Latin American Racial Hierarchies

1400 Words 6 Pages
The origins of Latin American’s modern racial categories and racial hierarchies have been greatly debate throughout the 21st century. Some historians argued that Latin American racial categories and hierarchies were created when European first arrived in the New World. In contrast, others believe it took years of European influence to create the racial ideals and constructions that exist in modern Latin America. Race and ethnicity know as fixed referents that people grow up learning. The word “race” can be traces back to the sixteenth century European languages. During this time period, race was mostly used to discuss the lineage of a group of people. However, this all change when the Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and the French sailed into …show more content…
Great thinkers were fully awarded that people from different location, climates and environment were physically different from a person in other location in the world. “Thus it was thought that, say, colder places made people dull, white, and democratic, whereas topical ones rendered them intelligent, dark, and subservient. Seemingly whimsical customs first introduced by cultural heroes, it was also argued, launched people into divergent path of development”(Canizares-Esguerra 2). These views on race made European believed that they were more intelligent and civilize then other nations and people. In the Fifteenth and sixteenth century, Europeans were extremely hard on any outsiders. During this time, Christians were killing and enslaving Muslims from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean. Jewish people were still being persecuted and suffering from a mass expulsion in Spain. In addition, thousands of enslaved Africans were being imported to European ports. However, during this time the word “race” still did not exist, people understand physical different and how it can lead to discriminate against each …show more content…
The Europeans felt that they were the superior race and saw that they can take advantage of weaker races. Europeans influences change how indigenous natives and Africans view themselves in colonial society. In the article “ A Slap In The Face Of Honor”, Lipsett-Rivera wrote about how women fought to keep their honor. Honor was a sense of social superiority, and therefore women wanted to protect their honor at all cost. From this article, it is clear to see how European ideas of racial categories and racial hierarchies in embedded in these Mexican women. Lipsett-Rivera decided one way women would protect their honor was to flight with each other in public. One example was the story of Josefa Cadena, a married mulatto, who apparently brushed against dona Teresa Brao. Dona Teresa Brao felt that she was disrespect by a woman of a lower social class. During the attack, dona Teresa Brao called the other women a black whore. “There was no greater insult to a married women than to label her a black whore, insulting her fidelity and her quality, since her honor is well known, and since she is not black but castiza”(185). These standards of racial and racial hierarchies were created by the Europeans and were forced on the Natives and Africans in Latin America. Without the Europeans being in central America these Mexican women would not have know that their skin

Related Documents