Greetings All,

I have been following the discussions in this group for the past few months and have not contributed until now. I was thrown back by the recent discussion of Racism in Colombia. I am aware that there is racism all over the globe, and I have experienced it myself in many instances. I am a self proclaimed Globe Trekker and was planning a trip to Colombia, to take in the culture, weather and of course the women. After reading the posting on the challenges of being black in Colombia I??m started to second-guess my planned visit. What kind of reception will I receive as a Black American in Colombia? The stories of blacks not being allowed in certain clubs and such are like a throwback to the 50??s in the states. Any thoughts on this would be helpful.



James

Posted on May 15, 2005


You might also like:

Comments:

Racism As Morphus wrote, some areas in Colombia are mostly black like the caribbean coast and the Choco department, but racism may be more evident in places like Bogota or Medellin, this doesn´t mean that there are no black people there but there´s some racism in people´s minds and attitudes, for example, you seldom see a black person in an upscale restaurant or driving a fancy car and when that happens people whisper that they´re probably doing something bad. This doesn´t mean that you´ll be confronted by people in clubs or restaurants or anything. You can travel all over Colombia and you won´t be openly discriminated for being black.

Posted on May 15, 2005


nmblkmtn-look at like this.. my Money is as Green as the Next Persons' Dollars.Any of this attitude observed, I wouldn't frequent the business.On Your statement "The stories of blacks not being allowed in certain clubs and such are like a throwback to the 50??s in the states"--I went to a medically oriented school in N.Carolina in the mid 80s and they would not let ME(a northern whitey) into the Private clubs either.One owner called a "CarpetBagger"--haha-thought that term went out of use with the ending of the civil war.I share some of your pain.

Posted on May 15, 2005


james.... i'm a gringo--paleface--that has lived a number of years in colombia. all in or around medellin.



of course i can't subject myself to the experience an afro american might have. but i tend to think from my experience, that you'll probably have no problem. the fact that your speach, accent and appearance will not be that of afro colombians will put you in a league apart. if you do experience unpleasantness, i guess it's just like home...the folks that do/act that way are gonna act that way, no matter what.



like the above poster shared, along the coast, it's different, as it's about 70 % + afro. but again, i wouldn't plan on problems. i'd just look forward to a wonderful trip. the colombians will treat you nicely as that's their way. the 'pricks' who are in the cities are just that, and there's nothing redeeming about them, here, there or anywhere.



just tell folks you're a gringo and go from there. keep putting the ball in their court and you wont have any problems. the areas surrounding medellin are really wonderful i think you'll enjoy them.



if you want to chat off line, pm me and maybe i can share some suggestions. or e me at dwmte@bellsouth.net.



good luck,



dwm

Posted on May 15, 2005


My black friends have almost all been refused service in places like Amsterdam and Sweden and Switzerland, etc. and nobody ever had a problem anywhere in South America.

Posted on May 15, 2005


I was refused service at a diner in the great state of Florida, I am white and the diner is owned by blacks. Made me feel how they must have felt to some small degree. Not a good feeling.

Posted on May 15, 2005


HELLO MY NAME IS JACOB AND I LIVE IN RIO DE JANEIRO BRASIL FOR 20 YEARS IT IS THE THING IN BRASIL AND EVEN MORE BAD IF YOU ARE BLACK YOU ARE POOR SO IT IS NOT ONLY IN COLOMBIA BUT IF YOU ARE BLACK AND A FOOTBAL PLAYER OR SAMBA SINGER EVERY BODY WILL LOVE YOU EVEN THE BEST WAITE GIRL WILL LIKE TO STAY NEAR TO YOU

Posted on May 15, 2005


Any Spanish readers out there should check out an article online from the Colombian magazine SEMANA.



There is an article about racism in Colombia called: Negro igual a blanco.



www.semana.terra.com.co

Posted on May 15, 2005


kernow I hope that's not an attempt to justify their terrible fucking behavior.

Jacob do you mean 'ficar com voce', because this would be more like 'get down with you' than 'stay near to you' in English :)

Posted on May 15, 2005


Rubiazo wrote: I hope that's Rubiazo wrote: I hope that's not an attempt to justify their terrible fucking behavior.



No it wasn't, at the time I was really pissed. Afterwards I thought about it and realised it was worth the experience for the lesson I learned. Imagine how it felt being treated this way on a daily basis.

Posted on May 15, 2005


I've actually been refused work playing gospel music solely because I was white. They took a black guy who couldn't play and was mentally unstable over me. Six months later he actually had to go back to being institutionalized, and they came begging me to take the gig. That is when I got my revenge. I told them I'd NEVER work for them, but I would send my neighbor who is also a good piano player. He's the only guy on Earth I know that's pinker than I am :)))

Posted on May 15, 2005


i dunno my best friend in Armenia is black, he's graduating from uni this year (law)....his cousin is already a lawyer....his mum has been a teacher for most of her life...they live in a nice area and on the umpteen occassions i have gone out with him he has never ever been rejected entrance to any clubs or restaurants....actually this guy introduced me to some high flying twenty somethings when i visited last august.

I guess it's that thing about education...the ones that have been educated tend to be better off in life

Truth be told racism does exist in Colombia (there's always ignorant people wherever you go in life) but I really doubt it would affect you...i also met plenty of young black males (colombians coming from the states) these guys tend to get by only too well...if you look decent and not like a tramp then people will take you more seriously (and better if you are a tourist as they know you'll have some spondoola)

Posted on May 15, 2005


spondoola? i get older every day...duh?

Posted on May 15, 2005


lol nice one dwmte...spondoola = money, money, money (in a rich man's world)

It's a British 'ting

Posted on May 15, 2005


It is worse to be a black chap in the USA.
CA
Montañas de Colombia

Posted on May 15, 2005


Just tell them... That you are "El nieto de Colin Powell". They will treat you like a King. I am just kidding. Don't say that.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Thoughts on Racism in Medellin Just got back from my 3rd trip to Medellin. I can't speak for other cities in Colombia, but I did notice a difference as to how people of darker skin color are perceived in Medellin. I am mixed race, Puerto Rican and Lebanese and I went with a friend who is African American. We didn't encouter any racism but when we went to clubs, people assumed I was "the richer one simply because my skin tone is lighter".

Posted on May 15, 2005


Do black colombians suffer from the treatment that black people here suffer at the hands of the police? Does anybody here have any personal experience? A lot of white Americans are clueless as to how black people are treated by the boys in blue up here!

Posted on May 15, 2005


Good point!!!!!!!! Tone,



Thanks for bringing this article into this thread which I believe has alot to say about ALL of L. America mindset when it comes to the blacks and indians. It's said that many people in L. America consider this acceptable. The form of racism in L. America consciously or uncounsciously assume that all blacks are at the end of the todem pole. His comments to me was very condescending because he was basically saying that even blacks are on a better economic or hold better jobs than mexicans which are majority indigenous or mestizo in the USA.



For colombians migrating to the USA or where ever, how did you feel when coming to ur host country and seeing blacks holding CEO positions, driving nice cars and majority of the time being your boss and telling what to do?



But most of this are to blame on the blacks and mulattos of L. America because most have an inferior complex or are just "conditioned" to think its ok and some rather not even call themselves black even if their sammy sosa type. I'm sure you've heard this saying "Tiene que mejorar la raza mija pa' tener un nino blanquito"

Posted on May 15, 2005


toneloc.. Police brutality in NYC still happens EVERY SINGLE DAY, video cameras notwithstanding. We have a long history of cops getting aquitted here for killing black kids with warning shots, and we're adding to that history even still in 2005 unfortunately.



What I'm asking is if anything similar happens in Colombia. In Bogota I'd imagine there are not enough people of African descent to be targeted as a group by law enforcement. I'd also imagine that they just don't have the resources there to do anything on that scale anyways.

Posted on May 15, 2005


"And for the record, it's MUCH better being black in the USA than Colombia."



Toneloc,



I vehemently disagree with this. How many people have been murdered in the USA just for the sole reason of being black? And how many people have been murdered in Colombia just for being black?



Black colombians also have options for upward mobility. Ever heard of Edgar Renteria(baseball player), Faustino Asprilla (famous footballer), Piedad Cordoba (Senator), Joe Arroyo (salsa singer), Vanessa Mendoza (former Miss Colombia), etc?





ColombianoX



'Defensor de la Colombianidad'

Posted on May 15, 2005


colombiano... if a black were to be murdered in colombia, it wouldn't make the last page of the paper, and hardly the evening t.v. news. 'what happens in choco stays in choco'...apply that to cartagena and elsewhere.



if a black is murdered in the u.s. (who knows if it was just for being black) youve got jesse jackson on your doorstep along with rev. al., the next morning...if not the same day. not to mention every sindicated news system in the country making it a lead in topic.



too, you mentioned five famous black colombians--af which there are certainly more--out of a population of approximately ten million. that ain't newsworthy if you ask me.



now in my experience in colombia over 16 years, i think that an afro colombian can live his/her life in relative calm without someone/or group burning a cross on their lawn or lynching them. however, and this is the important point. the chances of a black person (on average) raising their lot from poverty to middle or upper middle class in colombia is basically zip. and every colombian knows that. there is a status quo that rules the roost there and it's not gonna change today. the dark skinned, be they indigenous or african descent are not climbing the social ladder. to mention five, ten or even one hundred is nothing. especially with a black pop of 10 million and an indigenous pop of more than that. people may like and support black sports stars and mucicians, but they're not being envited to lunch at casa narino. it's sad, but it's true. i don't know when the last time you visited the pacific coast of colombia was or for that matter, amazonas, but there is zero chance of any of that populace rising above the abject poverty they live in. also, there is no REAL voice for these populations in congress...don't bother mentioning their representatives, that only adds insult to injury.



the lot of the dark skinned in colombia is somber and tragic. it may not be accented by the wretched violence we have here, but it's economic boundries are such that no comparison exists here.



dw.

Posted on May 15, 2005


DWMTE.... Good observation, I agree with your point, but your estimated racial makeup of colombia is totally off. You claim that there are more than 10 million natives in colombia, which is, (quite unfortunately due to freaking savage cruelty) a fallacy. Let's round off the population of colombia to 44 million. According to the library of Congress website the racial makeup of colombia is as follows:



mestizos (white-Indian mix) 50% -- would be 22 million colombians

whites 25% -- That would be 11 million colombians

mulattoes (black-white mix) and zambos (black-Indian mix) 20% -- 8.8 million colombians

blacks 4% -- 1.8 million colombians

Indians 1% -- 440,000 colombians



These figures are not exact, but I was wondering where you got your figures from?????

Posted on May 15, 2005


yo tinto.... jesse just (today) forgave old boy fox--white racist--because he was sure there wasn't anything racial involved(???).



mr fox is part of the 'old boys club' ala mexico. i don't think he invites folks from th indigenous tribes home to dinner.



colombiche....whacha mean where did i get these numbers??? i fricken counted...especially around buena ventura, there was nothin but black colombians. not a white skin to be found once you left town.



to be honest...i just divided up the population...obviously erroneously. however, i don't trust the numbers you have. i saw that many in the area just around buena ventura. and if the numbers are so pathetically small, i wonder who we blame. remember, they 'freed' the africans before north america, because they had 55 million natives to enslave and slaughter... remember there were some cross burning days (figure of speech) in south america, too.



elmo...for real, ya'll didn't have nice lawns? no tiki lights around the edges and gazebos here and about? i just can't imagine such primitavity.

Posted on May 15, 2005


dwmte I think yourestimates of the black population were pretty close,it was the native population that you totally overestimated. Colombia actually has much more pure blacks than it does pure natives. Also, don't forget that a lot of the blacks in Buenaventura might seem black to you but they can actually be mixed. I have a lot of friends from Choco who look black and they are actually half white or viceversa. In other words, a guy like Tino Asprilla could have a white grandmother, it just did not happen to show on him, but his brother could be light... That is the beauty of racial mixing, you never know how the hell it is going to turn out.



Who can we blame for the numbers being so low??? I don't know, but what the hell, let's blame it on the spaniards, they are not so popular these days.

Posted on May 15, 2005


"So, I ask you, please explain how being black in Colombia is better? I'm dying to hear your POV on this."



When did I say it is better to be black in Colombia? I said no such thing. I said I don't agree with your assertion that it is better to be black in the USA. That is not for you or me to decide, as it is completely subjective.





CX

Posted on May 15, 2005


that 's what i said in another thread, elmo.... what's with a fricken monument to a conquistador?



someone, somewhere, somehow got that one ass backwards.



all those ass holes did/do was loot, rape, plunder and murder. monuments? it wasn't altruism to liberate the blacks. they were a burden and knew nothing about the environment. but the native population...how convenient they were/are. and, of course, they were/are expendable. as wit, the guajira and amazonas. the government, the farc, eln, auc. they're all the same...same ass hole, different day. use, kill...for them it's the same.

Posted on May 15, 2005


"Here's your quote...again.



Please explain what "I vehemently disagree with this" means. I'm interested to hear your POV on this. Current day Colombia vs. current day USA for a black person"





Toneloc,





What that means is that I DO NOT AGREE with your assertion that it's, and I quote, "MUCH better being black in the USA than Colombia." That comment to me seems arrogant and bordering on cultural superiority. Black colombians have a very beautiful culture and have contributed a lot to make Colombia what she is. I'm positive that there are black colombians who would not trade OUR culture and being colombian for anything.





ColombianoX



'Defensor de la Colombianidad'

Posted on May 15, 2005


Elmo Caribbean Indios are very different from Andean indios. Andean indios are shorter, dumpier, red-cheeked, short extremities. Caribbean indios are darker but with longer limbs and a more slender look. Bogota is packed with people who can trace their descent back to Boyaca, and this was the home of the chibchas. A lot of these people are actually probably mixed race, but because the Andean blood is so strong they still carry a lot of the Andean indian features. That is how it is in Bogota. You won't see the same thing in Medellin, Manizales, cali or la costa. It is all about the region you are in.

Posted on May 15, 2005


mexico being anti-immigrant has been going on FOREVER, like since mexico was a nation and BEFORE. During the days when the USA border was extremely open, you couldn't just waltz into Mexico and start looking for work. Most countries are and have always been this way. The USA was the great exception, the great experiment. Only in the past 20 years or so has it swung the other way.



As for Blacks in Colombia not being able to advance, you could say the same thing about poor whites. You're getting the racial issue mixed up with a broader and deeper socio-economic one. In other words, the problem may be 'if you don't have money you're never gonna get it' but it's not 'if you're black it doesn't matter if you have money cause you can't sit your black ass down in a nice restaurant or use a swimming pool anwyays, SIMPLY BECAUSE OF YOUR RACE'.



Toneloc, i dunno when was the last time you were up here but these days in Brooklyn and the Bronx the police are taking crazy liberties and doing a lot of shit that scares me. It's gotten a hell of a lot worse since 9/11 and everybody's turning a blind eye because they're SCARED SHITLESS.

Posted on May 15, 2005


toneloc: What I want to know is, does THAT type of sick shit go down on the regs anywhere in Colombia like it does here?



Not getting into clubs is disgusting, especially for a crap reason like that. But what I really wanna know is, are blacks and indians targeted by the police in Colombia the way they are in the USA and Canada. Has anybody seen or heard anything in this regard?



And personally, i HOPE any club that has that kind of an attitude closes. Let me know where you've had problems and I'll personally pass the word to all my musician friends down there to let everybody know to stay away in droves. WE are the ones with the microphones :))

Posted on May 15, 2005


I'd have to agree with ToneLoc... ...in regards to his comment that I'd rather be Black in the U.S. than in Colombia. This does not mean that either culture is better, that one is superior, that one has more fun, or whatever you could think of. In fact, I'm sure many Colombians who have been to both places would rather be black in Colombia. What I agree with are his comments, and DWMTE's, that the opportunities for advancement are greater in the US. Hatred exists in both countries, but with federal grants, minority scholarships, academic scholarships, EEOC, fair hiring practices in general, affirmative action, Fair Housing Commission, and the like, I think US minorities are more likely to get a fair shake, and unfair treatment is more likely to be handled in some way. None of the aforementioned programs are perfect, but they have gone a long way towards helping curb discrimination. Of course I have to add that things are different in different parts of the country, so I am speaking of my own experience.



I would also agree with Rubiazo, who said it was also a cultural and social thing, not just racial. I once sat down and had a discussion with some folks from Colombia (trigueños from Bogota), and their view was that classism was deeply ingrained in the Colombian culture, to the point where even one's LAST NAME was scrutinized---if your name looked European (Spanish or otherwise), you would be more likely to get into a university, a social club, or whatever. Is it true? I have no proof but I wouldn't be surprised.



My mother is Black and Native American, and my father white (if you want an idea of my type, think Halle Berry, Alicia Keys, etc). I never really experienced any problems growing up in the Detroit area in the 60s and 70s, or in the suburbs either, but when I lived in Cali, I would get ignored/passed over a lot. It was like the invisible man syndrome. In stores, at the bank, clubs, wherever, others would get helped/chosen first even when it was clear that I was there ahead of them. Could it have been my age? Perhaps. Could have been any number of things, but I don't think so. Popayan was even worse. I also noticed that this sort of thing did NOT happen in Bogota. Another thing was that I got less attention from males in Cali. In the US, I was constantly approaced and guys would bump into things looking at me, while in Cali they were not as impressed. Who knows, maybe the competition was tougher there, LOL.



Anyway, the original poster asked a question and got an even greater education than he probably anticipated. My answer is YES, come to Colombia. Have a great time. I do not think you will be beaten up because you are Black. You might get pickpocketed, like anyone else. A peach from a street vendor will cost you twice as much if they know you are a Gringo. You might get robbed because they think you have money, not because of your skin color. I think that to suffer any degree of discrimination, you would actually have to live here and sink into society. As a tourist, you are probably safe. Let us know how your trip went, if you go.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Elmo I think you should get your arse back over here and do your bit to get the Indian population at least back up to 3%. I think you should be able to do it in 5 years. Of course you will need a support team and a hell of a lot of women.



Just explain to your wife and donkey that you are doing this for Colombia, Im sure they will understand.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Free at Last, Free at last MAN OH MAN, after reading these posts, WOW, we have gone from "Is there a race problem in Colombia?" to Cops beating people in New York.



I LIVE here (Barranquilla)so I can only speak to this particular city. I am white and my wife (who is Colombian)is a "Dark brown", and neither one of us has ever experienced any problems here.



Am gunna be blunt (I usually am), LEAVE YOUR PRE-CONCIEVED NOTIONS OF RACISM in the States and you won;t have any problems visiting here. Yea, the cops will beat the shit out of you here, NOT for being black, but for being a THIEF, yes, you will be DENIED entrance into restaurants and stores NOT for being black, but for looking like a scum bag (dirty cloths, no bath in 3 days ect), yes, you will have "Some" people look at you funny, NOT because you are black, but because you are speaking english or your spanish isn;t native spanish (The locals look and laugh when I speak Spanish).



So, come on down, ENJOY YOURSELVES, get a look at some of the most beautiful women in the world, enjoy the food, the culture and expand your horizons.



SO, "COME ON DOWN, YOUR THE NEXT CONTESTANT ON COLOMBIA HAS THE GREATEST LOOKING WOMEN"

Posted on May 15, 2005


a little off-topic, but food for thought I am currently doing business with people in Lagos, Nigeria. All are black and highly educated. Most have visited European universities. On a professional side our races are of no importance. But if I need to travel to Lagos I will expect the reverse situation. I know that many blacks there are not happy about whites. I do not know what to expect if I should have to go there in person. Does anybody have knowledge about Lagos? Please PM me.



I have also heard of difficulties of whites in Asia, especially in China, Korea, Vietnam and a few other countries. Racism is sad but needs to be achknowledged as a fact of life.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Oh dear,



Lionheart is very correct. As an italian-australian I can pass as white latino and/or caucasian. I have lived in Hong Kong for almost 3 years and yes racism is huge for us here. It is indirect and thus cant be addressed...think of the glass ceiling syndrome I hate it and in fact am planning my escape to latin america cause of it.



It is a falsity (is there such word) to believe all racism is white -directed to coloured people. Racism exists in all forms and I have been the victim too.

Posted on May 15, 2005


What a thread. Lots of nonsense with the occasional wise comment by Elmo or Toneloc. To give you some idea of how Colombians regard skin color, consider my wife. She's obsessed with her daughter's staying out of the sun because she gets as dark as a little brown berry. She doesn't want her "negrita" to get any darker than is possible. I joke with her and tell her, "damm, her father must have been that black dude you hooked up with" or else I'll ask her why is it so important for her daughter to have white skin? She gets a little embarrassed about it but it doesn't stop her. Unmistakeably you get the message - the whiter the better.

Posted on May 15, 2005


"To give you some idea of how Colombians regard skin color, consider my wife."





Utopia,



So the moral of your story is what? That because your wife is racist, all colombians are too?



Why is it some people love to make generalizations about colombians, even those that are married to one?





ColombianoX



'Defensor de la Colombianidad'

Posted on May 15, 2005


this is bullshit People start commenting on black's not having cars and nice homes are a matter of racism...

What bullshit... so we do have to donate houses and Benz to our black brothers in order not to be labeled as racist? Is that happening in America?

I will suntan my ass so bad and fly to Alabama to get free houses and Benz then.

Where in the hell you go up in life with no working hard and seriousness about life?

Where in the hell the poster of this threat heard blacks are not allowed in night clubs?

People like to talk just for talking...

Hey! The reason you see more rich blacks in America is because there are more blacks in America... but the majority are poor or middle class... just like here, and like indians, meztizo, and even white brothers are poor...

I myself lived in USA for 2 years and I never saw a rich Black American. Or at least not that I was aware... but I saw many flashing gold and stuff. I love their culture!!... but not because I didn??t see blacks driving Benz I will think San Francisco people is racist.

You do your own life, you build your own future... and we do have rich blacks in here, lawyers, civil servants, government officials, mayors, doctors, even pilots...

But if you hang around la 82 or parque la 93 only, and don??t see blacks it does not mean that we are racist... you thought so because el tesoro shopping mall in medelllin parking attendants are black?

For your information majority of blacks are living large and fine in their own places, eating fish, mangoes, plantations... playing cards... I wish I lived like that... and dancing champeta...



probably they don??t have the slightest interest in worrying about their bills in a cold Andes city like this, or they don??t go to fashionable places like zona T in Bogotá, because they are smart enough not to pay 10 dollars for a beer, that is only for snobbish bogotanian like me and stupid gringos trying to hit on Colombianas.



don??t come with your racist shit no more please... we are all color blind, Colombians came with a factory malfunction...

yes, we are daltonic, dog eye, color blind shit bastards...



So long racists!









(^-^)/ ...como quiero a mi chinita y a mi Colombia carajo!!!...

Posted on May 15, 2005


besides You see life depending on what you have in your mind...

If you are racist and somebody say I don??t want to suntan you will think you will hate blacks... even if it is a joke... have you ever thought on he consequences of skin cancer???

If you are racist and see a black people begging for money and your heart moves... is because you have a superiority complex...

Racist think racist, act racist, feel racist...





(^-^)/ ...como quiero a mi chinita y a mi Colombia carajo!!!...

Posted on May 15, 2005


I agree CX, that you can't generalize and I was certainly guilty of it in my post. I find her attitude very common however and that's my point.

Posted on May 15, 2005


lazy lazy..... Another lazy gringo who didn??t want to read the whole thread and comment only the last 3 posts...



""""Not sure where you came up with the hand-out mentality. Sounds like Fox News crap. Only hand-outs I accept are free food and beer, and the occasional chica that falls in my lap...repeatedly!!!"""



For your information read well how gringos came up saying that we are racism only because they haven??t seen blacks driving nice cars...



????Rich/successful does not mean Benz or jewelry. Only idiots would equate that??????

Was ponted out by your own expats?.!!!





""""In Unicentro mall in north Bogota, I encountered a Black Colombian lady. It was so rare that I still remember it. The clerks and everyone KNEW I wasn't Colombian, probably American. They were extremely attentive to my needs in the store. The Black Colombian lady was treated vastly different. I watched it. They treated her as if she didn't belong there, as if she were a maid or derelect"""





hey you said it... then why we think gringos has superiority complex... what racism exist in America... did you know those unicentro people were just trying to hit on you greens... that is it... if I was there it probably would have been the same... I wouldn??t have feel bad? I have gringo friends... and I don??t feel bad about it... you don??t like to feel treated well in a foreign country? Then go to France... I will see what you have to complain....





"""For a test study on how people who have worked there way up from nothing to having something, I invite you to check out the city of Atlanta, where I live. It's the most progressive city in the country, bar-none. Many successful (come from no family wealth) Blacks and Latinos here. College-educated folks, business owners, young people just given a chance at the American dream. Hard-workers the same, just given the opportunity to do better than their parents. Many like myself who were 1st generation college graduates""""?. ????Personally, I worked on my own to get this far, not using fraternities, legacy, family connections, secret societies, or race as a crutch. I'm not alone in that aspect??????





That is exactly what I meant... (^.^? you made your way up... you got it all wrong budy



Sorry to say you got it all wrong... in you gringo standards I understand what you mean... but even though you live here you can??t feel like us....

I want to see you dancing to make sure what I mean. I can see how hard is to understand not to be racist? coming from a once racist nation?.

Who compared blacks in america with black Colombians??? Hahahah not even the color?!!





"""Please don't spread that BS. If so, there would be more blacks in your universities, in your workforce, trying to better themselves, no?""""







Haaaa?. I feel sorry for you?. And I just confirm you see the world on how you think?









(^-^)/ ...como quiero a mi chinita y a mi Colombia carajo!!!...

Posted on May 15, 2005


Toneloc24 - Good Accurate Post !! DITTO !!! I absolutely agree with your post 100% !!! You have backed up your statements by known facts. Only 2.5% of Colombian blacks are able to obtain a higher education and attend a university because they lack the financial ability. Thank god there are Colombians like Shakira and her associates at their foundation to bring financial resources, encouragement and most important "high profile" attention to the educational and other needs of these people. It is very moving to see the whites hands of Colombia reaching out to the black people to give them hope. To bad that the COlombian president doesn't led the way to racial equality by enforcing Colombia's equal opportunity and employment laws.



KOMACHI:



The reason you see rich blacks in the USA is they have upward mobility without limits. In Colombia they are pushed back to the coasts by forces they can't overcome. They have no upward mobility because they are excluded from participating in better employment opportunities regardless of their education and/or abilities. The blacks are certainly not the only class of people in Colombia whose upward mobility is limited. Good god look at the entertainment business in the USA such as music, movie, television and sports industries, the blacks are not just present they almost dominate it. Many of them came from nowhere to be famous in their fields because of ability, acceptance, opportunity and upward mobility. It's only a question of time and you will see a black president or vice president of the USA. As a percentage of population Colombia has more blacks than the USA has but in Colombia you don't find them represented in "appointed" political offices of the central government in Bogota. Just maybe you could start by giving them an opportunity for "equal" employment and/or treatment.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Oh Gosh According to the chart that morphus attached:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Latin_america_demographic.gif



Colombia is the country in Latin America that has the smallest native indian population!!! WTF?? How did the Spaniards manage to kill them off like that?

Posted on May 15, 2005


That is so sad That the natives populated the country originally and they were totally stashed into a drawer.

Posted on May 15, 2005


COLOMBICHE You are absolutely right throughout the americas. Many of the carribean islands were inhabited solely by indians (from the beginning of recorded history) and they killed almost all of them.



All that's left is artifacts on display evidencing that they once lived there. What they didn't kill by weapons they killed by diseases.

Posted on May 15, 2005


interesting observation on .. race in Col. Last night i was chatting w/ a paisa chica(22 yr old, white, university student, has internet athome) on MSN.



I asked her where else has she travel in col, she mention going to cali. read the following transcript of the conversation..



Note: i wrote spanish w/ the freetranslation.com.



me: He leído yo ese crimen en el cali tiene el aumento y el crimen en el medellin tienen la disminución este año, verdad?

her: cali esta en problemas ahora

her: lo que pasa es que alla son mas puertuarios el clima es calido

her: y hay mucho negro

me: Habla usted acerca de personas negras en el cali?



conversation ends...



I think col are INHERENTLY no more or or no less racist/prejudice than anyone else in the world(incl. americans). The BIG differences between the two society regarding race are several factors.



1) US laws & regulation AGAINST discrimination

2) US enforcement of those laws by civil lawsuit(WINNING lawsuit($$$) against discrimintory acts) or gov't(ie, US troops enforcing school integration)

3) more education or cultural awareness(MOST americans DO NOT go around calling blacks, "N**GER or BOY", chinese "CHINK" or Mexican "WETBACK" in PUBLIC. Somehow some way it's understood that in the past it may have been ACCEPTED, BUT TODAY those terms are consider bad manner. So american society CHANGE with time.

4)US Educational System is VERY accepting of minorities

5) US workforce is pretty much(not 100%) non-discrminatory

6) US Civil Rights Struggle that happend THROUGHOUT US History.



Colombia went thru different history than than the US. So of course, COL is not like the US in terms of race relations.



I keep hearing that COL has laws against discrimnation(racial, gender, & sexual). BUT has there been many lawsuit brought on by people that were discriminated against AND WON(for $$$) in COL? That's was one way US business and Institution slowly changed their policy. BEING discriminatory in the US cost $$$. I don't know if that is the same in COL, maybe not. Until it someone challenge the law and wins cases($$$), discrimination will cont..



For people to say colombians are NOT racist, and that Foreigners "bring" racism ideas INTO COL, is total BS. Mankind throughout history has discriminated against his neighbor for eons. Mostly discrimination takes the form of RACE BECAUSE it was the easiest. 20 years ago in California, many native english speaker look down upon anyone speaking english w/ foreign accent. Now, no one cares.



KOMACHI, you said you lived and worked in SF w/o problems therefore there must be no discrimination/racism. In the old days of SF you would have been discriminate against BIG time(foreign, latino, speak english w/ accent, from a country w bad int'l rep)...



Guess what, the reason companies and business treat you equally IS because of the laws/regulation that came out of the civil rights struggle throughout US history.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Indians and Blacks I guess everybody sees things from their own point of view. I was in Washington and New York just last week and for me it was striking to see the metro in both cities and how the population changed of race as you moved around the cities. Moving from Manhattan to Bronx was like seeing rich kids in suits to black people not as nicely dressed. And Washington not even talk about it, around the metro station next to the Congress, the whites dissappear and the metro becomes almost all black. So for a Colombian it is striking. And it is striking because we do not have ghettos, we do not have any particular race living in any particular part. Not many blacks in most of inland Colombia, yes historically they have been in the coast, in the Pacific running away from slavery during colonial times, in the Caribbean where they were brought and slaved until this was abolished. In the Pacific they are darker in skin, why, because they did not mix, they basically lived in isolation like most of Colombia did until mid XX century when roads finally crossed the mountains. In the Caribbean, yes they mixed, with whites and with indians. That is why the black population is so small, because we have different names to different races and how they mix. We are not as simplistic as the US where you are caucasian, asian, black or hispanic. Like if a dark Italian was more white than a white Latino. And Indians, we do have one of the smallest native indian populations and not because we did what they did in the US, no we did not exterminate them, the Spanish mixed and married and had kids, have non of you guys been to Colombia and seen how the people look on the streets. I wonder if any of you people have ever seen a picture of the people in the Colombian Congress, how many whites do you see around, how many people which could be confused for a European? Not that many because most of them have a very Colombian face, if from the coast with evident black facial features, if from the inland areas with indian facial features. I strongly recommend reading some literature about Colombian migrations, races and integration, for a start buy the Agustin Codazzi Atlas and read of how each area is racially composed and why. Then you might understand why there are blue eyed campesinos in Santander and Antioquia, or green eyed indians in La Guajira. Or why los Llanos has a white but small in size population or why native indians survived in the South of Colombia. Before that this type of threads are nothing but a bunch of suppositions. Problems with blacks in Colombia, but off course just as much as the problems with any of the population in rural Colombia. In Colombia people discriminate, off course like in any other country in the world, but not by race but by social and educational background. The cities forgot the rural areas centuries ago, but that is a very different problem that needs urgent solutions, but not importing racist problems from wealthy countries that to this day still portray the perfect family as all white or all black.

Posted on May 15, 2005


if it's ANYONE is guilty of importing racism to.. Colombia(Latin America) it's NOT us PBH posters! It's the spainard that came, saw, & conquered AND along the way, raped & pillaged! Blame them for importing racism not present day foreigners. Just like, racism in the US was imported by europeans who initally colonized the US and brought over slaves to work the fields. Indians typically had NO problem w/ race, their views were more local.. You were part of the tribe or you were outsider. Heck indians tribes fought each other all the time WAY before european came. Spaniards conquistodor ALLIED w/ one tribe to wipe out another. THEN subjugated ALL tribes, reasoning that these people were non-believer that didn't know what's good for them. Catholic church has alots of blood on it's hand during those times.



By the time african slaves came over to the AMERICAS, indians were pretty much subjugated. In latin america, you had the spaniards or spainard descent running things while indians, slaves did manual labor. This went on in latin american society for hundreds of years. Of course it would leave a mark that still bear out in latin american society today. Just like the effect of slavery in the US leaves a mark on US society today. Has nothing to do w/ present day PBH posters "IMPORTING" OUR racist theories to COL(latin america) in our travels. LOL!



Maybe the reason COL doesn't have ethnic ghettos is becuase COL historicall doesn't have a large middle class. COL like most developing countries has lots of poor people (60% living in poverty). So if there's ANY Ghettos.. its RICH ghettos, small area of a city where all the middle class/upperclass live, while the rest of the city is poor. BUT in the US, ghettos where BECAUSE "blacks", immigrants, and other minorities had such a hard time "moving" INTO middle class because of economic or discriminator practices. Hence "ghettos".



TONE, willie was mayor of SF, until his term expire.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Caslug Lots for you to learn about Colombia, how lucky you are not the future of this country. We need solutions to problems and for that we need to understand our past. You do neither, nor.



P.D. Rich boys ghettos exist in every country not only Colombia, what a sad comparison. Just like the one that did not allow my family to buy a pick up truck in Houston. Good old Texas rich boys do not like pick up trucks in their driveways, regardless if they are Lincoln pick up trucks.

Posted on May 15, 2005


It's pointless, Toneloc, they are in complete denial. As an outside observer of Colombia, racism is alive and well in Colombia. And it's not about to change because they are busy continually denying that there is a problem. I socialize with my wife here and in Colombia. Guess which place is the one where you go to a social gathering and there aren't any blacks?

Posted on May 15, 2005


Nearly every Texas rich boy has a pickup truck in his driveway. If there's one thing that unites Texans it's their love of pickup trucks. Us and the Mexicans.

Posted on May 15, 2005


UC Like it has said before, just because your family is racist does not mean the rest of Colombia is also. And the answer to your question is the place is .......both, in Colombia because your wife does not like dark skin (you said it), and in the US because as an outsider I am yet to see a black and white together outside work. Not even on TV, much less married together. In Colombia blacks are poor because the city´s neglected all rural areas including where they traditionally were. Sad and something has to be done about it. We need to educate all the people in rural areas, we accept that and that includes blacks. What is the excuse in the US, with all the money, the laws the resources and blacks still the poorest? What a shame. Somebody else needs to come out of denial, stop looking at the straw at the others eye and start looking at the stick your own.

Posted on May 15, 2005


I agree with juanalejo on this one. Race and racial discrimination are two very different things when seen from either from the Colombian or the gringo point of view. Yes, of course the Spaniards imported their view on races and class hierarchy into Latin America but since then the mestizaje or the blending of the races in Latin America have molded the perception of the people of what is considered normal in the society.



I still believe that many gringo contributers on this forum are still superimposing their cultural perception of racism on what they see and perceive as normative in Colombian society. I have never denied the very existence of racism in Colombian society as there are about as many racist individuals there as anywhere else, including Sweden. However, and I can not emphatize this point any more racism is not a problem seen as such in Colombia.



We could cite as many examples as we wished to sustain our own point of view. We coud interview as many persons as we wished and we would only get contradicting statements. The newspaper articles could either support or contradict our own preconceived beliefs on what we believe is the current state of racial balance in Colombian society.



I can only express what I believe myself be the truth. My truth is based on my own perceptions and my personal experience after over ten years of living in Colombia. Yes, many of my maids were black, others were indigenous, some were mestizas. The black boy who came by to buy the newspapers I collected was from Tumaco. The black doctor who lived next door from us came from Puerto Tejada. My husband's best friend was a black man. We had friends that were black caleños, albeit educated and middle-class. Who gets to represent the black caleño in my sphere of experience when I had both black friends, friends of the family, neighbors, maids, gardeners, chauffers and maids of that race?



I met people who didn't especially care for the black people; my mother-in-law was one of them. Yet, her son had a best friend who was black and visited their house almost every day and ate luch and dinner at their table and was always welcomed with affection and courtesy. I know plenty of black caleños who have started out life from the poor barrios, got an education and moved up to middle class. There's not really anything that can stop them, if they have their mind set in it.



Colombian families are racially mixed. As you all know, there can be seven different hues of skin tone within the same family, same mother and father. There's always one child who's affectionally called el negrito of the family. It's not derogative. It's descriptive. There's no stigma attached to it. Utopia's wife may say "stay out of the sun, hon, we don't want you to get any darker thanwhat you are" jokingly. She could also say:"honey you look like a anorectic chicken, get some sun!". Because the color of the skin is no big deal; it can be joked about.



My Colombian friends like to tan themselves to get a better skin tone if they've been working too much indoors. Being a bit darker of the skin is considered attractive.



Now, the poverty and abandon in which these Chocoan and Pacific comunities are living have much more to do with their isolation and lack of education than the color of their skin. It's not just them, but also the Indigenous communities who suffer from this same condition. In short, every rural community living at a certain distance from Bogotá suffers from the centralization and negligence on the behalf of the Colombian government.



Cheers,

Desi

Posted on May 15, 2005


Juanalejo.. explain this then.. In the ANY city is US a dumb tourist can wander to 80-90% of the city and have NO problem w/ crime(in general). Granted 10-20% of US cities are "dangerous" typiclaly these are gang-infested, poor, ghettos areas. BTW, i've drove through those bad areas of DC and watts, LA, and yes they are scary. BUT they are small areas of an overal metropolis.



BUT in Bogota, we tell people that whole areas to avoid(ie, South Bogota). WHY? Maybe it has something to do with the poverty level in those areas. BTW, i'm not stating that this is unique to COL, most if not all latin america cities are similar. WHY? Maybe because in most latin american(and asia/africa) country the are lots more poor people than middle class and rich. While in the US, middle-class and rich HEAVILY outweigh the poor, hence ghettos.



I agree that i do not know a lot about COL history, if you have info you want to share, by all means. I have no problem changing my views on history when presented with new and accurate info.

Posted on May 15, 2005


desi, i agree... that the bigger problem in col(and other 3rd world countries) IS NOT racism/discrimination.. IS POVERTY!! When a country has 60% of it's people living in poverty, that has to be corrected first. Then deal with racism/sexism, etc., BUT to denied that it's non-existant or defend it with false nationalism is a folly. BTW, i'm not saying accusing you of this. US had to deal w/ racism/discrimination ONLY AFTER the MAJORITY of americans GOT OUT of poverty(post WWII). Most of US civil rights were after that period.



ALso, most open-minded, educated americans i know don't make escuse for racial problems in the US, if it's brought up. We acknowledge at the mininum, we NEVER say it doesn't exist(or that it's a foreign view), even those who hold prejudical views, ironically. LOL! I don't understand why some COL are like ostrich, sticking their head in the sand saying they don't know what "foreigners" are bitching about. And trying to explain away..

Posted on May 15, 2005


UC That is what I thought, but then again, go and ask some of the folks that live in some of the subdivisions in the Memorial area of Houston why no pick ups are allowed.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Caslug Suit yourself, it that is what you want to believe. I have nothing to add after the typical American reply that insults people who do not agree with you. Typical. And no I am not an ostrich. And by the I do get out to south Bogota where I help on weekends with a foundation for single mothers in small business. Where I do ran into a lot of Europeans, specially French and German, who do not feel in more in danger just because it is the poor side of the city. Neither do I for that matter.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Desi Thanks for you well balanced, educated point of view. I am so sick and tired of having to read all the posts by some people who coincidentally share the same blue passport. I have nothing against personal points of view, but it seems that it is those same people that each and every time, when they get fed up because people do not agree with them, they end up with a dismisive and insulting comment. I never thought a country would be so isolated from the rest of the world, but now I think I understand why. They simply do not want to listen or learn from anybody else. They think they know it all.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Toneloc You think you see it clearly just like many Americans do, black or white, or you are my friend or you are my enemy. Since I do not agree with you then for you it is pointless to keep discussing. Typical.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Poverty I will admit that there is a poverty problem anyday and that problem needs to be strongly addressed, for sure. But linking a racism problem where people have mixed for centuries is not right. There are not many blacks with money of course not, they have hardly been given a chance to educate themselves. Colombia has a huge problem with education, that is for sure. Especially in rural areas and the poor neighborhoods that have sprawled in our cities in the last few decades, mostly coming from rural areas.

And good luck with the ladies, mine had a dinner meeting, I am waiting for a Continental 8 pm. flight that is now scheduled for 11 pm.

Posted on May 15, 2005


I don't see a Colombia specific issue here I also don't see a racism and/or poverty only issue here ... look at the homosexual thread in parallel. Or dig through the PBH archives for religions and nationalism. You can look at any culture or nation and find parallels.



These debates only confirm my opinion that ALL humans are subject to prejudice and discrimination as a need for survival and procreation, one way or the other. Some have more power, most have less. Behavioral studies confirm this.

Posted on May 15, 2005


The 50's were obviously a much better time in the states. Crime was nill and people left their doors unlocked. What has changed? A tough question to answer if you are under mind c control.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Blame Anyone every thought blacks are responsible for their own plight? I am aware this is a politically correct board that only allows the Liberal mantra.



Blacks get preferential treatment is every aspect of American life. Jobs, school, ect.. It is the law. Whites are discriminated against every day.



Why is it the white man fault for black under acheiving. Anyone ever studied the fact that they have a 15 point less IQ..Maybe that could be it? Again, this is FACT. Debate that.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Please list succesful majority Black States, ,countries, towns? Just one please. In the whole wide world.

Posted on May 15, 2005


hahahaha

poor toneloc24... hahahaha have lived that long in here and threatened to dance better than us (by now you should have noticed you have to be born latino, like budist, you born; can??t be made?.) yet still think black people is rejected on the entrance of the universities or work places...

what about me when i was looking for job? or people i know who are unemployed??? Hahahahaha they are not black?

and as stated there are rich black Colombians? and government stuff? not that much in Bogota because the black population of Bogota is less? duhhh! That is the beauty of this country? Choco is full of chocoanos, medellin of paisas, bogota of rolos, barranquilla of costenos? and we love it,, seems to me that you are not? so go back to your beloved America? you just see the colors? BTW are you black? If yes, I can see why you think so horribly?.

hey! you know the difference between not wanting to study or work? and really going your way up like you proudly did?

get over your complexes and open your eyes... we don??t know of the things you had to live back home... is not our fault. Is not happening here? and for your info? yes I lived in sf, no problem I don??t think in what would had happen 100 years ago?

pleaseeee...

caslug... did you know we call fat people gordito? blacks negro? thin people flaco?

what is wrong in sayin there are blacks in cali? after just talking about crime? why you can relate those? didnt she talk about the weather as well? and the area?

did you copy and past the conversation or is what you remember and your impresion? kind of gossip? made it bigger?

????????????????????







(^-^)/ ...como quiero a mi chinita y a mi Colombia carajo!!!...

Posted on May 15, 2005


I recommend an adventure vacation for jags44 ... relive the capture of slaves in Africa, being shipped to America, then living the life on the cotton fields, feeling the bull whip on his back, give him 5 minute advantage before being hunted down by blood hounds. A great preferential treatment.



A nice alternative adventure would be to paint a yellow star on him and let him relive a nazi concentration camp. A great preferential treatment.



I also think he would get great preferential treatment in China with his attitude.



With all his Colombia-specific knowledge my favorite preferential treatment would be to tattoo the US flag on him with the text "Death to all FARC" and drop him off naked in the Southern Colombian jungle. Oh, with his preference for being white, does he count Latinos to be whites or not? Would the local indios rescue him?

Posted on May 15, 2005


I don't doubt that you are correct about the area of Houston where pickups aren't allowed but I can't figure it out at all. It seems as though every Texan has a pickup truck even if they live in the city and don't need one. There are a lot of transplanted Yankees in Houston - are you sure it wasn't them? Only Mexicans are as nutty about trucks as we are.



I have never been to a social gathering in Colombia that included anyone black. Of course there are not a lot of blacks in Medellin. OTOH, there aren't a lot here in San Antonio either but we frequently socialize with black friends from work and the community. In fact my oldest son's girlfriend is black but I do not think my wife would approve if it were her son instead of mine.

Posted on May 15, 2005


ALL parts of the world, there are racial prejudices.. In some cities in china a non-asian person is person is stared and laughed at on the street. In Russia, dark skin people are harrassed by the militia(police) or beat up by locals guys because they look like chechen or african. In Germany, skin heads burn downed dorm holding foreign(turkish/african) workers. In US, companies are fined $$$ for racial discriminatory practice.



BUT in colombia(a racial utopia with the racial mixing going on). THERE IS NO racism or discrimination based on race.



"In Colombia people discriminate, off course like in any other country in the world, but not by race"-juanelejo



Heck blacks have a great life:



"For your information majority of blacks are living large and fine in their own places, eating fish, mangoes, plantations... playing cards... I wish I lived like that... and dancing champeta..."-Komachi



I wonder if they also sing CUMBAYA(in spanish) while sitting around the campfire.. ;-)



Now that we agreed that there's no racism, can we move on to talk about sexism or sexual discrimination in COL. OR that doesn't exist either... LOL!

Posted on May 15, 2005


sexism doesn't exist caslug According to the grandfather of soul "It's a Man's World" ... discrimination can only happen between equals. Since females are not equal to males, there can be no discrimination. Colombia has machismo, and the US Redneck female is standing either barefoot in the kitchen or serving her male superior his beer as he watches TV. "If the dog sleeps in the bed and the woman sleeps in the doghouse, you just might be a redneck". Therefore sexism is not an issue in the USA or Colombia.



To continue this thought, religious discrimination doesn't exist in Colombia, since all are catholic, and other religions do not exist next to the catholic religion. Since all Colombians are deeply religious, there is no sex before marriage, homosexuality does not exist, so the need for condoms does not exist. All first pregnancies occur only in the wedding night with virgins, and sexual transferable diseases cannot exist as satanic sexual practices outside of wedlock never happen in Colombia. The word for divorce doesn't exist in the Colombian dictionaty. Therefore no religious discrimination exists in Colombia. (not to mention that all the other commandments are also 100% obeyed as well.)



Nationalism doesn't exist in Colombia, because there is no comparison possible to any other nation. The Spanish spoken in Colombia is purer that the Spanish spoken in Spain or any other Latin country. Other Latin countries are not comparable, as their inhabitants are unclean, criminal, ugly, and of lower value. Venezuelans are lazy, Peruvians are dirtier, Dominicans are all whores, Mexicans should be eradicated, and who needs Panamenians? Since racism doesn't exist, white races can be ignored and called gringos, only useful to keep the light skin in Colombia prevalent. Indios live in the jungle with the monkeys and eventually will be fumigated into extinction. Colombians also don't do drugs in Colombia, the drug business is a well developed international business primarily with the lowly gringo, their addiction will guarantee national wealth forever.



Colombians also have only one class, they live in strata 5/6 areas of the cities. The other stratas, barrios, and rural areas are reserved for their servants and laborers, which are needed to maintain their living standard. They also possess fincas for weekend vacations, island paradises, and luxury properties in the USA to simplify their shopping needs. Former critics of their wealth and other lost souls were chased to the jungles, but they were pacified by large bribes and high profits for performing the drug trafficking for the Colombians. Anybody else disturbing the peace is quickly eliminated.



Botton line: since racism, sexism, nationalism and religious or class discrimination don't exist in Colombia, Colombia can be declared as Paradise on Earth.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Typical Smart ass responses, do you guys all carry a blue passport by any chance. Would there be any chance in life Americans would stop being so squared in their way of thinking. So if I do not agree then your answer is all smart ass responses. What stupid bunch of people, no wonder the world is such a f..ked up place when ever a blue passport holder sticks there unwanted nose in. Open your minds up you guys, the world is not black and white, and just because the history of Colombia does not carry color coded toilets does not mean we don´t have problems and lots of them. I would just like to know if after all the "intelligent" arguments you guys came down looking for a beautiful girl and your first thought was you might want to date a beatiful Colombian black lady. I bet. What a sort type of specimen you are.

Posted on May 15, 2005


high-handed is the best word I can think of when reading lionheart's response to juanalejo and possibly me too. Especially when coming from somebody who hasn't set a foot on Colombian soil.



Lionheart, I will discuss this topic with you again after you have spent a considerable time living in Cali with your prometida, when you speak fluent Spanish, eat sancocho and fried yuca at lunch everyday, make pesos, spend pesos and have a considerable experience on how Colombian society works. It'll take a few years, even for a smart guy like you.



I also think that there are considerable differences in racial relationships in different cities and regions of Colombia. My experience is from Cali which is more racially integrated and with a large black population. The mayor of the city is a black man too.



Cheers,

Desi

Posted on May 15, 2005


What hypocrisy! People from the USA calling Colombia a racist society would be like colombians accusing (US)americans of being corrupt!



I am also an "outside observer of Colombia", and as someone who is completely bicultural and bilingual and therefore fully capable of understanding the idiosyncracies of both cultures, I can honestly say that I DO NOT see the same kind of racial tension between blacks and whites in Colombia as I've seen in the USA! For example, I recently saw reports in the news about fights between black and hispanic students in high schools in Los Angeles and New Jersey. I follow the colombian media very closely and I've never seen or heard any reports about black and non-black colombians getting into fights because of race. Toneloc will probably say that they just "don't cover that sort of news" but that is not true. The colombians media is always reporting stories about abuses many colombians face. About two months ago I saw a report on Caracol TV about two black colombian sisters who were denied entry into some discotheque in Cartagena because they were black.





I once took a class in Latin American Politics and this is a quote (pg.176) about Colombia from the textbook we used, 'Latin American Politics and Development' by Howard Wiarda and Harvey Kline:



"Race is not the salient issue that it is in the United States, but clearly it is better to be white, and there is a strong correlation between race and socioeconomic status."



That about sums it up. If you want to check it out for yourselves, here's a link to the book:



http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=61-0813337690-3





ColombianoX



'Defensor de la Colombianidad'

Posted on May 15, 2005


Colombiano "clearly it is better to be white, and there is a strong correlation between race and socioeconomic status."





Kind of shot your argument in the foot with that quote...no?



T

Posted on May 15, 2005


"What kind of reception will I receive as a Black American in Colombia?"



James,



Colombians are very hospitable, friendly, and welcoming to foreigners. I hope you do go and see this beautiful country for yourself. I guarantee you won't ever hear that despicable 'n' word and no one is going to burn a cross in front of where you'll be staying. Go and enjoy Colombia!



ColombianoX



'Defensor de la Colombianidad'

Posted on May 15, 2005


"clearly it is better to be w "Kind of shot your argument in the foot with that quote...no?"



IpDiver,



Not really. Tell me, in what country where whites are the majority is it NOT better to be white? I admit that here in the USA it's also better to be white than anything else. The reason I say this is because whites don't have to deal with the discrimination and xenophobia that we minorities constantly have to face.





CX

Posted on May 15, 2005


why do people be come blind ... ... to sarcasm when it comes to Colombia. I spent a few hours last night sifting through previous threads on what was said by Colombians about Colombia ... denying or twisting facts. If all US members were just as thin-skinned as Colombians when their country is bashed in PBH this place would be a constant war-zone.



Desi, I do not have to be in Colombia to see and read the contradictions and denials written here in PBH by Colombians about Colombia. My post is not about Colombia, in case you didn't notice. It is about prejudice and discrimination in general, as it is being expressed by many members here in PBH currently. Many of these contradictions and denials I have also heard in person from Colombians in the USA and in Europe. I picked up on caslug's sarcastic response considering denial of racism in Colombia. Why not just deny everything?



My post is food for thought. Rascism in Colombia is different to some extent than racism in the USA, or in Europe, or in Asia. But denial of rasicm in Colombia is just as idiotic as denial of corruption or classes in Colombia. I believe denial is a general trait of Southern European heritage, I have heard the same there while being in those countries.



I have critisized Colombians here, yes, a grand felony on PBH. Dammit people, wake up. Don't you see what is going on? Your opinions are becoming crusty and rusty, two fronts are forming. People like jags44 can more or less freely express their racism here, creating the image that all US Americans think that way. And Colombians can deny realities and others don't dare or give up the debate because nobody budges anymore. How boring. And since when are Latino-white Colombians a minority? Believe it or not, some of jags44's racist comments have merit, there is a reason why many white US Americans are bitter.

Posted on May 15, 2005


in case you didn't notice? Yes, lionheart, I noticed. For a very distracted person that I am there's a lot of things that I do notice and I didn't especially appreciate your sarcasm on the subject that most of us consider quite important and worth of serious discussion.



I have never denied the existence of racism in Colombia, neither has anybody else here who don't share your opinion of the racial relationships in Colombia. There's racism in Colombia, of course, like there's racism in Germany or USA or Sweden for that matter. My people in Finland are very xenophobic. But to say that racism is a prevailing malady in the Colombian society would be very wrong. I critizise Colombia too, often and rather sharply, but most of my Colombian people don't mind it because they know my ties with Colombia are very tight and they consider the criticism justified when it comes from a person who has walked the walk.



Yes, I do consider that living in Colombia "over the wall" does give you a certain insight on how the society works, of the normative values that permeate people's thinking and behaviour. As o tourist, occasional visitor or a business traveller you don't get the same type of deeper perception of the society, only scratch the surface and of course, you'll interpret things that you see based on your own set of values and experiences.



I have always said it and I'll repeat it one more time: the real experts on Colombia are the Colombians who are still living in their country.



Cheers,

Desi

Posted on May 15, 2005


Took a While Wondered when I??d see this post. Sarcasm is rarely understood when statements are short sentences. However, in the context of half a page,, it takes someone who has mastered English as a second language or has a copy of Pee-Wee Herman??s autobiography on their book shelf.



Same with jokes. I??ve asked people to NOT to tell me a joke in Spanish unless I??m warned.

Posted on May 15, 2005


the real experts "the real experts on Colombia are the Colombians who are still living in their country."



Desi, what about the Colombians not living in their beloved country anymore, because thay couldn't get a job in their country because of their race?



You are white and educated, you would have no problems getting a job in Colombia. I have three black friends from Colombia, who are highly educated with university degrees and they had to leave Colombia to find a job in their respective fields. After them trying to get a job there for eight to ten years I can see their arguments better than yours. They are also the ones who opened my eyes to Colombia making me wanting to move there.



I can go to Colombia as a white gringo and find a job there. If I were a black gringo (an oxymoron?) would I get a job there? I doubt it. If I would just arrive there to start working I would create some shock waves, just like it happened to a female manager going to Japan on business. Japanese managers refused to work with her.



It is a very lame excuse to say only Colombians are the experts, it is an attempt to cover up the reality according to your personal view. To me it was very significant that Colombians here in PBH did not stand up to jags44. I learn more from what is not said rather than from what is said.



Another side of the story: My novia is paisa (by region) and of indio heritage. She is also a lawyer. She can't get work from light-skinned paisas, only from other races and mixes. She moved to Cali, where she is more respected and skin color or general indio-appearance isn't that important. Even there she says it is hard to get contracts with light-skinned industrial clients, where the money is.



My sarcastic post was based solely on comments from Colombians who walk the walk, every day in Colombia. So far they didn't protest, only those protest who don't live in Colombia anymore or never have during their adult age. That tells me that expatriats tend to romantisize about their country, fully normal for any expatriate from any country.

Posted on May 15, 2005


DESI QUOTE:



"I have always said it and I'll repeat it one more time: the real experts on Colombia are the Colombians who are still living in their country."



I am trying to work myself through the true meaning of (your) that statement. Does it mean that every Colombian still living in their country is an expert on Colombia and no one else living outside of Colombia is (or could be). I think I know you well enough to know that isn't your intended meaning.



So Shakira would not be considered an expert on Colombia because she lives outside Colombia ?



Well if there are so many experts in Colombia why does Colombia have so many financial, social and economic problems. With all these experts why can't they resolve their financial problems and kiss off the IMF, World Bank and multi-global countries assistance.



I have met and worked with many well educated intelligent business people, attorneys and central government people in Colombia. Almost all of these people I have met were born into upper class families and enjoyed the financial resources to obtain a world class education.





Per capita Colombians (in my opinion) are the most talented group of people I have encountered in my travels through the americas.

Posted on May 15, 2005


ok, I'll narrow that statement to: "the true experts on Colombian society are the Colombians still living in their country". Nobody can be an expert on a country, it's too broad. However, people who live the everyday life and struggle with the day-to-day problems and difficulties in a certan society do have a handle over others who don't. As soon as you emigrate the process of adaptation starts. Yes, many expats do romantisize the country and environs they left and at the same time due to dire necessity become aculturized accepting more and more the prevailing norms and values of their new home country.



Lionheart, I know a great any Colombians living in exile who chose to emigrate in search of a better life. Many of them have university degrees or other high-level professional training and they couldn't find a good job in Colombia. Some of them are black, but most aren't. I know a great many Colombians with university degrees who work in whatever they can find in Colombia; they come in all hues of skin tone. There is no exodus of black Colombians to European countries or USA because of their skin color.



How many active contributors do we have here who are native Colombians and live in Colombia? Not many. However, we foreigners are very quick to dismiss their opinions as if we knew better what's going on in Colombia than they themselves. Please! Use some common sense.



Finally, viewpoint, I agree that well-educated Colombians are a talented group. I can't put them in comparison with other latinos since I don't have that kind of experience, but you might well be right.



Cheers,

Desi

Posted on May 15, 2005


Sacarsm? Heck.. i'm just trying to understand.. the logic of posters here saying COL doesn't have racism... Essentially that's what several posters are stating, do i have to cut paste quotes again? Why defend it? Do you see any american posters defending america when told by OTHER posters that US has RACISM also? NO, we say it's unfortunate AND acknowledge it.



Why not say, "yeah it exist, it's unfortunate, we like to see it get address someday, BUT COL is trying to deal with bigger problems first, ie WAR, DRUGS, & POVERTY"....



Also, keep in mind that posters like me, lionheart, tone, viewpoint, etc(who are being insulted and accused of some sort..), ARE SAME posters that defend COL repuation with other americans. We like COL enough to want to return(like catholic trying to get into heaven) by trying to understand COL culture & langauge better. Part of our quest to understand COL culture, we see some social injustic that we point out. ALL society has good aspects and bad, NO society(EVEN US) is perfect, COL society has MORE good than BAD. BUT let's not sweep all the bad stuff under the rug in the name of nationalism or patroitism. I think patriotism IS trying to right the wrongs on one's country NOT hide it and pretend it doesn't exist.



COLX, you mention the news story on the two black sister denied entrance BECAUSE of race. That good the news shed light on that, now any update? Did the sisters sue the club? Did the win any money or force the club to change it's policy? Or did it get report but nothing else happen. You can bet that when stuff like happens in the US(and it does occasionally) someone is getting nice check! LOL. Look at what happen w/ the SF49's, they made a very racist, sexist, homophic company video tape and trying to do MAJOR damage control.



Are ALL COL racist? of course NOT. So if you're COL but NOT a racist why defend racist acts small percentage of the population? Where is the gain in that? We keep hearing,"you're not COL, your "foreigness" keeps you from understanding this topic fully...THinking like that, smack a little of arrogrant, prejudice & xenophopic. That's like saying, if see crime happening in COL and dennounce it, I shouldn't denounce BECAUSE i'm not qualify to say there's crime in COL BECAUSE I ONLY understand crime in the US. Explain the logic of that?

Posted on May 15, 2005


Lionheart... not true "To me it was very significant that Colombians here in PBH did not stand up to jags44"



Not true, refer back to:



http://www.poorbuthappy.com/colombia/node/9774



and you will see me having it out with that dude. He actually called me the b word after that, but one of the moderators removed that post (Thank God).



See, in my views I am a Colombiana who is somewhere between Gomezman and ColX. I am not a blind defender of my country, but I do not go around bashing it senseslessly. I try to be objective about it. Defend it when necessary, recognize its flaws when we must. If colombians go around blindly defending our country even when we know we are in the wrong, we are going to start losing credibility and are never going to be a catalyst for positive change (we will always think things are ok as they are).

Funny enough, most of the colombians who say colombia is not racist are probably pretty close to blanquitos or mestizos lavaditos so they haven't experienced any of this personally. I haven't either because I am a white skinned green-eyed paisa. Why don't we get a charcoal black chocoano here and ask him what he thinks about this?

I think that telling PBH posters who have been to colombia and have personally observed racism happening that there is no such thing, is an insult to their intelligence.



My take on this subject:



YES. ABSOLUTELY THERE IS RACISM IN COLOMBIA. Mind you, not the same brand of racism as in the US, but racism never the less. The racism in colombia is harder to detect because it is very intricately interweaved with classism. Do blacks get lynched in colombia? NO. Do people put crosses on their front lawns? No, that is a US style manifestation of racism (plus many blacks in colombia don't even have lawns).

Colombia does not have racist organizations like the KKK. That would be rather comical in a country where the majority of the population is mixed to some degree (imagine a skinhead with shakiras complexion.. LOL).

To those colombians that claim that there is no racism in colombia, please tell me you didn't grow up listening to common phrases such as the following:



"El negro si no lo hace a la entrada lo hace a la salida".

"Lo que hay alla es una NEGRAMENTA".

"Negro bembon"

"Negro boca de llanta"





Please tell me you haven't and I will not believe you that you grew up in the same Colombia as me. Heck, I am even going to go as far as to admit that my father is a big racist. He has toned down a lot, but if me or my sister had come home with a black colombian he would have almost disonwed us for the crime of "dañar la raza Antioqueña blanca". You know how many times I had to sit back listening to my dad prodly tell us that he thinks our Antioqueño bloodline descends directly from Castilla y Leon?" He has lectured us numerous times about how the "True Paisa race" descends from Andalusians, Castillians and Basques, and how the mulattoe and black paisas are just "BASTARDIZED" versions of Antioqueño. His words, not mine.



Unfortunately, they are echoed by many of my uncles and friends. I come from a huge Antioqueno family, I must have about 500 close relatives in colombia, many of them are or have been politicians (my cousing was governador del departamento de Caldas back in the eighties) and he has the same kind of view that my father does.



Is my father a bad man? NO. He is just a product of his environment. I don't buy any of that crap about my family being pure European. I am sure, somewhere down the line, we have an Indian or two, and truly I hope that is the case. You know what we say in Colombia:



"El que no tiene de inga, tiene de mandinga" (meaning that he who does not have some indian in him, has black)



What Utopia Cowboy tells us about his wife, rings very true of what many colombians sound like when they talk. Not all, but the average.

Sure in colombia negrita is a term of endearment. True. That usually goes for the darkest skinned member of the family, who we all know is not really black, but just happened to inherit some of the darker genes.



One of my boyfriends, who I loved to death, was a chocoano. His upbringing in colombia was very harsh, he had to move to Bogota to get his schooling. He was mixed with paisa, so he actually had it better than some of his brothers who wer pure black. He actually tells me this too. He tells me he was lucky to have had a blonde blue eyed dad, otherwise he would have been "un negrito pasudo".



NO me metan el dedo a la boca, que yo soy colombiana y se lo que he visto en mi pais. Por favor, hasta cuando vamos a seguir metidos en esta p**a burbuja de fantasia?????????? If we love our colombia so much, what we must do is admit that yes, we are far from perfect and we have to contribute to changing the way things are today.





Bottomline from my point of view: We do not kill black people in colombia. They can walk around like anyone else, but they don't have the same respect or the same chances of upward mobility as white middle class colombians do.

Posted on May 15, 2005


excllent post COLOM.. Great comments, that's kinda of comment i hope the majority of COL(in COL) have. Not being blind to a societies faults...

Posted on May 15, 2005


I recommend this song to all of you "Han cogido La Cosa" by Grupo Niche.



Grupo Niche is colombia's most notorious salsa group, composed mostly of black caleños. Here are a couple of fragments of this brilliant song:





-----------------------------------------------

"Blanco corriendo atleta, negro corriendo ratero,

blanco sin grado doctor y el negrito yerbatero".





"Que tengo grande la boca y la nariz,

que trabajar no lo hizo Dios para mi,

Que me tostaron como si fuera cafe,

Que me colaron y negrito quede".



"Han cogido la cosa, que pa' reirse se burlan de mi,

La cosa la han cogido,

Que pa reirse me agarran a mi"



And my favourite part at the end:



"que que que me queme

que he quedado como un tizon

Ya me han dicho y me han puesto

El negrito bembon , bembon,

Que tengo grande la boca y la nariz

Que otra cosa grande tendre por ahi?????" :)



-----------------------------------------------



The song just talks about how common place it is in colombia to tease black people. I am sure most colombians who are even remotely into salsa, know about this song. Maybe they danced it all with their girlfriend and never stopped to listen to the lyrics.

Where do you think the author got the inspiration for the lyrics? From his visit to the US?? OH, grow up mi gente, LET'S GROW UP AND SEE OURSELVES AS WE TRULY ARE. Then , we will be able to move on.



Thanks for your attention



La colombiche

Posted on May 15, 2005


when I run for the first female president of colombia I hope to get some votes from my fellow PBH posters.

Posted on May 15, 2005


The song translated for you gringuitos "Blanco corriendo atleta, negro corriendo ratero,

blanco sin grado doctor y el negrito yerbatero".--



"A white man running is an athlete, a black man running is a thief,

a white without a degree is a doctor and the black a witch doctor"



"Que tengo grande la boca y la nariz,

que trabajar no lo hizo Dios para mi,

Que me tostaron como si fuera cafe,

Que me colaron y negrito quede".



"They say that my lips are big and my nostrils are big

They say that working is not what God intended for me

They tell me I've been roasted like coffee

And when put through the colander, I was still pitch black"



"Han cogido la cosa, que pa' reirse se burlan de mi,

La cosa la han cogido,

Que pa reirse me agarran a mi"



"Lately, when they want to laugh, they pick on me

They are now in the habit

that I became their laughing stock"



And my favourite part at the end:



"que que que me queme

que he quedado como un tizon

Ya me han dicho y me han puesto

El negrito bembon , bembon,

Que tengo grande la boca y la nariz

Que otra cosa grande tendre por ahi?????" :)



"They tell me I've been charred

And now I am like charcoal

They tell me, now they call me

big lipped negro

They say my lips and my nostrils are big...

What else do I have that is big????? "



-----------------------------------------------

Posted on May 15, 2005


Colombiche who sang that song that it said

Si dios fuera negro mi compadre todo cambiaria

fuera nuestra raza mi compadre la que mandaria

.....

Posted on May 15, 2005


I don't know Kat I am not sure about that one.



Remember "angeles negros"



"pintor, porque despreciar su color

si sabes que en el cielo, tambien nos quiere Dios

Aunque la virgen sea blanca

Pintame angelitos negros"

Posted on May 15, 2005


COLOMBICHE Thank you for your posts as they truly have pulled all factions to a "middle ground". I too grew up as a young man in the great white north with a father who preached that any non white race was inferior. There were no black, latino or indian friends that I could invite home to play or attend the birthday parties as a child growing up. I remember well my father comments which were not endearing to any other races than white. I remember clearly the late forties, fifties, sixties and seventies (dates me) in the USA with its mistreatment of all minority races. As a child I just have to admit I didn't know better but as I slowly matured into an adult I found myself more accepting of everyone and everything as I dealt with my own shortcomings. My father (and mother) are both gone now but I have sure brought my children up knowing that all races are welcome both in our house or in our family as equals (because in gods eye we are all equal). Now I spend most of my time the last several years outside Colombia in a community of mostly blacks, dominicans and puerto ricans (85% of population) during which I have become even more accepting and embracing of all peoples and cultures as they have with mine.

Posted on May 15, 2005


ha ha There is one dude here how spouts his nationality around in Colombia, overly proud of his blue passport, try as hard to blend in Colombian society has a compulsive obsessive disorder that lead to a superiority and inferiority complex... and look down on Asians...

Yet still keep crying and winning about non racial issues in Colombia.

What a pity?





(^-^)/ ...como quiero a mi chinita y a mi Colombia carajo!!!...

Posted on May 15, 2005


"I admit that here in the USA it's also better to be white than anything else. The reason I say this is because whites don't have to deal with the discrimination and xenophobia that we minorities constantly have to face." This depends where you are. In South Texas anglos are the minority which probably accounts for the fact that race relations are the best that I have ever seen anywhere.

Posted on May 15, 2005


Damm, Colombiche, you really laid it out there. It would be an honor to vote for you, Senora.

Posted on May 15, 2005


before quitting this thread definitely (it's no fun any longer since it's become a shouting and singing contest with cheerleading a la best gringo talk-show type) my last comment is to toneloc.



What did you find objectable in my statement? ("You probably see nothing wrong in much of this.") I was just telling about my experience about how people live their lives, how multiethnic or multiracial social contacts looked like there at that time). I had no preconceived ideas how they should have looked like, I saw my first black person at the age of 18.



I admit freely that Colombia has a strict, multilayered class society based on family wealth, education, tradition and customs. This is the Spanish heritage and it still exists, like it or not. I personally don't like it. The racial issues are weaved into it, as a previous poster or two have already mentioned. Now, which is the main factor that determines your place in the class hierarchy? In my opinion it's not the color of the skin, the size of the lips or the texture of hair.



Cheers,

Desi

Posted on May 15, 2005


It begins with childhood education.... Qué Por qué Para qué Cómo Cuántos Cuándo Cuál Dónde Quién-Quiénes

¿Quién tiró la tiza? El negro ese.

¿Quién tiró la tiza? No fue el hijo del doctor, no.

¿Quién tiró la tiza? El negro ese.

Porque el hijo del doctor, es el mejor.



Plátano, el banano verde

Oxigeno Verde ¡Libertad por Ingrid y los demás!

Posted on May 15, 2005


Pack your bags I think this has been one of the most intersting posts I have ever seen here in a long time. Really truly honest and passionate. Thanks to all that gave their point of view.



To James I say, go enjoy yourself, you will have a great time, see a different culture and learn new things. Colombia is a vast country in both land and culture and it will draw you back over and over again like it does many of the other PBH posters. Am I not right?



I think as an American of color while in Colombia you should share your experiences with others b/c most people from other nations have only seen one side of the US and that is the white anglo-saxon, i say this b/c some people outside the US don't even know that we have poor whites, indians on reservations, chicanos etc..., most don't know that we are such a diverse nation as well. My best friend, an African American women, is living in the African Island of Madasgar doing Peace Corp work and the first thing she told me that struck her was that these people couldn't believe that she was US American. They expected to see a blond blue eyed. She is exporting one of our best natural resources, our people by sharing her experiences in another part of the world.



Like Toneloc says, you will be there on vacation so don't worry. But I also say pay close attention b/c you will learn much from Colombians and them from you. If you want any information on Colombia and where to go read other posts here they are invaluable. But one question. why Colombia?



Toneloc, I live in Atlanta as well and would love to chat with you. email me cadena@mcihispeed.net

Posted on May 15, 2005


Equal Opportunity Well, as far as the Colombian Police are concerned, they are "Equal Opportunity", if you are a thief, burglar, or engage in other illegal activity, they'll kick the shit out of ya, no matter what color you are. I have watched the police here in Barranquilla give lots of criminals on the street an "Attitude adjustment" and honestly, every time I have seen one of these incidents unfold, the "Suspect" was running his lips,would not shut up, and was uncooperative, so he got "Tuned up".



Moral of this story, keep flapin your gums and be uncooperative when confronted by the police here and you can expect an "Ass woopin"

Posted on May 15, 2005


race Education does not equal class. The opressed never stop complaining about the opressors, do nothing for their own opressed race, demand to live with the the opressors who opressed them in the first place, all the while blaming the opressors for the opressed being opressed.

Posted on May 15, 2005