As protests for justice continue throughout the country and around the world, reports also show isolated groups of anti-black Latinos. On Sunday in Chicago, according to Block Club Chicago, a handful of Latino men harassed and targeted black people in the Little Village neighborhood.
According to the blog, while some neighbors came out to protect their local businesses from looters, others showed aggressiveness toward black passerby’s. Chicago resident, activist, and founder of online magazine Gozamos Luz Chavez, who’s been documenting the Black Lives Matter protests in the area, said on June 2 that in Little Village, Latinos were targeting black people.
“Non-Black, Latinx gangs [are] armed with bats, machetes,” Chavez said in her video. “Any car that passes by with Black people in it, they are yelling at it and throwing shit.”
She also posted on Facebook, “Black neighbors in Cicero & Berwyn, please STAY HOME if you can. Police out in riot gear and nonBlack Latinx residents are harassing Black folks telling them to ‘go back home’ near cermak & cicero.”
The unholy alliance in Latino neighborhoods w/ Latino aldermen/city & gangs must be broken w/ strength & justice. Gangs are NOT the foundation of order. I asked @CCSOPIO to assist our @Chicago_Police in suppressing gang vigilantism. I want hate crimes charges filed by @SAKimFoxx! pic.twitter.com/6pgbE8lR9U
— Ald. Raymond Lopez (@RLopez15thWard) June 2, 2020
Similarily on Dyckman Street, a street in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan, on June 2, reports on Twitter showed that Dominicans were protesting looters, despite no looting in the area.
Instead of going out to protest against police brutality & standing with the black community, they marched for “anti-looting” when nobody was looting in the area. After they finished their anti-looting rally, they then racially profiled & harassed a group of black ppl walking by pic.twitter.com/KLLdAB23CI
— Tri da Villain (@THEEEhottie) June 3, 2020
Other reports on Twitter indicate that some Dominicans wore white bands on their arms to identify themselves to police officers.
Scene at Inwood is more like block party than a neighborhood in the 2nd night of a curfew and 4th month of a pandemic.
Part of the reason is local residents worked w/ police, top priority being to avoid looting.
Locals are using armbands to identify who is from the area. pic.twitter.com/fYmPRdTWWZ
— Azi™️ (@Azi) June 3, 2020
Several on social media discussed Dominicans long history of anti-blackness that dates back to former dictator of the Dominican Republic Rafael Trujillo (1930-1960) who’s regime was anti-Haiti. In 1937, Trujillo launched the La Masacre del Perejil, which resulted in the mass killing of at least 35,000 Haitians.
The small group of anti-black Latinos not joining in solitary with the black community is not only hurting themselves but society as a whole. Police and the government target Latinos as well, whether through immigration, economic discrepancy, racism, discrimination, etc., so the stance against the BLM movement is idiotic. They’re not fighting against the system that oppresses them, they ultimately fighting against themselves. Fortunately, they don’t represent the large group of Latinos standing alongside the BLM movement.
Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, who represents Pilsen, the Chicago neighborhood, said that all Latinos must rise together and show support for the BLM movement.
“This moment calls for unity and solidarity, not division across racial lines in black and brown communities,” he wrote on Facebook. “We are bearing witness to our communities, killing each other in front of our children. We must not let fear take hold and ignite more violence in our own communities. We cannot turn against our neighbors. When leadership is lacking, we must lead. Our communities must come together to peacefully protest, to demand reform, and to rebuild our city better than it was before, hand-in-hand.”