Culture

Why The NoDAPL Movement Has A Deeper Meaning For Me As An Afro-Indigenous Caribbean Latina

When the demonstrations against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) first began in September, 26-year-old Bronx native Nasha Paola Holguín rushed to the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota to support the fight for indigenous sovereignty.

“As an Afro-Latina, I felt like Standing Rock was a culmination of everything and it was really important for us to have a presence there,” she told Mitú by phone from Harlem.

Vladimir De Jesus Santos
CREDIT: Vladimir De Jesus Santos

She wasn’t alone.

Like Holguín, hundreds of other young Latinx water protectors from around the United States and Latin America had also made the grueling trek to Standing Rock during the harsh winter months.

Vladimir De Jesus Santos
CREDIT: Vladimir De Jesus Santos

This was, of course, before the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers denied a permit for the continued construction of the pipeline on December 4th.

“I felt a very passionate love and dedication for my people. And when I say my people I mean all of Latin America: Mexico, Colombia, and Chile, because we’re all brothers and sisters who have been colonized.”

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CREDIT: Vladimir De Jesus Santos

As a self-identified “Afro-Indigenous Caribbean” woman, Holguín’s deep ties to her Dominican roots and activism were the catalyst for her journey to Standing Rock.

But demonstrating against the pipeline with other Latinxs from around the U.S. also brought the challenges of water access closer to home.

“This is also a Latinx problem because our water sources are also being polluted in the U.S.,” Holguín explained. “Seeing my Latino brothers and sisters out there just reassured me that we were after the same goal, which is our basic human rights as people and the health of the earth.”

Vladimir De Jesus Santos
CREDIT: Vladimir De Jesus Santos

Despite of the recent suspension of the pipeline drilling, Holguín and other water protector groups like the Last Real Indians and Red Warriors (who currently remain at Standing Rock) believe that president-elect Donald Trump will bring an increased threat to communities of color.

“Our people are really hopeless right now because of Trump,” she said. “But there’s so many of us who are willing to put our lives on the line for our people. It’s a good thing that all of us are coming together. The warriors at the camp gave me a lot of faith about the future because they think exactly like we do about liberation.”

Vladimir De Jesus Santos
CREDIT: Vladimir De Jesus Santos

Holguín plans to head back to Standing Rock during the next few weeks, but her decision to join the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline last fall will always be, according to her, a moment that changed her life forever.


READ: Dakota Access Pipeline Halted For Now, But Trump May Change That Soon

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The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

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The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

@BillCorben / Twitter

Readers of the Miami Herald and the El Nuevo Herald noticed a racist and anti-Semitic insert in one of the latest editions. The column in the insert compared BLM activists to Nazis while talking down about the Jewish community.

The Miami Herald recently published a racist and anti-Semitic insert.

The offensive piece, written by Cuban exile Roberto Luque Escalona, received harsh and immediate backlash. Escalona expresses his displeasure for the Jewish community and those seeking racial justice by joining BLM with one column.

“What kind of people are these Jews” writes Escalona. He then continues to “teach” Jewish people the history of the Holocaust and claims that BLM supporters are worse than the Nazis during Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, because the Nazis simply destroyed things and didn’t steal.

The newspaper has apologized for the insert going so far as to admit that it was not properly vetted and that “internal failures” were at play.

According to an open letter, higher ups at the Miami Herald admit to the insert not being read and vetted by the staff. The obvious overlook led to a 40-page insert of right-wing propaganda to be distributed to the readers of both the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. Since the publication, the Miami Herald claims to have ended their relationship with Libre, the insert with the racist and anti-Semitic content.

Those responsible at the Miami Herald admitted to not reading the insert before it was distributed.

“We are deeply sorry that inflammatory, racist and anti-Semitic commentary reached our el Nuevo Herald subscribers through LIBRE, a Spanish-language publication that paid our company to have the product printed and inserted into our print edition as a weekly supplement,” reads part of an open letter to readers. “The fact that no one in leadership, beginning with us, had previously read this advertising insert until this issue was surfaced by a reader is distressing. It is one of a series of internal failures that we are investigating in order to prevent this from ever recurring.”

Readers are outraged that the newspaper would allow such offensive things to be published and distributed.

The right-wing conspiracies pushed by Libre are part of a larger Spanish-language disinformation campaign targeting Cubans in southern Florida. The community has been inundated with disinformation ahead of the 2020 election preying on the fears and ignorance within the staunchly conservative Cuban community.

“It’s difficult to measure the effect exactly, but the polling sort of shows it and in focus groups it shows up, with people deeply questioning the Democrats, and referring to the ‘deep state’ in particular — that there’s a real conspiracy against the president from the inside,” Eduardo Gamarra, a pollster and director of the Latino Public Opinion Forum at Florida International University, told Politico. “There’s a strain in our political culture that’s accustomed to conspiracy theories, a culture that’s accustomed to coup d’etats.”

The disinformation is targeting Cubans because of the growing Latino communities who tend to vote Democratic.

According to Politico, the campaign is Cuban specific. The Puerto Rican, Nicaraguan, Colombian, Venezuelan, and Dominican communities in Florida, which continue to grow, typically vote Democratic. These shifting demographics have left Republicans doing anything it takes to keep a strong hold of the Cuban community, even by means of racism, anti-Semitism, and disinformation.

READ: Politicians Need To Stop Assuming That The Latino Vote Is A Monolith Because It Is Not The Truth

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Latinos For Trump Posted A Collage Of Flag For Hispanic Heritage Month And Got Some Wrong

Culture

Latinos For Trump Posted A Collage Of Flag For Hispanic Heritage Month And Got Some Wrong

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Latinos for Trump has long been a confusing organization in the Latino community. President Donald Trump has built his administration and brand to be squarely against people of color. Now, the Latinos for Trump group caused a stir when they posted a collage of flags that are not quite right.

Latinos for Trump really thought they had something when they posted their Hispanic Heritage Month collage.

The first, and most obvious mistake, is that the Mexican flag is backwards. The flag is supposed to be green, white, and red in that order. As we can all see, the collage has a Mexican flag that is red, white, and green. The eagle is even facing the wrong way so someone literally flipped the flag the wrong way.

Of course, some people tried to make sense of the bizarre Mexican flag snafu.

Last year, the Trump administration announced that it was cutting aid to three countries in Central America. The countries were El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Fox & Friends picked up the story but told their audience that Trump was cutting aid to “3 Mexican countries.” Perhaps this Twitter user is right and the Latinos for Trump are trying to suggest the existence of other Mexicos.

Someone else pointed out the issues with the Guatemalan flag in the top right corner.

People are very defensive about their cultural heritage and national origin. Messing up someone’s flag is a very serious issue for people. Just ask a Cuban or Puerto Rican about people confusing their flags. It is never a good thing.

Some people fixed the image for them so the organization can see what it should have looked like.

Good, clean lines with all of the flags facing the right way. The creator even changed the message in the middle for the Latino community. It is clear that social media is still willing to show up and teach a couple of lessons here and there.

Others had a more direct message for Latinos for Trump.

We all know that social media is where things go to be manipulated and made fun of. It is very important that if you make something for social media that you take good care to make sure that you check all of the right boxes and execute your work right the first time.

READ: In A Seriously Awkward Announcement, Vice President Pence Went To Florida To Launch A ‘Latinos For Trump’ Coalition

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