A Mexican philosopher named José Vasconcelos believed one day, a new race of people would be born out of the Americas. His 1925 essay was called “La Raza Cósmica”. Because Latin Americans are Mestizos – a mix of European, African and Asian ancestry, he believed they actually transcend all other races.
Author Marie Arana spoke about Vasconcelos at the Library of Congress.
“He believed that the experiment that was being conducted in Latin America, of mixing of races, was an important venture,” says Arana. Vasconcelos looked to the leaders of Latin American independence for inspiration, “In an instance of historical crisis they formulated the transcedental mission assigned to our region of the globe, the mission of fusing people ethnically and spiritually,” says Arana.
Vasconcelos believed one day La Raza Cósmica would erect a new civilization, Universópolis, where traditional ideas of race and nationality would be transcended in the name of humanity’s common destiny.
The National Council of La Raza takes its name from this idea.
Senator Barrack Obama commented on La Razá Cósmica in a speech to the NCLR in 2008. “That’s big, a term big enough to embrace the rich tapestry of cultures and colors and faith that make up the Hispanic community, “ says Obama in the 2008 speech, “big enough to embrace the notion that we are all a part of a greater community, that we have a stake in each other, that I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper, we rise and fall as one people.”
That was before his election, and before his administration deported 2 million people. But if you examine the demographics, the cosmic race seems to be emerging. President Obama himself is biracial, and according the the U.S. census, half of all Americans under 5 are Black, Latino or Asian.
It looks like La Raza Cósmica has indeed arrived.
(Photo by NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team via Getty Images)