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Re: Colorism & Racism in Mexican Culture

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  • Rosanna
    Yes, I think a lot of people who are not around the Mexican culture are surprised to hear about the amount of racism and colorism. I think since Mexicans are
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 24, 2009
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      Yes, I think a lot of people who are not around the Mexican culture
      are surprised to hear about the amount of racism and colorism. I
      think since Mexicans are a "minority" and many are dark-skinned,
      people assume they must feel an affinity towards African-Americans--
      this is often not the case, to say the least. And I hear you about
      the Polish. Historically, many anglos didn't even consider the
      slavic people to be White. So, it's kind of funny about MIL
      idealizing this part of my ancestry. Oh well. Ignorance abounds.

      In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com, wintyreeve@... wrote:

      Thanks for sharing Rosanna... I'm sorry to hear things are like
      that. Then again, I would have never known if you did not share your
      experiences. I think its such a blessing to have this group to not
      only support each other but to give each other different
      perspectives, and the opportunity to see more of life.

      I am Polish too. Only my family has dark hair and almost olive
      complexion. LOL* Not that it matters! You know Hitler thought the
      Poles were inferior, and targeted them. He sent Polish children off
      to live with other families, and openly criticized Slavic people.
      Many Poles were sent to concentration camps for various "crimes".

      In the end, its not color that matters--its the condition of our
      hearts, and how we treat others.

      Peace, Lynn

      -----Original Message-----

      From: Rosanna <rosanna_armendariz@...>
      To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thu, 12 Feb 2009 9:57 am
      Subject: [Generation-Mixed] Colorism & Racism in Mexican Culture

      As some of you know from reading my previous posts, I'm from a
      racially/ethnically mixed background and grew up in NYC. Through a
      series of events, I ended up living out on the US/Mexico border and
      marrying a Mexican-American man. I came into this situation with an
      open mind and no preconceived notions about Mexican culture.
      However, I have been horrified at the degree of colorism and racism
      prevalent. Many Mexicans are outwardly predjudiced against persons
      of other ethnicities, calling black people "negritos," for
      It seems that if a Mexican person met a black Nobel prize winner at
      the grocery store, instead describing the person as a nobel prize
      winner, the first thing that would come out of their mouth would
      be: "I met this negrito..." In this vein, many refer to Obama
      as "The negrito in charge," even though some of them voted for him
      for economic reasons.

      This has personally affected me b/c many individuals in my
      husband's family have racist/colorist views. For instance, I have very thick, very curly black hair, hence my mother-in-law is constantly screwing up her face and saying, "It's so dark." She has also advised me to cut my hair very short b/c "it's so bushy."

      Another example of MIL's weirdness: My own mother is half
      Ecuadorian, half Polish, and my father is Jamaican. Yet, for years MIL rewrote my heritage so that my mother was only Polish and my father was Ecuadorian, thereby eliminating the Jamaican. And this embracing of the Polish has only intensified w/the birth of my son. He seems to have received a healthy dose of recessive genes b/c he is fair-skinned, with light hair and eyes. MIL constantly asks me about the Polish members of my family, and at one point said, with glee, "He [my son] takes after your mother's side of the family, not your father's." Everytime she visits, she beams with delight, saying, "He's getting lighter all the time!"

      Honestly, as far as any social awareness is concerned, I think the
      Mexican culture is maybe at the point African-Americans were at 60 yrs ago when colorism was rampant. I'm wondering if the Mexican culture will ever evolve. It seems many do not want to examine their
      racist views. Racist cartoons are still popular in Mexico, for
      instance. It makes me sad that my son will grow up admist this
      ignorance. I will do my best to educate him, but I'm only one person against so many.
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