The Hypocrisy of the “Pigmentocracy”

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2012-05-23 19:01Z by Steven

The Hypocrisy of the “Pigmentocracy”

Trotter Review
Volume 7, Issue 2 (1993) A Special Issue on the Political and Social Relations Between Communities of Color
Article 9
4 pages

Lucas Rivera
The City Sun

The following article is excerpted and reprinted with permission of the author and was originally published in two parts in the May 12—18 and 19—25 issues of The City Sun.

The question of race and skin color has haunted both the Latino and black communities, with far too many denying any ties to African ancestry—despite darker skin tones. But the choice many Latinos face—as to whether they should call themselves black or white—may be feeding into the hands of strategists, who may be making economic determinations based on the number of people of color.

The choice and how it impacts on society has befuddled the minds of many social researchers and is not unlike the problem of color that blacks in America confront. “My sense is that it hasn’t changed much,” explained Dr. Samuel Betances, a sociology professor at Chicago University who wrote a manifesto on the “Prejudice of Not Having Prejudice.”

“Puerto Ricans and Latinos have a fear of admitting that they are racially mixed. We don’t want to admit we are part of an African legacy. If you ask a Puerto Rican how he would describe himself, as black or white, he would claim he had Indian blood,” Betances said…

A Drop of White Blood in Latin America Classifies One as White

Jordan claimed that in Latin America and the Caribbean, the racial parody worked in reverse. “Part of the problem is misunderstanding,” he said. “Racial definitions in Latin America versus the United States are different, in the United States, if you have a drop of black blood, you’re black. in Latin America. if you have a drop of white blood, you’re defined as white, which is often referred to as the blancamiento, meaning ‘whitening.’ Jordan further asserted that “these two definitions clash because when people from Latin America come here, they operate under the rules of Latin America. So people clash because they see racial identifications differently through a prism. The other part is exacerbated by racism within the Latino community. Whereas Latinos pretend there’s no racism in our culture.”…

Read the entire article here.

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