California’s Immigrant Rights Activist Community Is Racist

Op-Ed: Nury Martinez says out loud the racism and colorism my vibrant Oaxacan community endures

The University of California, Berkeley’s College of Letters & Science, which had a reputation for “tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness,” closed its doors to two undocumented students, in one case on the grounds that their presence would “foster white supremacist feelings.” (Baker, et. al., 2017. UC Berkeley’s ‘Inclusive’ Culture Was Found to Result in Racial Profiling, Racism and ‘Foster White Supremacy,’ by Emily B. Baker, The Daily Californian March 3, 2017,

Nury Martinez

Somali activist Nury Martinez is an Oaxacan, and as such a member of the indigenous community (as seen in this photograph) of the state of Oaxaca which is recognized as a state within Mexico. She is now an undocumented immigrant and an activist.

She is a survivor of the violence that resulted from U.S. military operations in that country, including her own mother’s murder, and she is an advocate for the rights of all migrant farm labor in California and throughout the country as well as the right of the children of migrant farm workers to attend school. She is also an advocate for the rights of all people of color within the state of California, as well as those rights to dignity, freedom and self-determination.

Ms. Martinez is a member of the International Women’s Strike, whose mission is to “change the status quo by bringing together people of different backgrounds and experiences to build a world free of white supremacy, in support of immigrant rights, and for democracy.”

In the United States, immigrant rights activists such as her are the subject of frequent and intense repression.

But is the U.S. state of California’s immigrant rights activist community actually racist? And why?

This U.S. state of California has more resources per capita ($42,000 compared to

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