Standing in solidarity with Black lives. Committing to doing our part.
A statement of solidarity from Nathalie Rayes, President & CEO, and Team Latino Victory
Between the pervasive acts of violence against Black people at the hands of the police, the global health crisis threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions, and a president that further stokes the flames of hate and violence, the past week has been one of grief, pain, and rightful anger.
We are heartbroken, we are outraged, but above all — we are here for our Black brothers and sisters which include our Afro-Latino family.
Across the country, we’ve seen Black Americans clamor for justice in protest. Demanding to be seen. Demanding to be heard. Demanding justice for George Floyd. Demanding justice for Ahmaud Arbery. Demanding justice for Breonna Taylor. Demanding justice for Tony McDade. Demanding Justice for David “Yaya” McAtee. And demanding justice for the untold number of Black lives taken as a direct result of racism and police brutality.
And make no mistake, we at Latino Victory, unequivocally stand shoulder to shoulder with those yearning for justice.
We are fully committed to doing our part to dismantle the systems that uphold white supremacy and endanger Black lives. While we are still working through precisely what that looks like in its entirety, at the onset for us it means:
- Electing progressive Latino leaders who not only believe that Black Lives Matter, but who will take concrete steps with their actions, budgets, and policies to make those words a reality
- Supporting and making intentional efforts to seek out Black Latino and Afro-Latino candidates to endorse
- Holding our family, friends, and community accountable for Anti-Blackness, microaggressions, and racism
- Educating ourselves and our community on how we can demonstrate effective allyship to the Black community during good and bad times
- Mobilizing our community day-in and day-out to change systems and laws that endanger and devalue Black lives
- Owning up to the racism that exists in the Latino community and developing ways to eradicate it systematically and in our day-to-day lives
- Using our privilege to listen, support, and uplift Black voices
- Reminding Latinos that the fight for Black equity is our fight also
Once we, as individuals and as an organization, determine how we can be of most help, we must and will act without hesitation. We may not always get it 100% right but I can tell you this, we will always try our best to do so. And just like we are committing to hold our own community and loved ones accountable, we are also prepared to be held to account ourselves.
And to Afro-Latinos and Black Latinos, who are too often erased, know that we see you, we uplift you, and your fight is our fight too.
The urgency of this moment is not lost on us. Earlier this week, we saw police officers tear-gas and shove peaceful protesters near the White House, their civil rights and bodies trampled, to make way for the president’s photo-op. It’s easy to feel helpless and discouraged, especially when our nation is lacking a competent, compassionate leader and instead, is seemingly at the whim of a tyrant bent on sowing division, fanning the flames of hate and inciting violence.
But we’ve also seen courage, hope, love, and compassion. You’ll find them if you watch or participate in the protests — people of all races, backgrounds, creeds, ethnicities, and genders joining our Black brothers and sisters. As allies and supporters, we must act rapidly to ensure we seize the moment to change the direction of our country, while always centering those closest to the pain. Hope is the last thing we can lose right now. We need it to act.
So while our country reckons with over 400 years of white supremacy, structural systems of oppression, and anti-Blackness — the time for swift accountability and action is now. We must all join our collective voice to demand meaningful change. And while it may be difficult to think about voting or the election when we’re seeing people in pain, our shared existence depends on the tired old trope — elections have consequences.
The time for compromise and complacency is over — if candidates do not support Black lives, in deeds not just in words, we will vote them out.
We recognize that voting is just one tool we have at our disposal to create necessary change but it’s not the only one. We will continue to stand with those protesting. We will continue to listen, learn, and center Black voices. And we will continue to demand justice for George, for Breonna, for Ahmaud, for Tony, for David, and for all of Black America.
In unwavering solidarity,
Nathalie Rayes & Team Latino Victory