Among the growing number of Latinos joining the white nationalist movement in the United States is Nick Fuentes. Launched into relevance when he left Boston University after claiming he received threats for attending the Unite the Right riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, Fuentes describes himself as an American Nationalist, Christian Conservative, and Paleoconservative.
In other words, Fuentes prefers language that doesn’t posit him as a bigot. Despite his white supremacist ideals, he considers being labeled as such to be anti-white. Yet, he’s anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-Black, misogynistic, homophobic, and transphobic. Like a wannabe Gavin McInnes (founder of the Proud Boys), Fuentes uses inflammatory language hidden behind “irony” and what he says are ”jokes”.
Make no mistake. Fuentes is a racist and a bigot. What he’s done is what many before him have done. He found an audience willing to pay him for saying what they would love to say. Fuentes is not just bolstering bigoted beliefs for profit, he’s taking them to new heights. Never before have hate mongers been platformed the way they are now. Their reach is unprecedented.
Nick Fuentes knows this and is using it to his advantage. For every platform that has banned him, there are many more willing to have Fuentes. As I often say, hate is big business and that translates to social media companies profiting from it. Not only is such a business model unethical, but it goes against everything the United States is supposed to stand for.
At least on paper anyway.
Saying things like, “I want a total Aryan victory for my people,” and “I’m just like Hitler,” Fuentes makes Afro-Cuban Enrique Tarrio look like a preschooler. Cubans like Tarrio, however, get most of the attention because of stereotypes about Cubans. While bigotry and hate are an issue of contention within the Cuban American community, Cubans are not unique. The same level of racial animus exists in every Latino community just as it does in other communities.
While racism and bigotry exist in Latin America, the adoption of Klan-like and Nazi-like rhetoric in public spaces, in comparison, are virtually non-existent South of the border. In order to address the white nationalism that exists in the United States, it serves little purpose to discuss the bigotry in Colombia, Mexico, or Venezuela.
Conflating the explosion of extremism in our own backyard with what’s happening in other countries drowns out issues at home. And while some in the Latino community talk about racism and bigotry in broad terms, not addressing it among those in close proximity to them makes those watered-down conversations ineffective.
Let’s talk about hypocrisy for a second. After Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio’s arrest, I’ve listened to other Latinos talk about racism among Cubans while never addressing the bigotry and anti-Blackness in their own community. I get it, we’re easy targets. But, it’s hypocritical.
How different is it from white people refusing to discuss white supremacy in conversations about race? Not much. Why then does this happen? The answers are pretty clear: access, proximity to white power structures, and fear of upsetting their community. The latter is how racism and bigotry succeed in Latino communities. Their silence allows hate to fester and grow.
Similarly, when it comes to voting and the state of Florida, liberals are quick to point at Cubans and demonize us. They never once address how Cuban strongholds like Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties voted blue; Joe Biden won all three. Yet, Cubans were scorned when Biden lost the state of Florida. What about the Puerto Ricans in Central Florida? Or the Colombians and Venezuelans in South Florida? Or Tejanos South Texas who voted for Trump for that matter? Are they somehow exceptional?
Forgetting the fact that White voters are responsible for keeping Florida a red state, liberals across the country always hyperfocus on Cubans. In Texas, however, no one even bothered to ask why Tejanos along the border voted for Trump. Instead, it was, “well, it’s Texas. What did you expect?” The real problem was Democrats’ failed outreach in key areas across the country, not Cubans in Florida. Joe Biden’s prejudice didn’t help either, but that’s another conversation.
Basing commentary on stereotypes is largely why Nick Fuentes’ hate speech goes undetected by big media despite the damage it does. There’s no question that Fuentes, who financially contributed to the attack on the Capitol while participating in it has been dismissed until Marjorie Taylor Greene attended his America First Political Action Committee (AFPAC) conference. If not for her appearance, liberals wouldn’t be bothered by him. Even more, wouldn’t know about him.
The outrage around Greene attending AFPAC was evident on social media. However, a week or so later, most were no longer showing concern for what Fuentes is doing. This is problematic. Addressing racism and bigotry in broad terms doesn’t achieve anything. We can talk about racial animus in the Latino community until we’re blue in the face. Not addressing it with those who make up our respective communities means not fully tackling the problem.
FYI: Nick Fuentes’ father is Mexican American.
There are many Latinos who find themselves appeasing white power structures, bolstering, and sometimes adopting racist beliefs. But there are even more who act in subtle ways to demonize one community over others because it’s popular. Some attack Mexicans, others may go directly at Cubans. Whether they’re being xenophobic or targeting a specific group for any particular issue (i.e. voting, racism, etc.), it’s negative implicit bias nonetheless.
What is accomplished by calling out bigotry among Cubans after Tarrio’s arrest, but not among other Latinos? Nothing. One could argue that it only perpetuates division. But let’s face it, a lot of Latinos are nationalists – proud of their country of origin. So, it comes as no surprise to see virtue signaling by demonizing Cubans based on the acts of one.
They are clout-chasing with negative stereotypes when they have work to do in their own community.
Would it be fair to Tejanos if I made broad statements about them without addressing Cubans first? No, it wouldn’t. Yet Latinos across the country do it to Cubans constantly. Addressing the bigotry in my community first – before talking about it on a broader scale – is where the biggest differences are made.
If more people would act against hate in this way, we could make more progress faster. As long as some only focus on attacking other minority groups instead of addressing the bigotry in their communities, we are as doomed as those who hate us. Like Tarrio and Fuentes, if appeasing white power structures by adopting blatant racism or the subtle bigotry mentioned here are what some Latinos in the U.S. are after, we should want no part of it and call it out.
Otherwise, our silence becomes complicity.