Black struggle for younger generations to confront immigrant parents by race

MIAMI — Growing up with progressive Cuban-American parents who were finally divorced, Natalie Libero was surprised by the reaction of her mother’s boyfriend during the barbecue on July 4. American for Black Lives Matter. “

Libero, 30, tried to talk to her mother about it, but she said, “But she didn’t hear it,” and was surprised that her mother defended her boyfriend’s reaction.

Around the same time, Sandra Portal Andrew realized that he was explaining to his parents why George Floyd’s death was a turning point for many black Americans.

The 41-year-old artist felt “informed” to equate protests against Floyd’s death with violence, looting, and Antifa. “It was an interesting conversation.

Throughout the United States, Floyd’s post-mortem racism has caused unpleasant and sometimes heated conversations among immigrant families, with younger generations having stereotypes and beliefs about black Americans, and even overt racism. Is also pressing.

Born and raised in Miami, Portal Andrew said her Catholic high school exposed her to different cultures and made her terribly aware of the prevalence of racism against blacks. In contrast, she was born in Colombia. Mother and Cuban-born father were unaware of the heightened protests that struck the country.

After much debate, she and her parents came to the conclusion that violence was not the solution, but “agreement was reached that protests were needed.”

Most Americans are just beginning to learn about important events in black history. The Tulsa race massacre was one of the worst outbreaks of racial violence in American history, and despite continued repercussions, it received little attention in American history books and school teachings. Many Americans first learned about it in the recent HBO series “Watchmen.” In Florida, the Rosewood and Ocoee massacres have historically been important, but have received little attention in the school curriculum.

There is even less knowledge among immigrant families about persistent racism and discrimination against blacks in the United States.

Jomils Bradock, a professor of sociology at the University of Miami, said that many immigrants “have a cultural perspective on African Americans exported from the United States,” which is usually based on popular culture. And recently based on social media.

“Not only are their knowledge of African-American and African-American experiences limited, but they also lean in certain ways that are detrimental to African-American individuals and the African-American community of this society. It’s very understandable, “Bradock said.

Racism, a legacy of colonialism

Beyond the lack of knowledge and stereotypes about the experience of black Americans, racism is widespread in Latin American countries and can be brought in when immigrants migrate. Colonism and slavery. Heritage has left the social, economic and political consequences that continue to this day.

For years in Latin America, people have argued that there was no racism that plagued America, and that there was no Jim Crow law or segregation in public spaces. Afro’s descendants and indigenous people tend to be at the bottom in terms of education, income, and power status.

“Latin Americans often tell you:’We are not racists. We are just classists.’ But of course, social class intersects race. High-economic people tend to be white, and low-economic people tend to be of color, “said Eduardo Gamara, a professor of political science at Florida International University. “Most of our society is fundamentally racist against darker people.”

Gamarra said the democratization of Latin America over the last few decades has not only imported American films and music, but has also sparked an American debate about racial relations. With the expansion of Afro-Latino and indigenous social movements, countries such as Brazil and Colombia have introduced racial discrimination corrective action programs.

In Miami, where 70% are Latino Americans, Latin Americans with average skin are not discriminated against. This contributes to the lack of understanding of lasting violence and injustice against blacks.

“Due to racial division, racial separation, lack of shared experience, and a limited and distorted history of how races are covered, blacks and whites are about the state of racial relations. They have different exposures, different views, different understandings, “Bradock said. It also means that they have different understandings of how much racial progress has been achieved and what more needs to be done, he said.

“Things are not”

Due to the country’s racism and the widespread appeal of the HBO series “Watchmen,” especially many young people studied the Tulsa massacre and took the lead in educating themselves.

“The knowledge of the younger generation is not from schools or formal sources,” Bradock said.

Throughout Los Angeles, young Latinos are challenging older families in this city, known for its diversity and racial tensions.

“My mother sometimes got angry with me. She said racist to Asians, but I said it wasn’t good. Later she sat down. I’ll talk about that, “Estefanny Solano, 27, from Long Beach, told NBC News.

“I’m not apologizing for discussing race. I’ll leave it to her feelings, but we’ll sit down,” Solano said. “Sharing what’s happening around us, how other communities are affected, such as how Chinese families are scapegoated by the new coronavirus and how they are blamed. I’m trying to share what I’m receiving.

Saul Ríos, 64, admits that his two daughters had many conversations with him. They are like this “

Rios, who emigrated from Mexico in the 1980s, said he would be reprimanded by his 27- and 38-year-old daughters for making “inappropriate jokes” that would make fun of another group or race.

“In Mexican culture, I think jokes are a way to deal with things,” Rios said. “My daughters tell me that even if I make a joke, the bad things seem to be okay.

Rios said her daughters taught her about the need to support the black community.

“We Latinos face discrimination, but being of color, especially black, in this country comes with a lot of things,” Rios said. In our own experience. “

In a country that is still reluctant to learn true history, continuous conversation is important, Bradock said.

“Due to the political divisions that exist today, there is a modern effort to ensure that knowledge of black history, in fact American history, is not fully documented and scrutinized,” he says. I did. He pointed out continued opposition to teaching the New York Times’ influential ones. “1619 projectWeaves slavery into every aspect of national history and discusses it. Beyond critical racial theory..

Eighteen-year-old Jeremy Perez, who lives in Los Angeles, disputes the idea that only older generations need to rethink racism and the legacy of discrimination, saying this is a problem even among them. Was.

“I’ve really seen some message group texts that contain what they just find interesting about race, women, and some ridiculous things. I’m my as you say. I don’t think the generation is awake, “perez said. “I think we need to give an example and lead and keep talking to each other.”

Carmen Sesin was reported from Miami and Cora Cervantes from Los Angeles.

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