Hundreds of Latino artists, activists, and labor and civil rights leaders have signed onto a public “letter of solidarity” to U.S. Latinos, addressing not just the recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement workplace raids and El Paso terrorist attack, but hateful government policies and violent rhetoric that has terrorized and demonized this community across the nation, particularly in the past several years.
“If you are feeling terrified, heartbroken and defeated by the barrage of attacks on our community, you are not alone,” states the letter, written by America Ferrera, Eva Longoria, Diane Guerrero, Alex Martinez Kondracke, Mónica Ramírez, and Olga Segura. “We have been smeared by political rhetoric and murdered in violent hate crimes. We have been separated from our families and have watched our children caged. We have been targeted with mass shootings and mass ICE raids meant to terrify us, squash our hope, and break our spirits.”
But this is also a resilient community—it has always been—and the letter insists that “we will not be broken. We will not be silenced. We will continue to denounce any hateful and inhumane treatment of our community. We will demand dignity and justice. Though real pain and fear are sweeping through our communities, we remain powerful. The indignities and cruelty we have endured will never change the truth that the contributions we make to this country are invaluable. Our humanity must be respected. And, we won’t stop organizing for ourselves, our children, and for the soul of this nation.”
That resiliency has been visible in the past few days, with El Pasoans coming together to support one another, and activists refusing to back down to hate, announcing a town hall tour across Texas to address both gun violence and anti-Latino hatred. “Now more than ever, we need to have an honest and transparent conversation about two of the most pressing issues affecting our country,” said Latino Victory executive director Mayra Macías.
But the leaders, who include signatories like Dolores Huerta, Rita Moreno, Lin-Manuel Miranda, chef José Andrés, and 200 others, say that to survive, help is needed from allies. “We cannot make change without your voices and action,” they continue. “We call on you to speak out loudly against hate, to contribute your resources to organizations that support our community, and to hold our leaders accountable. We ask you to join us in building a better country where we are all safe and valued. May we turn this time of despair into a time of action. May our love for one another be the guiding light in these dark times.”