Shakira supposedly made history yersterday when chosen as Billboard’s Woman of The Year, thus becoming the first “Latin” woman to ever do so.
Billboard, along with the Grammys, lost their appeal and legitimacy a long time ago. We know how Americans have an obsession with excellence, and how black industry products such as Beyoncé want to craft their fraudulent legacies through the policy of becoming the “first” of accomplishing a certain task. Knowles became the “first” black woman to headline a Coachella festival. Though a good performance, it has since been forgotten. Billboard, just like the Grammys, follow politics of popularity, are rigged by corporations and “artists” in order to advance their own pawns. This is not about music anymore, real talent anymore, but politics and fraud.
The choice of Shakira is not surprising at all. In the racist American system of hierarchy, the white Americans always held total disdain towards the minorities, especially when they come from the Latin world. They do not acknowledge, nor understand the concept of racial admixture, the Latin languages and their racist rigidity is opposed to the supposed racial plurality of the Southern sphere. If they created the black Americans through the “standardization of blackness“, the latter are their mirror for they also refuse to understand that the world can not only be built through a static concept of blackness and whiteness, since human beings are plural and much more fluid in terms of race and customs.
Yet, in order to respect a certain quota, the white Americans choose few Latin figures, and as suspected, their favorite Latin singers, as the name suggests, are European in ancestry: Gloria Estefan in the 1980s, Ricky Martin in the 1990s, Jennifer Lopez in the late 1990s, and Shakira in the 2000s. These people mentioned supposedly represent a Latin culture in the US. These acts made parody of Latin music which was destined to white audiences mostly. Yet, in order to prove that they are not racist at all, the name of Celia Cruz is thrown out by the Latin music moguls, while the modern black Latin artists are ignored.
If the US is the most powerful nation on earth, its institutions can also be illogical and mediocre when understanding history. Most black Americans, due to the mediocrity of the American school system, have no knowledge of the slave trade in South America and in the Caribbean. Therefore, due to the elevation of these white celebrities from South America and the Caribbean, the Black American commoners wrongly believe that South Americans and Caribbeans look like Shakira. They even ignore that the so-called Latin culture pushed ahead is not Latin but African and Indigenous.
The nomination of Shakira highlights the ignorance of the American musicologists who do not have a clue about South American and Caribbean cultures, their disdain for the Latinized minorities and their desire to constantly crush and destroy the black originators.
If Big Pun was the initiator of the Latin pride movement in the late 90s and 2000s, at that time, the New-York Caribbean scene, whether of Colombian, Dominican, Cuban or Boricua descent, represented the various facets of this Afro-Indigenous cultures. Big Pun was of Afro-Taino descent, like the other members of the Terror Squad collective. There, throughout the 2000s, the Latinized Caribbeans from New-York also blended with the Jamaicans, Haitians and other English-speaking Caribbeans during the international rise of soca music and dancehall. In that sense, Kat DeLuna’s Wine Up was the last Afro-Indigenous hymn before the ultimate whitewashing of the Latin movement.
The rise of Shakira would mark the beginning of this cultural whitewashing, as the Afro-Indigenous cultural movement was slowly replaced by Euro-South Americans who mimicked or were chosen as the only icons of a movement White South Americans and Caribbeans never created at all.
Born to a Colombian mother of Italian/Spanish basque descent and a father of Lebanese roots, Shakira grew up in Baranquilla, one of the blackest towns in Colombia in terms of culture.
The problem with Shakira lies in her complacency and lack of shame of standing as the one face of black and Native genres. She demonstrated it during her Superbowl performance in 2019, but also before, with the Waka Waka scandal. During her 2010 press conference at the World Cup, she openly lied about having written Waka Waka which she stole from Zangalewa, a Cameroonian band which released the song in the 1980s. Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll knows about herself being a thief of African culture she has no right to take for herself, but keeps doing it anyway.
The principle of mestizaje and the myth of triracialism contributed to the mental manipulation of the black Latinos who suffer from great low self esteem, racism and exclusion. Triracialism is a white supremacist concept pushed ahead by the white Latin colonizers in order to prevent both the Natives and Africans to claim anything on their own, hence another way to force the colonized ones to only exist through the prism of the Europeans. This reality is felt through the music, but also through spirituality. In Brazil, where the black population is one of the most important in the South American sphere, African spirituality still prevail, but even if the Yoruba let the system of Ifa behind them, the Orishas are still being whitewashed, even if they are Yoruba and black African. In order to make it accessible to every Brazilian so as to fulfill the myth of racial equality, African spirituality needs to be diluted. This problematic is such in Brazil that white Brazilians who practice candomble, a black African spirituality, complain about the “Africanification” of this spirituality. In other words, the principle of mestizaje promotes the annihilation of both the Native and African essences.
As white supremacists, the American institutions in music give the lead of the Latin sections to their white South American and Caribbean counterparts they also despise. Leila Cobo, a white Colombian who is responsible for the Latin section in Billboard sees no interest in promoting the black and Native originators at all. The goal of the Latin power is to secure the domination of the white Creole descendants in every space through the constant isolation of the black and Natives they hate to the core. White South American and white Caribbean leaders see whiteness as being synonymous with progress and social advancement. There, the black and Native groups are perceived as useless, primitives and as oppositions to the white grandeur. Ronald Day, another white man working for Univision, the Latin/Southern European version of white supremacy for the South American and Caribbean world, also pushed for the Shakira win.
Yet, due to the centuries of manipulation, the black Latinos see no problem with the concept of Latinidad and Mestizaje as the latter are nothing less but a form of “white acceptance” to them. For this reason, few of them truly revolt for having been taught submission and colorblindness.
If the black Americans endure one of the worst forms of treatments when it comes to racism, the US Blacks have managed to gatekeep their creations. No white person could come out and become the only person to represent jazz, soul or R’n’B. Yet, in the Latinized world, white people, in the name of Latinidad and triracialism, are the only ones to embody black and Indigenous cultures.
In Brazil, Ivete Sangalo, Daniela Mercury or Claudia Leitte are the main white women who sing and perform axé, a black African-Brazilian creation. Claudia Leitte was even chosen to represent the face of Africa during a Bahia festival which honored the continent in 2012. But why can’t Brazilian institutions simply choose Black Brazilians to perform their own music?
Worst, reggaeton endured the worst form of whitewashing in a matter of twenty-five years. Originally from Jamaica and Panama, El General, a black Panameno, was one of the early people to make the genre popular. Then, following its arrival in Puerto-Rico where it was whitewashed for commercialized, the black originators were pushed to the side on purpose. The plan worked so greatly that Rosalia, a Spaniard of Catalan descent, had no issue stealing both Gypsy culture in her native Spain (when not having any roots in Andalucia) and is now cosplaying black Latin culture to make her music more popular. In the prism of globalism, the black diaspora has become the blueprint for cultural sensationnalism.
The rhythms, sounds, spirituality, essence which made South America and the Caribbean are not Latin, hence from Southern Europe, but African and Native.
There is no Latin culture in South America and in the Caribbean at all, but millions of white usurpators.
By Victoria “VKY” Kabeya, All Rights Reserved, 2023.