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Latinos Confront Old Racism as Election Nears

La Opinin, Posted: Jun 07, 2008

LOS ANGELES -- As the U.S. presidential election nears, Latino voters must confront a taboo that has permeated Latin American culture for centuries, writes commentator Humberto Caspa in Spanish-language La Opinin. Racial and ethnic prejudice against the black population in Latin America is real, historical and now is latent in the United States, he argues. Latin America has a history of a shameful "socio-cultural Darwinism" that discriminated against indigenous people, blacks and those who don't hold the status of being white, he writes. When they come to the United States, however, these distinctions disappear as all Latin American immigrants are treated as one group. Paradoxically, the Democratic Party's election campaign seems to have woken up some of these old vestiges of Latin American racism, Caspa writes. The November elections will test how far Latin Americans have come, he notes. Support for Barack Obama by a majority of Latino voters could signify the end of the ghosts of the Latin American caste system.



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