Mestizaje in Mexico

The PORFIRIAN regime had a mestizo rhetoric that spoke of integration of differences under the umbrella of scientific (positivist) cultural development. There was to be an integrated, pural community, imagined with a mestizo cultural identity; there was to be one history, one memory, while Indians, women, and other ethnic groups (with their own memories and histories) were being sociopolitically excluded.

The Revolution wanted to include in the new nation these excluded groups but the actual results of the nationalist discourse of the new mestizo men in power resmbled those of the Porfiriato. The thing is, I would add, that the nation, to constitute itself, needs an other, and often an other within not just an external enemy. The state is racist!

And so the mestizos themselves, as they work to social climb, try to overcome “the cross of their existential calvary” by hiding their “shameful origin” or Indigenous side, which isolates them and circumscribes them to an existential solitude.

That is Alejandro Cortazar commenting on Elena Garro’s LOS RECUERDOS DEL PORVENIR.

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