2019-11-22

Racism hasn’t Ended in South America, It has Grown

Written by Alvaro Garcia Linera
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With the recent political manifestations in Bolivia that have polarized the country into two different bands, the ones that support and don’t support Evo Morales, racism between indigenous and non indigenous people has come to light in the country. Here’s a reflexion about this issue that can help us reflect about the ongoing racism towards our tribes and the indigenous people of our continent. 

 

Like a thick fog in the night, hatred spreads quickly in the traditional middle class neighborhoods of Bolivia. Their eyes are filled with anger. They don’t scream, they spit, they don’t complain, they impose. Their songs are not of hope and fraternity but of despise and discrimination against the indigenous. They get on their motorcycles, on their trucks, they get together in their carnavalesque groups, private universities and go hunting in the look for  rebellious indios who dared to take the power away from them.

In La Paz they suspect from their maids and they don’t speak when they bring food to their table. Deep down they’re scared but they also despise them. Later on they go out to the streets to scream, to insult the president and with him to all the indios who dared to build an intercultural democracy with equality. When there’s many of them, they drag the Wiphala, the indigenous flag, they spit on it, they step on it, the torn it apart, they burn it. it's a visceral anger that they discharge on this symbol of the indios that they would like to extinguish of the land along with everyone that recognizes them.

The racial hatred is the political language of this traditional middle class. Their academic titles, trips and faith are useless since all of this disappears before their ancestry. Deep down the imaginary lineage is stronger and it seems to be attached to the spontaneous language towards the skin tone they hate, their visceral gestures and their corrupted morality.

The question that we all need to answer is, how was it possible that this traditional middle class could embrace so much hatred and resentfulness towards the people, leading them to accept a racialized fascism and target the indio as an enemy? this has been the result of the rejection to equality, which means the rejection to the pure basis of a substantial democracy.

It is then a crash of what it used to be a feature of a colonial society: ethnicity as capital,that is to say, of the imagined foundation of the historical superiority of the middle class over the subaltern classes because here, in Bolivia, the social class is only understandable and is visible in the form of racial hierarchies.The fact that the sons and daughters  of this middle class have been the shock force of the reactionary insurgency is the violent cry of a new generation that sees how the inheritance of their ancestry and their skin tone fades before the force of the democratization of goods.Thus, although they fly flags of democracy understood as a vote, they have actually rebelled against democracy understood as equalization and distribution of wealth. This is how  the overflow of hate, the amount of violence can be explained; because the racial supremacy is something that it’s not rationalized, it is something that is experienced as a primary impulse of the body, as a historical colonial tattoo that they have in their skin. Hence that fascism is not only the expression of a failed revolution, but ironically in post colonial societies, the success of a material achieved democratization. 

This is why it’s not surprising that while the indios pick up bodies around 20 killed people murdered by a bullet, their material and moral victimaries narrate that all they have done is to save the democracy. But in reality they know that what they’ve done is to protect their privilege of lineage and skin tone.

Translated by Melissa Castaño

Taken from Ruta Krítica: https://rutakritica.org/el-odio-al-indio/?fbclid=IwAR141lvM5oDb2Zlojcy5ynO6btRt3obvJ1m3HI0JSVrhYOi5FCEVMKwbbGg

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