"…men and women alike choose their mates and leave them as they please, without offense, jealousy or anger." -Bartolomé de las Casas, priest in Cuba under Spanish rule.
My students read this quote today to practice paraphrasing and analyzing primary sources. (Poor things, we are taking our sweet time to ground ourselves in the concepts of capitalism and colonialism, because I believe we need this to understand the development of the U.S.) Is this mostly a good society or a bad society, I asked. One 8th grader said, “This is bad because if you don’t get jealous, you don’t truly love them…” While I disagreed with her and pushed my class to see that the rest of the quote (not included here) was about how free, loving, and healthy the Taínos were, I have to pause now and note, that a part of me agrees with her. Is that good or bad? Obviously not so simple. Are decolonized relationships free of jealousy or do we just empower ourselves to acknowledge it and manage it? Oh, the things we’ve internalized and what my students make me consider without knowing it.