A man wears a Mexican flag on a motorcycle behind the Little Village Caravan (Maria Guerrero| La DePaulia )
A man wears a Mexican flag on a motorcycle behind the Little Village Caravan

Maria Guerrero| La DePaulia

Latinx community unites to advocate for Black lives amid Chicago protests

June 1, 2020

Chants of “tu lucha es mi lucha” —  “your struggle is my struggle” — were heard coming from the Latinx community as they gathered in solidarity over the death of George Floyd on Saturday, May 30. 

Waving their flags in front of the Discount Mall in Little Village, protestors made it clear that they were there to support their fellow black community, as silence could not provide a solution to the injustice people of color have been facing for years in America. 

Paul Callejas, a Little Village resident who sits on the board of  Enlace Chicago, said that he is standing in solidarity with the black community as police brutality is an issue within his community as well. 

“It’s super important to stand in solidarity, because a lot of the same injustices that you see with black people happening [are] also [happening] in the Latinx community,” Callejas said. “Injustice to someone is injustice to everyone, so it’s really important to continue fighting for a safer space.”

As they made their way in a caravan to join others at the Federal Plaza at 2 p.m., one goal was expressed: Bring awareness to the black lives lost at the hands of police brutality, no matter your background.

“We need to unite because we need to quit separating one another,” said Camila Ruiz, a junior at Little Village Lawndale High School. “The system is made for us to be separated but when we come together great things can happen. We need to realize that we need to help one another, with each other’s support our voices can be heard a lot louder.” 

Ruiz said she wants the Latinx community to be more welcoming and supportive of one another. 

“I feel like people want to pertain black issues to only black people but there can never be complete peace,” Ruiz said. “There can never be freedom if one group is oppressed, what people don’t realize is that not all lives matter until black lives matter. We need to dig up the root of the problem and help them as brothers and sisters so we can all better the system for everyone.” 

Shakeba Reyez, a woman of mixed African American and Mexican heritage, is used to witnessing oppression and ignorance.

Reyez explained that while most of her Latinx friends showed support toward BLM and participated in the protests, “some have been making ignorant comments, making invalid points on social media, are making excuses to why the BLM movement is ‘dumb,’ or equivocating looting to the death of George Floyd.” 

There are still old-school Mexican parents that do not accept our black people,”  Reyez added. “An open mind is necessary this day in age so that they can learn our side of the spectrum. Black and brown skin should stand united because we are the most vulnerable and abused.” 

Looking at the crowd, thousands of demonstrators of all colors and backgrounds marched holding up signs that said “Silence is violence” and chanting “I can’t breathe,” a phrase that has become central to the Black Lives Matter movement in remembrance of George Floyd’s final words — the same as Eric Garner’s in 2014

Others kneeled in front of policemen, lifted up their hands and even held a moment of silence for the lives lost. The protests in Chicago were just some of many that took place in cities across the U.S.

But as the number of protestors and policemen increased, anger and tension grew, transforming the original peaceful protest in Chicago into what Mayor Lori Lightfoot said was “criminal conduct.” 

Looters began hitting stores such as Macy’s in the Marshall Field building, Nike and a 7-Eleven near Lake and Dearborn. Banks such as Fifth Third were also broken into, while other restaurants and businesses were vandalized. 

Windows were shattered, CTA buses were vandalized and other police cars were damaged, including some that were set on fire. 

In Lightfoot’s press conference on Sunday, CPD Superintendent David Brown reported that six individuals were shot, one killed, 240 arrested and 20 police officers were injured from Saturday’s day of protest. 

“When you or anyone else behaves in this way, we all lose by giving the very same forces of oppression we are fighting against the false validation that they crave,” Lightfoot said. 

Lightfoot implemented a curfew Saturday evening beginning at 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. Sunday as protestors continued to damage property and the amount of clashes between police and protesters increased. The National Guard was also called into action, adding to the police presence of the Illinois State Police and the Chicago Police Department. 

As some expressed their discontent over the property damage, others argued that these actions were more than justified.

Camila Barrientos, DePaul sophomore and president of DALE, attended Saturday’s protests. 

“The group I was with had raised money in order to buy supplies for those on the ground and in need…. from food and water to first aid kits, teargas solution, hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, know your rights cards, and more,” Barrientos said. “The police were beginning to block off intersections pretty early on, and were bringing in more cars, horses, and men as time went on.” 

She mentioned that she thinks the lives lost are worth more than property damages. 

“Black people have every right, and have exhausted every other option,” she said. “Black people built this country, from the bottom up, for free and carry it on their very shoulders centuries later. So-called looting and vandalism are not human rights violations. The senseless killing of black people is, time and time again.” 

14 Comments

14 Responses to “Latinx community unites to advocate for Black lives amid Chicago protests”

  1. Eliberto iturralde on June 2nd, 2020 4:06 pm

    STOP USING THE MADE UP WORD LATINX!!! La Raza solo cree en lo que existe y no lo inventado por propaganda. Justice must be served and it is where was everyone during immigration raids. In the end 2nd gen and 3gen Latinos don’t really care about the race and culture they just like to think of them selves as a form of saviors.

  2. Manuel Hernandez on June 2nd, 2020 4:51 pm

    Latinx is a stupid word. That takes away from our culture. Made up by people that don’t understand Spanish.

  3. Alexis on June 3rd, 2020 2:36 am

    All languages are “made up”. Thats the beautiful thing about language, it’s transformative.

  4. Joshua Vargas on June 3rd, 2020 4:01 pm

    Please, keep up Latinos out of these issues. We have our own issues in our communities and countries. Blacks and whites have their own issues that they need to resolve themselves. A lot of Latino mom n pop stores were burned down and vandalised by BLM and ANTIFA. Latinos are killed everyday and nobody bats an eyes. Mexicans, Puerto Rican’s, Venezuelans, Cubans, Argentinians, Salvadorians and the rest of Latin America, unite as 1. If we would unite as 1 Latin America we’d be unstoppable. Latinos Stand up!

  5. Pedro Torres on June 3rd, 2020 4:04 pm

    Latinos, please let BLM fight their own battle. Where are they when we have our problems? They don’t care about us. BLM has done a lot of damage to our neighborhoods. Mexican workers get robbed everyday by African Americans in the city. Latinos together we can rise.

  6. Carolina Aceves on June 3rd, 2020 8:33 pm

    To all those commenting that the Latinx community has its ‘own issues’ are completely ignoring the fact that Latinx people ALSO perpetuate the systems of violence and oppression pressed against the Black community. How are you not going to address the very violent actions Latinx individuals have taken up against Black folx in Cicero and Little Village this past week? Us white Latinx folx (yes, WHITE Latinx folx) are just as much a part of the problem. So not, you can’t claim that Black folx have not fought for us: they are they ones who have continuously shown up to protests against ICE and have called for the closing of the concentration camps at the border. You are most likely not aware of this fact because you yourself did not attend these protests. Latinx folx are some of the most anti-black, racist people I have encountered (as I myself am apart of this community), especially on DePaul’s campus. So many of you won’t even address the very existence of Afro-Latinx and Indigenous folx within your own communities because you profit and benefit from their erasure. If you want to talk about ‘our issues’, address the fact that those most targetted by ICE are Indigenous Central Americans who have continuously been oppressed by the very same ‘home countries’ we claim to be so proud of. Many of you won’t even address that Mexico has been deporting just as many Indigenous Central Americans as Trump’s America. Black Lives Matter has never laid a single finger on your communities– they have been fighting for basic human rights. If that fight for justice upsets, you need to evaluate YOURSELF and your beliefs, not theirs.

  7. Carolina ACeves on June 3rd, 2020 8:47 pm

    Typos:
    “So NO, you can’t”

  8. Yolanda Shepherd-johnson on June 4th, 2020 6:45 pm

    Dear Latino people,
    Whom have buried their African heritage, who talk about solidarity but now define themselves as white Latinos and black Latinos many times within your own families. Dear Latino people, how can you say that we don’t support your causes when many of the African American churches communities marched with you downtown when ICE wanted to deport your undocumented loved ones and some of us even went to Washington on your behalf. We have seen and heard in disbelief your comments against us.. Since the 60’s we have been inclusive when we fought against racism and sexism in this country, leaving no race behind, only to be the ones yet again left behind by white women, Asian people and now the Latino communities whose African blood run through your veins. See the only difference between your race and the AA race is where the slave ships dropped our ancestors off at.
    I still love you, and I don’t even have to know you to love you. That’s basic humanity!

  9. Yolanda -johnson on June 4th, 2020 6:45 pm

    Dear Latino people,
    Whom have buried their African heritage, who talk about solidarity but now define themselves as white Latinos and black Latinos many times within your own families. Dear Latino people, how can you say that we don’t support your causes when many of the African American churches communities marched with you downtown when ICE wanted to deport your undocumented loved ones and some of us even went to Washington on your behalf. We have seen and heard in disbelief your comments against us.. Since the 60’s we have been inclusive when we fought against racism and sexism in this country, leaving no race behind, only to be the ones yet again left behind by white women, Asian people and now the Latino communities whose African blood run through your veins. See the only difference between your race and the AA race is where the slave ships dropped our ancestors off at.
    I still love you, and I don’t even have to know you to love you. That’s basic humanity!

  10. Yolanda Johnson on June 4th, 2020 6:54 pm

    Dear Latino people,
    Whom have buried their African heritage, who talk about solidarity but now define themselves as white Latinos and black Latinos many times within your own families. Dear Latino people, how can you say that we don’t support your causes when many of the African American churches communities marched with you downtown when ICE wanted to deport your undocumented loved ones and some of us even went to Washington on your behalf. We have seen and heard in disbelief your comments against us.. Since the 60’s we have been inclusive when we fought against racism and sexism in this country, leaving no race behind, only to be the ones yet again left behind by white women, Asian people and now the Latino communities whose African blood run through your veins. See the only difference between your race and the AA race is where the slave ships dropped our ancestors off at.
    I still love you, and I don’t even have to know you to love you. That’s basic humanity!

  11. Carole Aragon on June 4th, 2020 9:54 pm

    Dear fellow Latinos: yes the term “Latinx” is very dumb and hipster, but this is not the time to cherry-pick terminology. This is the time to step up to the plate, support our Black kin, and stop focusing on us. It is not our time. It is their time, and we must give the Black community a safe and educated platform to speak from. Their overdue this support. Remember, we share a heritage, a bloodline. Protect it. No lives matter until Black lives matter.
    Thanks,
    C.

  12. Carole Aragon on June 4th, 2020 10:03 pm

    PS to Fellow Latinos: to ask the BLM movement to “leave us out of their fight,” is the definition of systemic oppression. If you don’t support this cause then we all will continue to be recycled by Big Brother. Break the cycle, don’t ignore the fact that oppression exists, it will only help that oppression take you over as well. I urge you to research our blood connections to Africa. You may be surprised. Tu Lucha es Mi Lucha= Your Fight is My Fight.

  13. Donn lang on July 4th, 2020 1:19 am

    Dear all people.. peace is the easiest word to say but something most people don’t practice.. BLM movement is Marxist org and is not friendly to anybody sep black folks..not brown.. you will be dropped as-soon as they get any power..I keep hearing Latinos say thier parents are racist,white people saying theirs parents are,but you never hear black folks say thier parents are..THEY ARE also.. systematic racism doesn’t exit,every study was debunked even Obama’s big investigation and black reports.. please do your research..it’s a dived tactic,you are being taught to hate white people and Asians.. study the facts and you will see that all of this is a myth.. The police kill 3 XS more white boys than blacks and Latinos.. fact most of them unarmed you just don’t hear about them..So I guess all of those black or brown cops that shot them dead are racist?? NO. 1,800 white boys have been killed by police since Trump took office and I bet not one of you can name #1.. The media won’t show them because it doesn’t fit thier divide and conquer plan.. And to say every white cops that kills blacks do it because of skin color is crazy.. No evidence Floyd’s death was racist..it’s just assumed because he was white..That’s racist. We all have problems..black trash,white trash and Latino trash..white people are tweekin all over this country on drugs,Mexicans bring over the drugs and blacks sell them..it’s an American problem. But let’s no pretend that black guys don’t fuck shit up,rob,rape and steal..shooting every night,killing every race and cops. Until they as a community get the power away from the gangs,it will be the same place doing the same stuff for decades. Latinos are family driven for the most part,take care of thier houses and work hard.. The Government can5 solve social problems,we need to,white people have are own problems to deal with also. Look into BLM and see who’s really in charge.. and if your checking your DNA you will find a whole lot of European in your blood,way more than African..The cops do need to reform,but people also need to stop resisting and reaching for guns 2.. And screaming at cops looting,burning and throwing bottles at cops that didn’t do anything but show up to work is dumb and doesn’t get anything done..change a policy or 2 then they change back.. if you get your wrong order at McDonald’s,do you go to McDonald’s all over town and blame them? We can work together.. we all need to change and move forward,work and be with families and friends.. and god for bid quit blaming other folks for your problems..

  14. Donn lang on July 4th, 2020 1:39 am

    And while checking DNA and blaming remember Black Americans owned lots of slaves..Mexicans owned lots of slaves..Natives had black slaves 60 years before slave ships hit America.. Black Muslims are the Africans that caught chained and walked those slaves to the ships..1 n 5 people survived that walk. Every piece of land on earth is guilty of slavery and has been slaves.. we need to acknowledge it and move forward.. Latinos were colonized also..The natives are a Russian Chinese mix that immigrated here also.. They used natives as code detectors in Wars due to the language they new..asaian! Learn and know history,but you can’t go back and stay.. Mexicans come here for work and or freedom,never here anyone blame Mexico for that.. there is some real talk that needs to be talked instead of all this none-sense!! If you just hate white people and want 5o keep hating them then please do that,but if we want to really fix things we ALL need to be on the same team.. god bless

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