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.
, 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.
From: Rosanna <rosanna_armendariz@...>
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.