Sorry Latinos, but we're DEFINITELY still racist
As a dark-skinned Latina, I've faced my fair share of racism. From the kids in elementary school who told me that I was brown because my "mom didn't bathe me" to that one time I was denied service at a club (in Santo Domingo, DR of all places) because I was too "prieta" (bouncers word) to be in that specific establishment. At this point, I've sort of resigned myself to the fact that some people are just majorly ignorant a-holes.
But for someone in a very powerful and visible position to be so comfortable with their racist attitudes that they openly and enthusiatically "share" them via social media MUST mean that they felt that their opinion was widely shared, right? Well, Heidi Wys Toro, adviser (and Chief of Staff) to Jenniffer González, Puerto Rico's Speaker of the House felt it was A-Ok to tweet the following messages at President Barack Obama out to the entire interwebs...
Oh, and that was just the beginning, because after being called out for her less-than-subliminal racism, she quickly fell back on the age-old, "But some of my fave people/friends/family are dark-skinned," trope. The most hilarious part? She used the term "prieta"--considered by a LOT of Puerto Ricans to be a derogatory term--to describe her own beloved dark-skinned nieces.
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English translation: Journalists who want to make an "issue" out of my comment about Obama. I am not racist. My favorite nieces are dark-skinned! I'm Anti-Obama. I'm against him.
English translation: My favorite nieces are darkies (the LITERAL translation of "prieta")! I oppose Obama with all my heart and passion, like a decendant of the Germans.
WHAT? Is she actually making a reference to her Nazi heritage?!?! People like this idiot make me ashamed to be Puerto Rican. The fact is, anytime you have to qualify something you've said with: "I'm not racist but..." Guess what? You ARE racist. How about proving that you're not racist, by--oh, I don't know--not saying racist shit?
The worst part is that her boss, Gonzalez, didn't think her tweet was offensive enough to warrant an apology even though she was clearly inferring that President Obama and First Lady Michelle are "monkeys" (note the oh-so-subtle "double banana" reference) OR the fact that Wys Toro is an INSANE birther. How many times do we have to go over the whole President Obama wasn't born in Kenya thing?!
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Look, I don't really care how you feel about President Obama, but love him or hate him, no one has a right to be racist or make disparaging remarks about his wife or family just because they are African American. Period. The fact that I'm even writing this post is making my blood boil!
At the very least, I'm not the only Boricua who is totally offended by the actions (or inaction) of the Speaker of the House and her chief of staff.
"The Speaker of the House must take action against her assistant," said Sonia Pacheco, a candidate for Puerto Rico's House of Representatives, according to El Nuevo Dia "This is not the first time that people linked to Jenniffer González have made racist comments on social networks."
New York Representative Melissa Mark Viverito took it one step further, releasing the following statement:
Heidi Wys' comments against the President are vile and disgusting, and represent the height of ignorance I am sickened by the continued racist attacks from prominent political figures in Puerto Rico.
Thank GOD! It makes me so sad that there are people, in GOVERNMENT none the less, who still harbor this ridiculously racist hate in their hearts. ESPECIALLY Puerto Ricans--I mean, I'm Boricua on both sides of my family, have spent a TON of time on the island and in NYC, lived in El Barrio and NEVER met another Puerto Rican of "pure" Spanish descent. What does that mean? IT MEANS ALL OF US HAVE AFRICAN BLOOD. So let's stop hating on people because of their race, after all, we're really just hating ourselves.
What do you think? Should Heidi Wys Toro and/or Jenniffer González be fired?
Image via Barack Obama/flickr