Translated by Marvin Najarro
Every time a video of US police violence against Afro-descendants comes to light, the news spreads like wildfire and goes around the world. Then the stigmatization starts on social networks; with repudiation and double standards. But I live in the United States, and I have seen how Asians discriminate against blacks and Latinos alike or how Latinos discriminate against Asians and blacks; or how blacks discriminate against Asians and Latinos. A black, a Latino, an Asian, and a European can be as racist as an Anglo-Saxon can be; but why? Because racism, like gender violence, homophobia, and discrimination are patriarchal.
No one is born a racist, homophobic, or a misogynist; these are patterns, with which we are raised and are found at home, the school, society, and in our environment; and if we go to other countries we will find them because it is not local; it consumes, sucks, and spews us out cruel and barbaric without borders.
It is the same racism that of a white against a black, as that of an urbanite against a rural person in the most inhospitable country in the world; and that of a mestizo against an indigenous person. Or we see it in Latin America, which criticizes the United States, where Argentines discriminate against Bolivians and Chileans discriminate against Colombians, Haitians and Dominicans, and the latter discriminate against Haitians; Costa Ricans discriminate against Nicaraguans; Guatemalans discriminate against Salvadorans and Hondurans; and Mexicans discriminate against Central Americans.
And we also see another type of internal discrimination; the way we treat Afro-Latin Americans or Indigenous Peoples.
Discrimination as a patriarchal entity is systematic, and it screws us all up as gender violence does, because some of us become victims and others the victimizers. It hurts us all, some more than others. And we in Latin America are even more screwed up, because we have our good dose of classism incorporated as a post-Spanish invasion DNA. Who’s going to bring us down to earth!
We don’t need to go so far to see examples of discrimination by color, creed, weight, ethnicity, ideology and identity. It is there; in our homes, the block, the colony, in our town; in our province; in our country; and in our continent.
We are like those who curse against the corrupt in government, but who also, to a lesser extent, benefit from corruption and justify it. We throw the stone and hide our hand.
Those who commit rape were children once; children who grew up with sexist, misogynistic, and patriarchal patterns; those children didn’t grow up on another planet; it was in ours, with us as a guide. The same with the genocidal, the corrupt and the racist; they are part of our society; they grew up among us; they are the result of the patriarchal system that we all gloss over; some more aware than others, and others in total ignorance. A patriarchy deeply rooted in the history of humanity, which will not be pulled out by the roots, but that we have to tear it down little by little.
Racism is not local or capitalist, because we all know that there are communists, socialists and anarchists who are racist. And there are many leftist men who recite Marx’s rosaries but who abuse women and discriminate against homosexuals. I am not telling lies; we all know them; we have seen them; we have lived with them; and in many cases are ourselves.
And we see how homosexuals who demand the right to Equal Marriage disapprove of the right to abortion, or we see how they discriminate, offend, and even assault Afro-descendants because their skin color; or discriminate against others because their weight or physical characteristics.
And we see many of them fighting in the streets for human rights, but in their homes employ housemaids to whom they do not pay the minimum wage and exploit them until they are exhausted. Double standard is not local, it is the gene of our humanity.
Every time we want to look at others and point our finger at, we first have the obligation to look at ourselves, examine, and detect what we as human beings are failing at in our homes and in our environment to start making the changes. The United States is not an island in the middle of nowhere, millions of people from all over the world live in the United States, and I assure you that it was not the country that made them racist, homophobic, or sexist. They already arrived like this, because I repeat: racism is the DNA of humanity.
Fortunately we have not reached other planets yet to contaminate them with our gene, because if that were the case, we would bring the universe to an end. With this I am not justifying the racism experienced in the United States, nor I am defending the police abuse against blacks, this must be denounced anywhere in the world.
The change is in ourselves; if we change, we will change the system because we are all part of the system.
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Ilka Oliva Corado @ilkaolivacorado firstname.lastname@example.org