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Old 12-26-2012, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Up North
3,406 posts, read 7,556,201 times
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Long story. I highlighted my question at the bottom.


Half of my family is from Bolivia and they are all really racist. They are racist about "indians/indios" to the point of not acknowledging sister in-laws, nieces, etc. Yet some of my family also seems racists towards "whites", specifically me.

I'm half American white and I look white and I have gotten nothing but horrible treatment from my Bolivian side of the family. On one hand, they are racist about indians and glorify things like light colored eyes and light skin, yet they seem to resent people "whiter" than them (like me).

One of my cousins accused her husband of having an affair with me when I was 19 and he was 40

Another cousin told me my blonde highlights made me look like a **** and when I dyed my hair brown she confided in me that she "hates blondes and people with light features".

An aunt of mine told me that my other aunt may not want me around her daughter because she thinks I'm a ****. I'm an honors society student and have had the same boyfriend for the past two years

I have been told I'm my grandmas favorite grandchild because she is racist and I'm "whiter" than the rest of us. I have also heard that Grandma prefered her lighter skinned children . I honestly highly doubt this because my Grandma is a swarthy Italian-Bolivian woman. It enrages me because I think my family is racist towards me.

I want to understand why they are like this, and why society is this way. I want to understand the history of racism in Bolivia and I also want to understand the current political events. If you know of any websites, papers, blogs, or any knowledge you can drop on me I would greatly appreciate it.

From reading journalism online, it seems the President Evo Morales is trying to do good for the majority, but my family hates him and are all trying to leave Bolivia because of what he is doing yet none of them can explain the details to me besides he is an "uneducated indian, only a 3rd graders education".
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
5,899 posts, read 8,408,894 times
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I dont know much about Bolivia, but your bolivian family does seem kinda crazy, sorry.
I find it hard to believe that a big part of any society can have crazy attitudes as the ones you are describing.

Im sorry for you, it must suck to have such crazy family
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:51 AM
 
25,059 posts, read 23,157,510 times
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Your family is just insane, sorry. A lot of these things exist in families in Latin America, but definitely not on the scale of your family
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,811 posts, read 4,433,356 times
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They dislike Indios because they are racist and classist, they look down on them, and they dislike people whiter then them because they assume they look down on them for not being as white. Its the tipical colonial mentality where being pure european is still the highest ideal. you see that nonsense through out Latin America.

My suggestion to you would be read as much as you can about Bolivias History, to try to get an understanding as to why it is the way it is. But Don't feel too bad, like i said before that type of mentality is common(unfortunately) through out Latin America.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Up North
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Usually the conversation starts among my cousins and I that I'm Grandma's favorite.

"Grandma loves you. She always talks about you"

Then one of my cousins will say "Its because your pale/white and Grandma is racist"


My mother says in private that I'm my Grandma's favorite because I'm a hard worker and not spoiled like my other cousins.


It just bothers me how often race is brought up among my cousins and Grandma liking me because I'm white gets brought up all the time among my cousins. All of the cousins I am speaking of have lived in Bolivia for 10 or more years, or grew up there and then moved to the US.

I know it doesn't sound like a big deal but its really painful. As a child and young adult, I always wanted to be close to this side of the family but now that I'm an adult, I find they all crap on me, aunts are critical and backhanded with me, and the only one who is nice to me is my mom and even she is racist.

I'm half Russian-American Jew and when I dyed my hair darker than my natural brown my mother refused to hug me and was mad at me. She told me later it was because I looked like a "Ruski that just moved to America" and that she doesn't like fresh-off the boat Russian.

WELL OF COURSE I LOOK RUSSIAN, my father was. I'm starting to resent my family so much but I still love them.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:00 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,546 posts, read 70,455,727 times
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Some Bolivians have bought into the propaganda that Evo wants to turn Bolivia socialist, he's bad for business, etc. The Indian Movement in the Andes has gained a lot of strength in the last 20 years, has succeeded in expanding opportunity for Native people politically and in education, so in Bolivia, where the Native people form the majority of the population, it sounds like there's a backlash. Though Native people were always regarded kind of like India's untouchable class, especially in Ecuador and Bolivia. How awful, to watch this play out in your family, with you more or less at the center! Try to realize that they're just products of their environment and generations (hundreds of years) of conditioning.

Is there any chance of improving ties to your dad's side of the family?

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 12-27-2012 at 07:24 PM..
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:21 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,546 posts, read 70,455,727 times
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OP, I did some quick researching around the internet. Here are some resources:

articles:

http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/...revolution.pdf

The politics of Evo Morales' rise to power in Bolivia | Publication | Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

http://www.plataformademocratica.org...828_Cached.pdf -- this is a paper by the Inter-Am. Development Bank: Reforms & Counter-Reforms in Bolivia.

books:

Race and Class in Post-Colonial Society: A Study of Ethnic Group Relations in the English-speaking Caribbean, Bolivia, Chile and Mexico
(UNESCO)

Mestisaje Upside Down: Aesthetic Politics in Modern Bolivia

Social Movements and State Power: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador (on Amazon)

Unresolved Tensions: Bolivia Past and Present (Pitt Latin American Studies)

The Indian Liberation and Social Rights Movement in Kollasuyu (Bolivia) by Julio Tumiri Apaza

re: the last listing, you may see several listings of this title on Amazon, some say "Currently unavailable". Scroll down until you see the one that is available.

Happy reading, good luck, and stay in touch!

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 12-27-2012 at 07:57 PM..
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:05 PM
Status: "Then everything change forever..." (set 12 days ago)
 
5,169 posts, read 8,019,848 times
Reputation: 4264
With respect I say that you have one sick family. Horrible!

They may be great with other things, but they need to get over this. If they don't, eventually you will drift away from them. At least, a sane person would do such a thing in this situation.

Your case is very atypical.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:39 AM
 
304 posts, read 886,971 times
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I have lived in several places on the Mexican border. Met some wonderful people there, and some of the most racist people I've ever known too. I went to a broadcast of the Julio Ceasar Chavez/Pernell Whitaker fight shown in the banquet room of a hotel in McAllen, TX. Several hundred in the room, and I sat next to an elderly Hispanic gentleman. We had a good conversation and during the fight he pointed out that Chavez was an Indian. Said just look at his face, you can see it. At work not only was I hassled by racist Hispanic coworkers(most were Hispanic)but one Hispanic coworker was very dark and got teased to the point he quit over it. One has only to look at the economic status of most indigenous in Latin America to surmise how they are regarded. It's a real testament to his character that Benito Juarez rose to becoming president of Mexico given the atmosphere. That said I'm looking at retirement in Latin America as there's much to admire too.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:46 AM
 
304 posts, read 886,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Some Bolivians have bought into the propaganda that Evo wants to turn Bolivia socialist, he's bad for business, etc. The Indian Movement in the Andes has gained a lot of strength in the last 20 years, has succeeded in expanding opportunity for Native people politically and in education, so in Bolivia, where the Native people form the majority of the population, it sounds like there's a backlash. Though Native people were always regarded kind of like India's untouchable class, especially in Ecuador and Bolivia. How awful, to watch this play out in your family, with you more or less at the center! Try to realize that they're just products of their environment and generations (hundreds of years) of conditioning.

Is there any chance of improving ties to your dad's side of the family?
Morales almost caused the breakup of the country because he tried to nationalize oil and gas fields in eastern and southern Bolivia. Certainly there's prejudice but there's also the reality that those regions got very little from La Paz for generations. They became self reliant and when the energy sector took off they didn't take kindly to the national government wanting to take it from them to finance social programs elsewhere. Luckily cooler heads prevailed before it escalated into a civil war.
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