How Do We Educate On & Debunk White Supremacy?

In the following excerpt from AfrolatinTalks hosted by The Afrolatin@ Project (a series of scholarly, relaxed conversations held at Cubana Social during the second day of Afrolatino Festival NYC 2015), Sagrario Cruz Carretero, William Garcia and Alice Backer respond to a question from an audience member regarding how to both educate on and debunk white supremacy.

Reflection: Afrolatino Festival NYC 2015

First watch the video. Then read the transcription while listening to the excerpt. Later reflect on these questions.

Transcription: Debunking White Supremacy – AfrolatinTalks

[William Garcia] It’s weird that a lot of people, a lot of academics aren’t talking about this. They’re talking about Afrolatinidad. They’re talking about la salsa, guaracha and all this, and I’m thinking guaracha is not going to solve racial hatred. Dancing salsa is not going to solve white supremacy. What I would say, recommend to academics that are really in the forefront of the Afrolatino movement is to really pay attention to what is happening in terms of racial violence.

[Question from the audience] I have a question, because it seemed like there was this common thread of white supremacy and not depending on where you are and not really understanding. My background is Afrolatina and I’m also African. So I feel like white supremacy in Africa kind of works differently than how it is in the Caribbean and all that stuff. So I wanted to ask, what is a better way that we could better educate people on white supremacy? Because I feel like that’s a discussion that most of us, even in this work, like to talk about. Is it through videos or having more twitchats, all those things? That is an issue and I feel like we need to debunk white supremacy if we really want to get to all the other isms.

[Alice Backer] I’m always very weary when people discuss colorism, light skin vs. dark skin, and don’t discuss white supremacy. So I’m also very weary when people discuss the problem with Dominicans of Haitians descent and the treatment of Haitians, not only in the Dominican Republic but all over the Caribbean, without discussing white supremacy. If you’re looking at colorism and you’re not discussing white supremacy, you’re wrong. Because colorism is none other than, “Because I’m closer to white, I’m better.” So colorism should always be discussed, that’s number one, within the context of white supremacy. That’s the number one way to deal with that.

[William Garcia] My answer really quick. I think we should educate the youth and I think we need to push harder to demand Univisión, Telemundo, Televisa, TV Azteca, all those channels to start pushing black and brown people on that television. That can influence people. And I think we need to fight that subtle race talk within the Latino community, you know “black” this, “black” that, “better the race”, “mejora la raza“. We need to stop all that. We need to just push harder and say it’s enough of that.

[Sagrario Cruz Carretero] Doing workshops, workshops discussing racism, discrimination, reconciliation, because discrimination and racism are creating a scaring process in the soul and many people don’t accept that they have been hurt thanks to racism and discrimination. Start accepting that it’s been painful and leave it back. And getting angry against racism.

Additional Resources

To learn more about the panelists, visit their official profiles: Omaris Zamora, Sagrario Cruz Carretero, William Garcia, Alice Backer. Come back each day throughout August to see new interviews carried out during the Afrolatino Festival NYC 2015.

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