Race in Latin America

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Race in Latin America by Mind Map: Race in Latin America

1. Race in Argentina and Cuba

1.1. When examining the writings of Sarmiento, Bunge, and Ingenieros, they conclude that race is indeed socially constructed, and the people (collectively as a race) can be the product of their environment.

1.1.1. These theories stemmed from the global ideologies. At the time- many philosophers were using social Darwinism to understand Evolution. Educators, such as Sarmiento, believed that though Indigenous races were "slower developing" than the white man, they could be educated to be more civilized.

1.2. By 1890, many blacks had been pushed aside by newcomers- this caused the population of indigenous people to dwindle. Many Argentinian Indians were either killed or enslaved- they were considered "savages" and many of them worked long hours in sugar mills, as there was no social plan to integrate them into society. Thus, immigration became a major social issue. Cheap European laborers were attracted to Argentina and the land's resources. Soon, unskilled and uneducated workers outnumbered the artisans in the country.

1.2.1. The Nationalist Educational Movement of the 20th century was the first step towards positive education for Argentinians. This National reform aimed to replace the immigration conflict in the country with education, to help prosper a new promising nation in the future, and destruct xenophobia.

1.3. Cuban elite believed in evolution and Darwinism. The black Cuban race was often associated with poverty, prostitution, and unintelligence. The elites believed that the dominant race would take over the blacks, and eventually the black race would become small in population- this would then turn into the inevitable Anglo-Saxon civilization.

1.3.1. After Cuba gained independence, the Elites struggled to accept the black Cuban race into their society. The Partido Independiente deColor group was formed, in hopes of giving the racial minority a voice in politics, and represent their cultural values. However, this growing coalition was controversial, and eventually was shut down, and resulted in a massacre of four thousand Afro-Cubans. This Massacre is better known as "The Little War" between the two races that could never mix. This war resulted in the loss of many lives, and the immigration of the black cubans. Cuba's war for independence from Spain was never truly concluded, which is why another revolution was formed fifteen years later when they indeed, gained independence from Spain.

1.4. Cuba Vs. Argentina's racial Histoires.

1.4.1. Labor markets which were reliant on slave, and low paid workers to function. These were present in both nations. However, Argentina had succeeded, and Cuba had failed in the industry market. This is illustrates the theme of exploiting an individual based on racial ethnicity, and the effect it can have on an economy, long term.

1.4.2. Both Cuba and Argentina viewed White Anglo-Saxon race and culture as elite and ideal for civilization. However, when European Immigrants who landed in Argentina, were expelled for being "undesirable"

1.4.3. Cuba's independence was a complete illusion because social policy's were still built on illusion. This systematic racism was the cause for the massacre and violence during the revolution.

2. Racism, Revolution, and Indigenismo

2.1. The subjective nature of Indian/mestizo status refers to perceived characteristics of who an "Indian" may be. It is argued, that depending on the criteria used, there are many interpretations of what "Indian" actually means (especially according to the census bureau.) This means that the category of "Indian" is truly meaningless because everyone has their own definition, and the term is not concretely defined. Alfonso Caso states, that one is considered "Indian" if they define themselves as Indians. "An Indian is one who belongs to an indigenous community.

2.2. "Indigenismo"was a construct of a dominant culture. Throughout history, the term was used to describe the "poor and suffering race", or used to explain "The Indian Problem" Prior to the revolution,intellectuals would use this term as a political strategy to advance their own agendas.

2.2.1. Porfirio Díaz was interested in destroying indigenous peasant communities to create reliable labor forces. This oppressed and destroyed a culture, ultimately reinforcing racism in Mexico

2.3. After the Mexican Revolution, legislation was passed to help remedy the historic issues of the Indigismo. This helped indigenous people secure an alliance and gain recognition of their culture. This legislation did not necessarily end racism, but it did acknowledge a culture and it's worth. There was still a strong emphasis on purity, in attempts of categorizing the population as either "Indian" or "European", races of other ethnicities (Asians, and Blacks) were also considered hybrids.

2.3.1. With Mestizaje as a growing dominant culture, they began to politically control the population, and thus Mestizaje and nationhood were equated.

2.4. In contemporary times, looking back on Indigenismo, one may use the term nostalgically to commemorate a time of mixture amongst the races in America.

3. Race in Brazil

3.1. Unlike the Americas, Brazil differed racially because it was built on multiple races. There were no barriers of segregation, and miscegenation was widely accepted with the Portuguese It is misunderstood how, but many Black Africans were free at the time of Immigration. Elites and intellectuals believed that "whitening: the society would be the best option for creating a productive civilization.

3.2. To progress towards "whitening", Blacks would have to adopt white culture. Brazilian intellectuals believed this process would happen "miraculously", and eventually the nation would become white without transplant influence. Thus, there were many controversial debates over whether or not to allow foreign Blacks into the country. These immigration lows went through many trials and tribulations, and were often justified with the mention of public health. Brazil did not want anymore immigrants, because they believed they would be hard to assimilate (this included Asians, and other races.)

3.3. Brazil continued to keep it's faith in the whitening process. Through two scientific racial belief: natural selection, and Social Darwinism, they believed that the black race would eventually disappear. This misconception was inspired by other Latin American racial theories.

3.4. By 1950, social whitening ended, as it was evident that this theory was not effective, and would not determine the cultural or racial future of the population.

4. Impact of the French and Haitian Revolution.

4.1. The slave rebellion in Saint- Domingue (between 1791- 1804) was the first social revolution in the Americas. This historical movement marked the period of time when slaves revolted against ruling the French Colonies, and eventually won their freedom as an independent state. This heroic achievement marked a turning point for enslaved races, as it illustrated the possible for opportunity as a collective culture.

4.1.1. David Biron Davis states that the French revolution and the Haitian revolution have a relationship because both made strides towards civil rights by eliminating slavery. During the French Revolution in 1794, the French National Convention outlawed slavery entirely.

4.1.2. Race in the Haitian revolution affected the view on slave labor in other countries. Many rulers believed that the loss of black slave would with result in decline in the economy. For generations, many economies relied on slaves to do work for no pay in extremely harsh conditions. With them eliminated, the economy would certainly take a turn. Before the revolutions, slaves were considered to be inferior because of their race. After the revolution, the view of race had been reconstructed in Haiti, and the U.S. feared the slaves in their region would also be inspired to revolt.

4.2. After the revolution, a significant divide existed between the classes in the population. Though Haiti was now an independent state, their was still a strong white influence from the French in the country's politics. The classes were divided into higher class (which was educated and elite), and a lower class of agricultural labor workers who were uneducated. This also was the period of time when Haitian Creole developed as a language. When the two cultures interconnected, they developed a language mixture so they could communicate amongst one another.

4.2.1. When comparing the U.S. and the Haitian Revolution, one must consider that the Haitians were fighting for their land that they had suffered upon for many years. The U.S. revolution, however, was led by "the ruling race of the world" and had more resources behind them. After the war, Haitians were helpless in a new world, and many of them immigrated to the United States (Louisiana) as free people.