Latino white supremacists are a reality across the country — and in Miami
COMMENTARY Latino white supremacists like to argue they can't possibly be white supremacists because they're Latino. The Texas mall shooter was apparently more honest.
He’s an accused mass murderer, but Maurico Garcia appears to have been more honest than Enrique Tarrio about one very important thing.
Garcia was the Mexican-American gunman who authorities say massacred eight people at a north Texas mall last Saturday before being killed by a police officer. Tarrio is the Cuban-American former leader of the extremist right-wing hate group the Proud Boys, who was found guilty last Friday of seditious conspiracy in the violent Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
The Proud Boys are a white supremacist mob. Period. But in the past, Tarrio has always denied his gang can be called that because he and so many other of its members are Latino.
Garcia, for all his homicidal insanity, was hardly so disingenuous. The social media profile investigators believe he left has vomited overwhelming evidence that he was a committed white supremacist — and that he saw no contradiction between white supremacy and Latino ethnicity.
In fact, in one online post just last month, Garcia purportedly insisted that “white people and [Latinos] have a lot in common” in that regard.
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In the wake of Garcia’s unspeakable atrocity and Tarrio’s well deserved conviction, it’s way past time we stopped kidding ourselves about something — especially in Tarrio’s Latino-majority hometown, Miami. That is: Latino white supremacists are a reality in this country, and they need to be monitored just as closely as white white supremacists should be.
It’s time to stop letting thugs like Tarrio have it both ways. He’s always, and gutlessly, used his Latino identity as some sort of Teflon to hide behind whenever he faces the white supremacist charge — even though he and the Proud Boys are as neo-Nazi (meaning, let’s remember, enforcers for the “superior” white, or Aryan race) as they come. As he executed innocent shoppers last weekend, including children, Garcia proudly wore the neo-fascist “RWDS” patch — standing for “Right Wing Death Squad” — that the Proud Boys are fond of sporting.
The fact is, Latinos like Garcia and Tarrio believe they share the perverted claim to white superiority that so many similarly sociopathic non-Latino whites assert. And it should hardly surprise us. It’s a toxic consequence of the realization that smacks every non-Black American in the face sooner or later: in a country where racism is unfortunately embedded in the national DNA, it’s better to attach yourself to the white double helix.
Latinos like Garcia and Tarrio believe they share the perverted claim to white superiority that so many similarly sociopathic non-Latino whites assert.
For Latinos, it’s a mindset with roots back in Latin America, where racism is even more incorrigible (but better and more shamelessly hidden) than it is in America.
As a Mexican-American, Garcia was likely more than aware of how coveted a “white” look has always been in Mexico, from telenovelas to advertising to employment, even though more than 90% of the population are darker, mixed-race mestizos. As a Cuban-American, Tarrio has surely seen racist traditions imported from Havana, like blackface, are still practiced in Miami’s Little Havana.
And large swaths of Miami’s Cuban and Latino community seemed happy to indulge the local chapter of the Proud Boys and their white supremacism during their heyday from 2016 to 2021 — when the group called itself then President Donald Trump’s “army.”
It’s hard to forget after last Friday’s verdict that in recent years five Latino Proud Boys have sat on the Miami-Dade Republican Party’s executive committee — including Gabriel Garcia, a former U.S. Army captain, who took part in the Jan. 6 riot.
Or that they faced no legal consequences when, in 2018, they menaced a Democratic Party office in Coral Gables, pounding on doors and threatening then U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was inside.
Or that right-wing Spanish-language radio here repeatedly apologized for the Proud Boys’ Jan. 6 actions — even suggesting it was actually Black Antifa activists who instigated the Capitol mayhem.
Those same radio hosts play Tarrio’s Three-card Monte, too. Should you dare suggest their on-air antics — like calling the Black Lives Matter racial justice movement a “Satanic” cult — are racist, their lame reflex is to call you racist, because you’re persecuting Latinos who couldn’t possibly be racist because they’re… Latinos.
Latino white supremacists like Tarrio know that shell game is backing them up. The unusual thing about Maurico Garcia is that he didn’t try to use it himself.