I feel blessed by my brown skin because I feel proud of the history of resistance from the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
In the ruins of Machu Pichu or the Mayan Temples and many other ruins scattered throughout America, one can see the advanced social, economic and technical societies that inhabited this continent. Modern scientists still marvel at the way many of the cities were built and how the people had profound knowledge of water treatment and advanced subsistence crops. Their cosmology had an ample vision that encompassed a broader picture than the one held by Europeans at the time.
Today I continue to feel proud by the history of resistance of the people of color in the Americas.
While the world powers debated the situation in Iraq, thousands of peasants and indigenous people of color marched through Cancun, Mexico where the worldwide trade war was being discussed. The protesters have had a history of working the land therefore they have been in tune with the pulse of nature and have had a first hand experience of how the mighty powers have taken their land and polluted the waters.
The powerful have played according to the monopoly rules of Concentrating the power more and more in the hands of a few, creating big food industry empires. In order to keep building and strengthening those global economies, the local efforts in each nation of having daily food that has not been commercially processed, are being crushed.
The protest of indigenous people carries the history of those who have been robbed of their land and means of subsistence. Nevertheless, they have kept their traditions as part of their way of life even when it has been more difficult for them to grow their products and keep a local economy.
The social fiber of the communities is affected when these people of color are impoverished and then displaced, usually towards the big cities and later on to United States. Why are they here? Because they have been driven out of their countries by globalization. Globalization is an agenda pushed by the powerful countries that have turned all aspects of human life into an industry. Now we have the Food industry, Health industry, Military industry, etc. They have a lot in common, they re-enforce each other and they make the rules therefore declaring illegal and terrorist everyone that does not agree with the rules or confronts their power.
Our children should learn about the great history of our people, their accomplishments and dreams. Each nation has its own characteristic way of living and creating its culture. Each culture varies in the degree of technology according to the 21st century standards, nevertheless its culture is unique. When a culture dies, the world should mourn just as when an animal is extinguished.
Globalization is a process of homogenization where every place and every individual is seen as a client and a source of income. The indigenous people have had the courage to resist and struggle against globalization.
On this coming October 12, 2003 I want to celebrate the Day of La Raza, as it is called in many Latin American countries. Even though the European influence would like us to celebrate just the language, religion and traditions imposed by them, we should acknowledge our Indian roots that have made us strong.
We are one, not just because of the language; we are one because we have a common history and ancestry. The shades of brown that we share are something to be proud of.