Quotable: Adolfo Gilly places Bolivian racism in a nutshell

“In that domination, being a full citizen means being white or an assimilated mestizo. To become a citizen, an Indian must stop being Indian and see themselves and be seen as being white; break from their concrete historical community, that of the Aymaras, the Quechuas, the Guaraníes or another one of the many indigenous Bolivian communities; and enter as a newly-arrived subordinate into the abstract community of the citizens of the Republic. The Indian does not expect that the Republic will change and be like his people. Instead, it is required that these people change their men and women, renounce their identity and their history and be like the Republic of the whites, the rich, the educated, the Spanish-speakers — where, for everyone else, the inerasable color of their skin will forever condemn them (those men and women) to second-class citizenship. That is the nature of this domination.”

–Adolfo Gilly, at Ukhampacha Bolivia

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