Remezcla was founded nearly 10 years ago to give young Latinos in the US a voice. We didn’t see ourselves or our stories represented anywhere, and we wanted to show, through examples of Latino creativity and innovation, that we are so much more than the stereotypes many of us grew up absorbing. Mainly, we wanted to inspire and unite our own community, to create a space where we could feel connected to and proud of our heritage, while also imagining a new, more expansive way to talk about identity. Eventually, this grassroots endeavor traveled far beyond our borders, thanks to the vibrant, inventive diaspora that eagerly took up our proposal and grew it. Together, we built an international community with an ambitious mission: to change the way the world sees Latinos/Latinoamericanos and the way we see ourselves.
After Donald Trump was elected president of the United States last night, we are more committed to this mission than ever.
Our nation – one that was built with the contributions of Latinos who came to the US at different times in its history (and some who were here before the US even existed) – faces a difficult challenge. It is now helmed by a man who was ushered into office on the promise of toxic nationalism, white supremacy, misogyny, and homophobia. His win was a repudiation of the globalization and multiculturalism that helped make Remezcla what it is today, and a rejection of the future our community has been dreaming toward. As CNN’s Van Jones put it, it was a “white-lash against a changing country.”
But still, we will push forward. Even as we process our collective grief and shock at the outcome of last night’s election, we know the work can and must continue. Now, more than ever, we have to come together as a community, support each other, hold each other accountable. We must remember that 18-25 year olds overwhelmingly voted for progress. That Latinos, the youngest ethnic group of all in this country, will continue to be an essential part of shaping and redefining its future. That telling great stories about who we are and who we can be is part of the work. So is organizing, resisting, making art that imagines different possibilities, pushing, pushing, pushing to dismantle structural racism, sexism and inequality.
And in the weeks and months to come, through the difficult challenges that lay ahead, we’ll be thinking of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s wise words last night: “We are here. We find ourselves with a job to do, no matter how hard, no matter the pain in our hearts. Do not shrink away. This is the end of nothing. This is the beginning of something new and solemn and so important. You must be part of what comes next.”