Disclaimer: this is not an academic article, but rather, a general observation based on conversations and discussions.
This topic has come up plenty of times in discussions, both in person, and on the web. Why don’t black people defend other non-white groups, such as Hispanics, MENA and Asians? There are reasons why many blacks (Afro-descended people) do not feel comfortable defending other POC groups.
They can defend themselves
Many black people believe that non-black PoCs can defend themselves. These groups should lead the way in standing up for themselves. Some of these groups, such as Asians for example, are in a much better position to challenge white supremacy than many blacks. China is an emerging superpower, and Japan is still considered a first world country. Asian Americans have a higher household income than African Americans.
Asians are generally considered well-respected professionals, i.e. doctors, lawyers, business persons. In this regard, these groups can more than speak for themselves. Black people do not mind supporting worthy causes, such as representation, but should not be expected to take the lead. It is, also, somewhat arrogant for blacks to speak on behalf of other people, which is a common practice of whites.
Many Non-black POCs are Perceived to Hate Blacks
It is common belief among many blacks that groups such as Asians, Hispanics and MENA (Middle Eastern North African) do not like or respect blacks. Anecdotal experiences include shopping at Asian-owned businesses, such as convenience stores, ostracization of offspring who marry black partners, and general attitude. Anti-black racism among Hispanics and Latin Americans is well-documented. Asian culture is steeped in hatred of dark skin and are pro-skin whitening. Many blacks, right or wrong, believe that these groups often shun blacks in favor of whites, and actively engage in anti-black racism. To some degree, watching these groups deal with racism from whites is considered necessary. Let them experience racism from whites, because only then will they be humbled.
Many People Identified as POCs May View Themselves As White
In the last five years I have had arguments with self-identified Arabs and Persians on the web who did not see anything wrong with casting Europeans as MENA. For example: many Persians and Arabs regard the castings of Exodus: gods and kings, The Gods of Egypt, and The Prince of Persia as okay because [Arab/Persians] are white. Despite North America’s racialization of Arabs/Persians and Hispanic, many people from these groups see themselves as white. In the U.S. A., MENA people are legally classified as white. Over 65% of Hispanics identify as white. Sixty one percent of Puerto Ricans and 65% of Cubans say they’re white. As a result, these groups may not see empathize with brown/black people, and they may not see themselves as victims of whitewashing in cinema, even if they are being sidelined for [white] Europeans.
For example: Ridley Scott defended the casting of Exodus: gods and kings by saying:
I can’t cast Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such’
It is difficult for me as a black person to explain to an Arab, who sees herself as white, and who supports the casting of films such as Gods of Egypt, that she’s doing a disservice to Arab actors, who are relegated to portraying terrorists in western cinema.