A Cuban Nationalist Proves Prophetic
You may have heard of several polls that reveal that the Latino community is the ethnic group most supportive of gay marriage. This is bad news for everybody everywhere.
A memorable call for transnationalism was published in 1891 by José Martí.
Martí hailed from Cuba, which was one of the last colonial holdouts of the Spanish empire. Most former possessions had broken away from Spain in the Bolivarian revolutions of seven decades earlier.
Coming close to the four hundredth anniversary of Columbus's landing in the Caribbean, the essay "Nuestra América" appealed to Latin Americans to wake up to threats to their indigenous culture. Martí's answer is not necessarily nationalism, though many Latin American nationalist movements would freely invoke his name in the twentieth century. In some ways, with his opening critiques of an archetypal aldeano vanidoso, or "petty villager," upon whom he blames many of Latin America's woes, Martí asks for a continental spirit to overcome parochialism and build transnational alliances among vulnerable indigenous peoples.
Nevertheless, Martí's essay proffers a harsh denunciation of the wrong kind of internationalism by the third paragraph of the essay. While it's ostensibly desirable for mestizos from México and Perú to unite against oppression, the forces against which they unite are also international -- the wrong kind of globalist contingent.
In the third paragraph of "Nuéstra América," Martí specifies gender roles and sexuality as the means by which Eurocentric ideals are used to undermine and eventually fracture and destroy Latin American culture. He uses metaphor and allegory in this passage (translation by author):
Faithless men find it impossible to climb a steep tree, with their flimsy arms, their polished nails, and their bracelets. They have limbs molded in Madrid or Paris, so they claim the tree itself is impossible to climb. We should load up the ships with these pestilent insects. They gnaw the bones of the fatherland that created them. If they are such Parisiens or Madrileños, let them run off to the Prado when the gas-lamps are lit, or head off to Tortoni's for some sorbetto. These are carpenters' sons, who have become ashamed of carpenters. These are American-born men, ashamed now of those who wear an Indian apron. They are embarrassed by the mother who raised them, and they turn their back when their mother is ill, leaving her ill on her sickbed! Well - who is the true man? He who stays with the mother, to cure her of her sickness, or he who puts her to work where nobody can see her, living off of her labor in ruined lands, with a worm for a necktie, cursing the breast upon which he once leaned, showcasing a sign that says "traitor" on the back of his dandy's jacket?
Living in a time far less politically correct than our own, Martí shows no restraint in using schoolyard taunts typically reserved for sissies and homosexuals: the references to their use of cosmetics, their supposed unmanly attitudes about work, their foppish vanity when it comes to their own appearances, and most tellingly, their dislike for breasts and preference for spending time with other effete men in cosmopolitan museums and Italian sorbetto shops.
Indeed, Martí infers that men who reject traditional masculine values are "insects" causing rot to the Latin American political body. Such an assertion must be acknowledged for its dangerous implications.
According to this hateful view, men are driven to defy gendered mores by racial self-loathing and class snobbery. Similar blunt statements would drive a wedge among African-American activists in the 1960s, such as Eldridge Cleaver and sexual "deviant" James Baldwin.
In the 1890s, Martí all but prescribes the state repression against homosexuals that would flourish in both North and Latin America in the twentieth century. The crack about loading up boats with "these insects" and sending them to die at sea -- well, this is the bullying tone that gave the present-day LGBT movement its claims to righteousness.
Certainly there were intelligence leaders in the United States who classified homosexuals as threats to national security during parts of the Cold War, and one must never forget what Fidel Castro did to homosexuals in Martí's native Cuba. Viewing homosexuality as a capitalist and imperial disease responsible for the decadence of pre-revolutionary Havana, Castro's government threw homosexuals in labor camps in the name of defending Communism. The Stonewall rebellion of 1969 could not have come too soon.
But wait. Notwithstanding his bullying, did Martí have a point?
In light of John Kerry's recent remarks before the United Nations, it is time to take a second look at José Martí's notorious third paragraph:
The Global Equality Fund is one way in which likeminded countries can address this injustice and show their support for LGBT persons. Since the United States launched the Fund in 2011, it has allocated over 7 million in more than 50 countries worldwide. [...] With support from a range of likeminded governments, including Netherlands, Norway, France, Germany, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, and private sector partners as well, we are expanding the scope of the programs that this Fund supports. Earlier this month, President Obama and the Prime Minister of Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt announced an additional $12 million for this effort. And today, I'm happy to announce another 1 million contribution from The Netherlands, and we're grateful to you for that.
José Martí's seemingly neurotic fear of unraveling gender mores actually sounds prophetic in light of what we are seeing in the global LGBT movement. In Latin America, laws passed by sovereign states such as Colombia are being targeted for sabotage by cells of cultural agitators funded by the United States and a circle of exceedingly white Northern European nations that happen to be wealthy.
Latin America is not alone, of course; Africa has also been targeted. Not only did Barack Obama attempt to pressure Kenya and Senegal on the seemingly irrelevant (to Africans) issue of same-sex marriage, but also, a United States court has ruled that pastor Scott Lively can be sued in the United States for preaching a gospel in Uganda, which doesn't support the West's pro-LGBT agenda.
First come the tourists, then come the human traffickers
Eastern European nations like the Ukraine have been fostered as markets for gestational surrogacy, providing mères porteuses or "carrier women" to bear babies for sale to infertile heterosexual couples and also, increasingly, gay male couples who want to become fathers. (This nefarious practice is the underreported reason for Russia's staunch rejection of the LGBT agenda, along with many Russian people's bad memories of the Soviet Union's botched attempts to redefine parenthood.)
Was Latin America destined to be spared? Of course not. As India banned surrogacy for gay couples and West Africa's baby factories got too much negative press, Mexico became the next hotspot for fertility tourism. International surrogacy is designed for couples to have children of the race they prefer -- usually white -- even if the mère porteuse is black or brown, since the client family purchases eggs from one woman and then implants them in the carrier's womb. The reason why the egg and womb cannot be from the same woman is legal; this creates a purposeful confusion in which there is no single mother, and therefore neither the egg-"donor" nor the womb-carrier can claim motherhood. The state of Tabasco in Mexico was deliberate in writing surrogacy laws that favored the power of the client family to enforce their contract and disown the mère porteuse, with more legal favor than anywhere else in the world.
Let us agree that Martí's idea of stuffing LGBT men onto ships and exiling them is a contemptible hyperbole. Minus that call to putative violence, the third paragraph of "Nuestra América" now looks prophetic -- the LGBT lobby is encouraging homosexual men to take children away from those "mothers in Indian aprons" of the Third World, to enjoy the "fruit of their labor" in "civilized" capitals with mood lighting and Italian sorbettos.
Maybe this all sounds to you like the anti-imperialist claptrap of a Latino radical, and nothing for the United States to worry about. After all, we're a rich country -- we'll never see our culture and self-governance undermined simply because people reject traditional gender roles.
There's a poem to respond to such sentiments:
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
John Donne, meet José Martí. Listen up, America.
Robert Oscar Lopez edits English Manif.