“I Got This!”: Confronting anti-black racism & misogyny in Latinos

In a nation that is so clearly divided, humor and the ability to share laughter with one another has never before been so important. While the pain and fear our friends and families face every day is real and deserves acknowledgment, we find strength in the laughter before the punchline. And it shows, in the way, that we have been able to turn Donald Trump into an even bigger joke than he already was.

It comes as no surprise that one of our favorite Latino comedians, George Lopez, has found endless comedic material in Trump. Even before Trump’s presidency, Lopez was unafraid to call out the bullshit in his presidential bid and impassioned supporters alike.

In a Huffington Post article published in late Sept. 2016, Lopez spoke out about Trump’s political rise through prejudice and bigotry. 

“He is fueled by ignorance, and shattered this country’s respect for diversity and inclusivity,” Lopez said.

But what happens when our own humor embodies white supremacy and hatred against women?

As Lopez showed during a recent stand-up routine, these toxic ideologies are sometimes internalized and even reinforced, by Latinos.

“There are only two rules in the Latino family. Don’t marry somebody black and don’t park in front of our house,” Lopez said.

For some, the joke was not met with laughter, but with anger and frustration. Visibly upset, a reportedly Afro-Latinx woman in the audience reacted to Lopez’s joke by standing up and flipping him off. Rather than taking a moment to question the ideology of anti-black racism within Latinx culture, through humor, Lopez chose to embody these oppressive ideas.

“I’m talking, bitch. Sit your fucking ass down. You paid to see a show, sit your ass down,” Lopez said. “You can’t take a joke, you’re in the wrong motherfucking place, so sit your fucking ass down or get the fuck out of here. I’ll make the choice for you. Get the fuck out of here.”

For someone so concerned about “this country’s respect for diversity and inclusivity, it was a disgusting display that mirrored the ejection of Univision journalist Jorge Ramos, who called out Trump on the campaign trail. His words represented the deeper entitlement that some men carry, as well as the erasure of Afro-Latinx people. It is not simply an issue of political correctness, and it simply cannot be escorted out of sight.