Matthew Parris

Peru's Indians are repressed with more efficiency than blacks ever were in South Africa

4 April 2015

9:00 AM

4 April 2015

9:00 AM

In The Spectator of 21 March a column by Toby Young caught my eye. Discussing the pros and cons of selective schools, Toby found it hard to reach an emphatic conclusion; and for what it’s worth I find it hard too — but, then again, what do I know? It was his international comparisons that engaged me. It was not the point he was trying to make, but Toby quoted a statistic which speaks volumes about the continuing oppression of the indigenous peoples of South America.

In educational attainment tests, Peru has the world’s worst ‘variance’ explicable by the children’s backgrounds, or so the OECD have found. ‘Variance’ means departure from the average. Translated into layman’s language, the finding therefore means that if you examine the educational attainment of Peruvian schoolchildren, you’ll find their success or failure more reliably linked to their background than anywhere else in the world.

Behind those faceless numbers a human face does hover, and a ghostly one. It’s the immediately recognisable physiognomy, the rich brown skin, the prominent cheekbones, the impenetrable dark eyes and the magnificent long nose with the giveaway bump near the top, of the South American Indian.

I’m uncomfortable with that word ‘Indian’ and I suppose we could say ‘indigenous’ or ‘native’ South Americans but that would enrage more people. Never say ‘Indios’ in South American Spanish, though: it’s considered insulting. ‘Do you take me for an Indian?’ means ‘Do you take me for a fool?’ Across the continent, if you want to be polite, you say ‘campesinos’ which means ‘peasants’ and is considered less insulting. Apart from Paraguay it is in the Andean countries — Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador — that the concentration of indigenous peoples is highest: in Peru just below 40 per cent (but more again are mestizos), in Bolivia some 60 per cent.

Bolivia’s president is the country’s first to be of Indian descent. Make no mistake, South America’s indigenous peoples are a totally viable race: don’t imagine a bunch of sad misfit alcoholics sitting around in reservations. Ingenious, sturdy, brave and cultured, they farm, trade, labour, run small businesses and get on with life like everyone else.

But they face incredible, half-hidden racial discrimination. I do not exaggerate when I say that for all the efforts of apartheid in southern Africa, the whites in Africa never kept the blacks down with the quietly successful efficiency with which South Americans of largely European descent have repressed the Indian population. These former are — or were originally — overwhelmingly southern European. To clobber the peoples they encountered when they arrived, they did not need statute or ideology. They used force of arms, and the Church. Their successors today, some 37 per cent of the continent’s whole population, are precisely where their ancestors were: on top.

But they do not make the mistake the Afrikaners made, of trying to systematise and codify repression — or even to justify it. They will shake their heads sadly and remark that, unfortunately, the campesinos (salt of the earth, of course) are not up to things like government, or management, or flying aeroplanes or running big business. Indeed, education itself is wasted on most of them.

No law stops you rising as a South American Indian: only the softly suffocating disregard that those with power will feel toward you. So much less public money has been spent on your education (if you went to secondary school at all); and few would take you seriously even if you did try hard at school.

Why has the rest of the world, which has typically backpacked around the Andes during its gap year, never really woken up to the continent’s secret: the silent, informal apartheid of South America? I think it may be partly because we think of the continent’s nations as having liberated themselves from their greedy and brutal colonial oppressors in Europe. We remember that the liberation struggle was against whites, but forget that it was by whites. It helps this blurring of memory that Simón Bolívar himself was of mixed race, but it remains true that Bolívar was essentially the Ian Smith of South America, not the Nelson Mandela.

Or perhaps we return from our wanderings with the vague impression that unspeakable things were indeed done to the Indians by the conquistadores, but that was a very long time ago. Well, they continued. The Argentines have almost completely wiped out all the Indian tribes who occupied their country. Here’s General Julio Argentino Roca, president of Argentina twice near the end of the 19th century, who died a hero in 1914: ‘Our self-respect as a virile people obliges us to put down as soon as possible, by reason or by force, this handful of savages who destroy our wealth and prevent us from definitely occupying, in the name of law, progress and our own security, the richest and most fertile lands of the republic.’

He was engaged in exterminating all the Indian tribes of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. There are numerous statues of him in Argentina, whose ‘indigenous’ population now stands at 1.6 per cent. The popular attitude to which he was appealing has undoubtedly moderated since then, and today would never be expressed in public like that; but you would be wrong to suppose the sense both of territorial entitlement, and of the innate inferiority of the indigenous peoples, do not survive among South America’s white boss-race today — however subtly entertained.

If you doubt it, collect some snapshots of the cabinets of the continent’s governments, the boards of its major corporations, or the fellows of its many universities — or indeed simply of people shopping in the department stores of its great cities — and search the pictures for Indian faces.

Nearly six in every ten ought to be Indian. Fewer than one in 50 will be. Seeking a linking explanation for ‘variance’ in attainment across the continent, Toby will not need to search for long.

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  • Mc

    “you’ll find their success or failure more reliably linked to their background than anywhere else in the world”

    There may be a genetic component to this issue. For example, studies show that with poverty, geographic location and other variables factored in, people from the East outperform all others. That doesn’t mean that Amerindians are inferior beings or should be discriminated against.

  • Cymrugel

    You’ll get very little support for this view here Mr Parris.
    No doubt some of the loopier readers are already writing you off as a communist sympathiser.

    • MacGuffin

      Surely some of those loopier readers – and everyone else – will recognise this as the perfect anti-Kirschner argument vis-a-vis the Falklands?

  • Marcus

    FYI Matthew.

    I went to an Indian reservation in Argentina to see their ancestors cave burials.
    I asked for who long the tribe had been using caves for burial.

    The guide told me the burials date back to 50 years before the Spanish colonisers arrived.

    Prior to that no one knows because his tribe had completely wiped out the tribe that occupied the land before.

  • gelert

    The history of Europeans in the Americas is well-documented in “American Holocaust” by David Stannard.

    You will find that Canadians have an identical mentality towards their aboriginal people, who live in terrible conditions on reserves.

    • Reluctant Mlungu

      Utter rubbish, they do not live on ‘reserves’. They live wherever they please, budget willing. They additionally have extensive tracts of land reserved for their particular tribes – ‘bands’ – even within metropolitan areas, where the chief allocates plots and land at his complete discretion. They pay no sales taxes, no income taxes and no property taxes, yet receive federal funding to run these empires.

      • gelert

        “..they do not live on ‘reserves’.”

        I suppose the reserves listed below exist only in my imagination:

        There are very few urban reserves

        The land ceded to aboriginals by the crown was usually of inferior quality for farming, although oil and gas have since been found on some. The best farm land in Canada is where the cities are situated.

        Aboriginals are exempt from federal and provincial taxes only on reserves. If they work off reserve they pay tax. Not a bad deal for all the natural resources of Canada acquired by the Europeans.

        The federal government tried to eradicate aboriginal culture by establishing residential schools that have created huge problems for aboriginals – not least because of the physical and sexual abuse that took place in many. There is still widespread discrimination against aboriginals.

        You should check the facts before posting.

        • Reluctant Mlungu

          I stand partly corrected on the tax bit, thank you.

          Obviously the reserves ‘exist’ – exactly where and in what sizes isn’t really the issue. The point is that the reserve lifestyle is OPTIONAL – the First Nations peoples can, if they wish, live just like any other Canadian, with the same rights, benefits and obligations, wherever they choose – within the law.

          The residential schools may not have turned out that well – at least, in the present-day telling by the likes of the CBC, which is every bit as fanatically left-wing as its British namesake – but they were an attempt to educate and integrate the ‘Indians’ into the modern ways and norms of the new nation. Hardly ‘eradication’…

          “There is still widespread discrimination against aboriginals.” Perhaps, although actual, publicized cases are rare… but there are also “widespread”, extensive affirmative action measures enshrined in law which favour them in many spheres, in addition to the very generous public funding of the reserve ‘kingdoms’.

          There’s a ‘reserve’ 600 yards away from my relatives’ place in suburban Vancouver. You can immediately tell that something is different, just compared to the properties bordering it: the gardens and houses are dirty, overgrown and unkempt.

          If you want to be a stickler for the facts, perhaps you should also include those facts that don’t back you up.

          • gelert

            You have no clue about what you are writing. I linked to the CBC, but there could have been numerous other links about the residential school scandal. I have lived in Canada and the attitude to aboriginals is similar to that found in the Southern US towards blacks. Aboriginals were denied the vote until 1960 and your Vancouver relatives might be aware that Potlatch ceremonies were once banned.

            The history of Europeans, mainly British, in Canada – as elsewhere – is of a large land grab and the attempt to eradicate aboriginal culture by removing children from their families. The usual assumption that white culture is superior to that of other races. The damage done to these children by physical and sexual abuse has caused many of today’s problems.

            Because of the failure of successive federal governments to keep the deal done with aboriginals there is a failure in education to equip aboriginals to leave reserves. Anyway, why should they ?

            There are not “widespread”, extensive affirmative action programmes for them, other than affirmative action programmes for ANY disadvantaged groups in Canada. The exception being university, especially medical school, entrance requirements where an aboriginal can be admitted with slightly lower grades than a non-aboriginal. The basis being that the aboriginal who has overcome so many obstacles is likely to do well once admitted.

            Working in Canada, with people who usually had university and post-graduate degrees, it was common to hear casual racism directed at aboriginals and an indifference to their problems. Things were said that would never be directed at any other ethnic group.

            If you think everything is hunky-dory in Canada I would suggest you, and your relatives, read the following links.




            You can see from MacGuffin’s posts the mentality of many Canadians towards aboriginals. It is unfortunate, through no fault of their own, that they are ill-equipped to leave reserves if they wanted to do so.

            Your Vancouver relatives may one day consider popping over to the Okanagan and seeing that not all aboriginals conform to their stereotype.


            In future, I would advise you not to post about things you know nothing about.

          • Reluctant Mlungu

            First of all, your facetious shots at my relatives are completely uncalled for. They have nothing to do with this conversation – I only mentined them to allude to the fact that I have been there. They DO get out of the house sometimes, you’ll be glad to hear – they may even have been to the Okanagan, as have I.

            Secondly, the residential schools scandal has been seized onto and hyped up to create yet another stick to beat the Evil White Man – and his institutions – with. Much like the Catholic abuse ‘scandal’… hundreds of millions in settlements and lawyers’ fees, decades of smears and opprobium for one of the moral bedrocks of our civilization – yet how many priests, world-wide, were ever found guilty of sexual abuses in a court of law? Three?

            Thirdly, if you have lived in Canada, worked with highly educated people and found them to be consistently negative towards the ‘aboriginals’, why do you – instead of investigating whether, or how, such feelings could be justified or caused – do you immediately dismiss such feelings as racism? Your very reaction is racist – towards your co-workers.

            No-one has claimed that the conquest and settlement of what became Canada was all sweetness and light. But the history of mankind is littered with ‘land grabs’ and corpses, including in the relations between the various Aboriginal peoples. Compared to what happened during the campaigns of, say, Genghis Khan, the Ottomans or the Spanish in South America, the natives of North America had it relatively better.

            Why is it a “failure of governments” to “equip” Aboriginals in education. Do they have no agency? Why is it “through no fault of their own” that they are “ill-equipped”? How are they, today, “disadvantaged” by any policy or law? Why are they excluded from being responsible for their own actions? Isn’t it the ultimate racism to hold them to a lesser standard?

            In future, i would advise you not to post about things you haven’t given any critical thought to.

          • gelert

            You dragged your relatives into this, so don’t think they can escape mention.

            It’s not really possible to discuss something with the likes of you. You have the same mentality as white Southerners in the US, who, after 400 years of slavery and 150 years of so-called emancipation, try to blame blacks for all their
            problems. You have no empathy for other people.

            As for the Catholic Church being a moral bedrock of civilisation. Are you serious ? An organisation that is, and always has been, more corrupt than the Mafia. You claim that only three priests were ever found guilty of sexual abuse ? In your dreams. There have been far more and there would have been far more if the Church hadn’t been so assiduous in covering up for these perverts. They’re still doing it, too.

            Your ludicrous assertion that there might be a good reason why so many educated people were so prejudiced might be for a good reason is nonsense and worthy of Goebbels arguments against Jews in the 1930s. I didn’t need to investigate because I had heard the same things in the UK about blacks. Racists, whatever their nationality, always trot out the same bile.

            Kind of you to say that the genocide against aboriginals in North America wasn’t as bad as it was against peoples elsewhere – I’m sure that all aboriginals will sleep better for knowing that.

            You are completely ignorant about the responsibilities of the federal government towards aboriginals. Their struggles compare with those of blacks in the US to overcome centuries of discrimination. it’s so easy as a white to play the innocent and ask, “Where’s the problem ? It’s all their fault.”

            I don’t hold aboriginals to a lesser standard, but realize that they don’t have a chance in Canada because of all the prejudice against them. Because of my work I had frequent contact with aboriginals and not only found them a very stoical people in general, as opposed to whiny “white” Canadians, but also found them to have a sense of humour that was sadly lacking in most Canadians.

            As for the Sun News, I wouldn’t believe anything on Faux News North.

          • Reluctant Mlungu

            ‘Ludicrous’, ‘nonsense’, ‘ignorant’, ‘prejudiced’, ‘racists’ – don’t you have anything better? How about some actual, you know, facts?

            But here’s your finest argument:
            “…white Southerners in the US, who, after 400 years of slavery [actually, 225] and 150 years of so-called emancipation, try to blame blacks for all their problems.”

            Ha-ha, hilarious! Could you please give just ONE example? Is left actually right, up actually down and dark=light in your parallel universe?

            I bet the neighbourhood you live in – wherever it is, i don’t care – isn’t at all ‘diverse’ or ‘vibrant’ and has very few ‘aboriginals’ of any shade. ‘Enrichment’ is always for other, less morally righteous people, to ‘compassionate’, ’empathetic’ warriors like you.

          • gelert

            My error is nothing compared to your original assertion that there are no reserves, compounded by the fatuous assertions that only three RC priests have ever been convicted of paedophille offences and the Catholic Church is a moral bedrock of civilisation.

            I live in a community where there is a variety of nationalities and ethnic groups, thankfully there is no racist trailer trash like you.

          • Reluctant Mlungu

            What “error”? You claimed that Southern whites blamed blacks for all their problems, which is preposterous. I said ‘please provide an example’ – you haven’t.
            – I never said there were no reserves. I pointed out that the Aboriginals are not restricted to reserves, which you had tried to suggest.
            – I didn’t categorically say there were only 3 priests convicted. I ‘fatuously’ suggested that it might be as low as three. I’m not sure. I do suspect that it’s a VERY small number, because the media would otherwise still be all over it. And once again, you don’t provide the ‘correct’ number.
            – If you don’t accept that Western civilization (I did say WESTERN in my original comment) – its values, norms, political systems, science, art, philosophy, etc – is based on and exists thanks largely to Christianity, then your knowledge of history is quite poor. And the dominant force within Christianity has been, for most of that time, the Catholic Church. Hardly a controversial statement…

            But, since you’ve thrown all your toys out of the cot and gotten abusive, I’m done talking to you. Good-bye, Mr Kumbaya.

          • Richard Baranov

            Actually I can confirm, in general, what you say. I lived in Kamloops for a year and was absolutely appalled by the Canadian attitude to Native Peoples. To Canadian minds all native males were alcoholics and all women prostitutes. For all the pretence that Canada is a liberal and enlightened country, I came away with an impression that the Canadians are far worse hypocrites than the Americans – who they never get bored with denigrating – whilst happily shoving American money into their pockets. It is a country I do not wish to visit again.

          • gelert

            Indeed. They are very two-faced, appearing to be pleasant but ready to stab you in the back. I found aboriginals to not only be more honest but to also have a sense of humour – something lacking in many Canadians.

            Canadians have a huge chip on their shoulders vis-à-vis the US, even though their wealth has been derived from trade with the US. What makes it worse for Canadians is that Americans are indifferent to them, seeing Canada only as the place where the cold weather comes from. I expect they are even worse now that their economy is in trouble while the US is doing well again.

            The most ludicrous thing about Canadians is the way they maple-leaf themselves when travelling. They will justify the pins and caps etc. as a way to distinguish themselves from those awful Americans. Truth is, they wear the same gear to attract attention to themselves when visiting the US.

          • Richard Baranov

            I have an image of the Canadians. It is of a granny in a rocking chair, knitting away whilst lecturing others about her supposed virtues whilst she criticises the U.S. and anyone else for actually doing things in the world. In other words, they pontificate while being bystanders who will not sully themselves.
            I also agree with you about the Native Canadians, I found them to be decent friendly people. Frankly its a wonder that most of them aren’t insane, the way that they are ground down by white Canadians. Native Canadians start life with a metaphorical millstone around their necks and lead weights on their ankles, it’s pretty disgusting and quite different from the way native peoples are now treated in the U.S.A.
            As for the people of Kamloops. I came to the conclusion that they were either alcoholics, on their way to being alcoholics, or recovering alcoholics. The amount of drinking was absurd. One good thing has come out of Canada, however, Mark Steyn, if you are not familiar with him, look him up on Google.

          • gelert

            In fact, there is no real Canadian national identity – except Quebecers. Anglophone Canadians define themselves by telling you how they are not like Americans and, wait for it, we have healthcare ! An immigrant there once told me that she thought Canadians were a cold people in a cold country.

            I know Steyn and have “America Alone”. It’s a shame that his writings no longer appear much in Canada because of the PC mentality there that kowtows to Muslims. Truly a prophet who is not without honour, save in his own country.

            Canadians have a very strange attitude to alcohol, probably related to the strong Scottish influence in their mentality. They try to conceal its existence but drink like fishes and they also have a huge per capita consumption of codeine – probably to endure those winters.

          • Reluctant Mlungu

            I agree about the lack of a Canadian identity – here’s WHY it is so:
            All notions of nationalism or group identity have been carefully stamped out of ‘Anglo’ Canada by the cultural Marxists, starting in the ’60s. Comrade Trudeau was very careful to create one set of rules for Quebec and another for the rest of Canada.
            In Quebec, the French language, culture and French-Canadians are ‘special’ and protected, something to be celebrated, worshipped and nurtured. They have additional discretion when it comes to immigration and a veto on certain national matters.
            On the other hand, the other provinces are for ‘everyone’ – it was the first officially ‘multicultural’ state. The achievements and legacy of the existing majority population before say, 1990, when the current wave of immigration started, is continually downplayed, denigrated or ignored. As if Canada wasn’t already a major world power 100 years ago, when its population was only 18 million.
            “Canada was built by immigrants” is the refrain, as if repeating it enough times will make it true. In fact, the modern Canada that attracts – and accepts – people in huge numbers was actually built by SETTLERS.

    • MacGuffin

      Any terrible conditions on the reserves are created by the corruption, incompetence, and drunkenness of the aboriginals themselves. Canadians bend over backwards to improve the lives of those people, with very little thanks.

      • gelert

        And your post is typical of ignorant, bigoted and prejudiced Canadians, who love to think of themselves as “nice” people but have inflicted terrible abuse on aboriginals.

        • MacGuffin

          Natives need to help themselves instead of waiting for Big White Government to help them. Putting down the bottle would be a start.

          • gelert

            They don’t have a chance with bigots like you. Canadians should stop being so pious about conditions in other countries while ignoring the third-world conditions on many reserves.

          • MacGuffin

            The essence of the Third World is that its destitute have no means of bettering their lot. That is definitely not the case for those who live on the reserves in Canada. I repeat: the natives need to deal with their alcoholism and corruption.

          • gelert

            They might deal with their corruption if set a better example by Canadian politicians.

            An ex-PM who took $300k in brown-paper envelopes from a German businessman, declared it for tax only at the last minute, and then perjured himself at an inquiry – without any penalty and now sits on corporate boards. The trial of a senator – for fraud – begins on Tuesday, while another one is under RCMP investigation for fraud. Another ex-PM has had very dodgy dealings with property acquisition and fraudsters.

            Political corruption is nothing new in Canada because all politicians are entitled to their entitlements. One provincial premier resigned last year over personal flights at taxpayers’ expense. Another federal minister switched from a 5 star hotel to the Savoy in London, at a much higher price, because she could smoke in a room at the Savoy.

            The drunken antics of politicians are well-known at federal and provincial levels. One provincial premier was not only a drunk, but took private planes on the taxpayer dime to avoid the smoking ban on regular airlines. He regularly hit the headlines over his exploits when drunk.

            Yep, aboriginals are certainly following the example set them by their betters.

            The British have done to Canadian aboriginals what they did to aboriginals in Australia and NZ – stolen their land and tried to hide them out of sight – while at the same time dehumanizing and denigrating them. Anglophone Canadians are the biggest hypocrites on this planet.

            Aboriginals don’t have a chance while so many of your compatriots share your prejudices.

          • Mc

            Whataboutism absolving aboriginals of the fact that the ultimate responsibility for improving one’s situation is none other than oneself. Isn’t it rather racist to contend that aboriginals are uniquely incapable of righting their own situation when others are expected to take responsibility for their own destiny?

          • gelert

            I guess you’re one of those Charlton Heston types who never had to rely on the gummint for nuttin ?


          • Mc

            Some more logical fallacies from you. Go read up on logical fallacies and see if you can construct arguments in future which don’t rely on them. Though I have my doubts whether you’d view logical fallacies as adding flaws to your arguments, or even whether you’re able to recognise a logical fallacy.

          • gelert

            There’s nothing logical about your hatred and prejudice against aboriginals.

          • Mc

            Ah yes, yet another logical fallacy: being critical of someone, some members of a defined cultural group, or some cultural practices does not mean that one is prejudiced. This really is a logical fallacy that every child sees through, yet it is employed endlessly by adults for some reason. It is rather amusing that very predictably, whenever I point out to someone that they’re employing a logical fallacy, they reply with another logical fallacy or simply sidestep the issue.

            I can see that you’ll never get a grip on what a logical fallacy is and have no interest in doing so because it doesn’t fit your world view. One also has to consider the real possibility that you may not have the IQ to understand and avoid logical fallacies, as evidenced by your response to my comment.

          • gelert

            Another post from someone who thinks he is clever because of his use of semantics. Bill Clinton would be proud of you. All you are doing is trying to find some justification for the way that Canadians – who love the world to notice them and believe that they are “nice” people – behave towards aboriginals. You’re a bunch of ignorant rednecks who would not be out of place in the KuKluxKlan. Foreigners see through you at once.

          • Mc

            And so the logical fallacies continue unabated, even when I pointed out very clearly earlier on why criticism does not equate to bigotry.
            What is rather amusing is that you don’t perceive the logical fallacy where you indulge in the bigotry of calling people rednecks simply because they don’t share your views. Nor do you possess the subtlety of thought to realise that people can be critical of a culture or behaviour without actually thinking that a particular race is inferior or should be discriminated against.

          • MacGuffin

            How ridiculous you are. Where shall I begin?

            You go on and on (and on and on, and on and on some more) about corruption and drunkenness among white politicians, yet you seem to still stand by your original objection to my statement that natives need to stop their own corruption and alcoholism. You seem to be saying natives can only do so if whites stop first, thereby implying that natives are like children who cannot make decisions for themselves.

            If anglophone Canadians are such hypocrites (the biggest ones on the planet, no less!) why were natives so desperate to remain with anglophone Canada when asked to choose in the two Quebec referenda? They overwhelmingly voted ‘Non’.

            I repeat: the situation on the reserves is the fault of natives themselves. They need to put down the bottle and stop the corruption.

        • mohdanga

          Is it ‘bigoted’ for the federal gov’t and provincial gov’ts to give billions a year to the natives? Or the billions paid to them by resource companies? And what is the result? Even more poverty!!! Why not ask the corrupt chiefs if they might have something to do with the poverty of their band members??

          • gelert

            What is the real estate value of Canada and all its resources stolen from aboriginals ?

            Why don’t you ask Lyin’ Brian to pay back the $2million he was given because he was libelled ? There was no libel and an investigation showed he took $300k in brown-paper envelopes and perjured himself. Sen. Mike Duffy goes on trial tomorrow for fraud and Wallin will be up soon.

            Somebody should set an example, eh ?

          • mohdanga

            Not sure what Brian Mulroney and Mike Duffy have to do with this discussion.
            The natives signed treaties giving the land to the whites. And what resources did whitey steal from the natives? They didn’t have the technological know how to get the resources out of the ground so have to rely on whitey to do it. They would still be wandering around the land living off elk and walrus if the whites had never arrived, much like the natives in New Guinea currently do.

          • gelert

            Mulroney and Duffy are typical of the many corrupt Canadian pols. You called aboriginal chiefs corrupt. Pot,kettle, black, eh ?

            The aboriginals would probably be a lot happier if the white man had never come to the Americas. You would probably be living in some squat in Glasgow, or similar dump in the UK, if your ancestors had not gone to Canada.

          • MacGuffin

            Speaking for myself, regarding those ancestors of mine who were from teh British Isles, I am indeed pleased that they took their futures in their own hands and sought to better themselves. They didn’t sit in their misery and whine about things. They took steps to improve their lot.

            There is a lesson for Canada’s aboriginal peoples there. They will never escape their wretched existence if all they do is blame white people. The fault for their miserable lives lies with themselves.

          • gelert

            Canadians, God’s frozen people, must be the most boring people to be found anywhere. That’s why you hate the Americans so much, they have an identity and couldn’t care less about Canada, whereas you lot constantly fret about them.

          • MacGuffin

            Boring? You have obviously never been to Finland. Or Switzerland.

            I don’t hate Americans. I love the USA.

            You seem quite rant-y, childish, and stupid.

          • Amin

            And then you pretend that you are not white and racist.

          • gelert

            Racism is as Canadian as maple syrup.

  • PetaJ

    Exposure to European diseases such as measles to which they had no immunity wiped out far more of them than the Church Matthew, you should know that. Unusually sloppy for you. And you forgot to mention slavery – hundreds of thousands were sent down the mines (their own mines) and worked to death then replaced, on the basis that it was cheaper to do that than to feed them.

    • You are right about the mines: even importing slaves from Africa due to so many indigenas dying but don’t misunderstand ‘The Church’ comment: the Church back then was an integral part of any state power and anything Kings and countries did was with the Church.

      Also we shouldn’t play down genocides like that of the Mapuches by saying it was mainly disease that did for them: they were exterminated.

      • PetaJ

        I certainly didn’t play down the extermination of the Mapuches who weren’t actually exposed to disease until much lateron. As pointed out in my post, no-one could get near them and their lands were considered inhospitable until much later when it was realised that Patagonia was ideal for sheep-farming.

      • William MacDougall

        The main reason we know about Spanish conquistadors’ maltreatment of Indians is through the writings of Priests who were arguing for better treatment. So no the Church should not be blamed.

      • KW

        How about sympathy for the original natives that where hunted down and exterminated by the people who where around when the conquistadors showed up? Ohh, that is right, no amount of moral umbrage can be assigned to anything, unless you can use it to beat down Caucasian’s.

    • KW

      Actually, most of the population where eradicated by African tuberculosis, brought over by sea mammals, before the Spanish arrived(the low population levels, are what enabled the Spanish to conquer so much land, so quickly).

      • PetaJ

        I think you are a couple of hundred years out. Also, it didn’t spread much out from the coastline of Peru because the population was too scattered. For the size of the country it was never large which probably helped the Spanish. However, they did decimate what there was of it after their arrival in a variety of ways including disease and slavery.

  • Hamburger

    Southern European a euphemism for Spanish.

    • PetaJ

      That is true – to start with, but in the late 19th and Early 20th centuries they were followed by swathes of Germans, Croatians, Swiss etc., many of whom went to Patagonia, which Matthew mentions. As recently as less than 100 years ago the Patagonian Mapuche Indians, who were so fierce that even the Incas left them alone as, to a large extent, did the Spanish later on, were being literally hunted. The government paid a reward for every pair of Mapuche ears handed in. It would be nice to blame only the Spanish for the cruelty to and decimation of the Amerindians, but also inaccurate.

      • Hamburger

        The Spanish set the tone with their slaughter in the 16th and 17th centuries. The others unfortunately joined in the fun later.

        • PetaJ

          Exactly. No excuse for any of them though.

          • Hamburger

            Too true, alas!

  • Reluctant Mlungu

    So Matthew, there are, as you admit, no laws keeping the ‘Indian’ down, or uneducated – just a vague “suffocating disregard.” So how exactly CAN the lot of these people, today, actually be attributed to the evil White Man?

    If you’d like to study “disregard” further, try living in modern Africa as a White Man.

    And what Planet Privilege do you come from, that you imagine that “the rest of the world has typically backpacked around the Andes in their gap year”? Only a tiny fraction of people have ever had the luxury of a ‘gap year’, or the means to travel half-way around the world – whether they be white or of any other race.

    Perhaps the people of South America base their attitudes, expectations, associations and interactions on their accumulated knowledge, based on experience? Just like anyone does…

  • Gilbert White

    No trouble with this subject heh, Matthew a very sexy subject. You are on record for asking if Stephen Lawrence was that innocent as you put it. You suddenly went silent at the behest of fellow journalists or your own journalsicktick radar unlike Middle who paid for his viewpoint.

    • Why did he go silent? Most people I ask also wonder: the gangs, the knives, the drugs, the attitude…

  • Gilbert White

    Reluctant Mlungu, MP does not tell you he and his party, including a Torrent Duck, nearly suffered terrible injury from the descendents of these people in the Andes and that also he took no action when a companion in front of him was brutally raped by a third worlder. Like all liberals he agreed not to look!

    • Mc

      Mentioning a crime committed by a local would skew Parris’s article into territory that would add unacceptable nuance to his article: the indigenous South Americans behaved diabolically toward each other whenever the opportunity arose, before evil Europeans arrived.

  • pp22pp

    More proof that diversity sucks. Try connecting the dots, d!mw!t.

  • Ivan Ewan

    So, there’s no apartheid whatsoever, just a sort of pervading unfalsifiable sense of racism that you have?

  • Randy McDonald

    A terminology issue: “Apartheid” is a very specific reference to a highly codified legal system aimed at repressing an ethnic group.

    Unless there are laws evoking South African apartheid in South America which have avoided notice, “silent apartheid” doesn’t work.

  • Damaris Tighe

    At least the indigenous people of Catholic S America are still there, unlike their fate in 19th century Protestant US.

    • Richard Baranov

      Before the white man arrived there were approximately “…7 million people (Russell Thornton) to a high of 18 million (Dobyns 1983).” In the 2010 census 5.2 million people claimed to be native American. Of course the contemporary number is due to recovery since Native peoples are no longer persecuted in the U.S. However, in Canada they are 4% of the population and, in my experience, are treated abominably in that country.

      But much of what you read about the fate of native tribes in the USA is fiction, it is a product of the “noble savage” sentiment. But for few exceptions, e.g. the Hopi, they were very violent and rather nasty people. Most native Americans died from disease, the result of lacking immunity to illnesses that were mundane amongst the white crowd. It was not deliberate genocide as some would like to depict it. Although one can hardly claim that the white mans conduct was virtue personified!

  • Sean L

    “Nearly six in every ten ought to be Indian. Fewer than one in fifty will be.”

    This idea that all ethnic groups ought to represented at the highest levels in proportion to their population is axiomatic for the left: cast iron evidence of white “racism”. But when other racial groups are over-represented say in sport or pop music, in the retail trade, in accountancy, in takeaways; when in other multi-ethnic societies certain groups excel at the expense of others, as they always have and always will: consider the Indians in east Africa, the Kikuyu in Kenya, the Lebanese in west Africa, the Chinese in Malaysia, Ashkenazi Jews in numerous places, it passes without comment, ” racism” being a uniquely white phenomenon. Who are the real racists? Incidentally, why should I concern myself with the plight of South American Indians? Unless they’re publishing articles on the ethnic cleansing of the Cockney population who are now extinct. . . Happy to reciprocate either way.

  • Hijo de la Tierra

    This smacks of a cursory and distant understanding to a bilateral set of cultural norms and folkways so wise that your post postmodern rectally inserted juvenile journalistic perspective cannot even perceive it: yes, there are thoughts among those of mainly Spanish descent that the Indigenous are less capable in certain faculties, however, due to tourism the Indigenous are quickly getting rich and buying up the lands that once belonged to them. They are loyal to their heritage and distrust modernity, as they should. And they are largely happy, as I can testify based on my living among them. Perhaps they harbor the wisdom to know that legal, medical and political aims are at their core dishonest.

  • StrategyKing

    I love how he has dismissed the North American native peoples as misfits on a reservation who presumably don’t have a story. Why Mr Parris? I’ll tell you why. Because their destruction was by one of your kind, while the destruction of the South American native peoples was by the Spanish and Portuguese, who are not of your kind, so you can get on your high moral horse and pontificate about them, thereby finding yourself to be morally clean and good. Nope. You are as tribal as the next person. Don’t fool yourself.

  • Infidelissima

    Mr Parris, how come you do not write about the appalling apartheid and shocking racism that afflicts the religion of peace, and the poor minorities that are forced to live under its’ fist?

    • Mc

      If you read Parris’s articles about Islam, you will notice that he mistakes criticism of Islam and Asian culture for rabid racism – exactly the position taken by identity politics activists and other nuts that populate The Guardian. Parris is one of those journalists where one knows in advance exactly what his articles will say and that they will involve a lot of limp wristed handwringing about naysayers’ supposed bigoted mindset.

      • KW

        You have to understand, people like Parris are psychopaths/sociopaths. It is not so much what they say that you have to watch, but the effect their words have. They are saying the garbage they are saying, to achieve political aims. Those aims being the establishment of global communism, and the death of Christianity. Eliminating Caucasians in the process, is just an added bonus from their world view.

  • Picquet

    I thought half of Hollywood’s bladder-wavers were on the case. They can’t lose.

  • post_x_it

    Having just returned from a trip to the Northern Territory of Australia, I was struck by the evident profound idleness of the Aboriginal population in towns and cities. I am genuinely interested in whether Matthew thinks that this is also a case of “silent apartheid” perpetuated by the attitudes and actions of other ethnic groups?

    • gelert

      It’s what happens when a people have their land taken away and are then dehumanized and marginalized by the invader. The aboriginals have no rôle in modern Australia because of what their conquerors did to them.

      • post_x_it

        That view is both simplistic and defeatist. What was done to them in the early stages of colonisation was barbaric and wrong. However, we are now in 2015. The modern world has arrived, in one way or another, in almost every corner of the earth, and many “traditional” societies have adapted and become fully functional within it. Are you really suggesting that the Aboriginals are condemned to eternal idleness because the hunter-gatherer lifestyle is no longer viable?
        During my trip I caught a lengthy interview on TV with the ex-PM Kevin Rudd. The interviewer asked him this: considering that you made the official apology to the “stolen generation”, considering that the government has invested countless billions over the decades in education and various social programmes, and considering that the Australian people offer a great deal of goodwill to the Aboriginals, why is there still no discernible sign of progress in their circumstances? The answer was rather vague. There doesn’t seem to be an answer.

        • gelert

          Strange that the aboriginals in Canada and Australia both suffer from the same accusations of being feckless and only wanting to get drunk. Contrary to what some would claim, there is progress in Canada, but it is slow and it takes a long time to rebuild confidence in one’s identity after centuries of dehumanising and prejudice.

          • post_x_it

            And then again, as Matthew points out, “South America’s indigenous peoples … farm, trade, labour, run small businesses and get on with life like everyone else”, despite the discrimination and injustices done to them.
            One key difference that springs to mind is that they were never given the option to sit around getting drunk, whereas the Australian and Canadian governments have tried to assuage their white guilt complexes by showering their indigenous populations with welfare and relieving them of any responsibility to look after themselves.

          • Ambientereal

            In fact, there are very few authentic indigenous people in South America. The ones that where successful, integrated in the modern society and somehow forgot or never again mentioned their origins. On the other side, many lazy ones keep claiming to be indigenous (although most are not) in order to obtain social aid. So that the overall view shows mostly unsuccessful Aborigines but it is not the reality.

      • Fak_Zakaix

        Well-to-do people live nowadays in cities, often far away from the place where they were born, even if that means a foreign country.

  • bramhall

    It is well known that Argentina has been waging wars of genocide against the Mapuche indigenous people ever since it gained independence from Spain in the first part of the nineteenth century. Argentina is an oppressive colonial power which should be reported to the UN decolonisation committee in respect of its violent and illegal occupation of Patagonia and the dispossession of its inhabitants for large scale beef production and commercial forestry.
    Argentina claims it inherited all of the land claimed by Spain, forming that part of South America called the Viceroyalty of the River Plate. It also claims the Falklands, South Sandwich Islands, South Georgia and a huge wedge of the Antarctic on the dubious principle that Pope Alexander VI gave all of South America (except Brazil) to Ferdinand and Isabell of Spain, in a Papal Bull called Inter Caetera in 1493, as reward for expelling the Jews and Moors.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      The forced conversion of indigenous peoples in Central and South America. One of many crimes listed on the Catholic rap sheet.

  • Ambientereal

    Was the past in some place of this world any different from what is related here?. Did Turks not invade Constantinople? Did Moguls and Arabs and English and… not invaded India? Did Russians not invaded many countries? Did the arabs not invaded Spain? The same can be said about all Asia, Africa, Oceania, and, and, and…
    Yes there is a difference, south american Indians don´t want to integrate with the culture because this way they can claim some advantages. Besides, most people claiming to be the descendants of the natives, actually are not and show cultural (indigenous) habits (like clothing, songs etc.) that are fake. I personally am descendant of Spanish people, but I will never be recognized any special right due to it in Spain. I have to work, study and integrate wherever I am, that´s what I did, and that´s what they should do instead of living in ghettos (by own decision) and claiming rights and aids that mostly go to little groups that profit from that so called apartheid. Indians are fully free in South America, but they don´t want to integrate, they want to keep their culture and even their language and still live in unsuitable dwellings, but they ask for help when they suffer the consequences of such a rough life.

    • Fak_Zakaix

      This is outrageous! Do you suggest that other people suffered more than the Jews?

    • Tim Conte

      They don’t want to integrate? what does that even mean? it’s not that most mestizos or indios in places like Peru can’t speak spanish or dont have many of the cultural references shared by whites… that they aren’t also roman catholic… this is about the fact that most resources and wealth is controlled by a small percentage of whites (in Peru/Ecuador/Bolivia/Brazil). Some (many) dont want to identify themselves and their country with the indigenous or mestizo population. The amount of times I heard people proudly telling me that they (whites from Lima or Santa Cruz) are “mas blanco” than the people of other places (Peruvians will cite Bolivia or Ecuador – who they refer to as “los monos – the monkeys” people from Santa Cruz to La Paz). It’s not about integration, its amout racism.

      As to people wanting to keep their culture, that is good and a reflection of an educated reaction to centuries of oppression. Why is it that all the wealth has been traditionally centered in the hands of a relatively few whites? why is it that the concept of a blanco pobre barely exists in places like Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia?

      • Ambientereal

        Precisely you mentioned Bolivia. A lot of bolivian indians migrated to Peru, integrated themselves in the society and workmarket and are now part of the normal society, send their children to normal schools and universities and are even good entrepreneurs, some having their own business and companies. Why can´t peruvian indians do the same? it is their own country!!

  • Owen_Morgan

    I didn’t believe the eternally repellent Matthew Parris could get any more patronising, but – guess what – he has managed it. How the benighted peoples of South America must revel in the fact that pompous Parris has suddenly deigned to acknowledge their existence.

  • greencoat

    Why does the Spectator persist in publishing this socialist tosh?

  • blingmun

    “exterminating all the Indian tribes of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. There are numerous statues of him in Argentina, whose ‘indigenous’ population now stands at 1.6 per cent.”

    The colony of Buenos Aries expanded by committing genocide.

    Probably worth reminding the likes of Hilary Clinton of this fact next time they use Argentina’s proximity as an argument for its claim on the Falklands.

  • Dan O’Connor

    Yipee , we are going to be a minority in North America , Australia and Europe

    Lefties like Matthew Parris have an On/ Off switch for the existence of race , which doesn’t exist until it does .

    Example ;

    Discussing Black & Muslim crime rates = Race does not exist
    Affirmative action for non-Whites = Race exists .
    Whites should have group representation and group rights too = Race does not exist
    Discussing the White race in any positive sense = The White race does not exist
    Dsicussing the White race in the negative sense in terms of guilt , shame and sorrow = the White race exists .
    Colonising non-White countries with White people = Race exists
    Colonising all White countries and replacing White people with non-Whites = Race does not exist .

    Replacing Africans , Asians, Muslims and Ameridians with White people ,= Genocide
    Handing over the lands and heritage and identiies of White people to alien third world peoples and transforming Whites into persecuted minorities of dwindling numbers and influence = ” culturally enriching ” ” vibrant ” ” tolerance ”
    ” sociallly progressive ” ” humanitarian ” ” equality ” and ” anti-racist ”

    Heads Left wins– tails Whites lose. The neuro-linguistics is rigged , and the fight is fixed

    • TrueNorthFree

      Dan, I have been reading your intelligent and articulate comments on Disqus. Well done man, and we need to hear MUCH more of this. Do you know the work of Jared Taylor and his website “American Renaissance”?

    • KW

      Of course it is, leftists like Parris, want to eradicate Caucasians. Their long term goal, is our genocide.

  • WillyTheFish

    A dire and timely warning of the fate that awaits indigenous peoples who allow their country to be invaded. Unless you are indigenous British in which case self defence against the invaders will be classed as ‘racist’ by the smug liberal elite.

    I’ll be voting UKIP.

  • Tim Conte

    This is spot on. I spent a year working in Lima in the 1980’s and was shocked by the attitudes of the minority whites who live in enclaves and control the wealth and resources. Neighbourhoods where the quechua/aymara people were maids/security guards or gardeners. The language used by these people betrayed a long standing disregard for “cholos” as the slur goes. Many of them looked to Argentina with envy, a majority white country and therefore better to them. They liked to look down on Bolivia or Ecuador for being “mas cholo” than Peru. In fact, the only place where I thought it was even worse was Santa Cruz in Bolivia.

    Adverts used to be entirely white faces beaming at a mestizo population. I’m sorry if Peru hasnt changed much despite its mestizo Presidents since then, Toledo and Umala.

  • KW

    Right, Moral crusaders starting again. How did ending Apartheid in South Africa work? Then again, anyone who studied history, knows the marxist/communists wanted to end Boer rule, because Boer rule according to the communist’s was “unnatural”, as they gave the blacks under their rule, a quality of life beyond their ability to replicate, maintain or advance.