"Obviously, Latin America differs from Southeast Asia in countless respects. Because of extensive miscegenation, ethnic and racial lines in this region are not nearly as starkly drawn, and Latin America has been able to avoid the extreme ethnic animus and violence seen in Southeast Asia" (Chua, 75).Already we've run into familiar issues - Chua's inconsistency with known facts, Chua's inconsistency within her own analysis, and Chua's seeming self-absorption.
To argue that Latin America has been devoid of ethnic animus and violence (presumably in recent history) is demonstratively false. Governments have sponsored or tolerated genocidal campaigns against various indigenous groups, most notably in Brazil and Peru, frequently motivated by oil exploration or seizing desirable land. Before these more recent incidents, as I brought up in the last post, anti-indigenous violence went hand-in-hand with Cold War anti-communist massacres.
To argue that Latin America has been devoid of ethnic animus and violence contradicts much of Chua's statements on Latin American history. She has admitted that the creation of 'Latin America' as we know it began with conquests, gunpoint conversions, enslavement, and other hallmarks of the violent discovery of the Americas. She recalled the strict rules of desirable marriage among the European-blooded gentry and the various resentments of mistreatment by those below or beneath that socio-economic class.
To argue that Latin America has been devoid of ethnic animus and violence compared to Southeast Asia seems to refer preferentially to Chua's own experiences. Chua and other members of her elite and ethnically Chinese family have been attacked due to their ethnicity and class in the Philippines, which she seems to obliquely refer to here. That violence is real to her, unforgettably so, in a way that anti-Maya death squads somehow are not. The attacks she endured are tangible and extreme, in her view, unlike centuries of ethnic cleansing and economic debasement in Latin America. I think we're seeing (once again) an inability to feel empathy with certain groups. Chua doesn't need to think her experiences are invalid, but she does need to acknowledge minimally that others have suffered as well.
But, ignoring these issues, we've concluded the chapter on Latin America. Now we get to start next week on Russia.