People across the country and around the world have taken the streets to protest since late May, demanding justice for George Floyd and other black citizens who have died in the hands of police.
Marching in solidarity with the black community and fighting against institutional racism, Mexican-American rapper Snow Tha Product (real name: Claudia Feliciano) is among the thousands of people who are chanting “black lives matter.”
“We represent a culture that has our own struggles, and me as a Mexican queer woman, I definitely have plenty struggles tacked on to my career,” Snow tells Billboard. “But this is about all of us. This is about inequality. Black and brown unity is very important.”
The California-born “Bilingue” singer has also used her social media channels as a platform to amplify the Black Lives Matter movement, and was among the first artists to speak up and demand justice for Floyd. “Sick of it all… firing isn’t enough.. that was murder and the cops along with him were complicit,” she posted May 27.
As part of Billboard’s “Why I Protest” series, Snow Tha Product explains why it matters, more than ever, to stand in solidarity with the black community, and encourages other Latinos to join the fight for justice.
Which protest did you take part in?
I went to downtown Los Angeles protest June 3rd. I have been very vocal and always use my platform since the beginning of my career, but I definitely felt I needed to physically be there.
Describe your experience at the demonstration.
[It was] a melting pot of people standing for something. It’s so easy these days to get caught up in the internet and the trolls that sometimes say [more] dumb comments than actually help. However, being there helped me see the love, the passion, the fact so many people stand for this and no matter the age, gender, sexual orientation, color, everyone standing against inequality and in a global pandemic, risking whatever it is to stand for whats right was inspiring and motivating. [It] helped me realize the fight is alive and well and we are GONNA WIN.
What does it mean to you as a Latinx artist to be involved in the Black Lives Matter protests?
To be a Latinx voice, to be involved, [to] be there and put my little grain of sand in this monumental movement is necessary not only to lead by example, but for my own peace of mind. I don’t do this for any other reason other than as a human being. How can you sit and do nothing? How can you have a platform and not speak up? How can you NEED TO BE PRESSURED into doing whats right?
If you are not compelled to at least speak up in the face of injustice, I don’t care how many jewels you buy, how many plaques you have. All that goes out the window when you [are] a coward.
How do you encourage the Latino community to support the Black Lives Matter movement?
We represent a culture that has our own struggles ,and me as a Mexican queer woman, I definitely have plenty struggles tacked on to my career. But this is about all of us. This is about inequality. Black and brown unity is very important and it is NECESSARY FOR EVERYONE TO SPEAK UP SPEAK OUT AND HELP OUT.
Can you share a safety tip for attending a protest in times of a pandemic?
I would say it is important to wear a mask, gloves, keep social distance and also just overall be careful. The police tends to care more to stop protesters peacefully protesting past curfew than stopping police brutality.