The NEW movement is more than just the NEW black. It’s what’s to come. A NEW model. A NEW system. An emergent response from the collective adaptive system. Taking place, as we speak. Speak out.
Speak. That’s the key. Most people don’t know it, but in racism against the brown people, latino people are called, among other names, speaks. Funy story: first time I heard that word I was the only latino in the premises. It was directed a me. The dickhead calling me names was a pakistani moron. Don’t get me wrong. I have a whole bunch of pakistani friends, but I know how to recognize a dickhead when I encounter one. Specially if he is a racist dickhead. Somehow those skills I had learn by age fourteen back in Mexico City, where I could spot the dickhead in each group of people. I could also recognize a group of dickheads bonding along their dickhead mentality. So that was not the challenge. But I just didn’t know the word. The name calling word to diminish who I was, speak, had no meaning to me. It came from a reference outside myself. So it didn’t do the harm it was supposed to. But it doesn’t matter. I could see on the face of the dickhead what he was trying to do. Play me down. Put me down. From his older superiority, maybe as a consequence of being himself a delicate boy who’d been roughly bullied himself, as to play now the role that he was wishing to fulfill: the opressor.
Patriarchy in Pakistan is not only a big thing. It’s basic status quo. I’m not trying to involve myself in social revolution where I am not the soul participant of it. But I do recognize that was able to live in that Karachi society for two years, as an expectator of the priviledged, and in the representation of a multicultural society that was within the walls of a school that was from outside the regular world. All American schools tend to be like that, but in cities like Karachi, for an international expat, is more like the only choice to be a part of school community. And therefore, the social relationships among the local wealthy and the expat workers from multinationals, corporations, international institutions, consulates, and the like. It’s a crew of mixed cultures with explorers of the expat dream: live outside the little bubble we all come from and step up the social game and the savings in a far away culture where their professional merits allow a carreer upward move.
The wealthy locals are the bigger fish really. They are there to set the tone on the local game. Politics, business, family names. The marrying game. The outside worldview. The family legacy. All of it, with a heavy armored bodyguard scheme. Big moustaches matcing the size of the authomatic weapons. The bigger the bodyguard protection the more leverage in the local value game. It’s dakoidland, so no precaution is too little. They are used to this, and they have experience the kidnapping stories in the past from members of the community. So school life was dual in a sense. Those in the local game. And the outside players: the internationals.
From abroad you had the a mixed community as well. There were the 15% Americans, most of whom were part of the workers from the consulate, that was one of the biggest buildings of internationals in the city. And quite a few Americans were part of the teachers in the school. They lived in houses around the school, which made it a little safe for them to stay put where they were. That’s where life took place, besides the trips to the American comisariat to pack all the pop tarts and Dr. Pepper and root beer cans. Americans must live like they are still in the US or life is just too hard; too diferent. The french were building the airport, but there were only a few technical experts doing the final touches of that big project that would give the city an international airport of modern time traveling. The oil companys held many American and British wealth players. Each one of those companies had a king at the top, and several followers in the organizational structructure. There was a 10% asian community. I know them from school, but I don’t know what their parents were doing there. The school was one thing. The parents another.
But I was not the only mexican around. There was one mexican girl in school. Or half mexican. She had a half french side that made her quite an sofisticated mix for everyone. She was a Nietzsche reader, she understood Jim Morrisons lyrics, and she spoke perfect Spanish, French and English. Myself, I only spoke Spanish, no English, and some French, but I tried to hide that as I had to focus on the learning English bit that came with the package of joinning for the first time an international school. I was out of my league. Everything was new and amazing. And sort of dificult, I guess. I only understood 40% of conversations and classes. The jokes, most of the time, weren’t that good, but in any case, I missed them all. The girls, some of them, where exotic and affirmative. It was like being in a high school movie. One of the milions. But this time, completely diferent. And I was smack on the middle of it.
I remember being wary of the huge American chubby dude with the baseball cap and the loud jokes. He was definetely someone to monitor. There was another big fella like him, Pakistani, with a smart outfit of dark shirts with plants and palm trees. You had to be aware fo the big players of high school. The ones that seemed to run each show. Power movements in all fronts. And this tiny little speak was just entering the premises, half aware of the words being spoken, but with open eyes to grasp the key elements of this new adventure.
I never expected the bullying to come from this wimpy fool, I thought to myself when things got rough. He was going for the violent bit with me. I was agaisnt a wall when he was playing his macho stunt at me. A junior agaisnt an 8th grader bit. Classic bully shit. I was actually supposed to be a 9th grader already, but my English, according to school’s counselor, Mr. Ball, was not good enough to be able to pass the ardous endevours of high school’s freshmenship. Rather, he felt more convinient to push me down into middleschooldom, with the 13 year old kids, still on those little bodies of underdeveloped teens, to feel a little confident among children before stepping into the big people’s game.
But there it was. A bully taking a go at me. I didn’t blink. Nor I felt really threathen by his pushing and cornering. It really was a fair fight. I wasn’t going to take shit from this fool if he took another step further this little macho show. I was alert to apply my self defence skills to do what the situation allows, but just that same training helped me to be calm and avoid more violence. There was a friend with him. A big man in school. And a fair one, I suppose, but friends often put you on the spot. And he did do something. Enough, he said. Common. Let him go. Cut it out. Or something along those lines. My poor English did not allow many words to come from my mouth. I was paying attention to the developement of the situations to defend myself. This time physically. I was holding his hands and resisting. Not backing up. He wanted to show himself he could bully me. I didn’t let him. I did now wimped out. Nor I panicked. I just waited. The friend allowed things to get to where we were, but he also helped to disolve the macho theatrical stunt. I would have said something, but my mexican cursing would be wasted in the wind. So no lesson was delivered to that little dickhead. I learned myself some lessons. This pathetic little mother fucker was now on my list. His friend, somehow, too.
I was never again bullyed. You grow out of these experiences. And most of the time there’s no one else there to save you. And you must stant up for yourself. No matter what. Or the bullying keeps on. The power shifts if you are not giving in to his abuse. I feel priviledge to have only encounter this one dickhead in my way. I saw many other around, but they didn’t fuck with me. So we didn’t have to settle our positions. It’s a power game all the time. And some macho dicks take the bait and fall for violence.
You have two tools: your words, and selfdefense. You are smarter than that. So it’s not going to be you starting fights. Or you are the dickhead then. You were bullyied and now you are doing it others: it just means that you are still on that violence cicle. It takes some more thinking and meditation, and maybe help, to get out of that hole. And who know, violence might still be the situation in your household, with your father, with and older brother.
Speaking of brothers. The paki dickhead had a brother studying abroad in University. A sort of legendary dude who I met at some point over a holiday. He was the sweetest man, and he taught me a futbolart move that is still unbeatable on my list of plays. One of those plays that would get you infront of the golie, and the stadium up on their feet with an ohhh as one poet heads his way towards the exit, disregarding the atempt to score as that play alone was worth the ticket to be there. It’s one of those plays that breaks the rules. A true piece of the genre: futbolart.
Funny how two brothers can have a an influence in your life. All from little bits of life scratching the surface of people, young souls, evolving as we speak. Still now. I hold no grudge for the dickhead dude. We never spoke about that day. I did spread the story around after I met with some friends from high school. People who I connected with back then. Funny enough, the story went around and one day it was remembered to him by one of the people that I told this story to. And he said, allegedly, that he vaguely remember to have bullyed me that one day. I don’t make up stories. Specially if they leave someone else on a spot. And this story is not meant to put him on a spot in any case. We’ve grown. And I suppose he evolved from his teen dickheadness into a more solid mature asshole. But that would be too judgmental on my part. So would it be to assume that he is the opposite of what he displayed back then towards me.
Karma is a powerful thought. Specially because it gides you to keep an eye when your will tells you to hunt down a weak pray for the fun of it. There is no fun in that. No merit. No pleasure. It’s just macho culture working on you. You should just move on. And grow out of it.
I wonder if there’s a kid out there that has this sort of story to tell about something I did. Maybe we are just not aware. Maybe at some point our mind blocks our consciousness. I clean the slate, as it didn’t affect us.
White people in América are thinking about how their white priviledge is putting an emphasis on a problem that does not affect them. And they are thinking and evaluating their lives to asses if in fact they are, or not, racist. Pakistani friends have spoken on how the pop stars of bollywood movies advertise shit to clear your skin, and how black charecters have been played in their fictional roles. And how black people are regarded in general in their conservative society. As if a black man attemps to marry a pakistani girl, a sort of genre of that culture to confront the tradition of the family making the matchups to hook the boys and girls of the family to marry. Love, sex and pakistani family movies. That on itself is a romantic comedy of pakistani families. Never a black brother has played the part of the groom, and live to tell the story. I gather a speak marrying daddy’s little girl would not go down well on the expectations of a social revolution from the heart of Karachi.
In a similar way, in Mexico, people are standing up to the double standars of mexicans judging white Americans as racists and not seeing the racism in the mexican society, especially towards the indian community. Sistemic violence and continuos motion to make fun of the oppressed and erasing the vast culture heritage that they represent, that’s been disregarded by the education system and by a society not able to come to terms with such circumstances. Still, Yalitzia, Techoch and movies like Fernando Frias’ «I am not longer here» allows us to see them, and to listen to what they are struggling with. And we must be a part of this movement, as we are all crearly part of it.
It would not be fair to leave this here without addressing the racism that belongs to me. My part of it, I guess, comes from taking sides with all these people that have suffered a continued act of violence that has not been yet corrected. Being from Costa Rica, even though I don’t live there, I would have to address that our racism struggle has both to do with the negro and indian population that coexist within the multiculural context of our people. And they do have a story that he might have not paid enough attention to. And it is up to them to gain the spaces to speak out. And we should hear them out. Like we should here all the native cultures from this continent of ours, and give our proper respect to their cultural heritage, their language, their views. Whatever there is still left. The negro comunity is a big part of our heritage. And we must express what the caribean experience is from their own interpretation of their history. With everything that happen and how our country evolve with the estate intervention through strategic investments for the future of our develpment as a nation, through the construction of the railway to the caribean, and the connection with the first important port of that coast, giving birth to Limon. In fact, many comunities lived in Matina, Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, and then a big boom came from workers that came to work at the banana plantation of the United Fruit Company, that became the main engine of the area. It also established a link between the people and the self governed structure of power that was designed by the American owners of the plantation. This was, as it happened all over the continent, one of the experiences of how American capital and enterprises went into every country of Latin America with their own set of rules, with what was the taste of develpment that we got from an extractive model that must be evaluated to grasp the pros and cons from a historical perspective. I don’t pretend to be the one doing that, as I am sure that it’s been a topic many of our historians have touched in their task to interpret our country and the circumstances that we adapted to. It certainly is the story of our families, but more importantly, it’s the untold story of our minorities that we need to pay attention to.
I am quite sure that the same feeling of white backwards racism, or mexicans saying they are not racist, or pakistanis undermining their own racism, that most costa ricans would not label themselves as racists. They would not name it, but I am sure that’s where we should responsibly place ourselves. We are not white. Not that American white some wish to be. We, as every other country in Latin America, has a white political class at the top of the pyramid. Somehow I believe that Costa Rica has a trully diferent story to tell about what we’ve done as a society to continue evolving in the right direction. It doesn’t mean that we are excused from most of the common aspects of Latin American societys: inequality, classims, racism, and an alarming attraction to the American way as an ideal of where our society should go. What was first a postcolonial influence through monoplantantions like banana, grew into military influence (we did solve that one by banning the army, which is still amazing no other countries follow up on), to what was a capitalist unleveled open markets and an enterteinment magnet that we’ve chosen to stare at, as if we are part of it. Name your basketball team, your football team and your baseball team. At least 80% of every Latin American kid/adult would tell you their afiliation as something they are already part of. The American Enterteinment industry is global enterprise. We’ve bitten that bait. The only local entertainment that is ours is futbol. And in the international scale, we can also name an international afiliation that we all have: Barça or Real Madrid. In a more complex and less simplistic global society, some may argue that you may have some latinos that cheer for Man U in the Champions League. We won’t take them into account in this little tale.
The point is we’ve become American in a way. We are all following on their Black Lives Matter movement because we are hooked to what they do. We feel threaten by the biggotry of Donald Trump’s attemps of policy making. We are following his twitter feed like he was our entertainment tonight. And some people in Latin America even buy into Trump. Like they bought into Bolsonaro. As they are both elements of this global influence of the possibility to influence people’s votes by telling it how they like to express it on their local little bar slures. It’s basic racist moves. The enemy is external. Fear in your bones. Regardless of what’s happening. Regarding of how facist leave their masks home, and take on the street, with a message of feeling threathen by comunists. People in Costa Rica buy into bullshit like these. But thankfully, not enough to have lost our minds.
The pope (Ratzinger, that is) said to a Spanish polititian who ask for him to pray for Spain as it was in a tough spot nowadays, back in 2016, when he was the minister of Interior, which has hold of the police, so much as to crate a branch of it, the police that is, that would serve for patriotic purpuses against policital enemies of the state, according to him. But back to the pope, according to this man, said to him: beware cause the Devil is around Spain as he trully feels it should be destroyed after the great job they did evangelizing the Americas, and far away places like the Filipines.
People in Costa Rica feel they are not racist. They also feel they are not homofobic. And certainly they feel that there is freedom of religion, even if the oficial religion of the estate is still catholicism. In fact, there’s a open space in rural poor comunities where the capital investment of other religions, like protestants from the United States, that have stablished into comunities where the main building in the comunity is their bran new church. Their influence in political matters is great, and their movilization in social networks is quite robust, being always there to pressure the government. This sort of oposition is what travels around the globe with the same agenda that influence the American political election with Cambrige Analitica. Their global support system is their attempt to get themselves into a global movement with the power to overcome democracy as we know it. I know, it sounds like just another one of those global conspiracies. Only I believe we’ve had enough data with the Rusians helping Donald. And we are now aware of many other consipiracies that luckily Miguel Bose’s is getting his hands on. The truth is that you may be able to fall into any of the traps that most likely hit you in gut. As they are designed to make your trigger a feeling that then makes you click. And you are theirs.
So here’s my point.
I’ve come a long way to figure out that my struggle is no longer national. I wouldn’t know if to feel guilty for being white-Spanish from Costa Rica, even if I wasn’t born there, but rather El Salvador, or by feeling a priviledged Mexican who was educated with this sort of systemic racism and classism that even if it didn’t belong to me, affected me (which in fact it didn’t as I was clearly aware of it taking place… I don’t remember using the word naco, for example, or at least, making it being used as putting down word, when it is clearly a racist slure), or for being a bit of a brown-American with privileges trying to be like the white American from our society within the expat community, if that was ever my thing, or for going to private school, or a private university, thus getting the privileges that higher education is supposed to fast track you to the power seats of society, or for being a «white»-Spanish decendant of the colonialist invaders, and still profiting for the accumulated stealing that went on back in the day. I have come and gone. And somehow I feel that the fingers are/should be pointing at me. Yes: I’m guilty.
And now I now. I don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t plan to be a part of this system. As I know the system must take a step aside, and let a NEW one push itself all the way to the top. The collective adaptive emergence we are expecting to happen.
It’s right here.