Given the imminence of October 12, a new word enriches the vocabulary of the rights of this country that we already know they all drink tea together and the next day they repeat the same bravado as the ultras. That word is ‘indigenismo’. And the liberal influencer Isabel Díaz Ayuso has made it fashionable. The president of the Community of Madrid, who already travels the world as if she were president of Spain, has said that “indigenism is the new communism.” The key, as usual, is fake news. Because it should be clarified that ‘indigenismo’ is a term that is already quite disused within the social sciences that tried from a non-Indian perspective to say what the Indian was, so that this idea would help to forge a uniform national culture in the belief of that the Indians were a hindrance to progress.
But come on, I’m going to make an effort to elucidate this very original use of the term, lest we end up with the false idea that he doesn’t know anything when in fact he knows very well where he is pointing. Let’s say it clearly: the Spanish right, not just Ayuso, calls “indigenismo” the struggles of indigenous peoples for their rights that frighten them and their allies so much. There is in this way of calling them a foundational contempt charged with racism, which adds to the gaze of Hispanic cultural supremacism the stigma of its favorite ghost: communism. The conspiracy leads him to say that these communists want to “dynamite” (sic) the Spanish legacy. We call this in my country terrucan, treating anyone who questions power as a terrorist. What Ayuso has just done at the international level is to destroy the indigenous population and culture.
Of course, this violent vision of the Spanish as a civilizing element is always accompanied by the happy legend of miscegenation, fusion, evangelization and language. That is why Toni Cantó has organized a Hispanic festival full of colonial symbols. Because they are interested in continuing to build their honor and glory on the symbols of impunity, knighthood and oblivion. They censor and erase. And all in the name of freedom. A bizarre story in which the colonizers are the good guys. A history of domination in which they sell themselves as the saviors and even as the victims. But they have done the same with the Civil War! They never ask for forgiveness. We know them. We know which side they are on. That we do not hate Spain, we hate that Spain.
Today’s anti-indigenous right, that is, racist and anti-memory, is the one that continues to celebrate October 12 as a national holiday of Spain every year, ignoring the claims that come from its former colonies, which they consider an affront. It is as if the German state celebrates the beginning of the Jewish extermination as the day of the fatherland. But since they are indigenous and neither they nor their descendants have ever been considered people, it will seem like an exaggerated comparison. There is no barbarism that endures cultural relativism, the only thing that exists is the validity of fascism. His hegemonic discourse feeds the racism that we live day by day. I refer to the tests in the streets of Madrid.
And who are the “communist indigenists” against whom Atlas Network is investing millions? They are the Zapatistas who rebelled against the Mexican state. They are the grandchildren of slaves and exploited Indians who want to do away with colonial symbols like glorified statues. They are the Mapuches writing the Constitution in Chile. They are the presidents and indigenous authorities that promote plurinational States. They are the defenders of the land who oppose predation and extractivism. They are Guatemalan women organized from community feminism and the commitment to memory and rights that have put the genocidal dictatorships allied to the European and American powers on the ropes defending justice and life. They are living cultures, millions of people with their own languages and universes. Indigenists would also be those who believe that indigenous peoples should be heard in their current struggles and their demands for reparation. And even the holy Argentine Pope enters that group.
How fun to play with the words for our ideological warfare. I can too: Hispanicity is the old colonialism. Ayuso is the new coloniality of always. The PP is the new Vox. But you have to tell them that it’s okay now, that you have to call things by their name: yes, ma’am, the indigenous peoples (not indigenism) today are organized to decolonize (which is not that they are militant in communism and less in his idea of communism) and for justice (if you want to call that revolution, go ahead). And as always, they face this historical struggle in unequal conditions, as they did during the colony and later under the domination of the current white and creole elites, heirs of those castes, but they fight not only for their communities, but also for support and conservation of everything that surrounds us.