Saturday, June 21, 2008

Racism still alive in Lima, Peru

I've been telling Peruvians that theirs is just about the most racist country I ever visited. They still don't believe.

This morning I went to a cultural event at an institution whose name I will not mention at this time, in order to protect the guilty.

After about 5 or 6 performances, this group lined up on the stage. It struck me that the figure on the right, from the perspective of the audience, stood motionless, was a white man wearing "black face," and while the other stood proud, he lowered his head, playing the shameful, shameless Uncle Tom.

And, as the crowded hall laughed and cheered, as he shuffled in his dance, head still held downward, I left in disgust.

Because I voiced the view that I was insulted, several students engaged me in conversation at the gate, but it was impossible to explain why it was insulting.

I've read and heard about racism in the USA since I was a boy, but this is the very first time I ever saw Al Jolson reincarnated.

--Photographs and article produced by Patrick B. Barr (Barrybar on flickr)


SBS said...

Why would you want to protect the guilty? What they did was awful.

onLocation.......Phoenix, Arizona said...

I think the author was just being cynical.

onLocation.......Phoenix, Arizona said...

A lively discussion is going on concerning this post at:

Em said...

They write history so they don't tell those stories. You might look at their behavior as a symptom of living a racially privileged life. They are no more capable of ridding themselves of behavior they don't find offensive as you are of getting rid of the sensitivities that make their behavior offensive.