Lots of chatter today about the release of a set of postage stamps in Mexico. The character portrayed on the stamps, one Memin Penguín, is a caricature of a Mexican of African descent and his mother. Memin was a popular comic book character for about 20 years in Mexico, up to about 1977. By our standards, it is blatatantly rascist. By Mexican standards it is not. Mexican society is a rascist society kind of like that of Japan. Intermarriage, even fraternization, between the mestizos and the indigenous peoples is frowned upon and is rare. Even more rare is intermariage or fraternization with blacks. By mestizos I mean the lighter complected Mexicans of mixed Spanish/Indian or European/Indian descent. In Mexico, the whiter your skin the better.
Mexican mestizos see nothing wrong with this and do not consider it rascist at all. They also see nothing wrong with the timing of the release of the stamps, coming on the heels of the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton/Vicente Fox bruhaha over the "jobs even blacks won't do" statement. Mexicans don't consider the timing of the release of the stamps to be stupid at all, either. I report, you decide.
Here are the actual stamps being released for sale:
Stamp images from Res Ipsa Loquitur who has some comments of his own. He's right about this; Mexico is an uncivil, violent, rascist, corrupt society. He's wrong about it being a banana republic. It is a narco republic. I know. I live here. I'll probably get shot for this post.
UPDATE: A Mexican embassy official says that the character is based on a Cuban. Hmmm... didn't Richard Pryor play a "Cuban" baseball player in a movie once?
Linked to: Res Ipsa Loquitur, Joe Gandelman, Michelle Malkin, Narcissistic Views, GOP and the City - there are no Mexicans who see this as racist - congratulations and keep your mouth shut about this while you are there, Sadly, No, Cheat Seeking Missiles, Don Singleton, Shrink Wrapped, Balloon Juice, American Digest, Los pasos del cangrejo, PostWatch, FirefoxIE, JamulBlog, Pandagon, The State of..., Ain't Nobody's Business, Waveflux, Blog Alice, The Brutha Code - I hope you're in a better mood tomorrow - Note: this blog contains a lot of...er...rap language, WFMU, Liberal Serving, Weapon of Mass Distraction, America Service, Ramblings Heard in the Cage of Camp X-Ray, Immigration Watchdog, Amphatememe, Na Han, Playahata, Random Stuff, All the Marketing,