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protester with "end systemic racism" sign
protester with "end systemic racism" sign

Millennials and Gen Z Changing Racial Landscape

The tragic death of George Floyd was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and soon became the catalyst for America’s most recent civil rights movement. It’s a revolution that has seen many other minorities fight for the rights of Black people around the country, making it very clear that minorities united aren’t minorities anymore.

The new majority includes all the different cultures that form the beautiful melting pot in America. Up until not too long ago, cultures wouldn’t blend as much or look out for each other. There was a lot of segregation, as exemplified by divided territories; Chinatown for the Chinese, Koreatown for Koreans, Little Armenia for Armenians, and so on…

But according to Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American, an immigration advocacy organization, “we have arrived at a real cultural shift.” And that shift is very clear in millennials, and even more clear in the Gen Z population. But what happened to our parents? Are they as understanding and open-minded? Unfortunately, the answer is usually no.

When Melissa Sánchez, 22, told her father, Armando, that she was going to a Black Lives Matters protest, she was told all lives matter in response. “My father truly thinks that everybody has the same opportunities if they work hard and follow social rules. But unfortunately, that is not true. You can follow social rules and still be discriminated against because of the color of your skin,” Melissa said. “I don’t get it, he experienced a lot of racism himself.”

“Many Latinos arrive in the United States with their own anti-Black beliefs rooted in white European colonialism and slavery history in their native countries,” said Jasmine Haywood, a program officer at the Lumina Foundation, who has researched anti-Blackness among Latinos. “As they try to assimilate, they often adopt anti-Black attitudes that comes from the white majority,” Haywood said.

We are at a moment in history in which racism needs to end – for good. It’s our duty as the younger generations of the Latinx population to make a difference. As Martin Luther King said, “The time is always right to do what is right.”

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