24 January 2005

sin titulo (without title)

Well it's monday again, another week down the drain. You know I was looking at my blog page and realize how borin çg it is to look at. I have no pictures, links or anything eye catching. So this is the week that I plan to add some snaz to my page, so work with me.

In the meantime, I still have my directory to finish, I didn't get any shouts of help from last week, but another computer savy buddy did help me out over the weekend. I have two meetings to attend and I'm contemplating going on a jucing fast. Wow how is that for the week.
But I have some thoughts on my mind.

1) Is there a difference between classism and racism? Ok don't go off the hook now thinking what controversy am I trying to stir up. I just want to know because I live in a society where the people tend to think that neither exists. I see classism as people defining you because of the circles you associate, ect. the type of house you have, the clothes you wear, what kind of neighborhood you live in, the schools you attended, ect. Racism is based on the color of your skin or your ethnic background. I mean the definitions can be more intelluctualy precise, but you get the drift.

Now here I am, a black West Indian, with many American habits and customs living in Caracas. Do I get treated based on the color of my skin or the circles in which I associate. let me give some examples. most of the black people in Caracas are also the poor people, hence if you see a black person, chances are 90% of the time, they live in the barrios (ghetto/slumbs) and work at menial jobs. So when one of the european desandant hispanics sees me, do they automatically assume that I'm black therefore I live in the barrios. To make matters worse. Like a true American, I like to take public transportation or walk wherever I go, which here in Caracas is a sign of your class status. (you take public transprtation, therefore you can't afford a car, hence your'e not in my class.) Now when I as a black person enter my bldg, for those that don't know me assume that I'm the maid and ignore me....I let it slide, until the same people see me at night dress to kill or attending some of the same functions they attend and still proceed to treat me the same way, or turn the tables completely and want to be my friend because now they know the company I'm associated with. Am I being treated with classism or racism.

What about when I go into a store and they proceed to follow me around, until I take out my American Credit Card and purchase items that they, themselves can't afford to purchase. to make matters worse, when I purchase the items with cash. What's the excuse for the indifferent treatment. Well I'm just curious as to the difference. you ask a Venezulean does racism exist in their country they will heartedly tell you no, yet, in my 3+ years of living here, I've never seen an ethnic person on television as a presenter, never in the banks (except as janitors), the municipal offices, the executive commercial offices and worse yet, never in the universities. well granted I havn't visited all the universities...but we know that they are not there. I never even seen one working in the stores in the mall, especially not the stores that sell high priced items.

As to the classism issue, well the same goes. if you apprear to dress a certain way or have a certain look about you, then you are not welcomed in some places. Me and another white friend was denied entry into several dance clubs..because we simply didn't have the look. I also know of another white couple that was denied entry into one of the country clubs, because the management did think they fit the style of the club, eventhough the husband was the CEO of one of the major foreign organizations here. and the list goes on.

Finally, there is a black woman, born in the West Indies and grew up in Venezuela, ask her if racism or classism exist and she'll tell you no. eventhough she will tell of incidents where she has had some indifferent treatment. What gives? I'm not even going to touch the political issues. Chavistias(government suporters mostly black or ethnic and poor) vs escoladors (opposition supporters, mostly well educated with money, business people and european desandant venezuleans).

Will this country ever come out of their constant decline with views and attitudes like these. I'm just asking. So is there a difference between classism and racism or are both one and the same.


Abeni said...

I find racism to be worse as that is forming opinions based on skin.Classism now don't really deal with color that much.You know in some Cbean societies the lawyers,the business men etc move in different circles and sometimes tend to look down their noses at others even if they are the same skin type.

Jdid said...

there is a difference between the terms but I think from what you speak of in Venuezula the terms overlap since the the classes are more or less split along clas lines and the draker folks are at the bottom of the class structure. Probably makes it a lot easier to discriminate.

obifromsouthlondon said...

hmmm difficult to call. though if you're black the distinctions wouldn't even matter.

I worked in Rome for a year and for the first few months I thought there were no black people in the place. I worked as a contractor for a firm employing 5000 people and I was the only black person. I eventually found the "barrios" and met with people totally excluded from the Italian society. I was very happy to be living in london. racist bastards. excuse my italian.