anonymous said:

Hi, I'm trying to write a short story with elves and magic and shit that has two sisters as main characters, except my mind has kind of decided that they are latina, and being scandinavian I feel vaguely out of my depths. I don't really know where to begin my research, but I've seen you talking about lit on my dash and wondered if you know some good starting point - novels, short stories, whatever. I'm a complete noob (I've read, like, a third of Don Quixote) so feel free to be condescending.

AAAh, latin@s in fantasy are what I breathe for. The thing about authors from other ethnicities writing latin@ characters is that most people fall into this idea (reproduced endlessly by USAmerican media and onto the entire world) that latin@s look and act a certain way.

Like when ‘Disney racebends’ give the princess they are turning latina that one look? The Basic Latina Stereotype: The full lips, small nose, straight or kinda wavy dark hair, skin in some warm and not too dark shade of brown. If the portrayal is positive, her accent is sweet. If it’s negative, it’s too strong and makes the words sound weird. If they’re young, they are generally sassy, sensual and angry. Older latinas fall into motherhood roles, and are stern but patient, with the kind of wisdom that a life of poverty and hard work gives you. 
Latino men have tattoos like 90% of the times they appear on anglosaxon TV. And mustaches, don’t forget those. Young and gorgeous means he’s a latin-lover, with the cocky attitude and probably an issue with commitment? A little older, stocky and muscular and he’ll be a criminal. Threaten people in Spanish. Probably a drug dealer, because cartels are all there is in Latin America? Really old latinos are allowed the wise grandfather role sometimes, though.

 All of that is bullshit. Like, yeah, there are latinos and latinas (and latin@s) that fall under any of those stereotypes. My aunt, Virginia, has definitely the looks of the Latina Stereotype, from the hair to the nose, even the high cheekbones. All drug dealers I’ve met have been lightskin as hell, but there are probably brown drug dealers with mustaches and tattoos on their necks too. Stereotypes are, to a point or the other, based on someone. But there are a million other latin@s that look nothing like the stereotypes. 

I like this one post because it shows you in six easy examples that latin@s definitely don’t fall under any only category. Afro-latin@s, Asian-latin@s, white-latin@s, native latin@s whose families have never mixed with any other ethnicity. Jewish latin@s, muslim latin@s, pagan latin@s! Infinite combinations of any of those.
I don’t need to stretch my mind to give you examples. I can look into my own family, at my neighbors (my building is 50% made of first generation Korean immigrants and second generation Korean-latin@s. also some gangsters, a bunch of kids who grow marijuana on the roof and at least three angry spirits, but that’s a story for another day), anywhere. When they first teach us about immigration and ethnicity in school, we are usually asked to find out how our family was formed. 
We can have a Brazilian kid whose grandfather moved to Uruguay in the fifties from Finland because reasons, met an afro-Mapuche woman, had this kid’s dad; who met a half-Irish, half-Aymara woman traveling from Rio, and they moved together to Brazil and then had this kid? Then moved to Argentina and at age 10 this kid tried to explain the class the story of his family, and everyone understood because all our families are a huge knot of races and ethnicities and cultures.

So, this got super long and really out of hand, but what I’m saying is: pick up a map of Latin America. Find a country with a cool name. Read on that country’s story, the immigration waves, the native population; the culture and dialect.
Don’t get too scared when you find out that Spanish alone has hundreds of different dialects in Latin America, Portuguese has a handful too; there are a hundred of native languages too, and the mixtures that grow between those languages is impossible to explain in a Wikipedia article! Latin America is gorgeous but very confusing. If your characters are Latinas living in the States or England or wherever else, you’ll also have a laugh trying to figure out how Spanglish works.
You can decide your protagonists are going to be Colombian, and they could be of the aboriginal Embera; or they could be afro-Colombian, or maybe even among the huge percentage of Colombian people that are so mixed that don’t really care to break down their ethnicity anymore. But that’s just an example.

Basically, writing respectfully about latin@s isn’t hard, but it can give people a headache, because a lot of writers/creators expect latin@s to be one unity they can read on once and voilá! You know everything about us forever. I don’t know everything about Latin America myself, so I doubt any gringo will, ever.
But by choosing where to start, giving your characters a defined identity and reading up on their particular story and culture before expanding into the rest of the continent, you can make the job a lot easier on yourself. 
Make sure to not pick any ethnic group that has no Wikipedia article or some big section in the state-approved websites; and you can totally ask in writingwithcolor or diversitycrosscheck if anyone has a story similar to that of your characters, and can help you with the details. 

I’m sorry about this answer, I hope I didn’t scare you from writing about latin@ characters. A million kisses, good luck with that story (I hope to read it!) and if you don’t hate me already, message me if you need anything!

Where shall my prayers lie, with Gaza? With Kurdistan? Syria? Within our own American soil in Ferguson, Missouri?

Everywhere I look, I must mourn. I used to say America was the land where only roses grew, but a simple look beneath the sugar-coated surface and we’ll see thorns there, too. The oppression is the same. The discrimination is the same. The pain is the same. The only difference is America did a better job at distracting we the people. Until we the people decided injustice no more. Once we rose up, spoke up, stood up, the images were the same. Tear gas, rubber bullets, reporters assaulted, on our very own soil. Land of the free. What a joke. Is this the so-called democracy and freedom we are trying to impose on eastern nations?
What does it say when the people of Gaza are teaching Americans strategies to minimize the effect of tear gas, and in turn, the people of Ferguson chant “End the occupation, from Gaza to St. Louis”?
Our mirage has been shattered. We cannot ignore the scenes that have come out of Ferguson. Armored vehicles, full combat gear, street arrests, amnesty international deployed. We cannot be silent anymore. It is not just about Michael Brown. This is about all the Michaels that go unreported. All around the world. This is about too many years of racial profiling, oppression, and injustice. This is about a youth that strives to learn and succeed and a system that continuously undermines, ridicules, alienates, and discriminates. A system that works to maintain a status quo, pushing minorities to the bottom, placing them in traps of homelessness and poverty, in order to maintain power for themselves. I hope that we do not give those majority who feel their privilege and power threatened the ability to distract and forget; we cannot allow this to be another forgotten tragedy. For the millions of people inside the US, racism is not forgotten, their everyday experiences and microaggressions of discrimination and oppression are not forgotten, the suspicious looks and paranoid glances, the cab-driver that will not stop for “you kind of people”, the internal identity struggles between society’s perception of you and your perceptions of yourself, the anxiety, the depression, the self-doubt, none of this is forgotten.

As a Sunni, I identify with the Shias being senselessly slaughtered in Iraq, and condemn the actions of a group that claim to represent a religion they know nothing of. As an Arab-American Muslim, I identify with my black brothers and sisters suffering from oppression, racism, and discrimination, and join the journey to find justice for themselves through Michael Brown. For it is not their journey alone. It is our journey, as equal Americans. As a human being, I stand in solidarity with these people, and with the people of Gaza, of Syria, of every nation where people are silenced and oppressed. I believe that by joining forces with all who fight in the face of oppression and discrimination around the world, whether black, Latino, Muslim, Arab, woman, etc, by creating this alliance of oppressed and saying “no more”, we can be one step closer to a world where justice is not merely a desire, but a reality.

I got my hairs cut today by my wonderful mom and my TWLOHA World Prevention Day Pack came in today! If you are able to, I highly suggest you buy one on the TWLOHA website, it’s $30 and contains a t-shirt, bracelet, poster print and a pack of info cards to help make people aware! No one else can play your part! #NoOneElse14 #WSPD14 @TWLOHA


"The way Latin@s, xican@s, and chican@s are represented in the media is disgusting. White women and white people are seen in so many different lights, but when you get into talking about a PoC* group you’re automatically grouped into this lump that you may not even fit into. Latin@s come in different shades and colors, some are Black and some are White so to stereotype a massive group of people into a “tan people with big butts, cute Spanish accents and a passion to dance and cook” it’s neglecting parts of our culture as a whole." 

Read the rest of Laura Christine Sinner’s post on CHIFLADA!


Population maps show the stark racial divide in American cities

America is more divided than you thought. In a week that’s seen racial tensions go through the roof in Missouri over the death of black teenager Mike Brown, it’s important to remember that the United States remains highly geographically segregated on race and class lines.

This sweeping national view courtesy of the Racial Dot Map (click in for an interactive version), created by the Demographics Research Group’s Dustin Cable, shows that all across the U.S. whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians and other racial groups all tend to live in relative isolation from one another.

But there is hope for the future | Follow micdotcom

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A grassroots LGBTQI organization AMATE El Salvador (Action for Memory and Support for Equality in El Salvador; the acronym also spells out “love yourself” in Spanish) is seeking to create an archive of LGBTQI Salvadoran history. The goal is to document the queer history that has always existed in El Salvador, but due to religious conservatism has been violently repressed for centuries. El Salvador currently has no hate crime legislation and has one of the highest rates of homicide in the Americas. The country fought a 12 year revolutionary struggle in the 1980s and LGBTQI people have often been left out of that history. What was it like to be out during that tumultuous era? They aim to find out and interview 10-12 veteran LGBTQI advocates and community members between November and February about their life stories.

In an effort to curb the costs of archiving and preserving materials and testimonials, AMATE is seeking the public’s help in raising $3,000 to continue their efforts.  Help create a more inclusive El Salvador. For more information, please watch their video and visit their Indiegogo page.