While African Americans bear the brunt of police brutality, AM Joy highlighted the need for attention on how Latinx and Native American communities suffer from it, too.
Subbing for Joy Reid this morning, host Tiffany Cross noted that Latino men are the second highest group, right behind Black men, impacted by police brutality. But excessive use of force against Latinx and Indigenous people gets short shrift from the media. She asked guest Maria Teresa Kumar how to address the issue and make the conversation more inclusive.
Kumar pointed out that the media decides “who owns what issue,” meaning that while African Americans “own” police brutality, Latinx communities “own” immigration, and in reality, the impacts are broader and more diverse:
KUMAR: I think that it’s important to have this conversation, because what happens oftentimes, as your other guest was sharing, is that the media has decided what stories to cover, who owns what issue. And when we talk about immigration, it’s only the Latino community, even though we know that there’s plenty of our allies who are also undocumented, of African countries, who are also Asian and so on and so forth.
And when it comes to the issue of police brutality, it’s very much centered around the African American community, but it’s because, sadly, the African American community is disproportionately impacted. But when you start looking at data, you see the Latino community shortly right there behind it.
Sadly, even after the George Floyd deaths, we actually have seen several cases of young Latino men killed … at the hands of police. Most recently, we had Andres Guardado, who had taken up another job. He was 18 years old. His parents had lost their jobs during the pandemic, and so he took on another job as a security guard at an auto shop. And someone called the police, and the next thing we know, he was killed. We don’t have all the details because they had turned off their body cameras. We don’t know all the details because they had destroyed all the video surveillance equipment inside that auto body shop, but we knew that it was unjust.
And the more that we have these conversations in solidarity with the African American community, we know that if we address the issues, the legislation that Joaquin Castro was speaking so broadly of, of the George Floyd changes in policing act that now sits at the foot of Mitch McConnell, our communities, the Latino community, the Native American community, we will be better protected.
And so, oftentimes, we hear these ideas that it’s … an epidemic across the country, sadly, for communities of color, and if you’re poor, even more. And so, the more we can have these conversations that, yes, it occurs in the Native American community, yes, it occurs in the Latino community, but it disproportionately impacts the African American community, then if we rise and we speak voice to it, and we encourage everyone to talk about these issues that are at the hands of police.