Thursday, June 30, 2005
Memin Pinguin and Racism in Mexico
Is Mexico racist? Of course it is. How could it not be? It has the legacy of genocide against native peoples and the enslavement of Africans. You can't have that history and escape the notion that white people are superior. Just look at Mexico's leadership. President Fox looks white, so does his wife, and so does the rest of the Mexican elite. The Mexican immigrants I see here in New York are mostly brown skinned, very brown skinned. The poor are dark and the privileged are light. Looks like racism to me.
Who knew that the Mexican government was also toned deaf and insensitive. They recently issued stamps depicting Memin Pinguin, a character from children's books. Memin looks like Little Black Sambo's cousin.
Jesse Jackson is mad, the NAACP is mad, even the Bush White House said that Memin has got to go. One black Mexican had this to say.
"One would hope the Mexican government would be a little more careful and avoid continually opening wounds," said Sergio Penalosa, an activist in Mexico's small black community on the southern Pacific coast.
"But we've learned to expect anything from this government, just anything," Penalosa said.
Gee, it sounds like Mr. Penalosa lives here in the U.S.