Why Do Spanish-Language Media Still Use the Term "Negro"?

Why Do Spanish-Language Media Still Use the Term "Negro"?

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Each ethnic and racial group in society enjoys the right to define itself in a dignified manner, taking into consideration its historical, racial and cultural legacies. But one unfortunate exception exists in the Washington, D.C. Latino community. Spanish-language newspapers (with the exception of El Tiempo Latino) continue to refer to Latinos of African descent by the despicable term of "Negro."

The term "Negro" within the U.S. context connotes an individual without racial consciousness, a sort of Uncle Tom who suffers from internal oppression and is ashamed of his/her African heritage. A classic example of that prototype is U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Many of us who are members of the Afro-descendant community do not see him as a dignified member of our racial group.

For many of us with a consciousness of our history as a race and our legacy of struggle, the term "Negro" is very insulting. When Latino or Spanish-language newspapers use this term in their articles to describe Latinos of African descent, they are telling us publicly that they do not respect us. English-language newspapers in the Washington, D.C. area would not dare use the term, aware of the avalanche of criticism they would have to endure from the African-American community.

I share for the benefit of media, Latino leaders and the community in general the politically correct terminology which we consider acceptable to describe our ethnic group:

1. Afro descendant

2. Afro-Cuban (when emphasizing geographic origin)

3. Afro

4. Afro-Latino (when the individual speaks Spanish and is Afro)

Our Afro descendant community has had to combat racism in the past and continues fighting the wave of racism by white Hispanics on a daily basis. We have been able to force the adoption of the right terminology by responsible media circles to describe who we are as a people. But media entities, because of their ingrained racism and discriminatory tendencies that refuse to adopt the correct manner to address and describe our people will suffer our collective rejection, and I will continue publicly to expose their inability to treat us as equals.

Roland Roebuck, Afro-Puerto Rican Community Activist in Washington, D.C. and President of the Commission on Latino Community Development, Office of the Mayor, Washington, D.C., can be contacted at rolroebuck@aol.com. Translated by National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP).


 

Comments

 
Anonymous

Posted Apr 13 2012

I don't understand. Are papers really using negro as a translation of Negro (nee-gro) or are they using negro (black) as an adjective?

Anonymous

Posted Apr 13 2012

Yes,

Your “politically correct” way to describe your “ethnic group” is yours and a growing amount of other young people that have been culturally and ethnically harmed by their own people, but it is not a universally accepted.

I personally think that it is a mistake to combat the racism that some Latinos experience at the hands of other Latinos by calling ourselves “afro, white or brown, Indian, etc.”

We are Puerto Ricans, Dominicans Cubans and members of the larger Spanish speaking world. Jose Marti Founding Patriot of Cuba said that in Cuba there are no white Cubans or black Cubans there are Cubans (See book A Nation for All). When that lesson was forgotten by Cubans and brushed aside we have Cubans discriminating and keeping other Cubans away because of physical, not cultural and so call “racial” differences.

There is no such thing as different races according to the Bible. God made one “humanity” and the physical differences that you see in from of you are normal and natural.

Also the consensus of the scientific community is the same there is only one race. Humanity has constructed this false idea of different races so that part of humanity can tell the other that they are superior and prettier.

At the moment that we fall prey to that vicious game and lie that many would like others to fall into we open ourselves to a self defeat. When we start to label ourselves based on physical difference, country of origin and so call racial differences because we are attacked because of these differences we are making a mistake.

Hold these people feet to the ground and hands to the fire. Make them speak Spanish to you and treat you like a “Latino”, “Hispanic” They go around telling the country that Hispanic are friendly and warm, are not racist and that they are going to make the country accept their mixed “racial” composition; make them live up to it

It is cowardly and wrong for people who themselves are victims of racism and discrimination based on physical, cultural and “racial” differences, who protest, struggle for acceptance and become indignant when “whites’ and “blacks” violate their humanity to then turn around and treat with indignity their own people because of their anti “black”, anti “African” prejudices.

Anonymous

Posted Apr 13 2012

The word Negro(Black) doesn't hold the same negative connotations in Latino countries as it does in the U.S.

Anonymous

Posted Apr 13 2012

negro es un bello color

Anonymous

Posted Apr 17 2012

I do appreciate the comments expressed related to my article, the intent was to teach Latino media outlets how to correctly address who we are as a people, others who may wish to continue to use the terms "Ay Mi Negrito" in intimate circles, will continue doing so, it is not calling to legislate on those expressions and relationships. Again thanks, I am wiser based on your comments,,,,,Roland Roebuck

Anonymous

Posted May 8 2012

who gives a shit?

Anonymous

Posted May 10 2012

Why do African-Americans, Black, Afros, (whatever other "term du decade" if you will) make such a big freaking deal about what everyone else should call them while THEY STILL call each other "nigger" in private, in music, as a term of endearment, etc. I really don't get that part.

Anonymous

Posted Jun 9 2012

Actually it is

Afro Hispanic ( when a individual speaks Spanish and is Afro)

Afro Latin ( when a individual speaks a Romance/ Language or a language based of Latin and is Afro)

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