By Efrain Nieves
It’s just tiring to see how Latinos are still portrayed as gang-bangers. We are constantly having to fight this stereotype and the more we fight, the worse it gets. As someone who has dealt with this stereotype countless times, I can tell you that it is not easy on the self-esteem. I always thought “why us?” when the most notorious killers were easy-going, casual looking American people. Here are a few examples.
Charles Manson: This serial killer has re-defined evil. He was the leader of a hippie cult in San Francisco called as “The Family” formed around 1967. Members were mostly men and women who were rebelling against their parents and in deep emotional trouble. He used drugs and convinced them to go on killing rampages to rob the wealthy to provide for “The Family”. They would then write messages soaked in the blood of the victims on the walls of the house. (List of Famous Serial Killers)
Ted Bundy: One of the most notorious serial killers in history, he was responsible for the rape and murder of several women between 1974 and 1978. An educated and charming young man, he either raped and then killed the women or killed and then raped them. His method of killing was either by strangulation or by bludgeoning the women. He was arrested on the 16th of August, 1975, but escaped within 17 hours of his capture. He was subsequently arrested on the 15th of February, 1978. On the 24th of January, 1989, Ted Bundy was sent to the electric chair. (List of Famous Serial Killers)
Jeffrey Dahmer- Dahmer was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. At the time of his arrest, few people imagined the polite man with blond hair, blue eyes and thick glasses was capable of killing, dismembering and cannibalizing 17 young men. But his murders remain among the most gruesome in American history. Most of his victims were poor Asian, African-American and Latino men from the Milwaukee area. (America’s 20 Most Notorious Serial Killers)
These killers were psychotic and sadistic but at the same time charming and persuasive. There is not a certain look nor a certain race/ethnicity when it comes to gang-bangers, killers, thiefs,etc., etc. The video below, which is a commercial by Jimmy John’s, depicts a White-American family in their car which broke down in a “scary” Latino gang-banging neighborhood. What are they to do but call Jimmy John’s for some takeout. What does gang-banging have to do with takeout? This commercial is just another excuse to create a subliminal message that Latinos are just gang-bangers. An irritating picture which almost always makes my stomach turn as if Latinos are solely about scaring and killing White-Americans. This is a despicable display by Jimmy John’s.
I hope a day will come where we can all say “there is good and bad in everyone” and not generalize a group for the actions of a few. Are we still guilty by association? Are we still looked down as scum of America after all the contributions and sacrifice we made for the country? Someone should be held accountable for these messages and should pay for any repercussions done to Latinos. Commercials such as this one is what keeps the hate and violence against our people alive.
List of Famous Serial Killers:
America’s 20 Most Notorious Serial Killers:
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