Ramon Ramirez writes of the new Avengers: Infinity War trailer,
“the trailer featured no shortage of swashbuckling adventurers: the talking raccoon, the green woman, three white guys named Chris, a blonde Scarlett Johansson, and even the Sony-mandated white and straight Spider-Man. But with all of those dang Avengers lined up to save Earth, I was frustrated to not see a single Hispanic person on the team.
“There are almost 58 million Latinos in the U.S., but none of them made the trailer. Was Marvel saving them for the post-credits scene?”
Who’s to blame: Marvel, or us?
In America, capitalism caters to whites, blacks, and everyone else that isn’t white or black. Asians and Latinos are there, sort of. If we’re lucky we get to be cast as an extra in a commercial, the best friend in a movie, perhaps. The most visible Latino in the entire Marvel Universe is the best friend from Ant-Man – quick, what was his name?
Why is that? We all know why white people get to be the leads – white supremacist culture and all that, goes with the territory. But why do black people get more representation than other POCs?
My guess is simply that no other culture in the US has fought harder to assert their rights and human dignity than black people. Black people have fought the yolk of oppression for generations. After a long, bitter, bloody, hard-fought war against white supremacy that continues to this day, what they got was inclusion. They’re still more likely to be targets of police brutality, more likely to face discrimination both open and covert, more likely to be passed up for jobs and promotions, but at the very least they now get a token of respect and some representation.
Mexicans, on the other hand…well, you can get away with calling Mexicans rapists and in Arizona you can stop us in the middle of the street and demand to see papers – hell, Jan Brewer and Donald Trump built successful political careers out of doing that. But if you ask Latinos who our civic heroes are, I guarantee you the names that come up can be counted on one hand, and for most people, even Latinos, that list starts and ends with Cesar Chavez.
Here’s the thing: I get the sense that most Latinos don’t even know what Cesar Chavez is famous for. I know who he is. I think 50% of my sisters might know who he is, and I’ma keep it real, probably 25% of my cousins will know who he is. I dare not even venture to guess what percentage of Latino youth know who he is.
Am I wrong? I fucking hope so. Because political apathy seems to me to be the problem. I can’t even blame the parents, either; contrary to what passes for conservative thought, Mexicans are the hardest working people I know. It ain’t easy to be political when you hustle that hard and try to raise kids. I don’t work nearly as hard as my parents do, and I sure as fuck don’t know what it’s like to raise kids, so I have the luxury of being more invested in this political crap than our fathers were. But I see a LOT of Latinos my generation or younger that don’t have that excuse – to them I say, wake the fuck up, ya know. Give a damn. Because black people weren’t handed representation in film and media, they EARNED it. Maybe it’s time for us to do the same.
For the record, I didn’t know his name either, but the Mexican in Ant-man was “Luis” and he was played by Michael Peña.