This Rapper Had A Message To Critics Of His Decision To Help A Deported Immigrant’s Family

"Understand why the other side needs to treated fairly.”

Immigration and deportation have been hot topics of conversation in the United States in recent years. So, when Michigan immigrant Jose Garcia was deported in January, he and his family became major figures in the immigration debate.

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Their story also caught the attention of Houston rapper and philanthropist Chamillionaire, who reached out to a reporter in order to help the family and subsequently went viral after a reporter shared the private email. Instead of being praised for the action, however, he was met with unexpected backlash. Recently, the "Ridin' Dirty" rapper spoke with NPR's Latino USA about the adverse reactions and why instead of pulling each other apart, people of color should be coming together.

After his efforts to help went viral, the comments on Chamillionaire's social profiles poured in, with some criticizing his helping a Latinx family rather than an African-American one in need. It prompted the rapper to make several video responses on his Instagram account.

"A lot of people here be saying they don't understand why a Black man would want to help Mexicans and nonsense like, 'They don't do nothing for us. Black people need to only help black people,' " he said in one video. "I'm sorry you feel that way, but I'm from Texas ... Tejas. I know a lot of y'all have been misled to believe the toxic narrative that 'Mexicans are doing this, and Mexicans are doing that,' like they aren't valuable contributors to our economy and our society."

When chatting with Latino USA, he elaborated on his responses. "I know people are going to have their different opinions," the rapper, whose father is a Nigerian immigrant to the U.S., said to the program. "But I think it's wrong for me not to state how I really feel about this situation, and be quiet when so many people who hate are very open and transparent about their hate. They put it all over social media, and when they do that the quiet voices stay in the shadows. So I was like, 'You know what? I'll take the hate.'"

He and Arianna Curtis, a curator of Latino studies at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, also delved into the schisms that have formed between the Latinx and Black communities due to stereotyping and American society. "African Americans and Latinxs are often pitted against each other as groups of competition rather than groups of solidarity," Curtis told the program. "So I think that is what people viscerally respond to when they see a Black person going out of his way, or what is considered going out of his way, for someone outside of his community when perhaps they don't know anything publicly what he does for his own community, just people asking for receipts."

Ultimately, the conversation revealed why there is division between the two communities and what can be done to stop it, with Curtis suggesting that each community should "interrogate stereotypes within communities of color." It's a point slightly similar to one Chamillionaire made in one of his Instagram videos when he said, "If you don't have respect for immigrants or you don't have respect for minorities or you don't have respect for women ― it's going to be very difficult for you. Yeah, I'm talking to you, to understand why the other side needs to treated fairly."

(H/T: Vibe)

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