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  1. Queering the Chilean Way
  2. Projects EIDHR pdf
  3. Cultures of Exceptionalism and Sexual Dissidence, 1965–2015

Moreover, turning the subject into a taboo, removing it from all social and political arenas, gave rise to a social environment that made it more difficult to refer to racism. Those who brought it up were ideologically and politically repressed. In the sphere of culture the subject of race was still broached to a degree, but from the standpoint of the sciences it was impossible to do research on it, and especially to write about it. According to the prevailing view at that time, in the midst of the political confrontation of those years, anyone who critically analyzed racism was playing into the hands of those who wanted to socially divide Cubans, and it earned them the epithet of being a racist or a divider, or both.

So it was overlooked that many of the poor were black, which represents an additional disadvantage, even within present-day Cuban society. Color exerted its influence and even though blacks and mestizos were treated in exactly the same manner as poor whites, they remained at a greater disadvantage. Later it was shown that it was not enough to be born in the same hospital, to attend the same school and the same recreation center, if some children return to a tenement, to a marginal neighborhood, while others have a substantial house, parents earning good salaries and much better living conditions, conditions that do not characterize the immense majority of nonwhites, and especially blacks.

The neighborhoods are different, as are the families and their living standards. And although black and white children may have the same opportunities, this does not mean that all will be equally capable of overcoming the historic starting points bequeathed by their family, living conditions, neighborhood, etc. Unfortunately, social policies at the time of the triumph of the Revolution did not take skin color into account, with consequences that must now be corrected. Other subjects are useful for exploring a series of problems that seriously affect the racial balance in the social, educational, and cultural spheres.

In those years, in the context of the needs of the struggle against imperialism, excessive priority was given to questions related to the national identity, and matters of cultural identity were often given short shrift. In that context, racism and discrimination were also fed by the stereotypes and prejudices against cultures originating from Africa. Although we see a high degree of integration in this culture, racism and white dominance still leave their mark upon it. This type of situation can reflect a strong component of prejudices and negative stereotypes regarding the values of cultures coming from Africa; although there is also a significant economic component, given that virtually all the African countries are poor.

In addition, unfortunately an ideopolitical atmosphere developed in Cuba wherein defining oneself racially is frowned upon. This affected the dynamics of personal identity, which must function as an integrated system, whose components, valued individually, are so important in fighting social perversions such as racism. A person must first know who he is before he can have the possibility of being part of some other thing.

Zamba en la Casa Rosada

The consciousness of individuals cannot be subsumed within the national consciousness; they make up an integrated system in which the whole does not function without the parts. But this implicitly implies a strong respect for diversity, which has been lacking in Cuban society. Diversity is the objective, one with which we grapple every day.

Unity is an unrealizable goal if it is not built within the context of diversity, a vital aspect if we are to be able to uproot racism from our social and cultural reality. Blacks and mestizos in Cuba, with very rare exceptions, do not have a genealogical tree and cannot trace their surnames to Africa or to Spain. In particular, the identity of blacks has always been under strong assault. Blacks have had to navigate a road mined by racial discrimination and nonrecognition of their values.

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Even when the economic level of a black might have been similar to that of a white, that did not save him from being racially discriminated against. This indicates that we are not simply dealing with an economic question. With a certain amount of help white escapes from poverty and his color helps him escape being discriminated against for being poor.

However, the other one carries the color of his skin with him. Therefore, even though he might escape poverty, he would continue to be excluded. What adaptation would allow the black to leave discrimination behind; under what color could he hide? That is why although pulling him out of poverty might be difficult; achieving the conditions so that he is not discriminated against is even more difficult. These conditions are not just economic. They go much further. One point that adds to the problems of the identity of blacks is that they tend not to have a recognized history.

We have not been able to get beyond a version of our written history in which the black and the mestizo, but especially the black, are scarcely mentioned. With very few exceptions, found in independent works, we almost completely lack a social history of blacks and mestizos in Cuba that would be comparable, above all, with the one that exists for the white population.

This situation affects all of Cuban society, which is unable to develop an integral, realistic view of its historic development and therefore not infrequently muddles along with a distorted image of the true role that each racial group played in the formation of the culture and the nation. This is in complete contradiction to the leadership policy put forward by the Party in , which is a long way from being realized in terms of racial representation.

The matter is certainly much more complicated than the question of whether or not there might be blacks and mestizos in all the positions, but undoubtedly what is happening seriously affects the participation of nonwhites in the structures of power. What else would explain why so many people who are not white are unwilling to identify themselves that way?

Other aspects that are part of how present-day Cuban society presents itself ideologically are also affected, and these spheres also suffer from the imbalance in racial representation. We have a prime example in national television, where the number of blacks and mestizos in front of the cameras is very low. It is seen in the nearly total absence of blacks or mestizos in leading positions on our educational channels. The subject of race is not dealt with in school.

This can result in a profound and dangerous dichotomy between scholastic education and social reality. We are not preparing our young people to deal with what they later find when they go out into the streets. Things do not pass into the culture unless they are introduced in the schools, and this is an important flaw in our education regarding a subject of vital importance.

Our curricula and educational programs are still characterized by full-blown Occidentalism.

Queering the Chilean Way

African and Asian cultures are basically absent from the curriculum. In the majority of cases they have a Manichean and stereotyped vision of the most important aspects of that history. Not to mention that they ought to know who Aponte was, the history of the so-called Little War of , and the Party of the Independents of Color. As I said earlier, Cuban scientific work has barely begun to focus on the question of race. In the course of these nearly fifty years of the revolutionary process, almost all of the most important intellectual work on this subject, from the perspective of the social and human sciences, has been done outside Cuba.

Today in Cuba we have various challenges regarding this subject, which we must confront very seriously. Trying to gain a fundamental understanding of the context of this problem — which produces such concern and prejudices — a problem that has for so long been ignored, swept under the rug, forgotten, neglected, and even repressed, has given rise to a very complicated situation if we consider it in the framework of political policies. There is no well-rounded understanding of the situation by all the institutions, social and political organizations, or leading sectors of the state apparatus.

At times there is not even an acceptance that the problem exists. Instead we see resistance. As a result it is virtually impossible to predict the reactions that dealing with it openly might generate. In this regard we see attitudes that run the gamut from a totally cynical approach, to fear and ignorance, all the way to the most heavy-handed denial of its existence. Not dealing with a problem of such importance to our reality would continue to engender bewilderment, ignorance, and social discomfort in those who suffer the ill, whether directly or as a result of their having acquired an antidiscriminatory ethic.

It would lead to a level of social hypocrisy that would end up turning the racial problem into an endemic ill, from which Cuban society could not recover, with consequences for societal coexistence, the nation, and Cuban culture. This is something that we must not leave to future generations.

Projects EIDHR pdf

What kind of a basic overall culture can we have in a society that retains negative racial stereotypes, discrimination based on skin color, and racism? Such a strategy would start off from various assumptions, which I will summarize below. This is a problem that Cuban social and economic statistics cannot continue ignoring. We must not pass over skin color and deal with social phenomena solely on the basis of classifying the population according to sex and age.

Cuba is not Sweden or Holland. Skin color has historically been — and continues to be — a factor of social differentiation within the Cuban population. What country are we talking about if we do not consider color as a fundamental trait in our population? What democracy can we speak of if one segment of our population continues being discriminated against because of skin color? This is a problem for all of society, not solely for blacks, whites, and mestizos. This means that it is something everyone has to solve. To do that, in the first place, to lay out an effective working strategy, people must be made conscious that the problem exists.

Only by openly dealing with the question can we put an end to the ignorance, cynicism, and hypocrisy that still lie below the surface when the question of race is discussed. Dealing with it openly can also help to develop an atmosphere in which it would be impossible to withdraw into some social space to practice racial discrimination.

Cultures of Exceptionalism and Sexual Dissidence, 1965–2015

Certainly the subject of race implicitly contains a strong element of social division, but the only way to fight for a real, solid, integrated national culture is by not ignoring it. That is how we can build a culture within which all the forms of dominance that were spawned by the racist culture inherited from colonialism and capitalism can be overcome, a culture in which each racial group has its place within present-day Cuban society.

We should no longer acquiesce in avoiding the subject of race in order to maintain a form of harmonious social coexistence, because that is a false harmony, riddled with hypocrisy and prone to making concessions to racism and discrimination, as well as a context in which those who choose to maintain their prejudices and discrimination will always be able to find some place to do so. Nor should we accept the idea that attacking racism and discrimination weakens Cuban society.

Rather it is the complete opposite. The subject must be forcefully brought back into public discourse, it must be publicized, and it must be taken up in the political and mass organizations, so that it becomes what it should be and in fact is: a fundamental aspect of the already-launched battle of ideas. See also the magazine Catauro , n. This shortcoming led to its concealment, only to reemerge now, when the contacts with the market economy, the reemergence of inequalities, and the whole economic and social deterioration that resulted from the crisis of the s are being felt. Forty-two years has passed since February 21st, , when one of the brightest and most rational leaders of the 20th century was murdered.

His social struggle was extremely intense and hard; by different and unconventional ways for his times, he reached a theoretical conception and a strategy for the struggle of Black North Americans, thus emerging as a leader in the world struggle against imperialism.

Malcolm X lived in Boston and New York, where he was arrested after having participated in larceny, drugs, gambling, and other misdemeanors. He was imprisoned in a Massachusetts jail until During his prison stay he joined the Muslim organization, Nation of Islam, and it was then he took the name by which he became universally known: Malcolm X.

Prison had a positive influence on his youthful personality, a process in which his activist Muslim comrades helped him. Released, still only 27, he decided to change the erratic course of his previous life. One year after being released he was appointed a Minister of the Nation of Islam organization.

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Pathfinder Press, United States, , p. In , Malcolm X lived through a very hard period in his political life, when he had to make the decision to leave the Nation of Islam, the organization to which he owed so much and that had so heavily influenced his initial training. He made such a decision when he realized, from a private conversation, that its head and spiritual father, Elijah Muhammad, whom he had faithfully followed, exhibited morally inadequate personal behaviour. For his part, he reached the deep conviction that inside the organization the role of leaders was only to look after the interests, frequently spurious, of its top leader and besides, he had experienced its total lack of interest for political activity among North American Black people.

In fact, the Nation of Islam, with its bourgeois nationalist tendency and a leadership continually engaged in and committed to attaining space within the economy of the US capitalist system, was quite the opposite of what Malcolm X expected from any organization seeking to struggle for Black liberation. His intention was to cover both the religious and political concerns of black communities.

Este es el punto en que me encuentro. A esa regla general escaparon, a rigor, Frank, , y Martins, II y Marini cap.