Solidarity with Yanay, discriminated against because of the color of her skin
Posted on July 7, 2017 • 11:32 by Ariadna Pérez Valdés
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Since the publication, last Monday, of the article “Discriminated against on the basis of skin color”, we began receiving multiple messages from our readers through social networks, the website, section Buzón abierto [Open Mailbox], and phone calls. For the most part, these showed outrage at what happened, and supported Yanay, the Artemisa student, in her complaint.
It is worth noting that, in a few hours the item was positioned among the most read in our web edition and has remained so during the week.
The initial statements focused on astonishment and outrage at the fact that in 21st century socialist Cuba there was evidence of a scourge that many believed was eradicated: racism.
“This guy offends so many good Cubans who fought and gave their lives to sweep away these manifestations,” says Eddis Armin Pérez Calzadilla.
“We cannot allow such a serious offense: we are all equal here,” says Ana Griselda Rodríguez, neighbor of Santiago de las Vegas in the capital.
“It is an affront not only to the girl, but also to our society,” said Internet user Marco Velázquez Cristo, “because such conduct harms the dignity of the people and the values we defend. This is unacceptable.”
Then the comments got hotter, because they claimed that the action was a crime punishable under our laws, and urged Yanay to make a formal complaint. Most opinions demanded a punishment for the driver of the vehicle, on the understanding that such attitudes should not go unpunished.
“I hope the courts act strongly against the driver. For the young woman, a hug. We are not black or white, we are Cubans,” wrote Ibrahim Almaguer Legrá, via email.
Rivera warns that these racist behaviors have gone too far, not only among the boteros [self/employed car owners offering public transport service], but even in the paladares [private restaurants] with their employees. “The problem goes far beyond,” he said.
Another forum writer, Enrique Martinez, said, “Wow, now do not tell me that there is no evidence or that it is her word against his. The important thing here is to reject such an attitude. People can and must punish him. If Cubans contributed to doing away with apartheid thousands of miles away, how can a racist person be allowed to display his arrogance here. At least let’s make him swallow his racism.”
Among the many opinions, only that of a reader who calls himself Esteban does not see anything alarming in the story. “He did not ask her out for being black, but because he was ending the tour and she got offended when he called her by the color of her skin.”
We must add that a few minutes ago we received a call from the “Jose Antonio Aponte Committee” of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) taking an interest in the facts and congratulating our team for the publication.
The senders want to know what happened to the driver and what will the authorities do. They and we “expect a STRONG response.”
Translated and edited for CubaNews by Walter Lippmann.
JULY 10, 2017 1:22 PM
The driver of a private taxi has been detained in Havana for an alleged act of racial discrimination which was denounced by a black passenger, in a case that is being investigated by the Attorney General’s Office, reports the official weekly Trabajadores.
Yanay Aguirre Calderín, a law student at the University of Havana, denounced the “ill-mannerd” and “very violent” behavior of the “almendrón” driver –old American passenger cars– in a letter published a week ago in the “Open Mailbox” section of that medium.
According to Aguirre’s story, she took the vehicle in the Havana neighborhood of Marianao and in the middle of the route decided to get off a few stops earlier than originally planned, a change of plans that angered the taxi driver.
Aguirre said in her letter that the driver began to scream and said that “every time a black man entered his car was the same and that is why he could not stand them,” according to his account.
The carrier ordered her to leave the car without reaching the destination requested and told her that “he did not want blacks in his car “, although she was able to photograph the car with her cell phone and write down the of the license plate number.
The official Trabajadores newspaper prints statements by the head of the Directorate of Citizenship of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR), Rafael Soler López, who said that he “can not anticipate what will be the end of the process” against the driver whose Identity has not been revealed.
However, the prosecutor said that this case is being investigated in order to prove “criminal wrongdoing” in court, while the accused remains in custody.
He said that in Cuba both the Constitution and the Penal Code have articles related to the proscription of discrimination on the basis of race, sex and gender, and endorsing the right of every citizen to equality.
The publication that tracks the incident indicated that police authorities in Havana proceeded immediately to locate the owner of the vehicle and details that the driver, who admitted his involvement in the events, was identified by the complainant at a police station.
Regarding the repercussions of Aguirre’s complaint, the Attorney General’s Office indicates that he has received dozens of comments on his website and social networks, as well as telephone calls, which repudiate an “unforgivable attitude and behavior”.
Author: PEDRO DE LA HOZ
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Forty-five years after the first edition, the José Martí National Library has again published Walterio Carbonell’s Cómo surgió la cultura nacional (How national culture emerged) in order to launch Ediciones Bachiller, a humble but arduous effort to rescue long-forgotten, yet essential, texts of Cuban letters.
National Library director and renowned essayist Eliades Acosta rightly remarks that Walterio’s “is one of the most radical books of the Revolution’s historiography”. Both the author and his book were surely tagged as evil as a result of their radical nature. Going headfirst and with fully loaded cannons into historiographic conventions and domestic myths gave rise to an upheaval of wariness and denials in his epoch. What should have become a consistent discussion of his theses remained hidden in a miasma of ostracism, perhaps tampered with by the existing circumstances.
It came as no surprise to Walterio, who personally confessed to this reporter a few months ago: “my statements were racked with urgency; it was the dawn of the Revolution, our internal ideological struggle had reached its peak and I wanted to help ideological revolutionary views to gain ground. I should have reviewed what I wrote then, develop my ideas more and go deeper into more than one thing or two, but it proved impossible”.
These considerations by no means reduce the basic significance of an essay that for the first time highlighted, in an organic and integrated manner, the contribution of a dominated culture, that of black slaves, and the birth and growth of our nation.
Walterio’s starting point was a Marxist conception of history detached from any mechanistic and oppressive dogmas. When he says that, “neither the nation nor national culture are exactly its social classes, but a product”, and “the problem of creating a nation and its national culture demands an analysis that goes beyond a mere appraisal of a society’s living conditions and class conflicts”, a highly complicated issue in Cuba since, in the 19th century, “not only were the fundamental classes, to wit slaves and slaveholders, in conflict but also the psychic and cultural formation of the Spanish and African population”, the author took a decisive step towards a dialectical articulation of this topic.
He had already smashed to pieces what he called “a bookish and aristocratic approach to culture”, by wondering “whether it would be true that our cultural inventory is made up of a collection of reactionary ideas put across by Arango y Parreño, José Antonio Saco, Luz y Caballero and Domingo del Monte” or “whether by any chance popular culture, whose strength lies in black people’s traditions, is not a cultural tradition”.
In his conclusions, oddly enough, placed halfway through the text, Walterio summarizes several assessments that are full-fledged science nowadays but at that time, and so passionately expressed, they seemed inflammatory. Today, for instance, we know that “the Ten Years War is the expression of the ultimate decomposition of slavery in Cuba” and “it was waged against the metropolis as much as it was against the vast majority of slaveholders”, but I’m not sure at this juncture that ideas like “as the driving force of the colonial economy as well as the most exploited class (…) the slaves became the most revolutionary class” have been deeply studied or, instead of a response to the metropolis’s restrictive policies, “the multiple slave uprisings were a major cause of division amid the ruling class (…): annexationists and reformists”.
Walterio’s book provides the Cuban scientists with present-day proposals to debate and discuss. It would suffice to reintroduce this statement to encourage analysis: “Africa has facilitated the victory of social changes in the country, which by no means imply that Spain has disappeared. It has Africanized instead “.
At any rate, it would be both useful and convenient to breathe the fresh air supplied by Cómo surgió la cultura nacional. Walterio’s work is alive, just like he is, day after day in his quiet post there in the National Library José Martí, proud of having dedicated his book to Fidel and with the memories of having been the one who, in Paris, during the years of Batista’s tyranny, flew the 26th of July banner from the Eiffel Tower.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for daily POR ESTO! of Mérida, México.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Race relations have worsened in the United States since Donald Trump’s electoral campaign began. With his recent confirmation as the Republican presidential candidate, this deterioration appears to have reached a critical state.
Upon accepting the presidential nomination at the National Republican Convention in Cleveland, Trump described himself as the “law-and-order candidate”, and declared he was ready to restore in the country a security “that is out of control and needs a leader” capable of implementing sharp measures to protect Americans.
“The first task of my new administration will be to relieve our citizens from the crime, terrorism and anarchy that threaten their communities,” he said.” I have a message for every person who threatens peace in our streets and the safety of our police: when I take office next year: I will restore law and order in our country”.
Appealing to the anguish of the voters who feel that the rest of the world no longer respects the United States, Trump pledged to act quickly so that Americans feel better about the sad image their country projects. He promised to warn allies and enemies that Washington would focus exclusively on protecting US’s own interests.
Without softening his tone, or departing from the hardline that has characterized his campaign, Trump described Americans as victims of immigrants, international companies and irresponsible leaders. He presented himself as the defender of the “forgotten men and women in our country”.
By explicitly affirming white identity and voicing the most widespread complaints, Trump has galvanized the marginal world of white nationalists who describe themselves as “racial realists”. They hail him as the man who has helped millions of white Americans to understand that race should matter to them as much as to everyone else.
The pro-Trump activists say he has freed Americans to say what they really think. A survey conducted by CBS News in April showed that half of those surveyed admitted there is a problem and more than 60% considered that race relations had worsened.
More recently, an investigation conducted nationally by the Pew Research Center of Washington, DC (PEW) between June 5 and July 7, involving 4,602 adults, showed that black and white Americans have profoundly different views on racial equality, and they also differ on the extent to which a person’s race can be a burden or a benefit.
For blacks, the answer is clear: 65% say “it is a lot more difficult to be black in this country than it is to be white.”
Fewer than half as many whites (27%) agree. The racial gap in perception of white advantages is even starker: 62% of blacks say “white people benefit a great deal from advantages in society that black people do not have.” Just 13% of whites say whites have benefited a great deal from advantages that blacks lack.
Commenting on the evidence of this study on perception of race advantages or disadvantages, PEW researcher Shiva Maniam wrote on July 18 that among Latinos, 37% say it is lot more difficult to be black than white, which is higher than the share of whites who say this but far lower than the number of blacks who do so.
Most Latinos say white people benefit from advantages in society that blacks do not have; 33% say whites benefit a great deal from these circumstances, compared with 62% of blacks and 13% of whites.
About the perception of how blacks are treated in different areas, another recent survey revealed that most blacks believe they are treated less fairly than whites in dealing with the police, in the courts, when applying for a loan or mortgage, and in the workplace. At least four out of ten interviewed said that blacks receive much worse treatment in stores and restaurants and when voting in elections.
July 22, 2016.
Por Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusivo para el diario POR ESTO! de Mérida, México.
Las relaciones raciales han empeorado en Estados Unidos desde quecomenzó la campaña electoral de Donald Trump y con su recienteconfirmación como candidato republicano a la presidencia de lanación este deterioro parece haber alcanzado un estado crítico.
Al aceptar en Cleveland la nominación presidencial en la ConvenciónNacional Republicana, Trump se describió a sí mismo como el “candidatode la ley y el orden” y se declaró dispuesto a restaurar la seguridaddel país, “que está fuera de control y necesita un líder” capaz deimplementar medidas tajantes para proteger a los estadounidenses.“La primera tarea de mi nueva administración será liberar a nuestrosciudadanos de la delincuencia, el terrorismo y la anarquía queamenazan a sus comunidades”, dijo.
“Tengo un mensaje para cada persona que amenaza la paz en nuestrascalles y la seguridad de nuestros policías: cuando tome posesión delcargo el próximo año, voy a restaurar la ley y el orden en nuestropaís”.
Apelando a la angustia de los votantes que sienten que el resto delmundo ya no respeta a Estados Unidos, Trump se comprometió a actuarcon rapidez para que los estadounidenses se sientan mejor sobre latriste imagen que proyecta su país y prometió que advertirá a aliadosy enemigos que Washington en lo adelante se centrará exclusivamente enla protección de sus propios intereses.
Sin suavizar su tono ni apartarse de la línea dura que hacaracterizado su campaña, Trump describió a los estadounidenses comovíctimas de los inmigrantes, las empresas internacionales y loslíderes irresponsables, y se presentó como el defensor de los “hombresy mujeres olvidados de nuestro país”.
Al afirmar de manera explícita la identidad blanca y hacerse eco delas quejas más generalizadas, Trump ha galvanizado el mundo marginalde quienes se declaran nacionalistas blancos y se describen a símismos como “realistas raciales”.
Ellos lo aclaman como el hombre que ha logrado que millones deestadounidenses blancos entiendan que la raza les debe importar tantocomo a todos los demás. Los activistas pro-Trump dicen que él haliberado a los estadounidenses para que digan lo que realmentepiensan.
En una encuesta realizada en abril por la cadena CBS News, casi lamitad de los consultados admitió esa problemática y más del 60 %consideró que las relaciones raciales empeoraban.
Más recientemente, en una pesquisa llevada a cabo a nivel nacional porel Centro Pew de Investigaciones, de Washington, DC (PEW) entre el 5de junio y el 7 de julio con participación de 4.602 adultos, se pusode manifiesto que los estadounidenses blancos y negros tienen puntosde vista sumamente diferentes acerca de la igualdad racial y quetambién difieren en cuanto a la medida en que la raza de una personapuede serle una carga o un beneficio.
Para los negros, la respuesta es clara. El 65% dice que en EstadosUnidos “es mucho más difícil ser negro que ser blanco”. Solo el 27% delos blancos coincide en este aserto.
La brecha racial en la percepción de las ventajas del blanco sobre elnegro es también significativa. El 62% de los encuestados negrossostiene que “la gente blanca se beneficia de muchas ventajas que lesofrece la sociedad que no tienen los negros”. Sólo el 13% de losblancos admite que los de su raza se beneficien mucho de ventajas delas que carecen los negros.
Comentando las evidencias de esta investigación sobre quienes sonayudados o perjudicados por su raza, Shiva Maniam, investigadorasistente de PEW escribió el 18 de julio que entre los hispanos, 37%señala que es mucho más difícil ser negro que ser blanco, pero essuperior la proporción de blancos que así piensan y mucho menor elnúmero de negros que lo hacen. La mayoría de los hispanos apunta quelos blancos se benefician de ventajas en la sociedad que los negros notienen; 33% dice que los blancos se benefician mucho de estascircunstancias, proporción que se eleva al 62% de los negros y un 13%de los blancos a nivel de la nación.
Acerca de la percepción de cómo son tratados los negros en diferentesáreas, otra encuesta reciente reveló que la mayoría de los negrosafirma que recibe un trato menos justo que los blancos en su relacióncon la policía, en los tribunales, al solicitar un préstamo o unahipoteca y en su centro de trabajo. Por lo menos cuatro de cada diezentrevistados dijeron que los negros reciben un trato bastante peor entiendas o restaurantes, así como al votar en las elecciones.
Julio 22 de 2016.
A Google/CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Havana, June 4 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Raul Castro, today mourned the death of legendary American boxer Muhammad Ali, declaring the Seventh Summit of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) closed.
We send our message of condolences and solidarity to the family of the great Muhammad Ali boxing champion, the people of the United States, especially the African American community, whose rights he always defended as well as the whole sports community, he said.
In his closing speech, he also said that “we will never forget his chivalry and ethics, his rejection of war and the defense of peace, respect and friendship with Fidel (Castro) and Teofilo Stevenson, the great boxer born in Cuba and Caribbean.”
Considered the greatest boxer of all time, Ali, who was born in 1942 with the name of Cassius Clay until he converted to Islam, died Friday at the age of 74 in a hospital in Phoenix (Arizona) following respiratory complications from his long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Throughout his brilliant career, in addition to winning Olympic gold medal in Rome in 1960 and establishing himself as world heavyweight champion professional, Ali was about to face in the “Fight of the Century” three-time holder under the five rings and who would be his friend, the Cuban [Teófilo] Stevenson.
Upon learning of his death, personalities from diverse fields, from all corners of the world, sent out similar messages evoking the greatness inside and outside the ring to the boxer who “floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee”, as he described himself.
The ACS Summit met for three days in Havana with the participation of heads of state and government, foreign ministers and representatives of thirty members and associate members of the regional organization to discuss issues of common interest.
La Habana, 4 jun (PL) El presidente cubano, Raúl Castro, lamentó hoy la muerte del mítico boxeador estadounidense Muhammad Ali, al declarar clausurada la VII Cumbre de la Asociación de Estados del Caribe (AEC).
Enviamos nuestro mensaje de condolencias y solidaridad a la familia del gran campeón de boxeo Muhammad Ali, al pueblo de los Estados Unidos, en especial a la comunidad afroamericana, cuyos derechos siempre defendió, así como a toda la comunidad deportiva, expresó.
En su discurso de cierre afirmó, además, que “nunca olvidaremos su caballerosidad y ética, su rechazo a la guerra y su defensa de la paz, su respeto y amistad con el compañero Fidel (Castro) y con ese gran boxeador nacido en Cuba y caribeño que fue Teófilo Stevenson”.
Considerado el boxeador más grande de todos los tiempos, Ali, que nació en 1942 con el nombre de Cassius Clay hasta que se convirtió al Islam, murió el viernes a la edad de 74 años en un hospital de Phoenix (Arizona) a raíz de las complicaciones respiratorias provocadas por su larga batalla contra el mal de Parkinson.
A lo largo de su brillante carrera, además de conquistar el oro olímpico en Roma-1960 y erigirse campeón mundial de los pesos máximos en el profesionalismo, Ali estuvo a punto de enfrentar en la llamada “Pelea del Siglo” al tres veces titular bajo los cinco aros y quien sería su gran amigo, el cubano Stevenson.
Al conocerse su deceso, personalidades de los ámbitos más diversos emitieron desde todos los rincones del mundo mensajes similares evocando la grandeza dentro y fuera de los cuadriláteros del boxeador que “flotaba como una mariposa y picaba como una abeja”, como él mismo se describía.
La Cumbre de la AEC sesionó por tres días en La Habana con la participación de jefes de Estado y Gobierno, cancilleres y representantes de la treintena de países miembros y asociados de la organización regional para debatir temas de interés común.
By Eduardo Galeano
They called him Cassius Clay. He chooses to call himself Muhammad Ali
They made him a Christian. He chooses to make himself a Muslim.
They made him defend himself. No one punches like Ali, so fierce and fast, light tank, bulldozing feather, indestructible possessor of the world crown.
They told him that a good boxer confines his fighting to the ring. He says the real ring is something else, where a triumphant black fights for defeated blacks, for those who eat leftovers in the kitchen.
They advised discretion. From then on he yells.
They tapped his phone. From then on he yells on the phone, too
They put a uniform on him to send him to Vietnam. He pulls it off and yells that he isn’t going, because he has nothing against the Vietnamese, who have don no harm to him or to any other black American
They took away his world title, they stopped him from boxing, they sentenced him to jail and a fine. he yells his thanks for these compliments to his human dignity.
Translation from MEMORY OF FIRE: CENTURY OF THE WIND, by Eduardo Galeano (1988)
EDUARDO GALEANO is a Uruguayan writer and journalist.
He is the author of THE OPEN VEINS OF LATIN AMERICA.
Lo llamaron Cassius Clay: se llama Muhammad Alí, por nombre elegido.
Lo hicieron cristiano: se hace musulmán, por elegida fe.
Lo obligaron a defenderse: pega como nadie, feroz y veloz, tanque liviano, demoledora pluma, indestructible dueño de la corona mundial.
Le dijeron que un buen boxeador deja la bronca en el ring: él dice que el verdadero ring es el otro, donde un negro triunfante pelea por los negros vencidos, por los que comen sobras en la cocina.
Le aconsejaron discreción: desde entonces grita. Le intervinieron el teléfono: desde entonces grita también por teléfono.
Le pusieron uniforme para enviarlo a la guerra de Vietnam: se saca el uniforme y grita que no va, porque no tiene nada contra los vietnamitas, que nada malo le han hecho a él ni a ningún otro negro norteamericano.
Le quitaron el título mundial, le prohibieron boxear, lo condenaron a cárcel y multa: gritando agradece estos elogios a su dignidad humana.
(En Memoria del Fuego III: El Siglo del Viento)