At this point in time it should come to absolutely no surprise to you that one of the white terrorists who shot and wounded some of the #BlackLivesMatter activists in Minneapolis is Hispanic.
Hispanic is not a race--no matter how much some would like you to think it's not that simple. It is that simple. There are white people among us and those white people happen to be as racist, maybe more, than non-Hispanic whites. Pay attention to the writings I've been putting out and the work William Garcia, Dorothy Bell Ferrer, among other people, have been putting out.
There is a great deal of racism and colorism within Hispanic enclaves that goes unnoticed, unreported, and kept in obscurity by other Hispanics who happen to be white (and some POC, too). Why do you think some of us have to start our own platforms to speak about these things? They keep us out of their media unless to show us negatively or tone-policed. They don't want us in their novelas unless to play the maid. They don't want us as crooners unless we're singing "ratchet" music. They would not have, in a million years, made folks like Jimmy Smits and Zoe Saldaña famous because they're too dark for them.
They have us in their comedy shows, but to make fun of our color, our Blackness, our indigenousness, our mestizaje... They, too, want us to be docile, happy-go-lucky singing and dancing indios and negros who are perpetually smiling. And, if you want to air out any sort of grievances, let it be through songs because privilege and discrimination always has to come in the form of a feel-good medium. That way they can wash their hands off of any incrimination and dance their hearts away to our pain and suffering.
Black and Indigenous culture gets monetized in the billions of dollars, but Black and Indigenous bodies are disposable as soon as they start demanding a share of that exploitation. Stay informed and once you are informed, don't stay quiet anymore. Otherwise you become another bolt in the machinery of hate, discrimination, and deaths of other human beings.
#BlackLivesMatter and #BrownLivesMatter only when we're singing, dancing, playing sports, and lending them our culture, but they never matter when we demand to be heard outside of those safe spaces.
This Hispanic will no longer stay quiet about it. I suggest you join.
César Vargas is a writer, producer, advocate and social media PR and marketing strategist. He founded UPLIFTT (United People for Latinos in Film TV and Theater) and is president of Burning Ones Productions. His op-eds have been published on Fox News Latino, NBC Latino, Okplayer, as well as his own blog at upliftt.com. He was named 40 under 40: Latinos in American Politics. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @CesarVargas365 and Facebook: www.facebook.com/CesarVargas365.