Hispanicize is an annual conference that brings together Latino influencers, bloggers and journalists. The event’s founder Manny Ruiz “challenged Latinos to find creative ways to generate community involvement and foster Latino leadership.” To reinforce this, Rev. Jesse Jackson was invited to speak, and addressed the audience of the potential power and change that could occur if Blacks and Latinos united in their “common set of shared values”. In today’s political climate Rev. Jackson made the comparison of Latinos and Mexicans willing to participate in the building of President Donald Trump’s proposed border is likened to “blacks building slave ships”, he noted that both communities, as well as other communities of color, must draw from this comparison and learn for mistakes from the past in order to move forward in the fight for equality in America.
As reported by Carmen Sesin for NBC
“When we close ranks on common interests, we win. When we don’t, we lose,” said Jackson to a packed crowd at the Hispanicize conference, an annual event that brings together Latino influencers, bloggers and journalists.
Jackson held a “fireside chat” moderated by UNICEF’S Claudia González Romo, who asked Jackson how Latinos can overcome the challenge of galvanizing their combined economic and political clout amid the current social and political climate. He reminded those assembled of civil rights giant Dr. Martin Luther King’s letter to César Chávez recognizing the suffering of farm workers as a shared cause.
In a later one-on-one interview with NBC Latino, Jackson said, “We are either bound by suffering and marginalization or bound by hope,” in response to how Latinos can overcome their national, ethnic and cultural differences.
“Those who are facing immigrant challenges of gaining citizenship are bound by that. Those that share a common language are bound by that. Those who want equal protection under the law [and] justice enforced are bound by that dream,” said Jackson, who also exhorted to fight mass deportations.
Jackson said at Wednesday’s talk that he flew to Miami late Tuesday night “with a great sense of spiritual urgency,” a day after being in Memphis for the anniversary of the assassination of the late King.
He said African-Americans and Latinos “have a common interest in the protected right to vote,” which he called the “crown jewel” when it comes to civil rights and advancement.
Referring to the Democratic presidential defeat, Jackson said “the election was lost because black and brown votes were suppressed.”
He also threw a jab over what constitutes a Latino politician, saying it’s not about color but about “who has a common set of shared values.”
He added that large Latino numbers does not necessarily equal political force.
“That’s potential. Unless it’s organized it’s not actual power,” Jackson said.
Jackson’s message resonated at the conference, where many of the panels as well as the political conversations have revolved around how Latinos “in the age of Trump,” as some have called it.
What do you think of Rev. Jackson’s analogy of Latinos and Mexicans building the border wall being akin to Blacks building the slave ships? Do you agree that the only way forward is for both communities along with other marginalized groups is to unite on their common interests in order to create real and meaningful strides in the continued fight for civil rights in America? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
(Article by Tasha Sharifa)