Excerpted From: Nicolle Londoño-Rosado, Silencio: The Hispanic/Latino Reticent Approach to Racism, 17 Florida A & M University Law Review 161 (Spring, 2023) (127 Footnotes) (Full Document)


NicolleLondoñoRosadoMany Latinos dream of coming to America in search for a better way of life but instead are faced with discrimination based on where they come from, the language they speak, and the pigmentation of their skin. Racial discrimination is one of the most ever-present issues in the United States of America today. Some look at discrimination and believe that it has been “fixed” through our political and judicial processes. However, others know that discrimination is still alive and prominent today. Today, discrimination has manifested itself differently -it is discreet and indirect but still prominent in the daily lives of minoritized communities. The discussion of racism has always been between the Black and White communities -specifically, the oppression the Black community experiences as a result of racism. It has been stated that “the most pervasive and powerful paradigm of race in the United States is the ‘Black-White paradigm.”’ Racism and oppression against the Latino community also exist in the United States of America; however, it has received less coverage and recognition than that of the Black community for several reasons.

A poll performed by the Associated Press, found that 57% of non-Hispanic Whites harbored anti-Hispanic sentiment. Another poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 61% of the Latino community believed that racial discrimination against the Hispanic community is a “major problem.” This article will begin with an examination of the background and historical context of Latino History in the United States and how it has impacted and forced the Latino community into an abyss of forgotten struggles. It will explore some of the history of discrimination against Latino people in the United States, such as the Mexican American war and Latino Lynching. The lack of recognition of the history of discrimination against Latino people significantly contributes to the invisibility of racial issues in the community.

Part 1 article will highlight discrimination against Latinos and the effect that it has on the community. It will expose the unspoken truth of transgressions faced by Latinos in the United States and discuss how silence in the Latino community on racial issues has contributed to the invisibility of the Latino community. Part II will explore a theoretical view of why the Latinos have stayed silent and not vocalized racial discrimination. It will discuss possible factors surrounding educational institutions, the American Political system, lack of media coverage Latino hate crimes, the underrepresentation of Latinos in media, forced assimilation, Latino culture, and the possibility of the unfamiliarity of race language.

Part III will include a qualitative study on Latinos who are presently living in the United States who have faced racial discrimination in the form of, including but not limited to, a direct verbal remark, physical action, and patronization. The Pew Research Center conducted a qualitative and empirical study on Latinos and discrimination, providing us with data and sample size on Latinos and their experiences with discrimination under the Trump administration. This article will analyze a 2018 survey conducted by The Pew Research Center to understand the overall Latino assessment on discrimination, and apply its findings to address why the Latino community, who has experienced discrimination, has not vocalized and has disregarded such hate and crimes against them. Part IV will discuss proposals for change that may be instilled at a state or federal level to provide to support toward the Latino community and to properly educate on the racial discrimination faced by the Latino community. These proposals for change include, but are not limited to, educating the masses on Latino history and how it intertwines with American history, improving accuracy of reports of hate crimes against Latinos, empowering the Spanish language in public educational institutions, and creating programs to empower Latinos to enter workforces where Latinos are underrepresented.

[. . .]

Latinos are discriminated against based on the language they speak and education level. Pigmentation of their skin and stereotypes in American culture. Despite experiencing significant discrimination in the United States, Latinos are still reticent about sharing their personal experiences with racism and advocating for racial justice. Although the law can be used to improve race relations, Latinos would best benefit from the formulations of coalitions for change -following those of the Black community. These coalitions would focus on divulging and exposing racial discrimination faced by Latinos and working toward progressions of those issues. They can also encourage other racially minoritized communities, who experience discrimination in the United States of America, to find support and advocacy within their coalitions. To develop diverse coalitions for racial justice, there must be a willingness of all communities to learn from each other's experiences. This requires a commitment to recognizing each minoritized community's contributions, embracing their differences and similarities, and keeping an eagerness “to bake a [new] American pie to be shared equitably by the people in this nation.”

Nicolle Londoño-Rosado, J.D. Candidate, Florida A&M University College of Law, 2023.