About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Caribbean?

Ok, final reflections on the semester spent with students and what was hardest to teach them about Latin America.

1) The Spaniards did not kill all the indigenous. Even the very Aymara girl sitting third row back could not convince some that the Spaniards did not "kill all the Indians." I'm here to report that the black legend is alive and well.

2) There were no Indians when the Spanish arrived. There were no Africans that came as slaves. The students expected total racial solidarity and a complete anti-white coalition coming out of the boats. Slaves and Indians, one insisted, where clearly just stupid because the didn't get together to overthrow the whites. *sigh*

3) The Caribbean is part of Latin America. Again, the Boricua sitting in the back saying how much more he understood Puerto Rico now that he had a Colonial course on Latin America didn't help one iota.

These were the hardest ideas to get across, but in the end, I think I had only one that came out thinking all the Indians were dumb, dead, and certainly not from the Caribbean. Out of eleven students, that's not a bad turn around.

So, in honor of Mr. Incredulous, here's a very merry Christmas ... 70's / 80's style.

1 comment:

El Aguila said...

I feel your pain. Although last semester, I found myself defending the conservative point of view in my Mexican immigration course. Having to explain that Joe Arpaio is not Hitler and a comparison to the Holocaust is not appropriate at times made my skin crawl. But we survived. ¡Feliz Navidad!