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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that the subject of racism and race is crucial to Latino studies in that the historical conditions responsible for birthing gospels of phenotype and fundamentalisms of ancestry began in sites of Hispanic colonial domination in our hemisphere. Only later did racial literacies and pedagogies travel to other colonial domains within the hemisphere and across the globe. The chapter stresses the crisis of Christian piety that caused colonizing nations to produce discourses of disparagement meant to reduce or stigmatize the humanity of their subjects, the eminently historical nature of racial thought, and the role of cultivated intellects in defining, demeaning, and debasing conquered populations that differed from them in heritage, origin, and appearance. It posits that racist violence, including of the genocidal kind, is not an aberration but a vital factor of the civilization that European colonial ventures forged in the Americas. It offers an outline for a pan-hemispheric history of discourse from the Anglo and Iberian Americas to illustrate how feasibly one can claim that in the hemisphere one is racist by default. The exclusion of black, Indian, or Asian-descended people not only recurs as an ideal for the region’s foremost thinkers, political theorists, and founding fathers, but it also creeps into the pages of schoolbooks and the media in general. This scenario leaves it up to the maligned groups in the citizenry to devise ways of surviving the animosity hurled at them from various levels of public discourse in their own country. Nothing, then, would seem more urgent to fuel visions of humane solidarity and peaceful coexistence across difference of phenotype and ancestry in the Americas than to rehabilitate social relations by disabling the App of racial acrimony installed in the social fabric of our nations by the founding discourses that created our civilization.

Keywords: Christian piety, civilization, colonial transaction, discourse of disparagement, economy of maltreatment, genocidal ideation, intellectuals, prejudicial lens, race/racism, thaumaturgic knowledge

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