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Thread: Racism

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    Racism

    Every place in the world seems to have a grim past when it comes to racism. What about Panama? What's Panama's history with racism?

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    As usual, check a book or the Wikipedia for the history of Panama and racism; in a nutshell, most Spanish colonies are noted for early prejudice against black slaves and the native Indian tribes. As time wore on and intermarriage became common, an entire vocabulary was developed to describe just how much black or Indian blood a person had, and on which parental side it was contained. Since the mid-1800's, there have been large populations of Japanese and Chinese moved to South and Central America--to the point where Peru and Brazil have the largest concentrations of ethnic Japanese outside of the original islands. Just do quick searches for Afro-Caribbean population, Asians in Latin America, Afrobrazilians, Spanish conquest and intermarriage, etc. and see what pops up. You'll find some interesting stats, like that Argentina is 98% white due to the fact the mass influx of German, Russian and English settlers over the past 200 years have made it the largest Spanish-speaking Anglo country in the world.
    You can also just make sure that you look carefully at what has already been posted in the forum: http://www.panamaforum.com/living-pa...on-panama.html (Is there racial discrimination in Panama?)

    Happy hunting.

    Cheers.

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    Thanks for the tips. I had not idea that Argentina is 98% white.

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    it's not 98% white. this is a misconception based on different countries defining the term "white" in different ways.

    in the US, "white" typically means english, scottish, or irish and places like norway...basically people with pale pale skin and eyes with lots of different colors.

    in argentina, "white" means someone who has light skin. So, a "white" person in argentina is often of hispanic heritage or italian or spanish.

    hope I helped. if i'm wrong please correct me. thanks

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    Yes, Mikebikeboy--that is exactly what I meant. If you are white, of any European extraction, you are still 'White.' The problem is that most Americans confuse the issue of being a European Hispanic with being Mexican or from somewhere else in Central/South America where the population is heavily mixed with local Indian populations.

    "White" means the same thing in the U.S.--light skin, that's it. 'White' is considered as 'Caucasian' is, not a factor of where you're from, be it the UK/Scandanavia/Germany/Spain/France--but what shade your skin is...stupid, but still used in demographics research.

    Just to further confuse the issue, those of middle eastern Arab or other Semetic decent are also grouped as 'White,' regardless of skin-color.

    Cheers.

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    I find it so odd how people are grouped, especially since most people are mixed race. Even if you are mixed with different "white" bloods, say English and Norwegian, you are still technically mixed race.

    I consider myself mixed even though out in the public people see me as white. I'm scottish on my dad's side and native american on my mom's. both sides of my family practice their respecitve cultures.

    i guess it's human nature to group people according to what they look like or whatever but it's too bad it causes problems...

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    Racism is everywhere and will particularly rear its ugly head when there is a economic downturn . The first to be blamed and get booted out will be the immigrants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikebikeboy View Post
    it's not 98% white. this is a misconception based on different countries defining the term "white" in different ways.

    in the US, "white" typically means english, scottish, or irish and places like norway...basically people with pale pale skin and eyes with lots of different colors.

    in argentina, "white" means someone who has light skin. So, a "white" person in argentina is often of hispanic heritage or italian or spanish.

    hope I helped. if i'm wrong please correct me. thanks
    This is not so much a "correction" as it is an observation: Caucasians (white people) can not only have the physical characteristics you mentioned, but also be of hispanic heritage or italian and spanish discent.
    "Few cities in Latin America can match the diversity, cosmopolitanism and sheer energy of Panama City..." - THE ROUGH GUIDE

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    Interesting topic, although it seems that Panama had the same racism history as most other Latin American countries.

    Which brings me to this question, how's the racism right now toward let's say Americans? Apparently there's not much, but I did notice something about some of the locals not being too friendly at first.. I'm guessing that's if you don't try to embrace their culture right?

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    I think you might find that attitude a bit growing in many countries since the war on Iraq, thou I would not call it "racism"... it's sort of giving the Americans more of a "cold treatment". I think it's only temporally and might change come November
    Btw... just so I am not misunderstood, this is not my view and I'm not making judgments, it's just what I noticed when I travel to different countries and what I have been told by American friends.

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    how about racism against each other ? example, the Panamanians and the Columbians. on my first trip i heard so many comments especially from the women on each other.
    kind of like the Mexicans coming into the US, haitians coming into the Dominican Republic. they drive down the market and take a lot of jobs.

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    I wasn't aware of the Colombian conflict.

    And yes it does sound similar to the Mexican issue here in the US. A lot of the locals are not too welcoming. Sadly this immigration problem is not new at all though, it's just that right now it's the Mexicans facing the problems in the US and the Colombians over in Panama. Within some years it'll probably be a new group..

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    as a foreigner traveling, you are an "outsider" which gives you a lot of insight to the problems facing a lot of countries in regards to race. it's interesting, sad, but most of all very true. can anyone elighten us on the Kuna indians and the other groups that inhabit Panama.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by themark View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I had not idea that Argentina is 98% white.
    I don't think it is 98% White. I have visited Argentina a number of times. It is more likely ~85% White, 12-13% Meztizo and 0.5% Black.

    But there are around 2,400,000 Germans (8% of the population) in Argentina and quite large numbers of other European ethnicities.

    However Spanish/Portuguese make up more than a third of the population and dominate the culture. Italians make up around 25%. Around 90% speaks Spanish, with remaining mostly Italian and German speaking.

    We should also remember that Argentina is probably having the largest Welsh settlement outside UK, near Puerto Madryn in Patagonia. Around 25,000 Welsh lives there.
    Queensland Bulls

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    According to the CIA World Factbook, Panama has a population of 3,309,700. The majority of the population, 70% is mestizo. The rest is 14% Amerindian and mixed West Indian, 10% white and 6% Amerindian. The Amerindian population includes seven indigenous peoples, the Emberá, Wounaan, Guaymí, Buglé, Kuna, Naso and Bribri. More than half the population lives in the Panama City–Colón metropolitan corridor.

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    TO ANSWER THE QUESTION DIRECTLY,

    There is racism in Panama also but no one admits it even in private. I think people are in denial.

    We wonder why Colon is overlooked for development in ways that other predominantly non-black areas aren't. We have heard locals speak of the 'lazy black people' of Colon. On the surface, everyone appears to be fine with black people but when intermarriages are being considered, the racism finally surfaces even when the black person was more educated or earns more. If you ask racially mixed people about this, they might even admit to their family's reluctance but somehow will not call it racism.

    Some months ago, I learnt about a black expat to Panama. From all accounts, she was bright and willing to sacrifice time and effort to work hard. We somewhat overheard a local work colleague laughing to someone at a social gathering about how they will bring the 'negra' down. They kept referring to her by color and were angry that she earned more than them. It seemed that as soon as they met her, they were taking away her work things, preventing access to the building, withholding information. They were apparently so furious that she was entitled to a car that they gave her a warehouse vehicle that was so filthy that she got visibly ill. There was something about her having cash flow problems because of their foot dragging in reimbursing business expenses. (Quite horrific!) My wife and I were shocked because from how they spoke it seemed that local management of that big rich company shared or possibly showed this resentment. My wife thinks that it went further than local coldness to foreigners. She doubts that our white daughter would have been shelled out that same treatment. We don't know what eventually happened.

    I heard that the indigenous people have been put through some very gruelling work circumstances and that a stigma still exists.

    If those things are any indication, then I would say that racism's an undercurrent. Panama does not exist in a vacuum that can't be influenced from outside.

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    TO ANSWER THE QUESTION DIRECTLY,

    There is racism in Panama also but no one admits it even in private. I think people are in denial.

    We wonder why Colon is overlooked for development in ways that other predominantly non-black areas aren't. We have heard locals speak of the 'lazy black people' of Colon. On the surface, everyone appears to be fine with black people but when intermarriages are being considered, the racism finally surfaces even when the black person was more educated or earns more. If you ask racially mixed people about this, they might even admit to their family's reluctance but somehow will not call it racism.

    Some months ago, I learnt about a black expat to Panama. From all accounts, she was bright and willing to sacrifice time and effort to work hard. We somewhat overheard a local work colleague laughing to someone at a social gathering about how they will bring the 'negra' down. They kept referring to her by color and were angry that she earned more than them. It seemed that as soon as they met her, they were taking away her work things, preventing access to the building, withholding information. They were apparently so furious that she was entitled to a car that they gave her a warehouse vehicle that was so filthy that she got visibly ill. There was something about her having cash flow problems. (Quite horrific!) My wife and I were shocked because from how they spoke it seemed that local management of that big rich company shared or possibly showed this resentment. My wife thinks that it went further than local coldness to foreigners. She doubts that our white daughter would have been shelled out that same treatment. We don't know what eventually happened.

    I heard that the indigenous people have been put through some very gruelling work circumstances and that a stigma still exists.

    If those things are any indication, then I would say that racism's an undercurrent. Panama does not exist in a vacuum that can't be influenced from outside.

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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by Panamanewzealand View Post
    TO ANSWER THE QUESTION DIRECTLY,

    There is racism in Panama also but no one admits it even in private. I think people are in denial.

    We wonder why Colon is overlooked for development in ways that other predominantly non-black areas aren't. We have heard locals speak of the 'lazy black people' of Colon. On the surface, everyone appears to be fine with black people but when intermarriages are being considered, the racism finally surfaces even when the black person was more educated or earns more. If you ask racially mixed people about this, they might even admit to their family's reluctance but somehow will not call it racism.

    Some months ago, I learnt about a black expat to Panama. From all accounts, she was bright and willing to sacrifice time and effort to work hard. We somewhat overheard a local work colleague laughing to someone at a social gathering about how they will bring the 'negra' down. They kept referring to her by color and were angry that she earned more than them. It seemed that as soon as they met her, they were taking away her work things, preventing access to the building, withholding information. They were apparently so furious that she was entitled to a car that they gave her a warehouse vehicle that was so filthy that she got visibly ill. There was something about her having cash flow problems. (Quite horrific!) My wife and I were shocked because from how they spoke it seemed that local management of that big rich company shared or possibly showed this resentment. My wife thinks that it went further than local coldness to foreigners. She doubts that our white daughter would have been shelled out that same treatment. We don't know what eventually happened.

    I heard that the indigenous people have been put through some very gruelling work circumstances and that a stigma still exists.

    If those things are any indication, then I would say that racism's an undercurrent. Panama does not exist in a vacuum that can't be influenced from outside.
    Terrible to read that story, very scary.

    Racism it is bad thing but not f****d up (sorry for the fool language) like in Spain, for example.

    here is quite complex: has to do with social class: mayority of high class is white.
    Last edited by GordonS; 01-20-2009 at 06:34 PM. Reason: language

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    So how to fight and reduce racism?

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    Difficult question!

    It is not easy to change. What helped me personally was honesty about the fact that it exists and bringing to light the subtle forms of racism that perpetuate it (the way people scoff at anything indigenous or black). This is so deep that it happens even among the people being scorned. It is not accidental that non-white people even try to look white and everyone discriminates against non-white features, hair, etc ... Those things are clear signs of a perceived need to 'fix nature'.

    We saw beautiful Saudi girls undergoing expensive surgery to 'fix' their noses. On their street placards are blonde-haired, blue eyed girls that set the standard. I said that to say that it is a well crafted problem the world over.

    The media perpetuates it in significant ways.

    The decisions that businesses and educational systems make when facilitating, promoting and giving people opportunities for advancement. It seems that those of us making decisions will have to consciously check the integrity of our thoughts.

    Honestly? I still catch myself thinking in a certain way and then have to consciously apply logic to turn it around.

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    It is not fair to blame all the racism on the Whites and Mixed Race people. Any one wondered why Colon is having such a high crime rate? Being from Australia, I have seen African asylum seekers wreaking havoc by selling drugs and committing crimes on the streets of Adelaide and Sydney. Racism cuts both ways....
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    Re: Racism

    Racism is everywhere and will decidedly rear its animal arch if there is a bread-and-butter abatement . The aboriginal to be abhorrent and get booted out will be the immigrants.

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    Re: Racism

    Well, Argentinians think that they are 98 % white, however, go to Argentina and check, native amrican blood runs deep .... Chile is supposed to be a mestizo country and to me, it is whiter than Argentina... Cuba, pre-Castro, had a 70 % caucasian population...now 48 %.... ra

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    Re: Racism

    Quote Originally Posted by Rok Alwar View Post
    Well, Argentinians think that they are 98 % white, however, go to Argentina and check, native amrican blood runs deep .... Chile is supposed to be a mestizo country and to me, it is whiter than Argentina... Cuba, pre-Castro, had a 70 % caucasian population...now 48 %.... ra
    Racism is taught in Panama. There is a teacher in the Colegio in the Los Santos province who hates all foreigners. His Name is "Gustino". He fills the heads of young 15 year old kids with lies about the U.S. and Europe. One day he ripped up a dollar in front of the class to make a point about America. Every year he turns out hundreds of new Racists onto the streets of Panama who believe their lack of success in life is not their fault but of some foreign tourist. If you wonder why you are given poor service, served last, ignored by service people, taken advantage of etc... It is because the hatred is ingrained at a young age. This Socialist racist is feared by his colleagues at the High School. Gustino wants English banned there and has even entered English class and torn down English posters from the walls. This guy is well known and famous in the Los Santos province. I wonder how many others there are in schools all across panama, churning out new racists every year????

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    Re: Racism

    Quote Originally Posted by globaltreker View Post
    Racism is taught in Panama. There is a teacher in the Colegio in the Los Santos province who hates all foreigners. His Name is "Gustino". He fills the heads of young 15 year old kids with lies about the U.S. and Europe. One day he ripped up a dollar in front of the class to make a point about America. Every year he turns out hundreds of new Racists onto the streets of Panama who believe their lack of success in life is not their fault but of some foreign tourist. If you wonder why you are given poor service, served last, ignored by service people, taken advantage of etc... It is because the hatred is ingrained at a young age. This Socialist racist is feared by his colleagues at the High School. Gustino wants English banned there and has even entered English class and torn down English posters from the walls. This guy is well known and famous in the Los Santos province. I wonder how many others there are in schools all across panama, churning out new racists every year????
    Panamanians should be proud of America.... USA built everything in Panama..... guys like Gustino abound in Panama, carrying Che Guevara posters and demanding more and more. They blame everything on the USA, and their hate is so evident.....Sometimes I wonder if guys like Gustino's hate, is based on envy...and maybe, he really hates the American male....women in Panama love the Americans.....as for myself, being a non native USA CITIZEN, undertands real well the culture and minds of most south of the border inhabitants....r

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    Re: Racism

    Remember that white or caucasian race is divided into three branches.... Nordics, Mediterraneans and Alpines... Nordics having the whitest complexion; Alpines, medium complexion; and Mediterraneans, the darkest complexion...Some anthropologists believe that even the Hindus, Iranians, Middle Easterns and North Africans fall into the mediterranean spectrum..
    Skin color is not what binds the caucasian race together, it is the anatomical traits that makes the three branches unique....not the skin color.....r

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    Re: Racism

    Thanks to educating me, on the things I didn't know.

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    Re: Racism

    Quote Originally Posted by themark View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I had no idea that Argentina is 98% white.
    Most of which are of anglo-european emigration or descent. Chile (across the western border) would have the second largest white population in South America (if not all of Latin America).
    "Few cities in Latin America can match the diversity, cosmopolitanism and sheer energy of Panama City..." - THE ROUGH GUIDE

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    Re: Racism

    skin color is not important, It is the genetic makeup of the average Pana. They are lacking something at the genetic level!!!

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    Re: Racism

    Well what about the reverse racism here in Panama ? since I arrived I have seen it in stores where the foreigner is talking down to the local . I see it every time I come to this blog . Foreigners who think they are better than others in this country , yet they fail to remember that we came to panama , panaamanians did not come to our home countries , In a perfect world immigration would know whom is whom and refuse entry to the inbred trailer trash that disembarks the airplane and just send them back to wherever they came from

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