“If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us.

As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do,

but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.”

2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (MSG)

The voices of marginalized communities of color have adorned the beauty of a mosaic of majesty born out of a common bond of triumph and looking for that elusive “Beyond”. In the face of headwinds of subjugation and exploitation, each ethnicity has found unique yet parallel pathways Beyond the gauntlet of white supremacy. These scars are especially experienced by Black and Indigenous Americans, finding themselves at the bottom of any economic, health, or wealth metric. Uniquely, these two ethnicities weren’t given a choice of whether or not to live in white America.

In his book, ‘An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States,’ Kyle Mays says, “It is important to really critically think about how we can all sort of reproduce racism, prejudice about other people.”

This was precisely the case in last year’s Los Angeles City Council’s racist, hot mic recording scandal against Black and Indigenous people. That involved three majority Latino City Council members, led by former resigned Council President Nury Martinez.

 Mays goes on to say. “But our job is also to try to overcome those things. And you need some form of solidarity to do so.”

In a racialized culture, racial demagoguery is an almost irresistible temptation. In essence, the L.A. council members were not too far removed from the potential in all of us. A clandestine form of white supremacy uses the Cock Fight mentality in that those who train, wager, and profit from the fight are ultimately in control. In the same way, if a shrinking population of white supremacy benefactors can keep communities of color in a perpetual Cock Fight, they can forever manipulate a sense of control.

The alleged black and brown divide bantered about during the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama proved erroneous at best. Though work needs to be done between the African American and Latino communities, no more vital evidence of solidarity can be displayed than with the presence of Afro-Latinos/Latinas, which offer a bridge “Beyond.”

We can glean some insight from the words of Afro Latina, Natalia Pérez-Gonzales

“Mourning George Floyd prompted me to more deeply understand the intersectionality in being Afro-Latina. I’ve always believed I had to isolate myself to a single identity — that I needed to navigate the world either as a Latina or as a Black woman. But both my identities have influenced my experience and worldview, and both will influence how I process tragedy, how I approach social issues, and the ways I advocate for and celebrate both identities.

My family and my culture — the food, the shows, the music — will always make me Latina. But my beauty, my ancestry, how I instantly feel at home with R&B and jazz, and how much of myself I see in strong, confident, biracial Black women like Elaine Welteroth and Yara Shahidi speaks to the Black woman in me, too. Natalia Perez-Gonzalez. “Being Latinx”

Vanessa Angélica Villarreal notes in a 2020 article (The Shared Black-Latinx Struggle Calls For Solidarity)

“Latinx is not a race, just as American is not a race, but rather a label that prevents us from further examining our specific lived experiences in racial systems. If we begin to understand race not as a fixed, biological, or traceable certainty in DNA, but as an unstable relationship to politics, capital, borders and systems that produce race every day and shift through time, we may begin to more effectively organize around the shared condition of racial violence.”

The shifting sands for who is considered white is and has always been a work in progress to enshrine a dominant culture. There was a time when the Irish and Italians were not excepted by the white Anglo-Saxons as equals. The social construct of race splinters in a myriad of ways’ spanning from Passing (For White) Mulato, Mestizo, “One Drop (of Black Blood),” Indigenous vs Spanish ancestry, Colorism, Colonialism, or the Model Minority. When color becomes the line in the sand between the haves and the have-nots, it’s just plain racism. However, funny things happen when you continue to grind and diminish into a fine powder. Synergy takes place in the foxhole, where there are no enemies, “tu lucha es mi lucha, or your struggle is my struggle.” call it ties that bind.

Our society has hope for change when we, including justice-seeking members of the dominant culture, can stand together against racial injustice noting the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, who said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

 By Kevin Robinson, Founder/Editor, Publisher of Three-Fifths Magazine

One thought on “Beyond

  1. This is the first time that I sat down to get to know you. I’ve read your posts, and while impressed, I was also scattered in my own mosaic. I’m glad that I read “Beyond” for my growth.
    I had heard that the Latino communities have been trying to drive Black people of the small area of Los Angeles in which we live, but never really understood why. I now and bridging those gaps and look forward reading more of your stories.
    Roderick Hunt
    Northern CA


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