Theories of Mixture 1: Mestizaje

Posted by: | February 24, 2009 | Comments Off on Theories of Mixture 1: Mestizaje

I found this past weeks reading on the mestizaje by Vasconcelos and Wade to be much different than I expected. I was not prepared to read about Vasconcelos’ “solution” to the problems of having a hierarchy of races. His plans were very far out and I was glad to see that Wade took a different stance. When reading the beginning of “The cosmic race” I was interested in the history of the ruins that proved the Latin American cultures were around if not older than what we thought were the most ancient of civilizations. Furthermore the increasing evidence of Atlantis, what I’ve always thought of as sort of a fairy tale, was intriguing. However soon after this information was presented I began to see this article taking a different direction that I could not get on board with. The author identifies himself at first as being Latin American and then when this is no longer convenient clarifies that he is Spanish. Moreover he feels the need to distance himself from both associations when talking about their mistakes in battle and ideology. Hindsight is twenty twenty and to Vasconcelos if everyone had just listened to everything he said the Spanish would be the dominant race. Moving forward since this is all in the past, the most shocking ideas in this article to me were based around the plan to create one “new race” or “the fifth race”. This new people would not “exclude” the other races but would succeed in dominating them. In order to create this better race “the very ugly will not procreate” therefore it will be a beautiful race. Which in turn will also eliminate “poverty, defective education,…” because those are both problems that stem from ugliness. People will learn to only love one another if they are worthy of breeding superior offspring. After decades of this what “today is normal will come to seem abominable.”, only the best traits from each race will be perpetuated into the new one. Thus giving hope to the “inferior races” by imparting on them the opportunity to present the “better specimens” who would go on to a higher level of importance. This plan is preposturous and cruel and I hope to never see it implemented. On the other hand I found Peter Wades article a more comprehensive look into the mestizaje with less personal agenda. I agree that even in mixed races there is a hierarchy still based on the lightness of skin. A factor that Vasconcelos overlooked. Among other things I found the parts on music and food engrossing and a great relief after reading Vasconcelos stark look at things.


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