In a new petition circulating online, Mijente – a self-described hub for Latinx and Chicanx organizing – is urging readers to join in a call to action that puts the Univision and Telemundo on blast. In their words, the news divisions of the two Spanish language networks “are failing the Latino community in their coverage of the current crisis of police violence against Black people and the protests organized in response.”
At a time that demands cross-racial solidarity and an open acknowledgment of the way the Black Lives Matter movement invariably includes Latinos, the petition is yet another push to reckoning with the anti-Black racism that’s all too commonplace within the Latinx community.
“By producing news programming and content that focuses on negative depictions of protesters, that fails to cover the systematic causes of anti-Black police violence,” the petition reads, “and that makes no effort at centering the voices of Black people in their coverage the networks have contributed to the Latino community’s skewed and incomplete understanding of the current crisis. Their coverage feeds into anti-Black stereotypes that have historically existed in the Latino community, which in the extreme can and have been used as justification for anti-Black violence and which serves to further divide us.”
.@Telemundo and @Univision coverage of #DefundPolice #BlackLivesMatter protests have focused on property instead of people and has often left out voices of Afro-Latinx people, advocates and those directly affected by police violence. This needs to change. https://t.co/gMr2F9R7d1 pic.twitter.com/bVwcADk3Gr
— Mijente (@ConMijente) June 9, 2020
The petition calls for four actionable items:
1. Cover the full story of what’s happening, including background, historical context and provide clear guidance to reporters and news staff about sensitivities in coverage
2. Book Afro-Latino community organizers/leaders and those who have been directly affected by these issues of police brutality as experts.
3. In order to improve over the long term, address inequities and lack of representation, as a first step conduct an audit of current racial, ethnic, national and gender representation in front of and behind camera as well as corporate leaders.
4. Hold a Town hall discussion on the issue of police violence and the movement to transform policing in this country, planned in consultation with stakeholders and community leaders.
Sign the petition here.