The Politically Correct, An Issue About Identity And Racism

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The politically correct, an issue about identity and racism


Regarding the issue about identity there are too many theoretical approaches and conceptual definitions from different epistemological positions. Identity is what defines us, frames us and inserts us into a specific social group or community, taking up and e. Jelin (2002) that affirms when collective memory is operated presupposes a degree of national unity: statues, monuments and national dates are instituted and contributed to the consolidation of feelings of belonging to the imagined community retaking a concept of B. Anderson, thus being that collective memory becomes our identity, in addition to the issue of nationality, name, gender or family nucleus, historically it has been the collective who has encouraged our identity construction. 

In that sense, the objective of this essay is to question identity and racism, a problem that is not new or recent and that has been treated politically correctly, that is, at the social level it is rejected and even criminalized, but toindividual or personal level and in small social groups is accepted and even justified. This is then the question, or not to be politically correct? Thus, we will try to answer this interpellation, although we know that many more doubts can be generated than certainties.

Sowers about identity and racism

Regarding the identity G. Jiménez (2010) states that it is a concept that has been massively imposed on the social sciences from the 1980s, and even more so in the nineties, the problem of this concept is that it tends to be banalized, in the same way as that of theculture, since everyone invokes it to satiety without worrying about defining or subjecting it to a certain conceptual rigor. However, and. Restrepo (2010) outlines a series of theoretical and methodological approaches on the study and investigation of identities, regarding the theoretical scope are transdisciplinary, post -structuralism, multiple feminist theories, the theory of performativity, postcolonial studies and recentlyQueer theory.

Already entering the theoretical approaches, this author defines a series of identities among which we find: relational identities, procedural identities, multiple and constituent identities, discursively constitutive identities, resistance and empowerment identities, assigned and assumed identities, proscribed and marked identities, betweenothers. While as regards the methodological, says the author who is pertinent to study the singular of identities, in their concretion and plurality. In the study of identities, the uniqueness, the relevance of the particular, of the difference, of the difference, must be lost;attentive not to fall into the risk of manufacturing forced exoticisms or community. Therefore, for the study of identities, the design of a methodological strategy that does not obstruct the plural, contradictory and diverse character of the identity joints in a specific individual or social conglomerate must be responded (Restrepo, 2010).

M. Castells (1999) states that identity is deeply marked by informalization and globalization, since they are the pillars of the new economy and the new society in this millennium, thus being cultural identities as a basic principle of organization and social resistance. Identity is the process by which social actors build the meaning of their action according to a cultural attribute to which priority is given over other possible sources of action;It may be the case of several identities in an individual, but such plurality is always a source of tension.

Regarding the question of racism for f. Fanon, is racism is a global hierarchy of superiority and inferiority over the human line that has been politically produced and reproduced as a structure of domination for centuries by the "imperialist, western -centric, Christian -centric, capitalist, patriarchal, modern and colonial" system ". People who are above the human line are socially recognized in their humanity and with access to human, citizens, civil and labor rights;People below this human line are considered subhumans, or not human, therefore, their humanity is questioned and, therefore, denied (Grosfoguel, 2012).

Life and identity experiences

Therefore, we take some identity axes and we will develop them analytically and interpretively with the experiences lived by the Colombian indigenous painter Carlos Jacanamijoy in their short stories, experiences that are marked by racism which is presented both explicitly andImplicit way.

Colombian painter Carlos Jacanamijay tells his experiences lived from childhood, through adolescence, youth and subsequent adult life;which is framed by discrimination and racism that he has suffered in all areas both social, social and work.

In accordance with his childhood stage, he can be inferred and deduced as he being part of an Inga indigenous community of Putumayo suffered racism and rejection when he was studying primary and secondary schools, it is there where the category of identity enters that not onlyIt refers to the difference but also to inequality and domination, being at that stage the continuous mistreatgrandfather, who came to receive academic notes at school, being there at school where all young and white young people make fun of them because of their way of dressing and their last names.

Under this same logic the painter tells two other experiences, a first one at a reception with wealthy people, in the midst of conversation with a woman from high society is his sample with some friends and family of the painter, stating that he is no longerAs Indian as they, and the second in the United States, when his son stopped playing and talking with black children, getting to have racist attitudes, investigating the reason for this cause he discovers that it is due to his employee of the service toWho made the claim, which she replies by stating that as she left her son by joining, he is with blacks, you are no longer an Indian. It is there where another category of identities enters are relational, that is, they occur through the difference not apart from it. These identities are referred to a series of differentiation and demarcation practices of one with respect to some others. In the words of Professor Restrepo “Identity and Alterity, Mimmidad and Otredad are two sides of the same currency. To put it in other words, identity is possible as long as it establishes acts of distinction between an interior-site order and one of exteriority-exclusion ”(Restrepo, 2010, p. 25).

Another experience lived by the painter was when he received the title of artist at the National University, on the day of his degree in the absence of economic resources to be able to acquire a suit for the ceremony he decides to leave with his traditional clothing along with his whole family, being the center of the auditorium and even the same university that brought out in his local university newspapers the image of the painter with his indigenous clothing receiving the title, because before they had not realized that they had a partner in their classroomsto an Indian of flesh and bone, that is where the proscribed and marked identities are framed on one side and naturalized and archetypal by the other. In the same identity context, the experience lived by the painter can also be revealed when he was about to travel to London, being arrested by the British immigration authorities who did not give credibility to him because of his racial condition that he was a recognized Colombian painterfor which he is deported;In the country, a wave of solidarity is manifested that has its peak time with the editorial of the magazine Semana:

‘My project for this year is to deepen the study of my roots, learn more about the culture of the Amazon, because that is what I want to capture in my work,’ says this young man, that despite having reached an outstanding place in theNational Artistic Scope continues to maintain the simplicity and cordiality of its race.

Following the logic of the experiences, the painter recounts when his teammates performed something reproachable, released the comment "I am not so Indian" something that first caused their anger and later the laughter of their companions because who told them was an Indian butthat ends with an uncomfortable and deep silence of his classmates, perhaps the reflection of guilt or shame;It is there where the category of identities is denoted are discursively constituted, but they are not just speech, in which identities are in the speech, and they cannot stop being. Like "economic", "the biological" or "the place", identities are social realities with a constituent "discursive dimension" that not only establishes the conditions of possibility of perceptions and thoughts, but also of experiences,practices, relationships. (Restrepo, 2010)

Evoking his childhood again, the author recounts the experience lived with his grandmother with whom he walked on the street while talking to him in the Inga language and a group of children when they saw them begin to imitate them and make fun of them, their grandmother imperturbably continued to walk andHe told him that if he was sorry he could change his sidewalk, which he continued with her taking his first emancipation steps by following his grandmother’s teaching. It is there when we see two identity categories, identities constitute resistance and empowerment sites, and existing identities are at the same time assumed and assumed.


After relating the experiences of lived by Carlos Jacanamijoy and the concepts about identity and racism, the marked double morality in our society can be evidenceIt benefits and does not glorify us, we end up rejecting it, making it invisible and ignore it. This is how the question we ask at the beginning of this essay is questioned, or not to be politically correct?

In that sense, beyond trying to answer the question or the question, it is to look deeplyThey begin to be heterogeneous, individual, of certain groups;For example, current struggles on the issue of sexual and gender diversity, environmental and animalist disputes, feminist brawers, among others. This has caused each one to fight and organize by their side, without having a common objective or purpose, so the current capitalist system of neoliberal cutting gives free rein as new struggles as new niches in the market. 

It is, therefore, taking a concept of S. Tarrow formed by invisible communities, are those networks of solidarity that do not need to be close or have in common cultural aspects such as religion, language or customs;These communities simply join symbolically by the media, in this case social networks, so identity ends up being an imaginary feeling about a tragic fact (natural disaster or terrorist act) and/or a social dispute, which canthat little or nothing affects them. In that sense, it is common in our time to appreciate solidarity with the Palestinians or with the French, a solidarity that does not transfer borders, which can merely be collective actions in their respective countries of origin, in Hashtag supports and in creating support chainsboth social networks and local media. 

However, these collective support or solidarity actions are selective and end up being discriminatory and racist, the matter of the painter Jacanamijoy during his arrest in London is the sample of that feeling of solidarity for convenience, another particular case, for example, that of athlete Caterine Ibarguen born in Urabá in the department of Antioquia, who is highlighted as the exemplary antioquia athlete. "Colombian joy! The Athlete Antioquia Caterine Ibargüen received on Tuesday the award for best athlete of the year delivered by the International Association of Athletics Federations (…) at the annual gala that the entity organized in the Principality of Monaco ”(El Colombiano, 2018). However, when they are cases of corruption, theft, violence and forced displacement, the Urabá region is separated as if it were not part of Antioquia “(…) the delicate problems that some municipalities of the Urabá live with the gangs formed by minors among the9 and 16 years (…) A disarma.”(Caracol Radio, 2019).

To settle, it is evident how complex that a country can be for us that continues to consolidate as a nation-state, not having clarity about their identity, many times what unites us are figures of characters such as artists, singers, athletes, amongothers;since there is no foundational myth or a series of customs and/or cultural practices that unite us, but on the contrary they divide us more. Therefore, many times being politically correct ends up being a less traumatic exit of having to recognize our abysmal differences, a half solution to create identity ties and links when little or nothing unites us;It ends up being so that we can feel and identify as Colombians, that we can have a sense of belonging;Even so, the Colombians of La Guajira feel more Venezuelans, the Colombians of Nariño more Ecuadorians and the Colombians of the most Peruvian or Brazilian Amazon. Everything ends up just networks of selective solidarity and even opportunists.


  1. Caracol Radio (May 17, 2019) Apartadó gang members change weapons for food. Recovered from https: //
  2. Castells, Manuel (1999) Globalization, identity and state in Latin America. Santiago de Chile: UNDP.
  3. The Colombian (December 4, 2018) Colombian Pride! Caterine Ibargüen is the best athlete in the world. Recovered from https: // www.the
  4. Giménez, Gilberto (2010) "Culture as identity and identity as a culture". In: Identity, Culture and Politics. Conceptual perspectives, empirical looks. Castellanos, Gabriela;Thick Delfín Ignacio and Rodríguez Mariángela, Coords. Mexico: Universidad del Valle-Miguel Ángel Porrúa Editorial Program, P.p. 35- 60.
  5. Grosfoguel, Ramón (2012) the concept of "racism" in Michel Foucault and Frantz Fanon: theorize from the area of being or from the no-being area? In: Tabula Rasa. Bogotá – Colombia, no.16, p.p. 79-102, January-June 2012.
  6. Jacanamijoy, Carlos. [Vivian Toro]. (2015, July 27). Short stories by Carlos Jacanamijoy [Video Archive]. Recovered from https: //
  7. Jelin, Elizabeth (.) (2002) Commemorations: disputes on the dates "In-Felices", Madrid and Buenos Aires: XXI Century Editors.
  8. Restrepo, Eduardo (2010) "Identity: Theoretical and Methodological Notes". In: Identity, Culture and Politics. Conceptual perspectives, empirical looks. Castellanos, Gabriela;Thick Delfín Ignacio and Rodríguez Mariángela, Coords. Mexico: Universidad del Valle-Miguel Ángel Porrúa Editorial Program, P.p. 61-76.
  9. Week (February 24, 1997) Dream to Nightmare. Recovered from https: //ÑO-PESADILLA/31728-3
  10. Tarrow, Sidney G. (2012) The power in motion. Social movements, collective action and politics. Madrid, Editorial Alliance.


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