Zoe Saldana is Latina Magazine‘s December 2015-January 2016 cover star and she’s got a whole lot to say about Latinos in America. Although the Avatar starlet had plenty good to vocalize, like raising a point about “this country belonging to Latinos, too” and how “we’re gonna do great and better things” for our nation, Saldana made some equally troubling and historically inaccurate remarks. For instance, in her in-depth interview, the 37-year-old caribeña had no problem saying that “Once we started being discriminated against, we chose the high road: Keep quiet. Keep working.”
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When Zoe thinks “we started being discriminated against” is a mystery. But it’s evident she needs a timeline to factually inform her rhetoric, because bigotry against Latinos is not a millennial thing. Nor have Latinos ever remained mum about being treated like second class citizens. Just ask the Young Lords or read on Ruben Salazar. And contrary to popular belief, Miss Saldana, we can be killed. #BlackLivesMatter is a result of the mass killings of black and brown bodies at the hands of police brutality.
But who cares, right? Nice cover.
The only true American here is the Native American. Everyone else is a transplant. We’re going through the exact same thing the Italians went through, the Irish, the Jews, and the Asians. In different ways, but it’s been very similar. After a while, people acculturated, and they only found solace by literally accepting themselves and going, “Whatever. Esta soy yo.” They were like, “This is my new country, but I’m going to keep this from my old, and I’m gonna blend it all.”
On the Latinization of America:
You can’t kill us. You can’t send us back. We are millions and millions here because it is our time to migrate. We are the youngest culture. We are doing what your people did. So shut up and just deal with it. Adjust your laws, because it’s not going away. If anything, I want to give them a hug, and say, “It’s okay. It’s new. Don’t be scared. We’re great people. We’re gonna do great and better things for your country. Trust me.” We’re not angry either. We’re a culture that isn’t angry.
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On the evolution of Latinos:
Latinos are overall very respectful. Once we started being discriminated against, we chose the high road: Keep quiet. Keep working. Don’t teach our kids Spanish because we don’t want them to get picked on. Now we’re entering that phase where the first and the second generations are so in love with our ancestry and want to keep it alive in the best possible way. So it’s more like, “I’m not keeping my head down. This is who I am, and I’m just as American as I am Latina. So you need to move out of the way. I’m not asking.” I love this proprietorship, because this country does belong to Latinos, too. We’re working here, and our sons are dying at war for the U.S. So it belongs to me as much as it belongs to my neighbor.