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Racism in Central America against the indigenous population - Essay Example

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The problem of racism is still an issue of the day for Central America. One major part of this is the issue of racism and racialization concerning primarily indigenous population. Racisms have histories and are embedded within the processes of racialization which organize racisms around specific signifiers most especially, colour and physiogamy and culture…
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Racism in Central America against the indigenous population
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Racism in Central America against the indigenous population

Download file to see previous pages... It is to the complex of state/nation articulations.
Taking into account the historical background it should be noted that European racisms are marked by similarity and diversity expressed in the Spanish and Portuguese legacy in a history of the contestations between Christianity, Judaism and Islam and the presence of settled and large populations of black African and Jewish peoples. Spanish and Portuguese imperialism reinforced a sense of the specificities of European identities, however fictitious, and amplified the process of Otherization in relation to the indigenous populations and those enslaved and transported to Central America. The point as Stuart Hall writes: "The story of European identity is often told as if it had no exterior. But this tells us more about how cultural identities are constructed as 'imagined communities', through the marking of difference with others than it does about the actual relations of unequal exchange and uneven development through which a common European identity was forged (Hall, 1987). Such a process has had a profound impact on the cultural development of Central America not least upon the ways in which gender identities and relations are forged by racisms in Central American societies, whether in the form of the hegemonic gendering or the subaltern masculinities and femininities associated with subordinate groups.
Despite the particular forms of mestization and cultural syncretism in this region, the prejudice and racial discrimination that people continue to experience negatively affect primarily the native indigenous population comprised of more than 80 indigenous groups that include at least 12 million Mexicans and 6 million Central Americans. In Northern Mexico indigenous people are a small minority: they are practically absent from the northeast but, in the northwest and central borderlands. While Mexicans are universally proud of their indigenous background, contemporary indigenous Mexicans are still the target of discrimination and outright racism. The most widespread religion at the present time is known as the Native American Church (Fortes de Leff, Aco, 2000).
At the Conference held in 2000 it was announced that: " among the indisputable, deep-seated causes of discrimination in our societies, it is important to acknowledge structural inequality, the denial of culture and the lack of opportunities affecting not only ethnic minorities but also the low-income mestizo majorities" (Final Document, 2000). The reason for this discrepancy may be the Mexican government's policy of using linguistic, rather than racial, criteria as the basis of classification. In the states of Chiapas and Oaxapa and in the interior of the Yucatan peninsula the majority of the population is indigenous. Large indigenous minorities are also present in the central regions of Mexico (Fortes de Leff, Aco, 2000).
Gender cannot be separated from nor lived outside racisms and the processes of racialization in Central America. In Costa-Rica and Guatemala the women's movement is crosscut by racism as well as class. Thus, opportunities for women in the modernizing period from the 1960s ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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