Well since I read this post about the Colombian Elites needing a crash course in how to treat a black president, I'm starting to wonder how I will be treated on my trip to Cartagena being that I'm a regular black american with no higher social status.

I must be honest I've been to Bogota once... and everytime I passed a black person, they would kind of look at me and give me a head nod, or a "fight the power" type of fist (meant to be taken positively).

And immediately was able to denote that they were apparently being treated as second class citizens in there country. I haven't noticed any personal discriminaton. However there was a club that they would not let us in (me and a friend).

So i'm flying to Cartagena next week and will be staying throughout the weekend.
So those who are familiar with Cartagena... Can you tell me what to expect?

Posted on October 30, 2008


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Comments:

I would say the majority of Cartagena is Black, so there should not be any problems. They will try to take advantage of you just like everyone else. Black people from Colombia do not quite have the brotherhood that the United States has, but they are starting to learn these things. Do not sweat it, you will have a nice time. Just remember these few words"NO GRACIAS" and you will be fine.

Posted on October 30, 2008


Thanks for the encouraging words.

When I was in bogota they told me that most of the darker colored people were in Cartagena.
So I just had to go see for myself :-)

Posted on October 30, 2008


The more money you appear to have the whiter you'll appear to be and the better you'll be treated-up to a point anyway.

Posted on October 30, 2008


I have been all over Colombia, including the coast. From what black colombians and white colombians tell me, there is an unspoken racism towards black people all over the country. However, if i was to take an educated guess, the racism will be at its weakest in Cartagena, because there is a huge black population and a huge ethnically mixed population, so the white people should be a lot more chilled about a black foreigner travelling in their town. I suspect that upscale clubs will once again be hit or miss, letting you in or perhaps denying you entrance.

A colombian from the coast will probably be able to give a more detailed snapshot of the situation, and tell me whether my view is right or totally wrong.

I have my own prejudices, I think that the street vendors and beach vendors, regardless of their race are annoying parasites who deserve to get punched in their netherregions.

Posted on October 30, 2008


If segregation is any measure, Cartagena is racist. It seems that people of the same race tend to live in the same area.

I find that here in Santa Marta, people are much more integrated. This could be more of a reflection of history than how people feel today.

In general, I find Colombia less racist than most countries including the states. People in Colombia tend to discriminate more on economic status. Though most of the "elite" are white, this could be more of a reflection of history than current attitudes.

Posted on October 30, 2008


I have black friends that live in Ctg. They are working on the revolution as we speak. If you are interested, I can give you their number.

Posted on October 30, 2008


I have been in Cartagena for the last 3 month, I agree with the comments above except 'I suspect that upscale clubs will once again be hit or miss'.I dont think it will be an issue in Cartagena at all. They will be more interested in your GRINGO wallet than the color of your skin. But thats just the opinion of a pearly white boy from Florida,.

Posted on October 30, 2008


Elmo please, expand your thoughts more about Colombian Blacks? I just read your post about Obama, which I enjoyed very much, but now I am confused about what you are saying about AfroColombians.

Posted on October 30, 2008


Do we any upscale clubs in Cartagena?????

Posted on October 30, 2008


I like your hobbies Elmo. You should be ashamed of yourself, old man like yourself carrying on like that.

Posted on October 30, 2008


That is funny, my wife insist there isn´t racism in Colombia, but I see it every day. I just laugh in her face because she is racist and she does not even know it. I am African-American and she insist that I am not like Colombians, but then again I tell her that we are all brothers. it is not the color of your skin, I am light skin, being black is a way of life.

Posted on October 30, 2008


Oh yeah, they never see it but they are racists to the bones. Even if you see a caramel colored person with an afro and you say he's black, he'll be all over you saying "oh no! I'm NOT black!". Dude, you're black, be proud of it.

Posted on October 30, 2008


She's wearing a blouse? =O

Posted on October 30, 2008


CDXXFRIEND,

No need to be overly concerned about how you will be received in CTG. I am black and have made several trips to CTG. Only issue I ever encounted was being refused entry into MR BABILLA. I went to several other clubs without issue.

Posted on October 30, 2008


CDXX, it really depends on what you are looking for? P4P? Regular girls? Much much more racial tolerant on the coast than in the mainland. BUT as a whole Colombia is a very racist country. Some people here will attempt to sugar coat it the best they can in a vain attempt to state their case that Colombia has "progressed" so far. But I have seen racism time and time again with my own eyes and ears. I have seen many blacks denied entrance in Parque lleras in Medellin and you yourself have experienced it in Bogota. All in all though I think you will have a ball in CTG.

Posted on October 30, 2008


I saw something on it on Caracol a couple of weeks ago, maybe it was last week. But a group of law students from some college were suing a whole bunch of club owners because of racism. They asked a few black people to try to get into some clubs in Bogotá and they were all denied entrance, I think they filmed it as well if I'm not mistaken and it got a lot of attention.

Posted on October 30, 2008


very good comments. I am glad to see we are on the ssame page. RACISM EXIST IN COLOMBIA. PUNTO

Posted on October 30, 2008


It sure does.

Posted on October 30, 2008


Bogota clubs routinely deny entrance to groups of guys without women accompanying them. Happens most often after 1am or so and if you've got a few drinks under your belt.

If you've been in the same bar all night you can come back in. If you're showing up late, for the first time and with no women, they prefer to turn you away and take a mixed group instead.

Posted on October 30, 2008


Groups of guys without girls aren't welcome at any clubs, except gay bars!!!
Here in NY and Medellin I have been denied entry due to too many cocks!

Posted on October 30, 2008


paisa philly jomelina, and ALL

Your posts have been very helpful.

I was actually denied entrance in one club in Bogota. But I didnt mention it here because I wasn't sure if it was because of my skin color, or just the fact that I was american.

Sylvester,

My real name is Sylvester too...LOL

Posted on October 30, 2008


Same way in Atlanta.

Groups of guys with no girls = no go

Unless you got that swag and that gift of gab like me

Posted on October 30, 2008


I don't care what kind of swag or gifts you got....you show up to clubs in NY or some in Medellin (Oz in Lleras) with a bunch of dudes, you're being denied.

Posted on October 30, 2008


Nah buddy....

I got that sick swagger. Nothing like you've seen before.
Maybe it doesnt work in Medellin but I can get things crackin anywhere in my country with the gift of gab homie :-)

Posted on October 30, 2008


Yeah I find Bogota very racist. But they deny it up and down. When you confront them with the facts: ie there are NO professional blacks here, they claim blacks smell funny, and they drop the N word likes it's nothing; they just shrug their shoulders. Then I like to drop the bomb and ask them how they would feel if their sister married a black guy, you should see their reaction.

Posted on October 30, 2008


yoyoma says on Oct 30, 2008, 12:21 (today)
ask them how they would feel if their sister married a black guy, you should see their reaction.
--------------------------------------------------
Oh yeah, that's a big one. According to them you should never, ever get involved with a "negro" which is insane.

Posted on October 30, 2008


If an elitist rolo`s sister married a guy from strata 3 he would shit an Elmer`s gold brick.

Posted on October 30, 2008


Chriscan...right on the money brother!! I see the same in my region of Risaralda and thank god...For people to bring up the topic as in the states they may as well stay there and don't bother buying a plane ticket. No desire to have them here interjecting their beliefs.

Don't stop Elmo, keep it flowing jeje!!

Posted on October 30, 2008


"How ARE blacks treated in Colombia (Cartagena to be exact)"

They're treated much better than they are in Alabama, Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, Idaho, etc.


"and they drop the N word likes it's nothing;"

That despicable doesn't exist in Spanish, fortunately!


I think race in Colombia is a less salient issue than it is in the US. You never see Colombian whites and blacks getting in brawls in schools or Colombians burning crosses in front of black people's houses! This is the truth, even if it pisses off some of the self-hating pseudo-Colombians on this board.

Viva Colombia!!!

Posted on October 30, 2008


agree with elmo and sylvester, you won't be getting in to Mr. Babillas. But that's no great loss...
Racism is still going strong all over South America.

Posted on October 30, 2008


And North America too.

Posted on October 30, 2008


i dont remeber hearing about racism till i came to the U.S at the age of 12. it was never an issue in Medellin. or I guess i never thought about it..

Posted on October 30, 2008


the advantage of being a black foreigner is that you can blend into the crowd pretty well. if you dont speak with a foreigners acent its even better. Just always keep a photo copy of your passport on in the case you get requested by the cops for your ID. Once they figure out your a foreigner they are much nicer. If your white foreigner your more likely to stick out walking down the street in colombia. The cops love to check IDs at random road stops, or if your walking down the street. That is completely normal. They dont need a reason.

Not being a white foreigner is definately safer in colombia. for what its worth.

Posted on October 30, 2008


looking like a gringo has big advantages in colombia when it comes to meeting women (or men) and big disadvantages when it comes to safety because as you mentioned, you stand out more. i went to the Feria de Los Flores with a group of Dutch girls who were staying at my hostal, and my oh my, the pickpockets swarmed over to them like crazy. Almost all of the girls got robbed. Perhaps due to my ambiguous ethnicity, nothing happened to me at all.

Posted on October 30, 2008


I agree tomtom. While in certain parts of the US racism may be comparable to much of Colombia, from my experience, racism in Colombia is much more widespread and rampant than in the US.

Posted on October 30, 2008


Cdxxfriend, i have a lot of black friends in Colombia. I think they are generally happy, but know their social limitations, which is friggin sad to me.

As an american, i think you'd generally be treated with respect though, you shouldn't have to worry too much, but be on the look out for bigotry! Along much of the coast (and even in the interior), you shouldn't have to worry, in fact as a yank, you'll have an awesome time i'll bet. It's not like you're poor. Being poor makes a big difference.

Posted on October 30, 2008


I don't wish to start on semantics, but there is a huge difference between "racism" and "discrimination".

From the little I know about my beloved costeña coast, there is a lot of discrimination, but far less in-built racism that in most countries (including my own: France).

And, in a country where over half of the population is "mestizo", one can take comfort in the fact that, at least as far as sexual racism is concerned, we have a lot to learn from Colombia.

Posted on October 30, 2008


Darloup says"one can take comfort in the fact that, at least as far as sexual racism is concerned, we have a lot to learn from Colombia."
Please tell me you are kidding. Professional women are pratically non- existent here. Men control everything in Colombia.

Posted on October 30, 2008


Philly, I was talking about a specific aspect of racism (there are many) namely: Race purity.

Some countries try to preserve "race purity" (e.g. Greece) where inter-racial weddings (or relationships) are virtually unheard of (even among different ethnicites of the same "caucasian" race such as the Turks and Hellens).

If Colombia achieved a 51% "mestizo" rate, I can only assume that inter-racial weddings or relationships were NEVER a problem (else how this 51% rate would have been reached?).

Once again, I wasn't talking about the discrimination between males/females, but simply about the fact that racial purity 'and the ensuing exchanges) is not a problem in Colombia and that, at least on this very point, we have to learn a lot from Colombia.

Posted on October 30, 2008


Of course Colombia is racist. Why do you think you see 10000000 children named "Blanca" (wishful thinking?) but you'll only ever hear "negro" or "negrito" used in a mock tone, never as a compliment?

God love them, but my Colombian-born grandparents are so racist that they won't even display the photos of my half "morenito" cousin, lest the neighbors and friends see and cause a scandal. As they say, "Ay, es lindo e inteligente, pues..." This is how they treat their flesh and blood, mmkay.

Posted on October 30, 2008


My dad was pretty racist as well and proud of it because back in the day, and still in some areas, is the right thing to do. Not hang out with black people, not get involved with them, not hiring them. The less tanned they are, the better.

Posted on October 30, 2008


That still does not explain how Colombia achieved a 51% mestizo rate (and that's a national average implying that, in many states, the percentage is much higher).

Posted on October 30, 2008


Darloup,
The reason Colombia "achieved" mestizaje is simple and requires a cursory knowledge of Colombia's history. The country was colonized by Spanish men. Very few Spanish women came, so the conquerors took Indigenous and African brides. Genetic tests (Y-chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA) reveal that around 80% of Colombians are descended from white male (Spanish) ancestors, and around 80% of Colombians are descended from Indigenous or African female ancestors. Very few Colombians have an Indian or African male ancestor, and very few have European female ancestor.

Posted on October 30, 2008


All this happened starting in the 17th century. Yet, today (at least in the Colombian states I know), inter-racial weddings are very common proving (if need be) that the 35% of Colombianos 100% white still have no qualms interbreeding with the mestizos. Interesting to know that the percentage of mestizos has been steadily climbing in recent years...

Posted on October 30, 2008


Secondly, you shouldn't confuse mestizaje for what we in the modern world would consider a "non racist" or "open" or "tolerant" view. The ideology of mestizaje might better be called "whitening" (blanqueamiento). People thought, in earlier periods of the Republic, that the nation could be "improved" through a program of "whitening" in which Indigenous and African elements would be "bred out" and everyone would become "honorary whites."

Posted on October 30, 2008


Except of course that:

1) By definition "mestizaje" should be considered as "non racist" since it involves two different races
2) "The ideology of mestizaje might better be called "whitening". Actually, the ensuing off-springs will be either "whitening" or "blackening" depending on which parent you're comparing them with...
3) "People thought, in earlier periods of the Republic". Fair enough, but that is in the past. As I wrote, the national percentage of "mestizos" has been steadily growing over the recent years. There might be historical reasons for this from the past, but I fail to understand why they appeared to have persisted for over 300 years.

Posted on October 30, 2008


1) You can easily be racist and marry someone of another race. It's very common.

2) That is logically true, of course. But in terms of ideology, whiteness was always coveted and seen as an ideal. Europe was the font of civilization, science, democracy, etc. It's only very recently in history that we value Africanness or Indigenousness in ANY way, and that is as true for Colombia in the Republican period as it was for the USA and Europe. The 1991 Constitution improved things quite a bit, btw.

3) You do have a point here. It is true that in the past 40-odd years it is more acceptable for whites, usually middle class and urban, to marry lighter-skinned mestizos. But, again, it is not value-neutral. Marrying a very dark skinned person would still be cause for shame and gossiping. And of course, many people in the uppermost strata would sooner marry their cousins or sisters, so long as they're white...

Posted on October 30, 2008


white people are boring looking. give me a cinnamon-skinned latin woman any day of the week!! Who's with me?

Posted on October 30, 2008


Thanks Tolú, that's useful insight although I don't really understand your first point: "You can easily be racist and marry someone of another race." - that seems a bit of a contradiction to me. Can you develop your point?

BTW, are there regions in Colombia where the "white ideal" is more prevalent?

I assume that the sheer demographics must de-facto affect perception, and my own limited knowledge of this fascinating subject is limited to the Atlantic coast (Cartagena to the West and Santa Marta to the East).

Posted on October 30, 2008


"and they drop the N word likes it's nothing;"

"That despicable doesn't exist in Spanish, fortunately!"

So what are you saying, that they don't say the English pejorative for Black people or that it is OK that they do because it doesn't exist in Spanish??? Either way, you are simply wrong.

The sad fact in Bogota is the whiter the better. You can deny it, you can claim that intermarriage exists but you are delusional.

Why do you think the further south you go in Bogota the darker the people, you think they get more sun down there?

Sure you can compare the KKK in the USA, a tiny minority of idiotic fanatics, to the overwhelming consensus that Black People are inferior in Colombia, but you can also compare apples and oranges.

Here is an idea, when you are in the States at a party try telling everyone that you think Blacks smell funny, if they don't tell you to shut up and leave, you should move out of the trailer park and then try the same thing in Colombia.

Posted on October 30, 2008


PBHjon,

"give me a cinnamon-skinned latin woman any day of the week!! "

Or any night, for that matter... ;-)

BTW, they don't necessarily have to be "cinnamon-skinned". As far as I am concerned, white, cinnamon, chocolate or ebony will do as long as they remain truly latinas: Always imitated, but never equaled.

And I just love it when they criticize their own country, but are always prepared to kill you if you start (even remotely) to agree with them...

Hmmm, maybe I should start a new thread trying to fathom the differences between latinos(as) and latin people from Europe...

Posted on October 30, 2008


yoyoma,

I agree 100% with you.

"Why do you think the further south you go in Bogota the darker the people, you think they get more sun down there?" Hmmm... They may not get more sun but, as your near the coast and drop down in altitude, the climate is definitely warmer... ;-)

Remember that, historically speaking, most immigration started on the Atlantic coast... This may explain why settlers/immigrants chose to settle there instead of venturing inland.

BTW, what/who are "turcos" (as heard in Barranquilla)?

Posted on October 30, 2008


////Thanks Tolú, that's useful insight although I don't really understand your first point: "You can easily be racist and marry someone of another race." - seems a bit of a contradiction to me. Can you develop your point?////

---It's one of life's paradoxes. Just because you marry or even love someone of a different race doesn't preclude you from holding racist beliefs, such as that their race is inferior or stupid or lazy. It's really ironic, but I've seen it with my own eyes. Usually they'll say, "But I can't be racist! Look at my wife/husband."

/////BTW, are there regions in Colombia where the "white ideal" is more prevalent?////

---hmm. I don't know. Sadly, I think it's pretty much the same throughout the Americas.

Posted on October 30, 2008


"Tolú says on Oct 31, 2008, 10:35 (today): flag
Of course Colombia is racist. Why do you think you see 10000000 children named "Blanca" (wishful thinking?) but you'll only ever hear "negro" or "negrito" used in a mock tone, never as a compliment?

God love them, but my Colombian-born grandparents are so racist that they won't even display the photos of my half "morenito" cousin, lest the neighbors and friends see and cause a scandal. As they say, "Ay, es lindo e inteligente, pues..." This is how they treat their flesh and blood, mmkay."

"Mononoke28 says on Oct 31, 2008, 10:58 (today): flag
My dad was pretty racist as well and proud of it because back in the day, and still in some areas, is the right thing to do. Not hang out with black people, not get involved with them, not hiring them. The less tanned they are, the better.
Diana"

You are both fools, in regards to the country as a whole being racist, that is most definitely not true. I went on a Colombian tour on a bus traveling to every major city with my grandmother to get to know my country, and let me tell you something, I don't recall people from every city I went to being racist to any extent. I traveled to Cartagena,Cali,Santa Marta,Barranquilla,Medellin,(starting out in Bogota) and I don't even remember where else. It's true that your typical people from "el barrio" are going to be racist to some extent, but in most cases where some Afro-Colombians are there if they are the minority people grow to love them as "el negrito" in a very friendly way.

Posted on October 30, 2008


"yoyoma says on Oct 31, 2008, 13:39 (today): flag
"and they drop the N word likes it's nothing;"

"That despicable doesn't exist in Spanish, fortunately!"

So what are you saying, that they don't say the English pejorative for Black people or that it is OK that they do because it doesn't exist in Spanish??? Either way, you are simply wrong.

The sad fact in Bogota is the whiter the better. You can deny it, you can claim that intermarriage exists but you are delusional.

Why do you think the further south you go in Bogota the darker the people, you think they get more sun down there?

Sure you can compare the KKK in the USA, a tiny minority of idiotic fanatics, to the overwhelming consensus that Black People are inferior in Colombia, but you can also compare apples and oranges.

Here is an idea, when you are in the States at a party try telling everyone that you think Blacks smell funny, if they don't tell you to shut up and leave, you should move out of the trailer park and then try the same thing in Colombia."

Why do you think the further south you go in Bogota the darker the people, you think they get more sun down there?

In regards to that comment, the reason the further south you go and the people get darker is simply because of the fact that they are dirty, and I don't mean it to offend them. I was born in Cali and lived in Bogota until I was 8. My father lived in the south and he would take me to visit him and sleep over, and I saw all the estrato 1 people with some blacks here and there. Those people are "vagabundos" if you know what I mean and don't have resources to shower and keep themselves clean. If you tried to say that just because they are black they are treated like shit and have to live in poor neighborhoods then you're wrong. Theres a greater ratio of whites to blacks that live in those neighborhoods, and dont tell me im wrong because I've seen it with my own eyes.

Posted on October 30, 2008


I work with a Canadian guy who has a Japanese wife and he is very racist (insecure). The paradox works because I think he beats her. (disgustingly funny)

Posted on October 30, 2008


"I don't wish to start on semantics, but there is a huge difference between "racism" and "discrimination"."

Wrong. Racism is defined as discrimination against another race. In the sense that you are talking about, you can discriminate another race and not be racist. That is, by definition, incorrect.

""You can easily be racist and marry someone of another race.""

Correct. If a white man marry a black woman but hates all arabs because of their race, he is still racist, he just doesn't necessarily discriminate against blacks.

Racism is very rampant in Colombia, not only against blacks/mulattos, but against natives too, and to a certain extent against asians, however this is hard to substantiate since there are not many asians, but i have seen this racism manifest itself as well.

Posted on October 30, 2008


CDXXFRIEND,

The bottom line is that your experience in CTG should be more positive than negative. Sure racism/discrimination exists, but you are NOT likely to receive anything remotely similar to a KKK reception.

You mentioned Atlanta. I have driven from Toronto Canada to Atlanta a few times. Tennessee has a much more overt racist vibe than I ever experienced anywhere Colombia. Not even close. Keep in mind I only exited the I-75 for gas in Tennessee. Couldnt get out of there fast enough.

Are you military ? I think you are. Dont stress the racism thing, just go and enjoy yourself. I would recommend renting an apartment as opposed to staying in a hotel. If you need help with that, I can put you in contact with my agent in CTG.

By the way, is Magic City still open in Hotlanta ?

Posted on October 30, 2008


"BTW, what/who are "turcos" (as heard in Barranquilla)?"

those are the inmigrants or the descendents from the inmigrants coming from the middle eastern, they were called turcos(turks) because many of the middle eastern countries we know today such as Libano(Lebanon) and many others where under the Imperio Otomano(Othoman Empire) and their passport was a turkish passport, one example of them is current Barranquilla´s alcalde Alejandro Char Chaljud, Yamid Amad(Radio), Cesar Gaviria Trujillo, Shakira, and many many others

Posted on October 30, 2008


i would say that mayb from 15%-30% of the people in la costa specially in Barranquilla are turcos

Posted on October 30, 2008


"and to a certain extent against asians, however this is hard to substantiate since there are not many asians"

wow maybe the DAS deported them by the thousands because i remember that 3 years ago you can find a chinese restaurant in every corner(just like a Mcdonald in every corner in the USA), and i personally met many chinese descendents, in fact there are chinese in Colombia and sand in the beach

Posted on October 30, 2008


oh yeah i forgot the las 3 years the DAS deported almost 1000 chinese citizens, meh sad to know i love chinese food

Posted on October 30, 2008


hey as an inmigrant descendent myself i love inmigrants in Colombia and i will love to see china town in Barranquilla resurge again, same with the italian town and the british town

Posted on October 30, 2008


as a colombian myself i can say that the whiter the better, in few words DONT YOU DEAR TO MARRY A BLACK MAN/WOMAN, and if you are black dont spect to get the best jobs, its fairly common to see black woman trying to marry a white man just to improve her kids race, black woman in Colombia love to have light skin kids

Posted on October 30, 2008


just read up on it on google, i found horrific information not known to the rest of the colombians, like the racial attacks in colombian cities against black happen and nobody have ever been prosecuted for a racial crime, for example in Pasto racial attacks are evry common and blacks are attacked at night by racist gangs

Posted on October 30, 2008


but dont worry, you are not gonna find any kind of racial problems in your stay in Colombia, hey btw if you need any help just ask me since im costeño, and welcome to Colombia

Posted on October 30, 2008