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Racism in Argentina

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Racism in Argentina

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11. Posted by BartRamone (Budding Member 8 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I am brazilian , i am white , i know argentines and they are racist , they cant be a high level , but most ar racists

12. Posted by Macachae (Full Member 240 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

let say a fact:
I´m argentinean, from Salta ( not even salta capital, I´m from an little city) at the north in my famili background I have spaniard and "mestizo" roots , by my father side. I have black and aborigen from my mother side. Look at my picture.
yes, this a rainbow of race... ANd I`m proud to say I´m in convertion process to became a jewish (maybe already I´m)... All the "minorityes" in a body.
If argentina is racist?? The answer is not.
There are some individual racist like everywhere

13. Posted by mercurial (Budding Member 2 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I am new to this forum. The thread is probably old hat by now, but I have to add my own take on this. I lived in Argentina for 3 years. I had a roommate when I started out. I lived in the big city of Buenos Aires. Yes, I did get stares, yes I did get propositions nearly every day (not to mention very lewd looks). I often got questioned: "Why was I there?" I had friends in Castelar, a small province outside of Buenos Aires. In Castelar I had less problems as there was more of a mixture of Indians, working class so-called whites and of course the overtly racist wealthy. That right there may say something about how the average folk in some countries are more genuine compared to their wealthier, supposedly more cosmopolitan countrymen. I found that people in Argentina (as in most Europeanized countries) hide their hate/superiority complexes beneath broad smiles and platitudes.
The most violent racism I experienced was at the hands of a german and then from an israeli brit. The German literally called me nig**r when I accidentally bumped into him on the street. The israeli-brit cursed me out in yiddish and then said rather curtly "F-U. nig**r" when I refused to give up a seat on a crowded train for his mother.
So in short, yes racism runs deep in Argentina but no differently than it does in any place where white colonialism has a foothold. But in defense of the majority of Argentinians I met, they are friendlier, and have more class than Brits, or Germans or Israelis when it comes to showing tact. Racist Argentines may not like you, but they at least have the decency to keep their ill will inside or at best in the form of inappropriate staring.
I presume the person who started the thread wanted to know if traveling there would be safe. I would have to say yes it would be because as with most places that suffer from the psychosis of racism, when you are Black, you are an acceptable novelty especially when the racist knows you are just visiting!

I say travel and see the globe if you have the resources, and don't let ugly racist minds stop you from enjoying YOUR planet.

14. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 438 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Without a question there are racists in Argentina (amazingly enough they still sell Nazi publications in Baraloche - which is a unpleasant thing to see) but you are far more likely to encounter/see sexual rather than racial harassment in the country. The Argentines for the most part a wonderful friendly people who are happy to take the time to talk, share experiences and socialize with you.

Painting the country as racist is just wrong - its like anywhere else there are places you might not want to visit because of some backwards folks but if you talk to the Argentines you'll find most who are greatly embarrassed by those people.

15. Posted by pasifikano (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I'm currently in BsAs, having spent the last 10 days here in delightful if grotty San Telmo en route from home in London to parents and family in Melbourne. My partner and I decided to take the exotic route back to Oz, foregoing the usual Hong Kong/Singapore or Bangkok routing, attracted by tales of the Paris of the south and the amazing value to be head for those holding pounds. Its been great overall but I am glad to have come across this thread - and a number of others re racism in Argentina (see especially because I have been wondering if I'm a little paranoid (and thus having turned to the internet for some guidance) ! I'm a mixed Fijian-European and I have noticed some odd reactions to my presence in a few places here ... and its quite novel for me ... I travel the world constantly for work and its the first time I've been uncomfortable at others reactions to me. I've had several occasions walking into posh stores in Palermo where I've been stared at and ignored when I've said hola; in two places the shop assistants were undisguisedly shocked when I walked in. Needless to say no money was spent in those stores. But in other stores and restaurants, people have been lovely ... so you might need to put up with some backwardness in BsAs but don't let it deter you from visiting this magnificent, somewhat decaying city. Hopefully some of the attitudes will decay too.

16. Posted by miromar (Respected Member 175 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!


I have travelled southamerica for five months, and 2 of those were living in BA. i got stared at ALL the time in argentina, and I am white, speak spanish (mother tongue), and I dont look any different from any of them. I didnt even wear my usual backpacker clothes at the time!!

My point is, argentinians are lovely people, but specially the men have this thing of looking at you if you were from another planet. it is flattering sometimes, but it can be a bit unconfortable most of the times! I dont think they are racists, at all, it is just that although they are familiarised with dark skin people from brazil, they are not used to live with big communities as such. I am lucky to live in a city like london where nobody looks at you for your skin colour, but i am originally from a smaller city in spain and up til 10years ago you never saw anybody living (not tourist) in the city apart from whites. And people used to stare a LOT at the first coloured people we had in the city, not in a racist way, but out of curiosity.

Argentina is a great country, and hopefully, people will stop having this racist concept of it!!

x x Miriam x x

17. Posted by evadiva (Budding Member 30 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

this is a very old thread, but the subject matter stll experience in san isidro/tigre, Bs As - This particular part of the country is mostly upper class. I come from Florida, middle class, and i go to a prodominately black going to Argentina as an exchange student, It was definately noticable to me that i only once saw one black person for my entire 3 month stay! she happened to be another exchange student from south africa that went to the school i went to (for just 2 weeks). But what was also noticable was the stark class divide in/outside the city. And what do i see is between those who attend private school and have maids and those who ride buggys and sell flowers on the street? Those of European decent have the upper hand in the Argentine social ladder..this might be predictable, as it's many times the darker skin hue that is the oppressed. I won't say all Argentines are racist, I met some amazing, foward-thinking university students that give me some hope...but then again I did meet a girl who told me that the darker skin of the mestizo is "like dirt" make your own decision by talking to people and changing any ideas one person may have about your race! travel is about changing perceptions :)

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 6, 2008, at 8:03 PM by evadiva ]

18. Posted by traveltoba (Budding Member 2 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

no,we haven't problems with black people,so you don't worry! originally argentineans were indios so later when the inmigrants from europe comes to argentina our race was mixed.

19. Posted by Macachae (Full Member 240 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Quoting traveltoba

originally argentineans were indios so later when the inmigrants from europe comes to argentina our race was mixed.

Indios means native, indigenous. We still using to say indios because Colombus pretendes to arrive to India his original destination point...
Well he was a little out of road

20. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I saw Martin Luther King speak in Washington DC in 1963 "not the color of the skin..the content of the person's character" a "closet Jew" who grew up in the US South in 1950s and early 1960s I kept my mouth shut and ears and eyes open, went to South America in 1981 and met some former Nazi German settlers, I speak German, my Mom was born there, kept my mouth shut, eyes open. In 1983 travelled to "Social Paradise" former Soviet Union with two students from Ghana, I love the Africans and their wit, by train from Berlin West to Moscow, never witnessed such hatred against black people in my life, when I met Jews there we had to go to the park or on the street to talk. By the way Castro resigned today, bye dinosaour, too old and intransigent anyway, nothing against socialism as long as it is a bit democratic..anyway Castro, like myself has Jewish Mother, Fidel never touched the Jews and Israelis don't require a visa to visit Cuba!!!
Anyhow one can never tell the content of a persons character from a post on a forum
or a country from another travelers experience or bloq.
Here in El Salvador many are "racist" and use the word n--------------- all the time, in reference to african Americans in USA, often African Americans and Latinos are at odds over some issues in the states, although many Salvadorian workers go illegally, I remind them that African Americans are native born citizens with the right to certain benefits and are not "lazy" and on "welfare"
By the way many Latin Americans, especially in Argentina consider themselves to be European descent, as is their right...
"Call me anything you want, but don't call me late to dinner"