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    Discourses in the networks or ordinary racism

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    Discourses in the networks or ordinary racism

    While Calendario, under the logic of the condensation of short series, reaches its climactic moment -it says goodbye next Sunday, so there will be an opportunity to assess it in all its length and complexity-, Tú, the current Cuban soap opera, keeps good part of the television audience alert.

    It is too early to venture that the national dramatized production is in good health, but without a doubt, the magnetization that both proposals exert on the audience stands out as an encouraging symptom, in times when the latter tend to connect through the media with what circulates on the digital networks.

    What is striking, after all, is the public's interest in following these productions on the screen and, at the same time, reflecting and debating them in cyberspace.

    Until last Sunday, three Facebook communities were structured around Calendario: a public group with 302,000 members and two private ones with 28,000 and 19,000, respectively. Regarding the production directed by Léster Hamlet, a public collective with 48,260 members is active and at least three more with 20 000, 2 900 and the smallest one, with private features (the administrators of the account reserve the right to admission) with almost 800 members. This, regardless of the fact that there are other communities where soap operas, series and performances of the moment are discussed. If we add to this the expressions on other popular networks, such as Twitter and Instagram, the numbers grow.

    In what is published there is everything: analytical, intelligent, emotional reactions, acceptance (the vast majority) and rejection (the least), direct and tangential, assertive and speculative. Coincidence, differences and controversies.

    Nevertheless, in the whole it is not possible to compromise with vulgarity, hatred, or indecency, as unfortunately has happened with one of the protagonists of Tú recently. Yessica Borroto (Yanara) has been the target of racist and sexist attacks. Another qualifier does not fit before publications that seek to disqualify and denigrate the character and the person, one inseparable from another when it comes to offend.

    Because what seems to question the dramatic course of the character –the sentimental plot that generates and surrounds Yanara, within the plot logic traced by Albertico Luberta, and woven by Amílcar Salatti and Yoel Infante, with the collaboration of Eduardo Vázquez– points to black women.

    The character is as legitimate as any other in our diverse reality, socially dynamic and culturally different from the one we inherited half a century ago and which has to be even more inclusive based on singularities. The person is a mirror of talent, capacity, and individual improvement, will against all odds, and taking advantage of opportunities. Much viler was the attack that a few months ago a publication, openly counterrevolutionary and financed by the usual enemies –there was no shortage of more–, directed towards Argelio Fernández, the hydrologist, notable man of science, who week after week brings us up to date on the ntv about water reserves.

    Yessica is worth for herself and not because she succeeds on catwalks or because of signings in foreign productions. Cuban, very Cuban, self-confident. I would never speak of social ascent, but of human dignity, without forgetting the weight that the persistence and unfortunate reproduction of discriminatory attitudes and equity gaps due to gender and skin color still have. Precisely, the existence of such manifestations is at the foundation of the programs for the Advancement of Women and against Racism and Racial Discrimination, in which the State and civil society, top-down institutions and social activism are involved.

    It is true that actions are taken to deal with the objective factors that gravitate against discrimination and inequity; it is also true that they must be much more systematic, comprehensive, participatory and conscious so that they advance, as they should. However, no less true is that the most difficult thing is to change mentalities, prejudices, cultural constructions rooted in subjectivities.

    In the case at hand, the necessary deconstruction of a hegemonic model of beauty, where it is associated with narrow and exclusive patterns, reinforced by images imposed by the market for mass consumption. I will be told that today is not like yesterday, that diversity is making its way, which Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer are worth both in fashion, to name two symbols. In an area of ​​the popular imagination that urgently needs to be reversed and re-educated, the pigmentocratic notions of «advance» and «backward», of «good hair» and «bad hair», of «fine features» and «coarse features», of "mouths" and "lips".

    How to deconstruct such prejudices? To one of those who delivered a denigrating judgment, the young writer Maielis González Fernández, trained at the University of Havana and as a writer at the Onelio Jorge Cardoso Center, and quoted by the IPS agency, replied:

    «That you do not find such a woman beautiful in your personal opinion, speaks of how all your life you were taught that dark skin, Afro hair, the features of the nose and thick lips are ugly and undesirable. I give you the news, that is racism and you were not born racist, they instilled it in you. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to deconstruct yourself, learn other references and stop bullying on the networks.