Much has been spoken about on our media about racism and it continues. Really, on my beloved planet, I have never experienced extreme cases of this social phenomenon.  Since my childhood, I was accustomed to my house being visited by black, white, and Chinese people, all gathering with our family.  I had very beloved little black friends and an adopted grandmother of this color.  She was a large woman, wide, and with a full-moon smile, who we called Grandma Mercedes.  They taught us from an early age to love and respect her.  When she arrived, my brother and I hung around her neck, competing for her first kisses.  My little friends, seeing me so white and blond, were very surprised, but they couldn’t figure out the mystery of these advanced genetics.  She was, until her death, the best friend of our family.

There was discrimination, it’s true, but, in general, not on the part of people, rather it was an official matter, but not rooted in the human feeling.  It includes, also on the part of the black people who produced this same contradiction but in the inverse, because in their clubs and societies, white people were not admitted.  I have a friend that suffered these divisions in her own experience. Her father, an elegant black chauffeur of a well-known magnate, married a Spanish woman.  Then my friend couldn’t frequent the clubs for her race, since in those days they didn’t allow her mother to enter because she was white, in a time when good girls were always accompanied by their parents.  Also, she couldn’t go to places for whites-only.  Anyway, this seemed like a thing from the very distant past.

The year 1959 arrived and, by decree, they threw out all of these restrictions, but only by decree.  Now, by citing three examples, more exist, I demonstrate the flip side of the coin:

In the year, 1963, when the elect Lucero of the Havana Carnival came out, between the finalists there wasn’t a single black woman, or even a mulata.  The revolutionary panel of judges noticed this mistake and took out a beautiful white girl and in her place brought up to the podium a beautiful mulata, but with a strong juvenile acne that made her face ugly, precisely for which she was ruled out.

On the other hand, it is well-known, that when our country prepared the possible cosmonauts to fly in the soviet spacecrafts, they selected two candidates: one black and one white.  To be honest, people who were involved at that time told us, in this mission, the second candidate was better prepared and met more of the criteria, but the official choice leaned toward the first candidate. Everyone knows the end of this story.

But, many years have passed, we are in the 21st century, and last week, the son of my friend, was just discriminated against by a teacher from his school, due to his pearly-white skin. There was a municipal-level competition, and the teacher, in the face of uncertainty about whether one of proposed candidates would fail, named a third, the needy kid, a genius, one of those that departed from the norm.  Now then, the day arrived, the three were introduced, accompanied by their respective mothers in front of the teacher that waited in the old Havana Institute, the place where they were to meet.  As no student missed the appointment, she preferred to select the little black child so as not be questioned, leaving the other child surprised and frustrated. I don’t need to tell you, rightly, what my friend told the teacher. Tell me if I am mistaken that this isn’t any more than reverse racism.

Translated by: BW

January 18 2012

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