In terms of the outside world, the response is indeed yes. Only after an extensive investigation and procedure of proof that an unlawful act had in fact been performed can someone be held accountable…


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How racism has won in Latin America

I am in Colombia. Have been for a few weeks. My sister is here too with her two children. My niece has 100% Colombian parents, but due to some European blood somewhere along one of the lines she came out blond and blue eyed. She’s a beautiful little girl, the same way her brother, and my children are.

Racism in Colombia and many Latin American countries is almost palpable. These few weeks I’ve heard people mention how beautiful my niece is and how “she is cleaning up our look.” In one particular interaction someone asked if my daughters (who aren’t here) looked like my niece, to which I replied “not really, their dad looks like my niece, which is a running joke for us all.” I proceeded to show them a picture of my middle daughter. My girl is brown like me, has dark eyes, dark curly hair and is one stunning little girl, I pulled out a picture and this person replied with pity in her voice “aw but she’s cute too!” What?! All I could muster up to say back is “of course she is!”

See this person didn’t really have any ill intent, she wasn’t being mean to my middle daughter, she simply responded to her bias. We all have them biases, they are there whether you acknowledge them or not.

In this country, to that person, in this culture, light skin and light eyes, and euro centric standards are regarded as beauty. That is called internalized racism, that’s when racism truly wins, when it gets to convince the “lesser” race that they indeed are less. Latin Americans, the truth is that we aren’t Europeans, we have more indigenous blood that not, but the smallest European trait is a reason to be proud in our countries, we have let racism win in our hearts and our cultures.

We have to work hard and long to dismantle our internalized racism, for the sake of our own personal spiritual health, and that of our children. Our beauty and wonder comes from the fact that we were created in the image and likeness of divinity. Both you and me are. Both Europeans and Indigenous people are. All of us.

Latin American sisters and brothers, before we are quick to bash on what’s taking place in the US, may we take a deep hard look within. Racism, elitism, ableism, body shaming are all very much alive and well in our communities. We have been given a story about what’s BETTER, and it isn’t us. And the story could be there, whatever, what’s sad is that we believed it, and we keep upholding it. We keep looking at the dark skinned little girls in different ways than we look at the light skinned ones. Pay attention, you’ll notice yourself doing it.

To those whose looks align more with indigenous standards let me tell you loud and clear: we are perfect, PERFECT! Just perfect. Let us walk proudly because we were made in the image of divinity. To those whose looks align more with European standards, you too are perfect, but you hold privilege, learn to use it to uplift those who keep hearing you are better than them.

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