Mexico's Culture of Racism

Everyone knows racism is the progeny of America - after all, ignorance and bigotry remain exclusive to America alone right?

With the passage of SB1070, Americans in favor of the Arizona law have endured hysterical smears, insults, and falsehoods from liberals, radicals, and, of course, Mexican officials -- never mind Mexico's treatment of illegal residents.

Many conservatives have begrudgingly come to peace with the fact only they are subject to nonexistent rules, mind-boggling double standards, and arbitrary hate crimes by the thought police.

In spite what students are taught everyday in classes like black, Chicano/a, and feminist "studies," racism actually exists outside of America!

Reporting from Mexico City, Tracy Wilkinson of the Los Angeles Times does a commendable job illustrating what so few of her mainstream media colleagues are willing to:
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.

Yes, in the 21st century, blackface characters on a major television network. But this is Mexico, and definitions of racism are complicated and influenced by the country's own tortured relationship with invading powers and indigenous cultures. [...]

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 the plight of black Mexicans:

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!"

Couldn't have said it better. Who knows, maybe one day Mexicans and Europeans will stop calling the kettle black.
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