Loyola University, Chicago
Yolanda Broyles-Gonzales, professor, Chicano Studies, University of
California-Santa Barbara
Francisco Herrera, community singer and activist, San Francisco
Jacque Larrainzar, musician and civil rights activist, Puerto Rico
Aya de León, writer, performer and activist, Berkeley, Calif.
Emma Lozana, director, Centro Sin Fronteras, Chicago
Jennie Luna, teacher, danzante and activist, New York
Roberto Maestas, executive director and co-founder, El Centro de La Raza,
Frank Martín del Campo, president, Labor Council for Latin American
Advancement, San Francisco
Elizabeth "Betita" Martínez, author, activist and teacher, San Francisco
Adelita Medina, free-lance journalist, New York
Roberto Miranda, editor-in-chief, "Spanish Journal," Milwaukee, Wis.
Carlos Montes, board president, Centro Community Service Center, Los Angeles
Richard Moore, executive director, Southwest Network for Environmental and
Economic Justice, Albuquerque, N.M.
Cherríe Moraga, author and playwright, San Francisco
Aurora Levins Morales, writer, historian, educator and organizer, Berkeley,
Ricardo Levins Morales, artist, educator and organizer, Minneapolis
Estela Ortega, director of operations and co-founder, El Centro de la Raza,
Joe Navarro, school teacher, poet and activist, Hollister, Calif.
José Palafox, doctoral candidate and filmmaker, U.C.-Berkeley
Eric Quezada, housing activist, San Francisco
Raúl Quiñones-Rosado and María Reinat-Pumarejo, Institute for Latino
Empowerment, Caguas, Puerto Rico
Marianna Rivera, Educator, Zapatista Solidarity Coalition, Sacramento
Dr. Julia E. Curry Rodriguez, assistant professor, San Jose State University
Victor M. Rodriguez, Crossroads Ministry board member and associate
professor, California State University-Long Beach
Graciela Sánchez, executive director, Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, San
Antonio, Texas
John Santos, musician, author, educator and founder of Machete Ensemble,
Oakland, Calif.
Renée Saucedo, activist-attorney and director Day Labor Program, San
Olga Talamante, executive director, Chicana/Latina Foundation, Pacifica,
Luis "Bato" Talamantez, human rights activist, former political prisoner and
poet, San Francisco
Piri Thomas, author, poet and activist, Albany, Calif.
Dr. Mercedes Lynn Uriarte, professor of journalism, University of Texas,
Leonard Valdez, director, Multi-Cultural Center, California State University
at Sacramento

The letter was prepared by Elizabeth Martínez, longtime activist, author and
director of the Institute for MultiRacial Justice, in consultation with Phil
Hutchings, last chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
and co-founder of the Institute and currently an
activist in Oakland. Send comments or suggestions to the Institute in San
Francisco at i4mrj@aol.com.

4076, and snoop says *CHUUUUUURCHHHH!!
Posted by twilite, Fri Sep-05-03 09:12 AM
thats true, I am a Latina and I get offended that they abuse the whole story that we are number one right now. BUT <--that word again...if you wanna get anal on the subject (since i do community organizing w/in my Latino communidad) Most Latinos got African in them...so if you really wanna count we are still ahead....now I am waiting for the Asians to come up.
4077, I fully support this.........
Posted by Yank, Fri Sep-05-03 09:13 AM
people dont realize that anyone of color and I mean anyone is of African Decent. They all share similar DNA traits.
4078, even "whites" and europeans.. nm
Posted by Ximo, Sun Sep-07-03 04:49 AM

4079, Amen
Posted by Belief, Fri Sep-05-03 09:20 AM
What we also need is an open letter from black folk to black folk, to stop discriminating against each other over how light or dark we are, over "good" hair and green eyes....the sooner that madness stops, the better.

4080, goes for the Latino hermanos and hermanas(sp) too
Posted by Cre8, Fri Sep-05-03 10:55 AM
we all need to realize that despite their bs(and 'they' know who 'they' are) all people of color in the US are still considered MINORities and 'them' the MAJORity. No doubt the people of color in the US account for more than the so-called majority, but as long as they can get us to fight like dogs to be at 'their' feet, 'they' will.
4081, RE: Cosign
Posted by blueology3, Fri Sep-05-03 11:08 AM
4082, RE: Cosign
Posted by mariposanegra, Fri Sep-05-03 04:45 PM
We will NOT be divided.
4083, RE: Cosign
Posted by bangkokkid, Sun Sep-07-03 01:05 AM
Solidarity is the essence of the struggle.
Until all economic, social, and politically disenfranchised people come together, We will never come up. This is what made activism in the sixities and seventies so powerful. Why have we forgot this lesson from the past...
4084, RE: Cosign
Posted by Taharka, Sun Sep-07-03 04:29 AM
I say this all the time europeans are so quick to lump Africans in amerikkka and the fight for human rights with homosexuals however when it comes to (so called hispanics) spanish speaking peoples who come in all ethncities many of African ancestry they put us against each other.

They say little $hit that irritates me like hispanics now out number Africans in Amerikkka as if we are in a f@#$ing contest to outnumber each other like some animals. The funny part is many people fall for it Africans and spanish speaking peoples should unite.

Spanish speaking peoples and Africans of the diaspora in Amerikkka have major similarities many of the same problems enemies etc.



4085, RE: Cosign
Posted by Taharka, Sun Sep-07-03 04:31 AM

Another site.
4086, RE: Cosign
Posted by blackfists, Sun Sep-07-03 05:26 AM
>Solidarity is the essence of the struggle.
>Until all economic, social, and politically disenfranchised
>people come together, We will never come up. This is what
>made activism in the sixities and seventies so powerful. Why
>have we forgot this lesson from the past...

This statement is 100% CORRECT! Solidarity is the essence of the struggle & the only way that we are going to "beat" this is by joining together..

I can go to the White House or to Capitol Hill or anywhere in DC & scream at the top of my lungs all the important issues that effect African Americans, Latinos & people of the African Diaspora. What good is it going to do? Probably none... I will probably end up in jail, for disturbing the peace, or even worse,under this new Homeland Security BS go to jail for committing some sort of terrorist act. But if I joined together with as many people possible, think big like a couple million people, have nationally known leaders to help support & tell them, "Hey we are not going to accept the BS that you have been dealing us & we want change!" Then I think that we would have a better chance of getting our issues across & coming to some sort of conclusion of getting what we want.

One of the reasons that this generation has "forgot" these lessons is:

Today we live in an integrated society. For the most part, when segregation was legal... People of color had to depend on their own systems (economic, social, educational, political, and so on) When segregation became illegal,

Think about Harlem and the other thriving black communities back in the day. These neighborhoods were totally dependent on themselves. You had an abundance of Black owned businesses and everything that you could have wanted or needed to survive in society was right there in your neighborhood. Groceries, shoes, doctors, dentists, restaurants, nightclubs, churches, music, hairdressers, barbers, everything.. Right there.

At this point in time, we were totally dependent on ourselves. We did not have to depend on white society for anything (maybe some tax dollars to pave the roads or for the schools or shit like that) When integration came along, which capitalism played a huge part in it... Black people abandoned all of the black owned businesses in their communities to go shop at white establishments... With the belief that "the white man's stuff is better" (not saying who's was better than who's) but in some cases shopping in the white neighborhood was better... The prices were lower, the quality of the produce & meats were better, etc...

So once we were integrated, the struggle shifted from US as a people to ME, MYSELF & I.

what do you think?
4087, also
Posted by blackfists, Sun Sep-07-03 05:32 AM
it's bad enough that Europeans use Blacks & Hispanics against each other.. but also look at what they did with people Spanish decent.. from what I know.. Mexicans & Puerto Ricans have no love for one another, Puerto Ricans & Dominicans, & other paople from the Carribean Islands.. it's like yo.. we all are struggling to make it & now we are fighting against one another.. damn it sucks..
4088, RE: also
Posted by Dae021, Fri Sep-12-03 04:40 AM
Lest we forget the Cubans hate of generally everyone. We need to get over these preconceived barriers that have placed up against us, and just realize that we're all fighting the same societal fight. None of our cultures are celebrated, but merely tolerated, and until these things are changed we will always be pitted against eachother.
4089, RE: Cosign
Posted by bangkokkid, Sun Sep-07-03 08:23 AM
Integration definitely played a big part in it. I think in many ways we forgot about each other. Keep in mind the government, namely the CIA, did their part in keeping us, blacks and latinos, divided and thus conquered. But also, blacks and latinos really dont, and really have never lived together and shared the same space. We got the the ghetto, they got the barrio. And however, close these to ethnic pockets might be in physical proximity, culturally they are worlds apart. Because of this, when blacks made economic progress in the seventies, we wasn't too worried about our hispanic brothers, cause after all, they had their own shit going on "over there." Conversely, as latinos came up and integrated into American society (fact is hispanics are more integrated in America than Blacks), they didn't consider that their African brothers weren't priveledged enough to make the same inroads. Much in the same way that the early Irish immigrants tried to make black folk the "problem" and divert attention away from themselves, in middle class America, blacks and latinos tried to do the same thing to each other. Shitty part about is, no matter how much we try to deny it (53% of hispanics in the U.S noted their race as White in the last census. Loads of black folk have consistently tried to deny their blackness. If we could some we write down white, or be considered white, many folks be doing the same), we are still viewed in the same light when comes down to it. Furthermore, we face the same problems in our respective neighborhoods. Bringing light to the fact that we have more similiarities than differences would help alot.
4090, But you are dividing
Posted by MrMick, Thu Sep-11-03 05:26 AM
Making it a white vs. non-white issue plays into the hands of America's power players, because common people still end up pitted against one another. In fact, people who benefit from the unorganization of the lower and middle classes can colour (no pun intended) the consolidation of minorities as a threat to poor whites, heightening distrust and fragmentation.

People need to realize that unity must transcend race if we truly wish to progress.

4091, compared to what...
Posted by Cre8, Fri Sep-12-03 04:30 AM
having a class war, in which upper class blacks, latinos and whites(w/ whites being majority) will continue to oppress and downplay its victimizing of the poor(majority Black and Latino)?
Isn't that already going on?
A persons class can be changed over night(i.e. lotto) but changing one's ethnicity is pretty damn immpossible.

Why is it that any time a non-white group of people talk about coming together, white folks get spooked? This aint about us wanting to hurt or harm white folks rich or poor, its about us coming together for the good of us, so get ya head out ya ass.

4092, You're wrong
Posted by MrMick, Fri Sep-12-03 05:01 AM
A) Even though I am white skinned, my mom is Mexican. So don't act like this is some "white folks are scared" type of shit.

B) You believe a huge lie about this country if you think that class can just be changed overnight. Yes, a very few number of people can win a lottery ticket and be set, but this country has a huge sustem in place to oppress the poor and keep the rich rich.

C) If it's about the poor coming together than let it be about that. Yes, blacks and latinos should not be divided, nor should they be divided from whites. You need to realize that if this division remains, then the focus will still be deflected from the oppression of the poor.

D) Using crude insults is no way to get your point across, and doesn't take the place of a substantive argument.

4093, to each issue accordingly....
Posted by malang, Fri Sep-12-03 05:23 AM
while i agree with you on principle...the fact of reality remains...people get screwed for being poor, for being colored, being women, etc etc...

the all poor people must come together argument only works for fighting classism....poor whites ARE/HAVE NOT been willing to either help, or even passively approve people of color movements against racism...

let people, people of color, DO WHAT THE HAVE TO DO. BUT MEANWHILE, keep working on building class based alliances too...

also, there are good number of issues between those two communities that are specific to that relationship...THOSE two communities have to deal with...

the two (people of color alliances, poor people alliances) ARE NOT the same, BUT are not exclusionary of each other either...
4094, whateva
Posted by Cre8, Fri Sep-12-03 09:28 AM
I'm sure you have no problem letting folks assume your pale ass is white. U probably rep that more than you do being Latino.'

and considering your upholding and arrogance in saying with PRIDE that your family disowned another member for marrying a non-white and non-Mexican person really shows how much of a standup ASSHOLE you are.
4095, Don't try it
Posted by MrMick, Fri Sep-12-03 02:30 PM
A) I didn't say I was proud about my family's bigotry, that's just how it is.

B) I am proud of my Irish and Mexican heritage, but I'm not going to front like I don't look white and that I face some sort of racial discrimination for being Latino.

and C) You're full of shit and you know it. You resort to cheap shots because you know that you don't know what you're talking about. I'm stepping out, reply if you want, I'm sure you'll have plenty of time to think of a personal insult, it's at least easier than having a point.

4096, tried and proven
Posted by Cre8, Sat Sep-13-03 10:30 AM
you already stated that shit with PRIDE don't try and bite ya tongue now. I aint gotta try you or make you look an ass, you do a fine job by yaself.
you the same type of self hatin mark that has no problem with latinos who look white, but forbid an Aztec, Inca(sp) lookin Mexican gets too close and definately forbid some Cuban, PR, Brazilian or other dark complexioned Latino be considered in your group.

4097, True dat!!!!! nm
Posted by Chris40, Sun Sep-07-03 10:05 AM
4098, RE: True dat!!!!! nm
Posted by bangkokkid, Thu Sep-11-03 10:31 PM
ITs true that real solidarity includes all people who all disenfranchised, regardless of color or any other arbitrary category. However, if you read the title of this post it says AN OPEN LETTER TO AFRICAN AMERICANS FROM LATINOS. I responsed accordingly.
4099, thanks for the post!
Posted by Zorasmoon, Sun Sep-07-03 06:08 AM
Logical statements have to abide by certain rules and restrictions. In order for a statement to be logical, it must be falsifiable, which means that it has to be presented in such a way that it could be proven incorrect. A statement is not logical if it cannot be tested to make sure it is true. --graveyardofthegods.net

~~~~~~OKP SIGS OF THE MONTH~~~~~~~
"Imagine all the people ..."
living for today" ... Lennon definitely summed up this phenomenon in the simplest, yet most eloquent fashion I've ever heard.
Seriously, we have half the world living their lives, hating others, denouncing curse words, carbombing infidels, starving themselves, burning witches, condemning heathens, wiping out populations, ignoring science and running from the problems of today based on the ridiculous notion that this life is nothing but a stepping stone to heaven, or a diving platform to hell, unless you bow down to *god*." -okp keithdawg

"Those who can see the legacy of the past in the present are better equipped to challenge the status quo."-Anna Agbe-Davies on African-American Archaeology


Recommended reading:

******Parable of the Sower- by Octavia Butler*******
Story about a hyper-empath who becomes the founder of a humanist cult created to transform the destiny of humankind

******The spirit of Terrorism- Jean Baudrillard*******
A MUST read for every thinking being
online copy @

4100, I can't believe...
Posted by MrMick, Sun Sep-07-03 07:45 AM
...that all the Latinos got together and sat down to write this letter. My family never said anything about it.

4101, RE: I can't believe...
Posted by blueology3, Sun Sep-07-03 09:17 AM
So your family has a different viewpoint?
4102, I'm just saying
Posted by MrMick, Tue Sep-09-03 02:31 PM
It's kind of ridiculous to say that a letter is from a whole group of people.

And yes, because I, unfortunately, have Mexican family members who don't like black people, and literally shunned another relative of mine for marrying a black man. So there you go.

4103, RE: I'm just saying
Posted by Chike, Fri Sep-12-03 04:24 AM
It IS from a whole group of people: the group of people who signed it. Two persons who happen to be Latino = Latinos, plural. You're supposed to distinguish between their use of a plural designating a community - African-Americans - and the use of a plural meaning "a number of Latinos". This letter is explicitly from a group of people on behalf of themselves as Latinos and on behalf of all Latinos who feel the same as them.

Props 2 the person who posted it... it was great.
4104, That's nonsense and you know it
Posted by MrMick, Fri Sep-12-03 05:04 AM
The purpose was obviously to represent Latinos as a whole. If not, why didn't they say, "A letter...from some Latinos." By your logic, I could say, "Latinos hate blacks," because I know some Latinos that do hate blacks.

Let's not play that game, okay? It just causes us to ignore the real issues.

4105, "Latinos hate blacks"
Posted by Chike, Fri Sep-12-03 05:21 AM
Please find me a claim IN the letter that you think is similar to this in its unfounded generalizing. I for one think it is obvious they were speaking to both blacks and Latinos about what they *want to see happen*, not some falsified image of all Latinos as Afro-lovin' happy people.
4106, You said...
Posted by MrMick, Fri Sep-12-03 06:32 AM
That by saying, "From Latinos," they were only talking about the individuals who wrote the letter, who are Latinos.
Therefore, by YOUR LOGIC, you can use general terms to talk about specific people.

So, the Latinos I know that hate blacks, as Latinos, profess this, so I can say that Latinos hate blacks. "You're supposed to distinguish between their use of a plural designating a community - African-Americans - and the use of a plural meaning 'a number of Latinos'."


4107, RE: You said...
Posted by Chike, Fri Sep-12-03 09:04 AM
>That by saying, "From Latinos," they were only talking about
>the individuals who wrote the letter, who are Latinos.

I also said on behalf of all Latinos who feel the same as they do.

>Therefore, by YOUR LOGIC, you can use general terms to talk
>about specific people.

Yes. But "Latinos hate black people" uncontextualized sounds like it's referring to Latinos in general. Heck you could make it sound feasible by saying "Latinos hate black people. Latinos love black people. They are born here. They are born abroad." etc. Your feeling is that the title of the letter sounded like it was referring to Latinos in general. I disagree, but I don't think it matters. My challenge in my last reply was meant to show that I don't think the text of the letter indicates that all Latinos feel the same.

4108, The we just disagree n/m
Posted by MrMick, Fri Sep-12-03 02:35 PM
4109, Delete
Posted by MrMick, Fri Sep-12-03 06:29 AM
4110, great post mayne
Posted by Abdurrashid, Sun Sep-07-03 08:26 AM
"The camel never sees its own hump but that of its brothers is always before its eyes"- N.African proverb
4111, RE: great post mayne
Posted by blackfists, Tue Sep-09-03 10:38 AM
Now this is Activism.. Please make sure this post gets ARCHIVED

4112, hell yeah
Posted by naame, Thu Sep-11-03 03:43 PM
first fight is the ftaa...meeting in miami on nov. erybody make sure we get this defeated.
4113, I need info on that.....
Posted by Abdurrashid, Thu Sep-11-03 09:28 PM
"The camel never sees its own hump but that of its brothers is always before its eyes"- N.African proverb
4114, Good shit for real.
Posted by write_serengeti, Fri Sep-12-03 04:32 AM
>>Inaugural Member, OkaySports Hall of Fame<<

"I'll be loving you until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky" (c) As - Stevie Wonder

4115, RE: An Open Letter To African Americans From Latinos
Posted by Dae021, Fri Sep-12-03 04:44 AM
As long as there's more of this, I'll be spending more time in activist! This is what I'm talking about, thank you for making my day.