Any manifestation of racism is an act that must be highly repudiated. Expressions of racial contempt or hatred are never mild or minor, and as members of a society facing a myriad of common challenges, we must condemn in the clearest possible terms any justification of racism in the arenas in which we operate.
What we commonly call “race”, in fact, has no scientific basis whatsoever (within the kingdom “animalia”, in the order of primates and in the genus “homo”, we find the species Homo sapiens; and yes, some of us have more or less melanin, in the same way that our noses and eyes have certain distinctive characteristics, nothing more than that). When we speak of “race” in everyday life, we are referring to a mere social construct.
We should not be afraid of the concept “social construct” just because some ideologies have decided to abuse its usage (quite often, wrongfully). A social construct is simply anything that does not exist on a tangible or scientifically verifiable level, but is the product of social conventions.
In this sense, freedom is a social construct; justice is a social construct; tolerance is a social construct. Social constructions have facilitated the path towards a more open, prosperous and equitable society for all.
Such has not been the case with race, whose artificiality and normalization seek to justify some of the most unspeakable atrocities of our common history. Racism, moreover, like all collectivism, appeals to the rustic, the primitive, the basic. It is not the product of a rational process, but of a set of emotions, and, as such, can be manipulated according to the interests or agendas of the day.
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All this, of course, is well known. No one in the 21st century can, in their right mind at least, promote or celebrate such nefarious expressions or behaviors.
However, a brief stroll through social networks is enough to see that, to our astonishment and with the sole exception of the current pandemic, it is the only thing that is talked about: racism in language, racism in classical music, racism in mathematics, racism in the soup.
We have become aware of this undignified practice and that is undoubtedly positive. However, we are witnessing a use of a real problem by ideologies whose sole purpose is to divide us. It is not in the interest of these ideologies — all crowded on the left end of the political spectrum— for us to see each other for what we are: people, just people. If this were to happen, hatred would no longer be profitable.
This abject use is not new. The left is adept at manipulating causes. It did its thing with the LGBT community by presenting itself as the only tolerant and liberating option in the face of the threat of “heteropatriarchy” and discrimination. He forgot, very conveniently, his concentration camps and gulags for homosexuals. “Work will make them men”, said Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the infamous (by the way and by the way, he also asserted that “the nigger [sic], indolent and dreamer, spends his pesitos in any frivolity or in ‘hitting a few sticks’ —Spanish slang for getting drunk— the European has a tradition of work and savings that pursues him to this corner of America and drives him to progress, even independently of his own individual aspirations”).
The left used, with overwhelming success, different feminist demands and exhibited them as their own as an idea for those who belong to it, the enlightened, the good, the humanists. It matters little whether we women owe our present freedom to different economic, social and political needs, to institutional adaptations and to the free market. It matters little, yes, because truth is irrelevant when history can be twisted through romanticizations as effective as they are empty.
The left came, moreover, for the environmental movement and turned a noble and urgent cause into a pseudo-scientific and fatalistic discourse that puts, with incredible ease, the “good guys” against the “bad guys” (and we already know which side they claim to be on).
The left, always opportunistic, uses division as bread, division as a circus, division as a means and as an end. Machiavelli watches them and regrets not having known how to go as far as they have.
The left, in short, puts all its efforts into dividing us, because if it bets on uniting us it would lose. We, who in an intellectual carelessness yielded the monopoly of good intentions to an ideology that is built and fed with everything that separates us, are the only ones to blame.
Pris Guinovart is a writer, editor and teacher. In 2014, she published her fiction book «The head of God» (Rumbo, Montevideo). She speaks six languages. Columnist since the age of 19, she has written for media in Latin America and the United States // Pris Guinovart es escritora, editora y docente. En 2014, publicó su libro de ficciones «La cabeza de Dios» (Rumbo, Montevideo). Habla seis idiomas. Columnista desde los 19 años, ha escrito para medios de America Latina y Estados Unidos