• Wendy Alas

Until Black Lives Matter, then all lives matter too.

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

Although I've been pretty vocal in my personal social media platforms about my stand against racism, today I also felt compelled to speak out in my professional platforms to show my solidarity against the injustice that BIPOC have suffered for centuries; not just in this country but worldwide.

Photo by David M Bennett/Dave Bennett/Getty Images

Racism is a psychological and systemic disease of the past that has continued to live in our present, often going unacknowledged and not condemned nearly enough.

Despite being a minority (Guatemalan born immigrant), I will never understand the injustice, hate and racism that Black people experience daily. I haven't recognized enough my own privilege for having lighter skin, or having an English first name, or a last name that is a word both in the English and Spanish language, albeit different meanings. I have even benefited from this unconsciously. I recognize that I can do better. I can educate myself more on the history of racism, colonization and racial oppression. I can speak out against racism and be more supportive by listening, empathizing and understanding the hurt that POC have endured for far too long. I can support organizations that recognize and embrace our racial differences, and are working hard to defend and change the narrative for future generations.

This past week, I have received push back from a couple of family members and friends. They tell me that all lives matter and that Natives, Latinos and Hispanics have experienced the same amount of oppression. And I completely understand what they're saying. After all both Black and Hispanic Men Perceived to Be Large Are at Increased Risk for Police Frisk, Search, and Force, but it is important to remember that white lives on the other hand, aren't at risk. I must digress that in times like this, we Latinos need to work together with Black people to dismantle racism.

White supremacy goes as far back as the day that Christopher Columbus set foot in Guanahani in 1492 and slavery arrived Jamestown in 1619. White supremacy may even go further than that, and perhaps this is where I need to educate myself more on.

George Floyd is just the latest of a long list of names that have been victims of injustice, police brutality, and systemic racism. I say their names: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Martin Luther King, Jr. and many more that I am yet to know.

I've donated to the following organizations and you can too. I plan on adding to this list on my next paycheck.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Black Lives Matter Chicago
Justice For George Floyd

  • If you are not much of a reader, Vox put together a great list of movies that confront American racism. I loved If Beale Street Could Talk and Selma.

I leave you with this great insta video by Act.TV on Systemic Racism.

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