On the 21st of May, the world watched racism openly displayed by Spaniards at a football game held in Valencia. I watched with disgust and nausea as thousands of Spaniards chanted in unison “monkey”. I could see the pure hurt and pain in Mr. Vinicius Junior’s eyes, as he had to stand there and take that abuse. I appreciated how some of the players tried to comfort and support him but I knew that in that moment, Vinicius felt alone. As I watched the tears flow down this beautiful black man’s face; I along with most people of color understood his internal turmoil. There is something specific about being treated less than a human simply because of the color of your skin. It creates a confusing storm inside of you that activates each time you experience racism. On the outside, you look beautiful and healthy, but on the inside, there is an emotional battle going on. The battle of moving past being treated like you are less than. Being able to smile and laugh, and have joy in spite of people looking at you, as though they are better than you . The storm is that of anger, confusion, hurt, sadness, helplessness and a desire to retaliate. But that storm has to always be quieted and dealt with internally. What do I mean? I mean that Black people don’t get therapy for facing racism. There is no instructional handbook or medical cure for the effects of racism. The emotional trauma that racism causes is not often talked about. To understand racism and its affect, we must first understand the meaning of racism and the trauma it causes:
Racism is discrimination and or prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity.
Speaking from experience racism can cause both emotional and psychological trauma.
Emotional trauma is damage or injury to the psyche after living through an extremely frightening or distressing event and can result in difficulty in functioning normally after the event.
Psychological damage is the result of traumatizing experiences that leave you feeling unsafe and or helpless.
These are things often felt by victims of racism. You see, racism is a broad sickness and it has many different levels. However, the level of racism does not make the act any less deplorable nonetheless. For people of color, racism has a very specific smell, that can sometimes be smelled miles away. Oftentimes we can depict if a person is treating us rudely because they are rude in general or because they are racist. Because we are victims of racism; we can easily RECOGNIZE racism. How can Spaniards recognize or admit their racism if they don’t even understand it? And how can the football/soccer league of Spain say that racism is not a valid enough reason to leave the field when they don’t understand the long-term trauma effects of racism. These are all questions that I ask myself. My family and I have a representative presence in Spain. We have a YouTube channel showing our lives and beautiful experiences here in this country. Therefore I feel it is my obligation to speak about this incident because many of our viewers ask us if Spain is a racist country. We understand that each person’s experiences may be different and we always try to defend this country because this is now our home. But I must admit that I have experienced racism here in Spain and even in this very town of Utrera-Sevilla. But it has not been a lot of incidences, and it has not taken away the joy and peace that my family and I have here. So, when people ask me is Spain racist, my answer will be the same. There’s racism everywhere you go. Each person’s experience is different. But the simple solution is to treat everyone with love, dignity and respect.