Since the Black Lives Matter started after a series of outrageous killings of Black men and women by the police, I have often asked: where is the equivalent Latino group. Where is Brown Lives Matter?
It seems that the outspoken people of color should all have the stage, but it seems to be the Black folks that have the headlines. Given the fact that, according to the NAACP, “together, African American and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, even though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately one quarter of the US population”
And let’s not forget that some presidential candidates have talked about “rounding up the field hands and the busboys and deporting them southward, and build a wall. But why do Latinos not have the same rage?
Héctor Tobar in todays New York Times offers some suggestions. He says “almost all the Latino students surveyed objected to using Brown Lives Matter on the ground of cultural appropriation. Black people have suffered enough, they said. Let’s not take their slogan, too”.
There is plenty to complains that Latinos can voice on other matters. Deportation by the US of children from Guatemala, the inhumane condition in the deportation centers, the lack of legal representation for undocumented workers and asylum seekers. And prejudice based on last name.
There are many alternative ways of getting Brown rights. Let’s start with the vote. Univision reports that about 11 million Hispanics voted in the 2012 presidential election, fewer than half of those who were eligible. Activists in both major political parties have been trying to increase that number, through voter registration drives and appeals over issues like immigration and wage stagnation on the left, and economic freedom on the right. The real challenge is to convince Latinos to go out and vote, and presidential candidate Donald Trump is doing that. Young voters are getting involved because of Donald Trump. Not because they like Donald Trump, but because they want to vote against him.
In addition all people at the margins can resist racism in their own way. Young students can get good grades. Of course, eloquent voices of leadership can persuade.