Mexico is indeed a racist country



A little more then a week ago, I came across an article titled “Racism in Mexico rears its ugly head” written by Tracy Wilkinson, journalist from Los Angeles Times. Mrs. Wilkinson opens her article using Televisa’s morning coverage of the World Cup “Primero Mundial” as an example of Mexican racism. She considers racist, the fact that behind, where the co-hosts are sitting and chatting, a group of “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”. The TV network, according to the article, considers it as a “harmless spoof ”. Is clear that humor and stereotypes could be a double-edged sword, so the question is, to what extent these exceed the boundaries of racism?

Footage of Televisa's World Cup coverage morning show
Despite this, overall the article gives some truth about this social aspect that many here don’t want to accept that exists in this multicultural country. Mrs. Wilkinson pointed out a big truth, that the indigenous communities, which represents 10% of the national population, are the primarily target of racisms attacks. Back in May, the website of the Mexican newspaper “El Universal” published a series of photographs, where it shows two indigenous women, being watch in a derogatory way, while they were walking around in a shopping mall located in Polanco, an exclusive district in Mexico City. Is not clear if the newspaper took these photos red-handed or it was all planned to see the reactions of everyone there. Whichever way the photos were obtained, this caused a huge reaction on the micro-blogging site Twitter, expressing their outrage. The truth is that, many here use the term “indio” (Indian) as a pejorative term to insult.
What is unacceptable is that the police sees the indigenous people as an easy target to committee abuses and falsely incriminate them, especially indigenous women, due to their vulnerability and the fact that many of them don’t speak Spanish. The most recent case was that of the three indigenous women accused of kidnapping six agents of the former Federal Agency of Investigation (AFI). After four years behind bars, they were set free a couple of weeks ago, due to lack of evidence.
What the article doesn’t mention, is that racism in this country also goes hand in hand with social status. Is very common that people of high income refers to the working class and of low income, as “naco”, which is a pejorative term. In the 2002 Mexican film, “Amar te Duele” (Loving you hurts), gives an insight of this social problem among the youth.
The plot of the film is basically the Mexican Romeo and Juliet version. Two teens, from two different social classes falls in love, but their relation is not approved among their family and friends, and they will do anything to keep them apart. 
Amarte Duele (Loving you hurts) TV Trailer
Another aspect of racism in this country is seen daily in the Mexican television, specially in the soap operas, commonly known in Latin America as “Telenovelas”. Most of the actors that have brown skin and indigenous appearance will normally play the roles such as: maids, thieves, indigenous, indigent and pauper. The Mexican actress, Maya Zapata, during an interview with U.S entertainment media, while promoting her latest film “Casi Divas” (Almost Diva) in that country, stated that Mexican soap operas discriminates, actors and actresses for their skin color.
Maya Zapata interview statement (English)
Is curious, while everyone here expressed their outrage with the Arizona immigration law, here we mistreats our own people and the Central American illegal immigrants, that crosses the southern border of Mexico with their only goal, to reach the northern border. Is Mexico a hypocrite country as well?


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Just to clarify, in Mexico, the word 'negro' (meaning black) is not a racist term like 'nigger' is in the United States when referring to a person. I can be used to offend someone but in all reality, in Mexico, people don't really take to this kind of name calling as offensive or even racist. In most cases its used more like a term of endearment or clarification. It is vulgar to speak this way though and in no way, shape or form am I defending ex President Vicente Fox for speak so lowly of US Citizen in the United states. So, if you hear a Mexican refer to you as 'negro', 'guera', 'indio', 'chino' or anything else don't take offense to it unless it was meant to offend, which it probably wasn't. And as for the video of the show's depiction of Africans. Its a spoof people. Relax. Other people have been depicted way worse by Americans and you don't hear them complaining.
For my Canadian reader, thank you for your comment and testimony. Few years back there was a controversy with a comment made by the former right wing president, Vicente Fox, that outrage the African American community in the U.S., when he stated that Mexican illegal immigrant do all the hard work that the N*** do not want to do. There is no doubt that most of my fellow citizens that crosses illegally the border are hard workers and in search of a better quality of life, that sadly in Mexico they couldn't find, but former President Fox's comment was politically incorrect and puts in evidence his poor judgment and statesman he is. In the other hand, throughout the years I have come across with many foreigners that have a positive image of us Mexicans; the common adjectives that they use to describe us are: kind, warm, attentive people. On March 21st 2011, a survey was published by the prestigious Mexican research center, CIDE, regarding to this topic, in which their findings are stunning: 66% of Mexicans approves to deport all illegal immigrants; 22% support the idea to built a wall in the southern Mexican border, similar to the one that the radical U.S conservatives wants to built in the U.S -Mexican border; the foreigners that have greater acceptance by Mexicans are the U.S citizens and the Spaniards, and with less acceptance are the the Guatemalans and Colombians; 40% believes is appropriate to detain and question Central Americans immigrants base by their appearance, similar to the Arizona law SB1070 (these last fact is given by the National Council to Prevent Discrimination). As I pointed out in my opinion piece, we Mexicans seems to be hypocrite, and I would also add incongruous. What you pointed out on your comment based on your own experience is outrageous and totally unacceptable. Thank you once again for pointing it out, I will take it into account for future posts.
Am canadian,my father is white and mother black.I moved to Toronto ,in a Korean town very peaceful .Korean people are very respectful and the area is very multiethnic and peaceful . I was lucky to never had suffer direct racism by word or comportment .Until I met Mexican new immigrant .They moved to my block and they make Racial remark ,calling me N**** word,or monkey,making my Korean friends very uncomfortable . Canada Is so advance country but when around Latino immigrant,I feel back to 1940 segregation .And people seam to only focus on white racism but ignore Latino racism toward black.
The most racist country in the world is Mexico. I live here and lived in many places and with out a doubt Mexico will have number 1
Mexico is a racist country. The white minority in power through the education systems have convinced the mass that we are a land of mestizos, so we could not be racists. With this speech in the brain the evident becomes invisible. People suffers from racial discrimination in every aspect of their life and tis is considered "normal" whiter people have more chances to find jobs and are most often considered beautiful, media in general, not only televisa but advertisers, movie makers, newspaper, etc. have their staff full of white people when 80% of the population is brown. In my class, as a professor in a university, I show slides of British and Mexican actors and commentators. I ask the students to see if they find something weird in the Mexican slides. most of the times they do not find anything. Then I tell them that while in Britain the TV shows all the ethnicities in the country, in Mexico media shows only a minority. Does it means that brown people are talentless or unqualified? No, that is pure racism! I also believe that Mexican government and privileged elites are hypocrite; but to qualify the whole country, including the oppressed people which are more than 70%, is not fair.
Ladouse, thanks for your comment! I really appreciate it. Leaving aside what Televisa does, the main issue is that within the Mexican society, racism does exist, and above all, we Mexicans do not want to accept this. Is really a shame, one would think that a country so diverse as Mexico, this type of prejudices should not exist. Thanks for stopping by!
Televisa, Mexico's largest tv network, is to understand it fully, a mix of "Fox" and the "Cartoon" network at least when seen from the perspective of ordinary Mexicans. The green haired clown is a Mexican version of Glen Beck and likely represents the same values. The fact that the network had blackface dancers in the show where a clown spends most of his time groping the nubile show hostesses might raise eyebrows but this is the very least we would expect from Televisa. An aside... If Jon Stewart showed up on Television, he might appear as a wrestler. wrestlers frequently represent the common man and many are at the forefront of so called leftist or popular causes. Political wrestlers sometimes stage fights to the great amusement of all yet are still able to sustain the dignity, at least to their adherents and fans, of the cause they represent. Fidel Castro in all of his communist glory planned his revolution in Mexico City where one segment of the population simply adored him. At the same time, Fidel was captured and tortured and then kicked out by representatives of another part of the population. Ah it is so clear now mon ami n'est pas?

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