Addressed to Querida Familia Latina, an open letter of solidarity was published last week in the New York Times, New York City’s El Diario, Miami’s El Nuevo Herald, and La Opinión of Los Angeles. “If you are feeling terrified, heartbroken and defeated by the barrage of attacks on our community, you are not alone,” it reads. The letter comes within weeks of national outrage over the El Paso shooting as well as recent political attacks upon the Latinx community that have been designed to chip away at the rights of both undocumented and documented immigrants alike. The authors called upon allies to use their voices, resources, and votes to effect change.
The open letter was headed by six Latina actors, producers, and activists: America Ferrera, Eva Longoria Bastón, Diane Guerrero (the daughter of undocumented immigrants who were deported when she was a teen), Alexandra Martinez Kondracke, Olga Segura, and Mónica Ramírez, who set out to unite the Latinx community and its allies through love, positivity, and action.
“The indignities and cruelty we have endured will never change the truth that the contributions we make to this country are invaluable,” the letter insisted. “Our humanity must be respected. And we won’t stop organizing for ourselves, our children, and for the soul of this nation.” It was co-signed by a who’s who of over 200 Latinx figures and leaders, including elder voices like Dolores Huerta, Sandra Cisneros, and Rita Moreno as well as newer ones like Selena Gomez and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Prior to the letter’s publication, Longoria Bastón told Vanity Fair that their message was one of intersectionality. “This is a moment in our nation’s history that we have to show up for — not only for our community, but for every community,” she contended. “Today it’s us. Yesterday it was a different community; tomorrow it’s going to be a different community.”
Ferrera added that it is also a message of national unity, not a political divide. “This is our time to take responsibility for what is happening in our country, and it’s above politics,” he explained. “You don’t have to agree with me politically to believe that people deserve to be treated with humanity, and that hate crimes are horrific. And that anyone that is contributing to an environment that is emboldening hate does not deserve to be our leader.”