Black and non-Black undocumented folks in the United States have left our home countries for a variety of reasons, most of them linked to genocide, imperialism, white supremacy, and colonialism stealing resources from the places where we were born. These same evils operate on a pervasive foundation of racism, which infiltrates all aspects of our society and targets Black people. And although our struggles as non-Black undocu immigrants intersect, being Black in Amerikkka comes along with added layers of policing, constant surveillance, and racism. Dismantling the root causes to everything we see today might not be immediate, but we can begin by proactively dismantling anti-Blackness at home.
CENTER BLACK VOICES AND EXPERIENCES
Yes, experiences as a non-Black undocumented person can have parallels with the experiences of the Black community in Amerikkka, because we all live under a militarized nation state and our communities are being persecuted. But, real radical solidarity is built with trust and by centering the voices of those affected. It is not a competition. None of us are free until we are all free. Our liberation depends on each other. Just like countless Black non-immigrants showed up to our protests against ICE and deportations, this is our time to center Black voices, Black demands, and Black lives.
BEGIN YOUR CONVERSATIONS FROM A PLACE OF HUMILITY
None of us are perfect. We all live in an environment filled with the injustices and prejudices, and it takes a lot of unlearning and relearning to fight back against these. To start, people have to be open to conversation, ideas, and imagination. If your friends and family are listening to you, then they are taking their first step to unlearn and relearn from what you have been able to access. Be willing to discuss and accept that even if you or them don’t have all the answers today, you will continue to learn and share together. But remember that you have to do the work to relearn and unlearn. It is your responsibility, not that of Black people, to find the answers and question your own assumptions.
LEAN INTO CONFLICT, BUT BE PATIENT
As a person your family and friends trust, you might be the best person to engage them into a constructive conversation that changes their perspective. Take time to explain, share resources, and give them things to do. Right now, a good practice would be donating to bail funds. Nobody learns how to be anti-racist in one day, these are ongoing conversations that we will have with our friends, family, and ourselves for the rest of our lives.
HELP BY CURATING NEWS SOURCES
Many media outlets are vilifying protests happening across the country, labeling them unreasonable. In fact, even 45 is trying to discredit the courageous Black leaders of the movement for liberation. This is because most media outlets are also agents of white supremacy and any outrage displayed by Black communities is a direct challenge to them. Explain how, even Spanish media, often distorts Black sadness and anger from a white perspective to then misinform the public and maintain support for capitalism.
YOU MIGHT BE YOUR FAMILY’S BEST TRANSLATOR
Most anti-racism resources are available in English, and not every person in our families is fluent in the language. Take the time to discuss them, and research the proper ways to translate while centering Black lives without further perpetuating harm. Language is ever changing, and we might have to reinvent words in our own languages to achieve this.
Young, Latinx, and first time voters came out in historic numbers and the Biden-Harris administration has an undeniable mandate to include all immigrants and to lead with bold, progressive solutions.
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