A friend shared another blog with me recently, called Black Girl Dangerous, that I believe has a lot of posts and discussions related to this class. One post (the link is at the bottom) called “Broke on Broke Crime: On Black and Brown Living and Unity,” written by Kitzia Esteva-Martinez, discusses her personal experience being mugged at gun-point by three young boys in her neighborhood. Kitzia identifies as Latina and identified the three boys as Black in her post. She discusses her mixed feelings about the event: she felt angry at the boys for mugging her but also angry at the “white supremacy and patriarchy” that she suggests, in a broader sense, ultimately caused the situation.
She does not like the fact that she believes she “was targeted because [she is] a small Latina, that [her] perceived appearance makes [her] an easy exploit in their eyes” or “the nasty feeling of [her] muscles tightening every time [she] ride[s] [her] bike and see[s] three or more black men or youth walking down the block.” Kitzia writes that she does not want to give in to pigeonholing other races, but the traumatic experience of facing a gun has made it difficult not to. She suggests that this form of isolation only separates people of different races and pits them against one another.
We talked about this phenomenon in our Contemporary Racism class: the upper class White folks instill enmity between people of different races in the lower classes in order to maintain their privileged position at the top of the hierarchy. Kitzia describes this perfectly in this part of her post:
The fear and animosities between black and brown folks are dangerous, and they help justify the violence of the state and other hateful white groups towards us. At the end of the day, it helps white supremacy. When we see each other as enemies, when we start to accept that our people should be put in cages instead of pushing for real solutions to the poverty and economic, social and state violence we experience we help white supremacy.
I agree with Kitzia that minority races fighting against one another only helps the White race. However, I do not think everyone is as insightful or as educated on the subject of systemic race issues as Kitzia. It is not easy to combat the continued exposure to stereotypical media portrayals of “Black Danger,” as Kitzia calls it, or the real-life violence that perpetuates stereotypes about Black people (as well as people of other races). How can we spread the kind of knowledge and astuteness Kitzia has in order to raise race consciousness when there are so many people and institutions keeping the current order in place?
Link to original blog post: