Bring up racism amongst those from Latin America and you’ll often get an exasperated groan, followed by something about how class is the predominate stratifying principle in Latin America, and a plea to stop applying your U.S.-based take on race to those in Latin America and the Caribbean. They may even throw in a “we’re all mixed” or “what is race?” rejoinder for good measure.
They will likely bring up the fluidity of racial boundaries as a way of suggesting that the struggles around this form of discrimination have their own set of particularities when in a different setting like Latin America, and that these particularities absolve them from dealing with contradictory experiences of Afro-Latin@s that reveal a peculiarly hidden racism.
Read the rest Melissa M. Valle’s illuminating article here on nacla’s website.
Barbara Fields, professor of history at Columbia University, discusses her new book Racecraft—and the persistent illusions of a post-racial America—with the Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates. As Barack Obama begins his second term, the notion that we’re enjoying a “post-racial” age has gained traction. But what do we mean when we invoke that phrase? “Whatever the ‘post’ may mean in ‘post-racial,'” writes Fields in her fierce new book Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life, “it cannot mean that racism belongs to the past.” A former MacArthur Fellow and the first African American woman to receive tenure at Columbia, Fields specializes in the history of the American south and 19th-century social history. Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor and blogger at the Atlantic, where he writes on culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, and Time, among many other publications.