Updates from Frederick Smith, former Detroiter living in Los Angeles, and author of Down For Whatever (July2005) and Right Side of the Wrong Bed (December 2007).
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
No... This Isn't 1920 U.S.
This is Mexico. 2005.
They say it's a cultural icon in Mexico. I don't live there (well, technically California is/was Mexico, but still...) I don't know... BUT I do know that this is how black people are still perceived in many parts of the world. As cartoons. Entertainment. Monkeys. And, if never challenged to become educated as to why certain images are perceived to be offensive, people will never grow and change. And stereotypes will continue. And people will act on those stereotypes when they encounter (or choose not to encounter) black people.
Did you know Mexico has a huge Afro Mexican population in Veracruz, Guerrero, and other parts of Mexico that isn't included in the mainstream of Mexican society and culture and history? Did you know there are more black people in Central and South America than there are in the United States? We don't get taught much about the African people transported to Central and South America during the Middle Passage. But we need to. Because it's reality. And it's history. And if we're trying to become better people, we need to be real with has happened in history and who ended up where (and how they are/have been treated).
Text from AP Wire Service... A series of five stamps was released for general use on Wenesday June 29, 2005 issued by the Mexican government depicting an exaggerated black cartoon character known as Memin Pinguin, a child character from a comic book started in the 1940s that is still published in Mexico. The release comes just weeks after Mexican president Vicente Fox riled many by saying that Mexican migrants take jobs in the United States that "not even blacks" want. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)**EFE OUT** fs