U.S.A.: Racism and Entropy

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U.S.A.: Racism and Entropy
Fecha de publicación: 
15 June 2020
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The first manifestation of racism I witnessed in Miami, by the way, did not come from a white person, or Caucasian (as it now appears in newspapers), against a black person.

It happened downtown Miami, city I have never gotten used to. I heard a car braking and I looked up:

"India, learn how to drive," shouted a non-Caucasian woman at the top of her lungs. She sped on and disappeared.

For a Cuban used to interacting with the variety of races on the island, it was an unpleasant and weird situation. I was slow to process it. The tone of the expression was not because of the annoyance of the shouting woman. It was deeply contemptuous. To be sure, the screaming woman suffered from a personality in a state of maximum entropy, who interacted badly with her environment, not just with traffic.

In psychology, like in physics, interaction is considered to cease when the energy between two bodies has been equalized. A kind of premature death takes place, because we have been born just to interact and relate. Get to know each other through this permanent disposition to give and receive, in a physical, psychological and emotional way.

After that experience and others, I understood I had made the best decision to move further north in the United States.

Moving to Chicago was, in a way, emigrating for the second time. An intense cultural life, with lots of black professionals (a few of them with PhDs or masters); interracial couples, Jews support the Palestinian cause in street demonstrations, people always ready to enjoy what other cultures have to offer. There was great curiosity about Cuba, they didn’t believe the picture given by certain media.

Women, great talkers as everyone knows, especially black women in the city, exchanged energy with everyone, on the street or in buses. Good mornings were exchanged between regulars or strangers. With a minimum of entropy, allowing the other to enter, and the psychological, warm and human exchange would not be stopped by the cold or the wind.

One of the Tribune's main editors was Cuban. He was excellent at handling a language that wasn’t his native tongue. In the company's Spanish newspaper, although the majority of workers were Mexicans, there were workers from almost all of Latin America and Spain. The work environment had a good vibe.

Despite the conservative tendency of the Tribune, its critics were really enthusiastic before the representatives of the Cuban culture who were plenty. The articles were apologetic. They were amazed by the ensemble of so many talents in the same ballet or dance company, or in an orchestra. They did not discriminate because artists came from a country with a different ideology. Nobody would have thought of organizing a protest against Cuban artists in the city.

What I want to emphasize with these examples is the extreme complexity of an emigrant society that, however, has not managed to solve the problem of racism. A paradox, because many claim to be proud of the diversity of origin of the population and the cultural wealth this brings along.

The United States is not the same country as it was thirty years ago. Despite its cyclical crises, the economy managed to stabilize. The ruling class kept certain hypocritical parameters that gave the image of unity, especially in times of crisis. The consumerism of uselessness, the culture of entertainment and nonsense, the attraction to gossip and bad taste did a good job of eliminating social differences.

But for a few years now, the conditions imposed by neoliberalism have strengthened the deterioration of the middle class, just imagine the poorest class. It has become customary to see in the news that someone is mistreated for not speaking English or expressing themselves poorly in that language. Violent situations where open racist expressions are common.

The current President has strengthened the accumulation of capital and the power of the super rich class, with a highly digestible demagoguery for the least educated sectors that believe they are represented. Religious fanaticism, with its infinite amount of ignorance, and disinformation, have served its purpose.

The cult of personality has entered through the back door, in the nation "leader of western democracy", replacing its "paradigmatic institutions" with despicable tweets, inconsistencies, manipulations and blatant lies and a terrible taste in treating opponents, journalists or even allies who dare to speak too loud.

The President, representing the sector with the maximum national entropy, has corrupted international relations. It has made diplomacy a show. It has refloated, and explicitly upheld, that particular concept of human rights that no serious person is capable of understanding.

The list of Afro-Americans killed at the hands of the police, and the abuse to them and Hispanics, have been adding to the social magma, these days in open eruption. People seem bloated with lies and have gone out to battle.

For its part, the far right emerges from that shielded gloom and incapable of embracing and including those who do not carry the Bible in their hands. Despite the fact of being still born, it continues and will continue to give physical kicks to one side and the other. It still doesn't know it’s hitting its own shield.

Once, a North American of Irish origin told me at a small party: "For me, this is a failed experiment." Right now, it seems like he's right.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

 

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