The Cream of the Crop

Translated  by Marvin Najarro 

They made us believe that progress is in cement; that cement is progress. They made us believe that industrialization means prosperity of societies. That in order to industrialize, deforestation has to be ruthlessly implemented and entire peoples destroyed: stealing their water, land, food and any vital means of subsistence. These peoples, we were told, do not matter, and if they resist, they must be eliminated by sheer repression, that’s the reason of genocides that afflict the collective memory.

They told us that civilization is a necessary concept for the survival of humanity, and that we the obedient are those civilized beings, but those who resist imposition are not. The aboriginal peoples and the unwashed is the enemy that must be crushed. They also told us that within that humanity which we are part of, only the chosen ones fit, and that it is exclusive because it is made up of the cream of the crop. The whey should be discarded.

For that they used a strainer which they called higher education, which they saturated with classism, racism, homophobia, patriarchy, misogyny, dogma, double standards, stereotypes and insensitivity; it was based on forgetfulness. They took us out of the residual whey and made us believe that we were the cream of the crop; yes, to us the submissive.

They made us believe that a university degree separates us from the pack and makes us unique, and awards-winners; above the mark. They made us forget our origin. And we fixed in our memory that we no longer are the unwashed but the exclusive graduates: lawyers, doctors, architects, professors, journalists, entrepreneurs in a hierarchy that the mob will never be able to access. They made us believe that we are the best of the best of that residual waste. Waste, it is what they called the lifeblood of our origin, and for centuries we have allowed and anointed it; we have become the award recipients, accomplices of abuse.

With a university degree the cream of the crop can exploit their own class; they can exploit the rabble where they come from. And they were reproduced and crowded in paved cities that were created for their seclusion: Centers of mass incarceration with appearance of progress, success, and economic stability.

And we have regarded ourselves as celebrities, untouchable and immortal. And soon we started to be part of the repression against the rabble who resist – with our passivity of vassals while amusing ourselves with painting our prisons, and filling our dungeons with furniture, shoes, awful lot of food, piling up diplomas and degrees to live the necessary appearances of successful beings.

And we have given our consent to the mining industry which has led to the disappearance of entire villages, far from the cities, because we wanted to have jewels inside our prisons to show them among the prisoners and compete among us to see who is able to accumulate more. Because that’s what this is about: a competition for the accumulation of everything superfluous to live; consumerism as an expression of capitalism. We are that neoliberal and fascist vein of mass destruction. Yes, as fascist as the one who gives the order, and as the one who pulls the trigger.

Outside, far away from the city bathed in cement, from the prison in the guise of progress are the people in resistance fighting for their freedom, without giving up, defending their identity and their ancient origin. Defending their right to land, food, and to a life in freedom. Despite the fact that with our approval, silence, and dogmatism, from the comfort of the cream of the crop, dictatorships with the aim of exterminating them were implemented. We, with the coldness of a traitor, acquiesced to the forced disappearances, tortures and genocides. And in keeping with our own interests many of us pretend to ignore, so as not to get into trouble, issues such as losing contacts that we can use as a step. 

And in spite of ourselves, the essence of our origin with a dose of dignity and memory keeps dignifying us. The “uncivilized” those who don’t know about “progress,” the free, wild and brave keep fighting for us, even with ourselves against them. They know that they are the essence of the whey of which we are made even if we believe ourselves to be the cream of the crop.                      

Those who do not know about the great “civilization”, and prisons of cement, and of competitions for immortality, know the countryside; the fresh air; the freshness of the rivers; the fertility of the soil; the call of the owl; and the wind before it rains.

The “uncivilized” know the herbs that cure the nostalgia of the soul; the fraternal hug; the look that embraces; the voice that caresses; and the solidarity that shelters. They know what unity, sharing, dignity, and honor means. What identity means. They know how to respect the earth and its fruits as the superior being. They know the importance of the sun and the rain. They know that the oceans and the rivers, as well as the bees are indispensable. They know that everything in this universe is interwoven and it is there for a fundamental reason: for the existence of ecosystems and the survival of all the creatures that comprise it, none superior to the other.

That is not taught in higher education institutions, because if that were the case, they would produce thinking individuals who would analyze, and question the impositions, and deceit of those who for centuries have made them believe that they are the cream of the crop. We would discover ourselves as puppets. Forces causing divisions; strong walls of human beings indoctrinated for treason. We would know that cement is not superior to mountains moss or the leaves of the “guayabo” (guava tree). We would know that gold and diamonds are not more important than water and people’s lives.

We would know that those who subsist inside that gigantic prison are us, and that we respond to previously studied patterns for our conditioning, and for our dogmatic and insensitive reaction to abuse which we are subjected to without us noticing, because they disguise it as progress and success. We are an exorbitant amorphous mass which they maneuver at will.

But while we remain lethargic thanks to our greed, being the puppets of those who think they are the masters of the world, the blood keeps resisting as it has done since time immemorial; fighting so that the scum of the earth does not continue to be used as a containing tool against the people fighting for their freedom. 

Let’s hope one day the masses that live imprisoned inside the cement cities know that their university degrees will not restore the water to the rivers when the mining companies dry them, and that gold, fine lotions or “important” contacts cannot surpass the freshness of tomatoes. Let’s hope they know that important contacts are also an optical illusion; falsehoods that cement cities offer.

Let’s hope one day they will have the capacity to think for themselves and join the soul which with guayacan and flamboyant roots feeds on dignity and memory to get up every day in order to keep resisting against the disloyalty, abuse and repression of the traitors. 

Let’s hope the day will come when we will understand that we are the marrow, the jugular, the origin, the inherence, and the embers. Let’s hope the awakening will be like a storm; like a sonorous thunder; like a tremor from the earth core; like a scream that echoes in the mountains bowels; an awakening that makes those who believe they own the world and our lives tremble, and impel us to return to our origin to fight with our own people to recover everything they took from us.

Let’s hope… 

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Ilka Oliva Corado @ilkaolivacorado

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