Week 6: Citizens and Rights in the New Republics

The transition period for any person or collective is always a difficult one, especially when your don’t fully transition as you would when doing a 180 degree turn. She could argue that in the case of post-liberation, new nations and republics simply did a 360 degree circle, concluding where their initial actions begot.

In reading this weeks chapter, I would summarize my interpretation as the latter. I think this is most evident with rights for Afro-Americans, women, and the “in-betweens”. The in-betweens are possibly those who are like myself: half something / half something, while being born in a completely different region than those original halves; or, it could simply just be in-between identities, histories, birth origin, etc. In modern times, we are more holistic in culture and being than our ancestors a hundred years ago. I would just like to add the thought of how practices have also done a sort of recounter or full circle. The criollos and caudillos were sent to Europe to study the old world and come back an educated person and most of all to be civilized. One could also say they were sent off to learn about heir parents culture. In present time, some parents also send their children, if born in a foreign country, to their origin country to teach them their culture so they can be more educated with their intergenerational customs. I find it interesting we humans, in some ways, always share some of the same desires and traditions despite it having the same moral as it did thousands of years ago.

What struck out to me most about this chapter was how important slaves were to the economy and that being the defacto motive behind the newly appointed governments delaying the natural rights of freedom to slaves and their cohorts. I have read in other books that because there were so many revolts by slaves in the caribbean and later in brazil, the United States did not import as many slaves because they did not want that liability of having them rouse up a revolt, so they kept the importation of slaves relatively small compared to the Latin American countries. Bartolomé de las Casas was also controversial for the reason of not including the African slaves in his letter to the King when discussing the repulsing treatment of the Ingenious people in the Americas. I believe On De Las Casas, he repented not defending the African slaves because he knew how vital they were to the extraction and production of the Americas. There is just too much irony in the liberation efforts of the western hemisphere, and it all started with the declaration of independence. They say that all men are born free but also in that constitution they endorse slavery and practice it until their country is torn by ideologies.

The readings by Latin America women is important is paramount. In the 20th century, women started to get more of a predominant role in their lives and society but still were held back by machista customs which still exists today. What I enjoy most about what I read, was that the authors Echenique and Judith, say that women should take an active role as they are, and not become more masculine or try to mimic their opposite sex. I especially like how Echenique talks about philosophy. I think, at all time, we need philosophy, that moment of honest reflection that can ground us with responsibility. My favorite was when Judith said that an acclaimed writer said that, “women is the poetry of God, and Man his prose.” Really liked that.


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