Monday, March 27, 2023
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Echoes of Latin American racism reverberate in the US.


Members of Los Angeles’s indigenous Latino community, some in traditional dress, were among the protesters outside the City Council compound and council offices recently.

Ron Herrera, one of the union leaders heard in the recorded conversation, resigned on Monday, October 10, as president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. The other two councilors present, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, have so far rejected calls for them to resign.

By the way, the councilors make up a mosaic of Hispanics: all three were born in the United States into immigrant families, Martinez and Cedillo’s from Mexico and De León’s from Guatemala.

For Miguel Villegas, 32, who raps in English, Spanish and Mixteco, an indigenous language, the callous comments on the recording brought back memories of being teased growing up in California’s Central Valley.

“The Mexicans discriminated against me for being indigenous and the Americans for being an immigrant,” he said.

The son of grape pickers, when he arrived in the United States from Oaxaca as a child he spoke only Mixteco, Villegas was quick to learn English and Spanish and hide his indigenous roots.

Later, she regained her identity, said Villegas, whose stage name is Una Isu.

“The fact that these comments were made public only confirmed that oppression and discrimination have not ended,” he said. “I had the same feeling as when Donald Trump became president. Racism became more public and visible.”

One of his songs is called “Mixteco is a language”.

“This goes to those who insult all my Oaxacans,” says the lyrics. “Small but warrior hearts. Preserving the culture, we will continue to grow.”

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