By Danny Rico, NCLR Donor Advocate
Last month, the National Council of La Raza partnered with Tide® to #WashAwayLabels that are negatively impacting the Latino community and instead recognize the positive contributions Hispanics bring to the cultural melting pot in the United States.
As part of the campaign, Tide and NCLR produced a video asking Latinos from different nationalities to share their stories about labels or stereotypes, which were then washed away and replaced with a positive word that best described and celebrated their culture.
From all the labels shared, one in particular stood out for me—beaner.
I remember the first time I heard this word like it was just yesterday. I was just eight, our home had just been broken into for the third time that month, and my mom was looking for a new place for us to move. The leasing office assistant came back from speaking with the building manager and said, “No quiere beaners en su apartamento.”
The word began to sink in as I watched the rest of the video, wondering how others would respond if they found themselves in a situation where they were being labeled. And then the answers began to come in:
— NCLR (@NCLR) October 11, 2015
— Daily Baez (@DailyCurlz) October 8, 2015
— Guapologa (@Guapologa) October 8, 2015
— Claudya Martinez (@UnknownMami) October 12, 2015
— Ada Rojas (@GypsyinTheCity) October 15, 2015
— Penelope Guzman (@_Penelope) October 14, 2015
— Gabriela Natale (@superlatinashow) October 15, 2015
Over six million individuals responded by watching and engaging with the video, sharing their stories, and joining a community of supporters like NCLR who are committed to washing away labels.
For me, the video and responses gave me an opportunity to once again appreciate the work of NCLR, which has been working to wash away labels and ensure Latinos live safe, healthy, and fulfilling lives for almost 50 years. Such advocacy efforts today help ensure that millions of families like mine will never face housing discrimination again.
So as I reflect on my own story, it brings great joy to stand with NCLR today and join them as I wash away a label that has been staining my life for so long—beaner. To be able to write my own message and say: Los Mexicanos somos todos amigos.
— NCLRamigos (@NCLRamigos) November 20, 2015
To everyone who has helped us deliver this powerful message, thank you.