5 Stats that Prove Anti-Latino Racism is Alive and Well

Americans like to believe that we live in a colorblind society, where racism, while not totally done away with, is always met with condemnation. The U.S., we chant, is a country where all its inhabitants are born equal, with the same opportunities available to all of us.

What a load of bull.

Anyone growing up non-white in the “Land of the Free” can give at least one – often much, much more – example challenging the myth of this racial democracy. To help, here are a few statistics that show how el racismo is alive and well, particularly for Latinos. 

MORE: Texas Middle School Cop Caught on Camera Slamming Latina Girl to the Ground

1. Hate Crimes

Anti-Latino hate crimes have increased by 50 percent in the last five years. Hector Sanchez, the chairman of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, told the Atlantic last year that the rise could be contributed in part by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican presidential campaign. “When Trump is having this kind of anti-Latino and anti-immigrant language, he’s not only a clown talking in general, his language has a direct impact in the quality of life of Latinos,” Sanchez said.

2. Police Brutality

It's difficult to gauge police killings and violence against Latinos. For starters, the U.S. government has a voluntary reporting system, meaning these instances don't have to be recorded. Even more, this system is broken down by race, not ethnicity, which is the category Latinos fall under, since many of us can be racially Black, indigenous, Asian or white. We do know that Black men are more likely to be brutalized and/or killed by the police than white men, but, again, we don’t know how many of these Black victims are also Latino. A 2014 survey released by W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Univision and The Denver Post, however, does provide some insight, even if slight. According to the study, 68 percent of Latinos worry about excessive use of force, and about 18 percent has a friend or family member who has experienced police violence.

Photographed: Two Latino victims of police killings, Alex Nieto (left) and Jessica "Jessie" Hernandez (right)

3. School-to-Prison Pipeline

A recent cellphone recording of a Texas school cop slamming 12-year-old Latina Janissa Valdez to the ground of her middle school before putting her in handcuffs has brought the issues of school officers, the school-to-prison pipeline and police violence against Latinas to a national audience. According to the National Council of La Raza, Latino youth are three times more likely to be suspended, expelled and referred to court than non-Hispanic white students who commit the same infractions.

4. Mass Incarceration

Incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color, with 1 in every 36 Latino men behind bars compared to 1 in every 106 white men locked up. Even more, Latinas make up one of the fastest-growing prison populations. In fact, the number of incarcerated women is increasing at almost twice the rate for men, and Latinas are 69 percent more likely to be incarcerated than white women.

5. Wealth Inequality

As the United States gets more racially and ethnically diverse, it also becomes more unequal in terms of wealth. According to a study by Demos and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy, the typical Latino household has just 8 percent of the wealth of the average white household, with the former having a median wealth holding of $8,348 and the latter of $111,146.