Thank you Traveler, for being a voice of sanity in this thread.
The ancient Mayans were the first people in the Americas to have a written language. They also had paper much earlier than most of the world, and an extraordinarily high literacy rate. They advanced mathematics, and they tracked the movements of the night sky more carefully than anyone. They also created a complex calendar to track time for literally hundreds of thousands of years into the past and the future.
The relative starting point for their calendar was the beginning of the first baktun. A baktun lasts 144,000 days. This week, the 13th baktun on the Mayan calendar ended, and the 14th baktun started. The Mayans NEVER predicted the end of the world.
Then determined a date that their complex calendar would turn a page. Silly new age white people, who know nothing about the Mayas, predicted the end of the world.
I have been hoping beyond hope that all of this attention to the Mayan calendar would draw some attention to the Mayan reality today. The descendents of what was probably the most literate civilization in the ancient world, represent the second lowest literacy rate in the western hemisphere today. Today's Mayans also have one of the highest infant mortality rates in the hemisphere. and live in semi-apartheid conditions
In Guatemala today, the Mayan majority live in extraordinarily primitive conditions on the land where they built thriving cities while Europe was in the dark ages. The Guatemalan ruling class, composed of people of European descent, marginalize the Mayan majority, and limit their access to public resources and infrastructure. When the land that a Mayan community is inhabiting as subsistence farmers is wanted by a mining company or a mono-agriculture farming family, they Mayan inhabitants are evicted or killed.
Watch the first 10 minutes or so of this video. I know it is long.
This has been a difficult month to be the mother of a child of Mayan ancestry. She has heard her ancestry mocked by many ignorant people. Even newscasters. Even profit hungry corporations.
Listen to the last line in this commercial.
Who's in control now, Mayans?
Is that a rhetorical question?
I honestly cannot imagine the mainstream media, and even random people on the street, hurling such insults at any other oppressed ethnic group. Can you? Who's in control now, Kurds? Who's in control now, Bantus? (in pre- Mandela South Africa) Who's in control now, Tutsis? (during the genocide in Rwanda) Who's in control now, Hopis?
I know it is fun to mock silly superstitions. But the wrong people are being mocked her.
Stop it. Just stop it.