The LatinX movement is not decolonial. Spain is still at the center

Source Photo/WIRED

It is true that the 2010 decade was a game-changer for many of us. The cases of police abuse were getting more and more brutal. In Brazil, Black and mixed Black women like Marielle Franco were gunned down for fighting against the oppressive system of their country and the systemic racism the inhabitants of the favelas have been exposed to. The black female body in the United States, with the cases of Breonna Taylor or Sandra Bland were as horrifying as Marielle’s. The revolt, though orchestrated, supported and favored by the Clintons and Soros, was therefore legit. All different groups tried to find a way to decolonize and deal with the legacy of colonial trauma which had an impact on their personal families.In that spectrum, the new Afro-Latin movement was born and exploited by White Creole media owned by White Cubans and only promotes, until this day, mixed Black Latinos so as to keep the pure original ones in the dark. Worst, infected by the nonsensical White colonial leftist view, activists came out with a neologism: LatinX, a gende-neutral term used to refer to the “Latinos” of the United States. However, according to a study released in 2020, only three per cent of “Latinos” are using the term daily.

The LatinX movement, just like the Latin movement in general is not decolonial at all but a creation of people who desire to be accepted and exist within the prism of the colonial Criollos whose ancestors made a profit off of the populations they dominated for four hundred years. And for this, the field of academics is responsible for perpertuating colonial movements like this so as to place the invaders at the top.

This is nothing more than cultural and intellectual genocide.

If, as authors and academics, we have been exposed to many different forms of confusion expressed by the “Latinized” Indigenous and Africans from the Caribbean, Central and South America when it comes to their ancestry, it is probably due to the fact that many pro-Latin activists are still doing a horrible job as they let colonial terms define populations which have been crushed. And unfortunately, South American and Caribbean agents of African and Indigenous roots are often the first to be so protective of such terms as they tend to belittle the horrific consequences of the genocide.

If the Spanish legacy is so important to many colonized individuals, have we ever wondered why, once one travels to Spain and Portugal, the Caribbeans and South Americans are NEVER considered Iberians? Yet, the argument of common language and unity has been pushed by the pro-Latin activists in the United States, for what? Why can’t a Dominican, then, be treated as equal as a White Spaniard ? On the contrary, it is easy for White Spaniards to leave their spaces so as to invade the groups their ancestors did colonize a few centuries ago. Musical thief Rosalia is one example. Barcelonesa, she had no issue exploiting flamenco at the expense of the Gypsies and Africans who created it and now flies to Puerto-Rico to benefit from Afro-Boricua culture. Spaniards in Cuba even go as far as to deny being white, claiming to have Moorish ancestry so as to fit in a space where African and Indigenous populations live and reject isolation. (This happened to me several times during my trips to the Caribbean). Spaniards have the right to enter but such privilege has been denied to the Caribe people. Why?

We should teach our own not to take pride in the expression of colonial terms which do not define the reality. Being a Dominican and being “proud of being Latino/a” makes no sense. The culture is not Latin, but African and Indigenous, but it has been Latinized through colonization and rape. The process can be long, but the LATINX movement and LATIN movement should have put the emphasis on such issues, on the decolonial processes of the minds.

Adrienne Bailon is still confused when she looks Native

Slavery and colonialism are not things of the past. It is real and had terrific consequences. One of the most devastating effects lies within the spirit of schizophrenia among the colonized individuals. And such is extremely present in the Caribbean and Central America. It seems as if the present has been cut off from the past, as if a group of colonial and brutal agents have done anything in their power to erase the original starting point. When individuals such as Adrienne Bailon who look clearly Native American act surprised as they genuinely ignore how they got that DNA from, when Native Mexicans or Native Central Americans consider themselves “White” then this goes on to show that someone failed somewhere. Those who know deem it unimportant to teach those who lost in the fight for collective identity recovery.

How are people supposed to decolonize mentally if the political members of some new modern movements refuse to let go of demonic and colonial terms created by the conquistadores to confuse and hurt many of the descendants of their victims? Modern identity politics promoted by the diaspora in the Great West are unfortunately infected by the horrific political legacy of the Left’s views on the position of the immigrants themselves. The ideas are homogeneous, favor a manichaean vision of life placing the white entity as the eternal evil and worst, do not highlight the facts that racial issues are more ambiguous than one could think of. For this reason, the members of these groups created by minorities who tend to disagree or hope to have a different view on the matter are either ignored, or referred to as racist, by their own peers.

Worst. The term “Latin” refers to the colonizers from Southern Europe. When it comes to “Hispanic” it goes back to Spain. It is unacceptable to let millions of confused Caribbean, Central and South Americans carry on with these colonial terms, taking so much pride in expressing them when their African and Indigenous ancestors were the original creators of their heritage and the culture we know today. Unfortunately, the variety of the said spaces, when it comes to their different ways of speaking Spanish, Portuguese or English, is broken and gathered into one single Spanish-esque category. A Cuban greatly differs from a Peruvian, who can not be compared to a Dominican for example. Yet, though the scholars know about these great differences, they consider them “Hispanic” and “Latinos” out of disdain for the respect of their category. They are, to their eyes, nations of the South with poor inhabitants who do not deserve any form of respect when it comes to the definition of their identity.

The so-called activists and inventors of the term LatinX, which first emerged in the underground scenes of the year 2004, have been fighting for the inclusion of non-binary people, as they wrongly thought that such grammatical change would be revolutionary. How can one be revolutionary while staying in the house built by the colonizers more than four hundred years ago? Gender is not the problem. The big elephant in the room is their desire to be attached to whiteness and Spain, being secretly proud of the racial trilogy. How can the revolution happen if Latinos/Southern Europeans are still placed at the top and the Natives, the original people remain at the bottom? Indeed, Native groups should be put in the first place by all scholars, institutions and schools, not the Europeans, who invaded and plundered.

Like most colonized beings, the modern day Central, South Americans and Caribbeans live through false identities given by their colonizers in 1492. From that point, the dominant figures did rape and created new racial castes out of it, to divide and form a new system based on a pyramid. Just like Mexican activist Citlalli Anahuac has been saying since 1997, South Americans are not Latinos but indigenous folks who have been colonized and called Latinos by those who raped them.

1492 and its consequences can not be tolerated. Never. It is our duty, scholars and academics, authors, historians to resist in any way.

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