*Cali, Colombia – Some say that marching isn’t the best approach when you aim to find justice and create visibility for marginalized people in the #HashtagEra. But when most Muricans don’t even know that AfroColombians comprise 30% of Colombia’s 50 million people and 95% of those live in the lower classes, we need more than hashtags, our people need to show up in person. On May 20th, 2016 there will be a an AfroColombian march for rights and visibility happening across 7 different key cities in Colombia.
In Colombia, there has been a forced amnesia, an assisted assimilation that requires AfroColombians to not only forget the atrocities of the past but to turn a blind eye to their current situation. 15% of AfroColombians live in absolute poverty and are at risk of going hungry, going at least 1day per week without eating.
Also, up until 6 months ago there were Colombian TV shows openly using “Blackface” (a racist depiction of Afrodescendant people).
When asked about this topic they say Blackface is a way to lovingly portray Black people, “it’s not racist because there is no more racism here,” duh. Never mind that the police treat Black people like criminals similar to New York’s StopNFrisk program but on a national scale. Never mind that they have redefined the word racism so that if you even discuss racism you will be seen as racist. Wait, what?? Yes that’s correct, this kind of racial-escapism stops conversations even before they’re started.
So how do we fix this? We spoke to Carlos Hinestroza who is one of the leaders of this struggle. Hinestroza and other AfroColombian leaders created this list of demands after being inspired by the Black Panthers of Oakland. In addition to welcoming local support they have opened the door for international support as well. Upload your video.
Ok fine… we’ll use a hashtag, #PorEsoMarchamos (this is why we march). END