It won’t be long before we hear about how police need more training as a result of recent mass shootings. But let’s be real, we see it all the time in the difference between how cops treat white people suspected of committing crimes and how they treat Black people. Cops know how to use restraint. It’s just that so many of them are selective about when they use it.
Similarly, a cop’s training teaches them how and when to act in times of crisis such as a mass shooting. In equal fashion to selectively using restraint, the police pick and choose who to save – as noted by them standing around in Uvalde, Texas as Latino children were killed. Let’s not pretend that this isn’t an issue of white supremacy. Because it absolutely is.
The bottom line is that it’s hard to argue the result would’ve been any different if Enrique Tarrio or Nick Fuentes would have been Uvalde School District police chief. Seeing Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo be so casual with CNN correspondent Shimon Prokupecz and seemingly uncaring about the terrorist attack is disheartening. And maddening as hell.
Many continue to ask me how a Latino police chief could be so unconcerned about the lives of Latino children. The answer isn’t so simple. It does however revolve around the rapidly growing ethnonationalism movement that’s rooted in Christian Nationalism – often referred to as Christo-fascism. Despite the embrace of non-white people into their ranks, the roots of all these movements revolve around white supremacy.
There is no denying that many Latinos consider themselves white. It’s whatever. And I’m not necessarily denouncing that. But when they act in ways that serve white supremacy and white power structures against their own people, we start having a problem. There’s also no denying that the pro-cop Blue Lives Matter and Thin Blue Line movements also recruited young Latino males. Many extremist groups across the country are targeting young non-white males.
When hate group members turn on wannabe white Latinos I laugh. When the Proud Boys leadership known as the elders turned on Tarrio, I laughed. But what we see in Uvalde isn’t a laughing matter. We’re witnessing the system turn on the Latino community with the force of a thousand Klansmen. You only need to look at the overblown police presence and mostly white bikers roaming the city supporting the police to see it. They’re not supporting the people.
They’re there to push back against an angry mostly Latino community.
Policing Failure on Full Display
What we saw happen in Uvalde was harrowing. If not for the parents’ videos and witness accounts we would likely never know what really happened. Their bravery was not only shown on the day of the terrorist attack, it still shows every day. Despite threats from the authorities if they talk to the press, parents, and teachers are telling the truth of what happened.
Due to anger from the community – which has shown incredible restraint considering the latest revelations about the police response during the attack on Robb Elementary, local police called in backup from every sheriff’s department in the state. Uvalde is a community that is overpoliced and controlled by white leadership, including the Latinos I mentioned above. Now, the city is riddled with even more cops and wannabe biker vigilantes from various groups.
The outside groups, including the police, have done nothing to help the community. They, along with city leaders, have taken a more authoritarian approach instead of hearing the community out. Militarizing the city with more cops can only serve a singular purpose and that is to keep the community at bay. Their objective is to suppress the anger toward the police.
The terrorist attack already happened. Gun laws, extremism, lack of access to healthcare, and a pathetic response by police ended in 19 children and two teachers dying in the assault on the school. More cops and racist gang members have no place in the Uvalde. The city already has local and county cops, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and state troopers roaming around. What will more cops do?
The more we look at the police presence in Uvalde, their mission in the city becomes more and more obvious. We’re talking about a town whose citizens have a complicated relationship with the police. Citizens are constantly harassed by agents from whichever agency at any given time under the premise of immigration enforcement – thus legitimizing oppressive behavior.
Clearly, police aren’t there to protect the community. They made that clear on May 24, 2022, when they allowed Salvador Ramos to indiscriminately murder 19 Latino children. They made that clear when they took a defensive position against the parents handcuffing and tasing them instead of attacking the attacker. They listened to those children be shot and did nothing.
Even 911 calls were going unheard due to a lack of concern.
White Supremacy in Latino Communities
It feels like this goes without saying, but it’s also worth repeating. Latinos who promote white supremacist ideas are more of a threat that any white racist or xenophobe due to their proximity to their respective communities. They are as bad as the racist uncle white people talk about having to deal with (avoid) at holiday dinners.
By ignoring them we are complicit in not challenging their beliefs and allowing them to go on about their way promoting hate. I often argue that this is where the biggest societal problem exists. We must be willing to discuss these issues and challenge extremist ideas in our proximity. This is quickly becoming a much bigger problem than just a white people’s problem.
Latinos, even some of our Black brothers and sisters, need to be more cognizant of what people around us are saying. Hate groups use age-old Klan-like xenophobia to reach Black folks and Latinos who are generations removed from their immigrant family members. They also employ anti-Black ideas among Latinos especially often using Black Lives Matter as a catalyst. That’s where the Blue Lives Matter groups come into play despite cops treating most Latinos poorly.
When we see Latinos in culture-war groups like this, we are seeing a minority of us participating in the tomfoolery. We’re seeing elements of extremism being adapted to be deployed among wannabe white Latinos. This is an actual strategy that’s used by the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and 3 Percenters among others. We’ve seen it laid out in shooter’s manifestos too.
While the best way to counter this may lie with us confronting it, politically speaking, politicians need to address this too. Since these extremist movements and groups are conservative-led, this means Democrats need to begin improving their outreach in places like South Texas. Us confronting our family members can only go so far. But if political groups with national platforms went directly at the misinformation as Republicans create it, we can move a lot faster.
Ethnonationalism is growing and seemingly more members of non-white groups are adopting it in strides. Calling out Latinos that adopt these views and ideas is something that has drawn a lot of criticism against me and I’m okay with that because it must be done. As I often say, I don’t mind taking punches in order to advance a more equal and just society that includes everyone.
If that makes me a bad guy, then so be it.
Note: I reached out to Uvalde police chief Daniel Rodriguez to ask about the city requesting help from bikers among other questions. I have received no response.
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