There aren’t a whole lot of black people in Buenos Aires. In fact, if you see a black person walking the porteño streets, chances are they’re from Brazil and they arrived only recently. Debunking my shockingly uninformed theories as to why this is, Cristian offers:
“We killed them all indiscriminately! First on our Independence War as cannon fodder, then again in the civil wars (same role too) and latter in the bloody genocides called the Guerra del Paraguay and Conquista del Desierto. The average rank and file of our ‘glorious and conquering’ armies were, in fact, mainly of african stock. By the dawn of the 20th century, hardly 1% of our population was afroargentine, most of them having died either in the wars of of epidemics.”
Regardless, racial sensitivity just isn’t nearly as ingrained in Argentine culture as it is in other countries, particularly the US. Blackface, to them, is lighthearted and cartoonish fare; absent of the hatred, pain and struggle associated with the concept elsewhere.
The result of this is that the presentation of the following delicious cream-filled pastry is completely acceptable in bakeries all over the city:
And my friends– my intelligent, cultured, worldly young Argentine friends, couldn’t figure out what I was laughing so hard about, or why I was snapping pictures of the absolutely delectable, completely racist treats before me.
I ended up actually trying one of these, and you know what? It was pretty damn good. Tasty racism. Who knew?