@Agustina Allende Go http://bit.ly/10nS1zc
I’ll always have your back!
agua limpia se va al desagüe
mejor que las aprovechen los inodoros
Currently rereading my special leather-bound-gilded pages edition of “The Hobbit” #thehobbit #bilbobaggins #specialedition #leatherbound #book
The Hobbit Cover
Peru is a very culturally diverse country. It was conceived as a state not because people from just one nation inhabited it, but because it was how the viceroyalty of Peru was organized. Peru is a state with many nations inside, some are small others are bigger. It has been said that Jose de San Martin, the General of the Liberation Army and the person who declared Peru’s independence, stated that Peru needed to do more work than the other liberated South American countries towards creating a national identity. Many states have made the effort to create a national identity that raises above all the local identities that initially composed them; others haven’t been able to do it. Peruvian territory served as home for many cultures during history. At the time of the Spanish colonization, there was a vast array of Andean and Jungle societies living in what is now known as Peru. Many Andean societies had been conquered or annexed to a culture from Cusco that became the Inca Empire. The Inca Empire was a relatively young organization that was still struggling for control of its land. While the cultures of the jungle remained isolated from western influence for many centuries, Andean cultures were exposed and transformed by their contact with the western culture and the colonization systems that ruled the viceroyalty of Peru for almost 5 centuries. The huge displays of gold and precious metals that the Incas had impressed the conquistadors that immediately decided to conquer and exploit the vast reserves of minerals available below the ground of the Inca territory. Mining was the main economic activity promoted by the colonial government and in order to get cheap labor Andean people were classified as second class citizens who were only allowed to perform basic jobs and weren’t given any political power. Only the Spaniards were given full rights by the government while the decedents of the Spanish people born in Peru were assigned the ‘criollo’ label that granted them some privileges over the Andean population.
Class separation was justified with an ethnocentric view that stated that the locals were less developed, ignorant, and of inferior race. It is important to acknowledge that the differences in culture, practices and language were immediately labeled as a characteristic of the race. Given that all the Spaniards were white and all the Andean people were olive-skinned. The history of class separation, to use a Marxian or Weberian term, as explained by Julio Cotler in his book ‘Clases, Estado y Nacion en el Peru’, was based initially on cultural differences. The Spanish saw the new, different culture as technologically undeveloped and thought that Andean people weren’t capable of The Spanish government classified Andean people as members of a lower class because they didn’t originally believed in the Christian god and their practices were seen as primitive, in opposition to the most ‘advanced’ western practices and developments. The cultural practices of the different Andean communities were seen as less developed, as a product of ignorance, or as negative. These factors created what later became the racial segregation. As all the people classified as lower class were of Andean physical traits, suddenly all the people with Andean physical features were generalized as ignorant, less developed and poor. This is the same process to which the black population of Africa was subjected to. It is important to notice that the main reason for racism wasn’t race per se, but a series of characteristics that people from a race had in a particular moment that were later generalized to the whole race. This fact is relevant because to understand the current situation of discrimination in Lima we need to stop considering race as the only factor and incorporate others.
Saying that the racial differences are not the main reason for discrimination can make people classify this paper as part of the ‘neoliberal racial project’, but that will be shortsighted. While the ‘neoliberal racial projects’ aims to say that matters of race should be minimized, I’m trying to find the complex system by which discriminatory practices are born in order to have clearer perspective to conduct a change in our behavior.
Discrimination based on race is still very strong in Peru, especially among the older white population of the coastal cities. A lot of people still assign status to others based just on their skin color and physical features. However, recent incidents point out that discrimination is based on other factors such as clothing, language spoken, occupation, among other reasons. These factors are part of a complex equation of assignment of social status that everyone makes according to their cultural and social backgrounds. Some people with Andean features that display cultural traits common to Lima are not discriminated against. For example, a person with Andean physical features wearing Abercrombie & Fitch clothing can get into a cinema without problems, but the same person with traditional Andean clothes will get discriminated or at least will get uncomfortable looks from the other people in the area. It is true that certain races (understanding race as a social construct and not as a biological fact) have a negative connotation in certain places of the city. For example, if a white person from Lima goes to the cinema in a wealthy distric wearing Andean clothes they will get into the cinema. That is because despite having Andean clothing, the white person speaks a coastal Spanish, is accustomed to the social norms of the city – social proximity, slang, etcetera -. Social discrimination is believed to be a product of a combination of factors that have different weight. I think it will be interesting to develop a study to identify the factors that people use to assign status in order to get a clear perspective of where discrimination finds its origins. And how the process of socialization, understood as the process by which people gain social skills, needs to change to create a more tolerant environment. Making this effort will allow government officials, parents and the private sector to reform education to avoid social discrimination in a country that has a population that is racially and culturally diverse.