Cuba: The Persistence of Institutional Racism

Esteban Morales

Who is responsible for the fact our national statistics do not offer the information needed to conduct a thorough study of the racial issue in Cuba?
Who is responsible for the fact our national statistics do not offer the information needed to conduct a thorough study of the racial issue in Cuba?

HAVANA TIMES — While it is true that racism, as a conscious, institutional policy does not exist in Cuba, this does not mean we have done away with institutional racism as such.

Who is responsible for the fact that the issue of color isn’t mentioned in Cuban schools, that race isn’t a subject of study or research in any University syllabus, or that these questions aren’t sufficiently addressed by the media? Without a doubt, the Ministry of Education, Cuban television and the official press are responsible.

Who is responsible for the fact our national statistics do not offer the information needed to conduct a thorough study of the racial issue in Cuba, or for the fact our socio-economic statistics make no mention of skin color? Without a doubt, the National Statistics Bureau (ONE) is responsible.

So, has institutional racism truly disappeared? Apparently not, or, at the very least, it has disappeared only relatively, for our State institutions still do not offer us the results we would expect from them were they actually designed to combat racism, showing many deficiencies in terms of the mechanisms that could help us eradicate this phenomenon.

If these mechanisms were improved, we would be in a much better position to combat racism and racial discrimination, which still exist in our society. These phenomena aren’t entirely inherited from the past; they are also the result of flawed social systems that contribute to their reproduction.

These flaws we continue to perpetuate stem, to a considerable extent, from the flawed mechanisms of different State institutions.

We could say, thus, we have not totally eliminated so-called institutional racism in Cuba, and that this form of racism often finds refuge in the lack of political will shown by some State institutions that, far from helping eradicate the phenomenon, contribute to its survival.

It will be impossible to win the battle against stereotypes, racism and racial discrimination if our educational institutions, our media, our scientific and statistics organizations do not join forces. Without these four institutional pillars, we will not come out victorious of this great struggle we have undertaken.

6 thoughts on “Cuba: The Persistence of Institutional Racism

  • Esteban why should color be mentioned? What is it with you and others who have such a fixation on race color and black criolla mulatta negritas negron mestizo morena etc Why worry about it when the embargo is still in place

  • PanAfricanist unite. The Haitian revolution is a prime example of what Africans can do when they pull things together. Trading one master for another is still bondage.

  • At risk to be accused by some readers of diluting, white-washing or excusing the intolerable, intractable and Must Solve racial crisis in Cuba, I will once again add my position to this, the most important debate now and for years to come in Cuba.

    Cuba Must Debate, Find Methods and Solve this Revolting Crime NOW!!
    Not doing so, will impact irreversibly what that country is supposed to be and must be.
    Blacks did not ask to be brought to Cuba, but we fought longer, harder, paid a higher price for everything that is visible or invisible in that country, for which, we were enslaved, marginalized, segregated, despised and subjected a cruel, vicious racism up to today.

    I have not and will not attack the Cuban government in the form and shape some wish; because I am able to demand our rights, denounce every and all wrongdoing or offer solutions, through knowledge, experience and other weapons the revolution placed at my disposal through education, values and principles, I did was denied by all previous governments and continue to be denied by governments of similar phillosophical tendencies to our offsprings in the US, Caribbean and Africa.
    I have not and will not attack the Cuban government in the form and shope some of its detractors wish. I am able to demand our rights, denounce what is wrong and expect solutions, by applying the knowledge, experience, values, principles I receieved from this revolution with its failures and shortcomings.
    These basic education and survival instruments, were denied to blacks in Cuba between 1512 to 1959. Should I buy into their promises today? The utopia of creating a harmonious, equal, race blind paradise in Cuba, once blacks, once again put up the blood and bodies to return our masters to power in order to receive crumbs, will not work.

    Perfection exists only in the Bible. Strategy and intelligence are the only winning cards in any struggle. Contrary to the radical demands from brother Moses Patterson or the reading references offered by Compay Libre, may I bring to their attention, that what Martin L. King did and said towards the end of the struggle, when he was accused of being radicalized, quasi commie and worst, was not what he said and did at the beginning of the Civil Rights struggle.
    Why should Esteban, Gisela, Sandra, Feraudy, Zurbano, Fure, Morejon, Fowler, Zuleica, Rolando and thousands others, who are engaged in an honest, frontal, non-undermining struggle of this batlle in Cuba, introduce an all-out war against the Cuban government at the behest of those who have been defeated repeatedly and wish to return us to “our place”?
    Afrocubans are winning and will win this battle, because it is moral, because it right, because it is just and because, if Cuba fails to win this battle for all of its people, which is not only for Blacks in Cuba, but for Blacks worldwide; everyone with a high melanin content in their epidermal cells, will go under together, no matter if they live in Cuba, Costa Rica, Nigeria, London or Senegal.
    This divide and conquer tactic have worked for many years until now. Cubans shall never allow to be used by powerful forces as we have experienced everyday in Iraq, Libya, Syria or the shameful divisions in the first world between teens in the US, Canada or France, because they were born there and the others came from the Caribbean or Africa.
    May all black victims unite under one banner, fight the good battle, win and then, everyone is wellcome to strive for perfection; not before.

  • Racism in Cuba was never eliminated nor even alleviated. the regime used the black people and misled them. They misled the whole Cuban people.

    A great source of news on racism in Cuba:

  • Someone of Esteban Morales stature within Cuban society is also to blame for the perpetuation of racism in Cuba. Rather than use the full power of his visibility to fight racism, he continues writing these tepid accusations leaving the guilty parties free to walk about unnamed. Martin Luther King Jr. left the comfort of his solidly middle class lifestyle and successful church pulpit to take to the streets naming names and giving the scourge of racism nowhere to hide. It is clear that Morales wants it both ways. He wants to point out the obvious presence of racism in Cuban society but he also wants to hold on to his once-lost party affilliations and cushy university post. He is definitely no MLK.

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