from sabrina claudio to selena gomez, non-black latinxs uphold white supremacy
April 20, 2018
By Ruby Mora / WearYourVoice Mag, AFROPUNK contributor
Singer Sabrina Claudio was recently outed on Twitter for writing anti-Black tweets and frequently using the n-word. The discovery was made by another Twitter user who came across a currently-deleted Twitter account which turned out to be Claudio’s from years prior.
The ones who are calling her are “reaching” like she didn’t tweet bright as day she misses her old account where she shamed black women. That’s scary. ” bUt SHE sAiD iT 4-7 YrS aGO…pEoPle cHaNge”. People do change but instead of apologizing, she deleted her racist tweets.
— 🦋🖤 (@forniaa) April 9, 2018
The singer has since then confirmed that many of the tweets were hers and issued a short and generic apology, but this doesn’t change the fact that Claudio, as a white Latinx figure in music, who claims influence from Black artists, believed that saying this vitriol was okay.
Colorism and anti-black racism have been ugly trends in Latinx cultures for as long as fair skin has been the ideal views of beauty, and it’s an issue that isn’t discussed enough, especially since it continues to grow. Take reggaeton singer J.Balvin—when he was asked to participate in “Fuck, Marry, Kill” on a Portuguese Youtube Show and queen/goddess/singer/entrepreneur Rihanna was brought up in said game, he boldly claimed that she is not marriage material, specifically that she “isn’t a good woman to marry, just fool around.” The nerve of him to believe that a mediocre cishet man such as him felt the need to be able to define how marriage-worthy Black women are, let alone any woman of color.
Writer/artist/speaker/sociocultural critic Zahira Kelly-Cabrera (@bad_dominicana) calls out this nonsense in one of the best ways:
THATS TYPICAL ANTIBLACK MISOGYNY. FROM A WHITE LATINO WHOS BREAD AND BUTTER IS APPROPRIATING AFROCARIBBEAN MUSIC. U KNOW, WHERE RIHANNA IS FROM? https://t.co/OREfr16JTn
— killmangú (@bad_dominicana) April 9, 2018
If white Latinx musicians aren’t being racist in ways similar to how J. Balvin was, they end up co-opting blackness for their own benefit, which is where singer Kali Uchis comes into the picture. The Colombian singer started her career back in 2014-2015 as overtly white-passing, but then suddenly started embracing her “brownness” before her debut album was released. Youtuber and queer chicanx Esperanz Maríe Aguilera Fuentes (@SoyEsperanz) wrote a thread calling the singer out, discussing that it “seems as though Kali is using ‘brownness’ for her convenience: aesthetics and capitalization” and Fuentes believes it isn’t by chance:
My original Keli Fuchis thread: pic.twitter.com/P0uFEV55ac
— Esperanz Maríe (@SoyEsperanz) May 31, 2017
The singer and the Twitter following she had at the time, pressured Fuentes into deleting the thread instead of initially taking the time to have in-depth conversations about her portrayal of brownness, and how her privileges and the intersections of these two things were essential channels into seeing why her actions were problematic. She was then defensive about the situation, which is so unfortunately common, tweeting and then deleting a bold claim that she does more and speaks more “on discrimination and afro latinidad than anyone…”
Actress and singer Selena Gomez, who has gained a larger fan base and public platform as a Latina that many of the artists I mentioned prior, is, to me, one of the biggest disappointments when it comes to her anti-blackness. She recently removed the comments section from images on her Instagram profile after receiving waves of backlash calling her out for supporting the March for Our Lives while ignoring Black Lives Matter. Her captions included: #notjustahashtag but when a fan brought up her lack of support for #BlackLivesMatter, Gomez allegedly responded by asking: “if I hashtag something I save lives?” Gomez failed to take into consideration fans of hers who might need her to support the movement in order to for them to believe that she actually cares about them and Black Lives, and yet she reacted defensively instead of having a necessary dialogue.
Selena Gomez: March For Our Lives isn’t just a hashtag!!!!
Also Selena Gomez: pic.twitter.com/s4eVhTasUB
— devon (@artfuIife) March 24, 2018
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