Does a Latino life have value?

Karen Galindo, Reporter

A lot of media attention upon race issues have sprung up within the years of 2015-2016. Great controversy has risen with the Sandra Bland case, the Baltimore riots, police brutality, and the heated debate of “Black lives matter” against “All lives matter”.

The phrase “‘Black lives matter’ is mirrored, distorted, refuted and mocked by the phrase ‘All lives matter’”, as said in an article published by The Guardian in November 2015. The original phrase was introduced to society in 2013 after 28-year-old neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was found not guilty for the death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in a gated housing community in Florida.

The article also explains how the controversy of the two phrases caused violence at the Donald Trump rally in Alabama with a black protester being beaten and dragged from the rally due to chanting ‘All black lives matter’ to the ‘All lives matter’ participants of the rally.

But all of these issues seem to be involving African Americans only. Before the remarks that Donald Trump made about Mexicans, no one seemed to be interested about the racist issues within the Hispanic community. All black lives do matter, but what about all latino lives? In 2014, Salinas, Calif.  was in unrest after protesters accused police of racism in the fatal shooting of three Latino men, then in May after another Latino man was shot to death outside his home, as reported on CNN. Four days before Halloween in 2015, the police shot and killed unarmed Oscar Jr., a 28 year old Hispanic.

Neither the media or society seem to care about the stereotypes, racial slurs, and police brutality inflicted upon the hispanic community.  A Los Angeles Times article written in July of last year state that, “The muted reaction towards to the deaths of latinos in confrontations with the police tells a larger story: Black Lives Matter is starkly different from Brown Lives Matter….In contrast to the fatal shootings of African Americans…. Deaths of latinos at the hand of law enforcement haven’t drawn as nearly as much attention.” The majority of people can tell you who Sandra Bland is but not who Antonio Zambrano-Montes is; an unarmed immigrant who was shot and killed by the police.

Racism has always existed, and always will. But as a nation, we should be working together to decrease racism not with just one race, but with all races. My thoughts and opinions cannot be more well said as how Raul Reyes said in his article Doesn’t life of Latino shot by police matter? “Until we know the real statistics, how can we expect real outrage? Latinos bear our own share of responsibility for not putting greater value on Latino lives.”

Holding Cells

Hispanics are often attacked with racism due to their skin color, culture, or ‘immigration background’.  They are also outright prejudiced against due to the stereotype of an immigrant who is stealing American jobs.

The amount of immigrants in the United States is and could become a huge problem with 11, 714,500 immigrants residing in America. But the way deported immigrants are treated should improve. During the process of deportation, immigrants are sent to holding cells. Each year, the cells hold thousands of people near the southern border that are often reported as extremely cold, overcrowded, and usually lacking in adequate food, water, and medical care. These holding cells were originally meant to detain a person for less than 12 hours, but over 80 percent of people detained are there for over 24 hours.

The 80 percent includes men, women, and children. Children are forced to sleep on concrete floors or on hard benches within the holding cells that replace the lack of beds. Statistics show that nearly 8,000 people were held in the concrete cells for three days or longer, while another 25,000 were held for 48 hours or longer. “Immigrants were denied water, and when they did get it, it was almost undrinkable,” said Ray Stern in his article Immigrants caught at border mistreated in holding cells, Lawsuit says.

Even if its is for short period of time, living under such unsanitary and uncomfortable conditions can affect a person mentally. Such conditions can be compared to those of a prison. The majority of immigrants are going through a major change in their lives physically, mentally, and spiritually. They are searching for a way to change their lives for the better. And to be treated as a prisoner is outright humiliating. Conditions of these detention facilities should improve for the case of the families and children who are being deported. People should not be treated in such way especially if they have done nothing wrong.