Latinos in the Big Apple: Racism Is a Norm in Families and Community

By Carla Murphy Mar 20, 2015

Well worth your time this weekend is this terrific Latino-led discussion about racism within Spanish-speaking communities that happened in New York City this Wednesday during a 30-minute call-in radio show. It’s nuanced, family-oriented and infused with historical and cultural knowledge not just of the U.S. but the hemisphere. New York City is about one-third Latino and known for its many Spanish-speaking enclaves. Those of Puerto Rican and Dominican heritage predominate but Mexican immigrants (approximately 80 percent were born outside the U.S.) are the city’s third-largest and fastest-growing Latino group.

Journalist Juan Manuel Benítez, guest-hosting on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show, welcomed author Sandra Guzmán and Marta Moreno Vega, founding president of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute. Listen above.

And ICYMI, check out Guzmán’s personal essay, "A Univision Host’s Comments, and My Own Painful Memories." An excerpt:

One summer day, I was 14 and on top of the world. I’d just been accepted to represent my high school in a youth political convention at Rider University in my home state of New Jersey. My best friend and I were walking home, laughing and eating ice cream, when we came across my friend’s father, a black Ecuadorian immigrant. The dad sized me up and down and said that I would be a lot prettier if I didn’t have that "African" nose.

…My shock and hurt were physically palpable; my buddy stood up to his father and chastised his ignorance. I cried myself to sleep that night. At 18, I had saved enough money and at 19, I got a nose job.

Read more on NBC News.