It’s not news that our conservative patriachal society could care less about Black bodies. In a country where Paulas and Patties consciously wield 911 calls as tools to threaten and inflict fear, and Black women continue to face murder rates higher than any other race, proof of how much our neighbors and our government care about the Black community can be understood with a simple glance of a daily news source. Still, not all attacks on the Black community are being told. As news publications focus on the immigration problem being faced by so many Latinos in our country, Black Latino immigrants continue to be left out and overlooked. It’s a grave slight causing more damage than most could understand.
In a new video surfacing on the internet, an immigrant mother from Honduras is reminding audiences that the parent-child separation crisis being upheld by the Trump Administration is not solely a brown Latino narrative.
Darlin Suazo is an Afro Honduran woman was separated from her daughter after immigrating to the U.S.
For two months Suazo was separated from her 13-year-old daughter and held in a detention center. In a now-viral video of Suazo telling her experience, the mother explains how guards at her daughter’s facility told her thirteen-year-old that she was unwanted and abandoned. “They told my daughter that I did not want her and that I did not want to see her,” Suazo says in the video before explaining how she endured racist attacks by U.S. government officers as well.
Anyone watching the news has heard about the cruelty, immigrants parents and children have had to endure under the Trump administration’s family separation policies.
'They told my daughter that I did not want her…that I did not want to see her.’ — Darlin Suazo recounts being separated from her child for months while detained at the U.S. border pic.twitter.com/zaozA7eNTk
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 26, 2018
We’ve heard the tapes of children crying, read the letters of mothers being taunted by officers at their detention centers, and we’ve seen the images of women and children sleeping beneath foil blankets and inside chainlink fences like dogs. Still, what we haven’t seen, heard, or read are stories about Black Latino immigrants. Suazo’s story reminds us that the Black experience of dealing with law enforcement at any level will always be more severe, violent and cruel. In fact, studies have shown that Black immigrants face disproportionate chances of deportation on the basis of criminal conviction. In an interview on her experience of being separated from her daughter, Suazo explains that the officers at the detainment center never even addressed her by her name. Instead, they called her morena, a term that refers to Black woman and woman with dark skin. “The attention from the officers was horrible,” she explains in the video. “Some officers did not refer to me by my name. Morena, morena, morena, morena, they only called me morena. And this affected me more. It affected me more because I was discriminated against, it was racism.”
Suazo has, fortunately, be reunited with her daughter, but there’s no doubting the permanent trauma and harm their separation will have on their futures.
So, as you continue to watch the news and fight for immigrant rights, remember: Black lives matter, Black Latinos exist, fight for us too.