I told myself I was taking a break from heavy stuff this week. But as in the godfather, someone always drags me back in. I was giddy yesterday to get a chance to watch the video clip of my mentor (sshhh, don't tell her. I'm keeping it a surprise), Denene. There she was on the Meredith Viera show in all her shoeologist splendor!
It was a great segment with a mom panel being asked their perspective on a couple of subjects. All good, right? Not so fast.
The shit hits the fan (at least for me) around 3:15 when the question is posed as to whether or not the moms on the panel would let their children play football considering the potential for injury. Carolina Bermudez, a New York radio deejay makes a comment that still makes me cringe.
"My son is half half Latino, half white and I want him to gravitate towards the white sports. I want him to play tennis, I'm going to give him a racket, golf..."
You see Denene's epic side eye as she names black people that play the sports that Carolina is mentioning? I want to tell you that I do not know where I was when Denene was standing in line and God was handing out patience and poise. I'm thinking I was getting coffee. This is probably why I can't have nice things, like bomb shoes and invitations to be on television. She held it together on screen and gave it to us on My Brown Baby today.
Y'all, I don't know how to come at this. The statement reeked of this privilege by proxy that so many Latinos are prone to. I recall my best friend being told that she had to marry a light skinned man to "better the blood". The fact that this was said on national television by a Latina who obviously has a social following and fan base...talk about disappointment.
First of all, the initial question was thrown to the side. The question was clearly about football and really it was about contact sports. The fact that this person equates football with, let's say...non-white and somehow that tennis and golf become the sport that she wants her "half Latino" son to play because...why exactly?
Mel B (Scary Spice) makes a comment about Carolina's statement and it is clearly waved aside. Moreover, Carolina took to Twitter to dismiss and belittle the comments from people who were offended by her statement. Telling folks to "get over it" and it was just a joke.
I'm tired of the damn jokes, Carolina! I'm tired of the ignorance from my own people. It's sad that you see nothing wrong with what you said. It's not even about an apology. It's about the fact that you don't seem to get it. This is self-hatred at its best whether you see it like that or not.
Can someone get me the pivot table where I can clearly see the detailed sports to race combination so I get it right? Wanting your son to gravitate towards "the white sports"? Because the white sports are good, is that what it is? And then the black sports are...and what about the Latino sports?
This privilege by proxy in the Latino community needs to stop. Having a child with a white man doesn't transfer his white privilege to you. And perpetuating the narrative that sports that have traditionally been associated with privilege and with the exclusion of people of color makes you just as bad as the folks who tried that.
This IS important! The fact that she trivializes her statement, attempts to say that it was a joke and then dismisses folks who are offended by it is ludicrous. That "joke" is heard behind closed doors every day. That "joke" is what keeps ugly commentaries from continuing.
And the worst part is that by having someone on national television, a Latina at that, making that type of statement, the folks with those centuries-old beliefs and racists views receive that as confirmation that they've been right all along. And THAT'S what hurts the most. That the joke is in juxtaposition with how things should be. And from where I stand, it's not funny at all.