Friday, August 06, 2010

'Racism is alive and well in Mexico'- LA Times

"Every morning during television coverage of the World Cup, on the Mexican equivalent of the "Today" show, co-hosts chat, trade barbs and yuck it up. Behind them, actors in blackface makeup, dressed in fake animal skins and wild "Afro" wigs, gyrate, wave spears and pretend to represent a cartoonish version of South Africa.

But the full truth is that racism is alive and well in Mexico. It is primarily directed at indigenous communities who account for as many as 11.3 million people, or

  • roughly 10% of the national population.
  • The indigenous remain disproportionately mired in poverty and
  • denied work, political access, education and other rights.

And there is a smaller community of black Mexicans, Afro Mexicanos, many

Often referred to by academics as the "third race" and concentrated in the coastal states of Veracruz, Oaxaca and Guerrero, they have been
  • fighting for years for recognition as a distinct ethnic group,
  • to be included in history books and to be given opportunities to transcend poverty.

"Racism in Mexico is covered up," said Ricardo Bucio, head of the National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination, which has protested the blackface TV caricatures. "There is a lot of denial about it."

  • Or, as columnist Katia D'Artigues once put it: "Although subtle, discrimination has become something invisible in our society.
  • We no longer see it, or we consider it normal!"

Still, in Mexico and other parts of Latin America, people operate with a different comfort level when it comes to physical attributes. It remains common for Mexicans to use nicknames like "Chino" for someone with almond-shaped eyes, "Negrito" for someone with dark skin, "Gordo" (Fatso) for a plump person.

  • These terms are jarring when seen through the prism of U.S. sensibilities, but here they are usually used in a context of affection and friendship.

The issue of racism in Mexico exploded a few years back when then-President Vicente Fox, in what was

  • meant to be a defense of Mexican immigration to the United States, told a U.S. audience that Mexican immigrants were necessary because they
It helps Mexico to blame others for its own hate, displaying catchy themes where mass media will pick them up. Billions of dollars are made demonizing Americans. Most media are happy to
  • photo 8/3 of 'compassionate' stooge hatefully defacing a
  • Diamondbacks-Nationals game. Good for those who want
  • the US to be a terrorist state like Mexico.
  • Decapitated heads in Mexico, a frequent occurrence. via Giovanni.
  • Trash on Arizona border, Rape Tree in background,
  • photo 3/16/09, Now Public
  • sign from an illegal alien protest in LA earlier this year saying they'll shoot more police


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