Below, multiple Latin artists share with Billboard exclusive quotes on being an ally to the black community, the importance of speaking up against systemic racism in the U.S.
Zion (of Zion & Lennox):
Being an AfroLatino Puerto Rican, it saddens me to see people of color still suffering injustices this day and age. The Black community needs Latino voices to speak up in solidarity. We cannot sit and do nothing, we have also suffered at the hands of racism and discrimination. This past week’s protests are a display of communities all over the country, demanding change. We all share in their frustration but we must do things right. Vandalism, looting and violence are not the answer. Our communities need to come together and take action.
The death of George Floyd has been horrifying and heart-wrenching and we all know that he, as well as Breonna Taylor and Ahmad Aubrey are only a few of the many who die unjustly because of racism and discrimination in our country. We must all band together, Latino, Black, White, Asian, to work for change. Our nation is tired of the racism, the division and the hate. We can only heal and move forward towards a better future by dealing with this head on, addressing it, educating ourselves and each other so that future generations never have to experience such injustices. This won’t bring any of the victims back but we must ensure they did not die in vain. Only in a nation free of racism will we all be able to breathe free again.“
I stand with George Floyd’s family and the countless others that have suffered from injustice, hate, race inequality and persecution. Evidently this is an unresolved horror that still runs very deep in our society. Black lives matter and this is the time to stand for justice and demand a change. There has to be police reform and criminal justice reform but we as a whole must be part of a social and cultural reform. A reform based on empathy, love and compassion that starts at home and in our communities. Change is coming but it is up to us to make it happen. I urge people to use their voice responsibly. Staying silent is being complicit.
As a Mexican American, I stand proudly with my black brothers and sisters. While these injustices are not new and the pain and suffering is global, I am proud to see so many people acknowledging their privilege, using their platforms to elevate others and highlighting what is really important throughout all the noise. I stand as an ally with those who are hurting and I stand in admiration watching those of you, who even through tearful eyes, are taking the time out of your day to educate us and open our minds up to the root of the problem so significant change can be made. They tell us all that we are the minorities, but together we are the majority.
The importance of two minorities coming together in solidarity is immeasurable. The Latino and Black communities need to raise their voices because together, we can bring change where it is most needed. We know what it is like to be treated so unfairly. It is heart breaking to see all this injustice and to see people dying. It is wrong! We can’t allow this to continue happening and within our own people too. The world is in a critical state and I am hoping our influence is being heard and that Latinos stand up united to do what is right. #BlackLivesMatter
I felt inspired to speak up because I feel powerless in this situation. I stand for love and even thou the world is so big I feel like by me “being” and “sharing” it, I’m making a difference. It’s important to speak up. I really hope the world finds it sooner than later. I’m really sorry for the innocent lives that have suffered and for racism. I hope one day we all realize that we’re all one. Brothers and sisters. And as I said before; no one is saved until we all are.
We are only as big as the challenges we overcome. Every generation is faced with challenges which I call opportunities. This is our opportunity as minorities to change things for the better, for our futures and the future generations. You need allies to win wars and wether we like it or not this war has been going on since before all of us were born; the war of inequality and racism. Unity between all minorities is the only weapon that defeats this enemy, an alliance between our people is the only way we win this. Our skin color might be brown, black, yellow and all the colors of the rainbow but our money is just as green as everyone else’s and that’s the color the system cares about the most. The day we as minorities learn to come together, for a cause as one group, there is absolutely no war we can’t win. We shouldn’t have to mold to the system, the system was put there by us and for us, the system must mold to us!
Play (of Play N Skillz)
If there ever was a time to unite, this is it. We as latinos, have had our fair share of being mistreated. We share the pain and injustice with our black brothers and sisters. This is the time to rally together, but we have to do it peacefully,, because doing it with violence, is what they want us to do. This is the stereotype, the profile they want to give us minorities and we must be smarter than that. We ARE smarter than that. This is a sad time for humanity. The only answer is to come together. Black, White, Latinos, Asians, Middle Eastern, etc. We are one. We cannot let one more life be taken in vain. Bottom line? There is no neutral position on racism. Rest is Power George Floyd.
Si asumes una postura neutral ante un acto racista, eres parte del problema. #BlackLivesMatter #MásDeUnAsesino
If you are neutral in a case of racism, you are part of the problem.
El racismo en sí es una CAMPAÑA EN CONTRA de gente de otro color o nacionalidad y necesitamos hacer UNA CAMPAÑA A FAVOR de la humanidad. No es suficiente no apoyar el racismo, tenemos que combatirlo.
Racism is a campaign against people of color or nationality and we need to make a campaign in favor of humanity. It's not enough to only be against racism, we also have to fight against it.
Para los que no saben, la cultura afro americana nos ha dado muchísimo a nosotros como VICE MENTA. Tuvimos la oportunidad de pasar un buen tiempo de nuestra carrera en Atlanta y pasamos mucho tiempo alrededor de esta cultura y de su gente que siempre nos recibió con los brazos abiertos. Nos entristece mucho ver lo que esta pasando en estos momentos. Queremos vivir en un mundo con igualdad y justicia para todo el mundo. No importa el color de tu piel, el idioma que hablas, o el país en que naciste. Es tiempo de unirnos, levantar la voz y exigir justicia.
For those that don't know, the African American culture has given us so much, VICE MENTA included. We had a wonderful opportunity to spend some of our career in Atlanta en spend time around that culture and their people who received us with open arms. It saddens us to see what is happening. We want to live in a world of equality and justice for everyone. No matter the color of your skin, the language you speak or the country you were born in. It's time to unite, speak up and demand justice.
Atomic Otro Way:
Today I want to declare my solidarity and alliance with my black brothers in the United States. The murder of George Floyd is a crime against humanity and the black community that shouldn’t be happening today in 2020. It is time to use our voices to exalt the human rights of the black community in the United States and around the world. #BLACKLIVESMATTER
As a non-black Latinx person in America I have some level of privilege and I feel that it is my responsibility to use it. A lot of our parents and grandparents came to this country to give us a better life, BUT we can’t just reap the benefits. We need to stand in solidarity with those who were brought to this country against their will and now have to deal with the aftermath of the mistakes made by others years ago. It is important to acknowledge that racism exists within the Latinx community, and it isn’t only White America. In order to see real change it is going to take everyone standing up for Black lives and standing up for what is right. It starts in our own communities.
I am inspired to speak up because I consider it’s my job as an artist. Artists reflect society, and when society is restless, we are restless. It has been up to artists, for centuries, to reflect on their present times and then project their views to their fans, and my worldview is this: murder is wrong no matter where you’re from. And we’ve been perpetuating discrimination by not supporting the oppressed. Finally, I believe that we need to overcome the lack of leadership by pressuring our elected government. Black lives matter."
Black Live Matters. Punto. The injustices both the Black and Latino communities have been facing in this country are parallel and also intertwined. It’s extremely frustrating to see so many people staying silent on this issue. We Latinos aren’t a race and most of us have African in us. This is our problem too, this is about human rights and equality. We pray for grace, peace and change in the hearts of those who can’t see us.
Estos días me he sentido con mucha impotencia por el asesinato de George Floyd. El abuso de poder y el racismo es algo que ya NO se puede tolerar más. Hasta cuándo? Hasta donde llega la discriminación? Cuál es el limite? Es importante para toda la sociedad, para las autoridades y para cualquier ser que habita este planeta, tomar consciencia para poder vivir en PAZ. Y sin lugar a dudas, lo que más quiero en este momento, es que se haga justicia de la vida que se ha llevado el estúpido racismo. No solo por la memoria de George Floyd, sino por todas las víctimas. BASTA. #BlackLivesMatter
These days I've felt impotence over the murder of George Floyd. The abuse of power and the racism is something that can NO longer be tolerated. When will this end? What's the limit? It's important for all of society, for authorities and for anyone living in this planet, to be aware in order to live in PEACE. What I want the most during this moment, is for justice to be served for the life that was taken away by stupid racism. Not only in memory of George Floyd, but in memory of all the victims. ENOUGH. #BlackLivesMatter