Racismo – Cuba – Racism
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Aesthetically Balanced Choreography?

Aesthetically Balanced Choreography?
March 12, 2012
Jorge Milanes

HAVANA TIMES, March 12 — Demonstrations of racism of any kind are
sometimes so subtle that it's hard to imagine it ever re-emerging as a
serious social problem. It's equally difficult to imagine situations
where its examples are manifested.

This is one of them.

Samuel, the son of one of my co-workers, is enrolled at a children's
daycare center.

Like every morning en route to his second home, he and his mom talked in
a lively manner about the usual topics. Between them there exists no
prejudice. He politely asked her to go look for his little friend Patricia.

A couple of days earlier, his teacher had selected a few children to
form a dance group that would perform in the end of the year activity.

Samuel was selected, and he thought that Patricia would also be selected
and would be his dance partner, but that didn't happen. The little boy
didn't understand what was happening.

Every afternoon, my co-worker Nora went to the daycare center to pick up
her son and his little girlfriend. Between them, they recounted what
happened during the day, since children often say interesting things in
conversation – if you listen to them.

Very eloquently, Samuel told his mother that he was thrilled because the
teacher had selected him along with a few others to dance at the end of
year activity.

"What about Patricia?" she asked curiously.

"No, the teacher said she couldn't," he replied.

While the boy was speaking, Nora recalled that in Patricia's family
there are Chinese, blacks, whites, indigenous people and so on, which
Nora interpreted as being the basis for the subtle racism that laid
behind the little girl's not being selected.

She waited until the next day when, uncomfortably, she asked the teacher
why Patricia hadn't been chosen for the dance group.

"She doesn't give the group the correct…aesthetically balanced
choreography," the teacher answered.

"What are you saying?" Samuel's mother snapped. "Where's the principal?
You're the one who needs your head balanced. Not the choreography!"


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