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US-Mexico Controversy About a "Racist" Postal Stamp

 
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 11:14 am
Hi, josantvp & welcome to a2k!

Your English is 10,000 times better than my Spanish. I think you're doing wonderfully well.

Yours is an interesting idea but I think you were joking. Wouldn't the SepoMex need more time to get the stamp produced? Don't you think it was one of those weird cultural gaffs that people thoughtlessly make?**

I doubt anyone in the Mexican government was purposefully trying to make black heritage folks from any country feel bad. If that were the aim, they could be much less subtle than a postage stamp rated only for use within Mexico.

Piffka


**Hope you and fb will forgive me. I've been hanging my head & feeling bad because when I was a kid I liked Speedy Gonzalez. He seemed smart and funny and good-natured to me. Also, I thought he was kind of cute for a mouse... cuter than Mickey Mouse who irritated me by being way too good and not very smart. Among those Warner Bros. characters, he was definitely at the top of the food chain.

According to Your Inner Tweety, he is most like Robin Williams. Who doesn't like Robin Williams??
Quote:
Speedy Gonzales
Characteristics: Impetuous, good natured, quick on his feet

Motto: Arriba!

Suggested professions: Berlitz instructor, motivational speaker, ballroom dancer

Famous Speedies: Chris Tucker, Robin Williams
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 01:05 pm
Piffka, I like Speedy Gonzalez much more than Robin Williams.
Speedy's always beating the Gringo cat. And besides, his girlfriend Rosita is sooo cute.
Most of us Mexicans LIKE the mouse. Luckily it was born before the age of political correctness.

"Speedy Gonzaaaalez
al rancho llegó...
ha tomado muchos tragos
porque Rosita lo dejó"
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 01:09 pm
Hey, Rosita - come queek - down at the cantina
they giving green stamps with tequila Laughing
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 02:37 pm
Here ya go... she's hard to find:
http://www.melaman2.com/cartoons/looney/0-speedy/speedy-06.jpg











Gringo... is that a slur???
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 06:26 pm
Gringo doesn't bother me.

I really loved Speedy.

And the Frito Bandito.

Speedy always seemed smart.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 07:11 pm
Piffka wrote:

Gringo... is that a slur???


Depends on the emphasis, and if it's preceded by the word "pinches" or followed by the word "cabrones", "ojetes" or something like that.

We don't say "Americano", since we're also Americans. "Estadounidense" is waaay too long, and used only in formal speech.
So US citizens are Gringos.

Usually, there no slur. A friend told me recently that her child, whose father is from the US, was kind of sad because another kid, whose mother is from the US, was changing schools: "It was fun to have another Gringo at the classroom", he said.
No slur either, when Speedy says: "Éjele, gato gringo, ándele ándele".
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2005 02:13 am
About the Frito Bandito, the objections raised against that character which eventually caused Frito-Lay to abandon it were largely by the Mexican Anti-Defamation Committee, a Mexican-American organization, not by Mexicans.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2005 04:03 am
fbaezer wrote:
Piffka wrote:

Gringo... is that a slur???


Depends on the emphasis, and if it's preceded by the word "pinches" or followed by the word "cabrones", "ojetes" or something like that.

We don't say "Americano", since we're also Americans. "Estadounidense" is waaay too long, and used only in formal speech.
So US citizens are Gringos.

Usually, there no slur. A friend told me recently that her child, whose father is from the US, was kind of sad because another kid, whose mother is from the US, was changing schools: "It was fun to have another Gringo at the classroom", he said.
No slur either, when Speedy says: "Éjele, gato gringo, ándele ándele".


Only US citizens???


Would I not be a gringo, then? What would I be?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2005 04:36 am
Conej(it)o ...
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2005 05:10 am
Pfffffft......
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2005 06:45 am
Hmmmm, I think Deb should be a gringo, too.

Can anyone tell if that little ribbon on Speedy says "Chick Magnet?"
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2005 06:51 am
I think it looks a little suspicious but again, why should the US have any say? It isn't our stamp. And I doubt that the Mexican government sat down one day and said, lets make fun of the black people.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2005 06:57 am
fbaezer wrote:
Depends on the emphasis, and if it's preceded by the word "pinches" or followed by the word "cabrones", "ojetes" or something like that.

Usually, there no slur.


My husband is a general manager and most of his kitchen staff speaks Spanish. They are always calling each other, and my hubby, "pinches" and "cabrones". I am having a hard time remembering what they mean but I know that they are typical male barbs that out of context are not very nice. :wink: Something like "b*tch" and "c*ck sucker" maybe?

He is getting better and better at his Spanish, since his kitchen manager speaks both English and Spanish and can help with translation when necessary.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2005 06:43 pm
Dlowan, would probably be mistaken for a gringa, but she is australiana, not gringa!

Bella Dea: "pinche" means, literally, "kitchen helper"; it is used as a demeaning word.
The fun thing is that almost surely your husband kitchen staffers don't know that they are, strictly, pinches.
If a city, a movie or a piece of clothing is homely, then "está pinche". If you feel bad, you say "Me siento pinche".
The tone may vary, then it's a "nicer" word: "Pinche Helios", I tell a junior colleague. He knows it's only a form of trust talk. And that's how the pinches that work with your husband usually use it, I bet.
"Cabrón" means big male goat, and also cuckhold. It also means "difficult" ("está cabrón") or "motherf*cker", in the sense the person is great, mean or both ("es un cabrón").
The best translation of American slang "bitch" is "cabrona".

Infarblue, your note about Mexican-Americans, and not Mexicans, be worried about Frito Bandito is right on target.
And it's also a proof or the Americanization, via political correctness self-victimization, of our "paisanos".
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2005 10:02 pm
fbaezer wrote:
And it's also a proof or the Americanization, via political correctness self-victimization, of our "paisanos".

Estoy absolutamente de acuerdo contigo, paisano.

Racism is in every country in the world. The US is one of the most racist countries in the world. Race and racism is ingrained in just about every aspect of our culture here.
0 Replies
 
Contestatario
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2005 06:45 am
Sovereignity
SOVEREIGNITY

What you, Americans, have to understand is that this is not a "racial issue", this is not about "how racist" Mexico is, this is about sovereignty. Let us analyze this situation for a moment;

1) the Mexican Postal Service (not President Fox) issues some stamps showing a caricature of a black boy, Memín Pinguín;
2) some American priest gets to see these stamps and feels outraged about it;
3) this same American priest demands that the stamps be withdrawn from market and also demands an apology from the Mexican President himself to the black community in America, which he "represents", because the stamps "are" racist and offend black people; 4) the Mexican government claims that the caricature is a very by-many-people beloved character from a Mexican comic book from 1940 and is not, and was never intended to offend black people, but to (Oh irony!) diminish racism and encourage family values (according to the creator of this comic book, who is a woman, Memín was created based on the charming Cuban kids whom she fell in love with when she made a trip to the island. The character is a mischievous boy who has a very peculiar way to see life and among his friends he always gets to be the most beloved one)
5) the priest gets reinforcements and even the spokesman from the White House says that the stamps are "offensive… The Mexican government needs to take this into account. Images such as these have no place in today's world"

And I think to myself…… what a wonderful woooorrld…..

How do you expect that the Mexican government will react when an American priest demands an apology from the Mexican President for these stamps (no apologies demanded from the Mexican Postal Service?) and even the White House claims that "The Mexican government needs to take this into account. Images such as these have no place in today's world"?

Can you not see? This isn't about "how racist" Mexico is. This is about Americans messing with other country's affairs and sovereignty.

An American priest demanding apologies from the President of another nation because he found some stamps of his (the President's) country's Postal Service offensive?

The White House trying making judgments and trying to impose its moral to a sovereign nation?

This is just insolent. Americans are not the police of the world, they can not go trying to impose their moral and "values" to the rest of the world.


THE MEXICAN PRESIDENT'S STATEMENTS

There are even some people who assure that in Mexico there's such a deal of racism by recalling the Mexican President's statements about the Mexicans in the United States taking jobs that "not even the blacks want".

Mmmhhh… I wonder… if the Mexican people should be judged by the President's statements…. Should the American people be judged by President Bush's statements and actions?

I think not. I think that wouldn't do them any good.

Do I think the Mexican President is a racist? I don't know. Maybe only the people who really know him can get to know that. What I do think is that he is a very bad politician and he frequently screws it up.

Did he really mean it that way when he said that Mexicans take jobs that "not even blacks want"? I have my doubts.
I think that he meant that even the minority which has suffered the most in the United States, even those who were discriminated so badly (and who are, unfortunately, still being discriminated), even the ones who were traded as slaves in the past and were, not long ago, still segregated, have had the chances to improve their life conditions and can now get better jobs, but, on the other hand, the Mexicans still get those terrible jobs that black people were forced (due to the lack of better opportunities) to take, but nowadays take not any longer. At least that's what I think he meant. Because even though he's a very bad politician and even if he were a very racist person (which you and I totally ignore) you would need to be a brainless snail in order to say that on a public speech and mean it as a racial slur. Give the man a little credit, probably he just screwed it up trying to say something else.
I can say this because I've witnessed what he's said and done since even before he got elected for the presidency.
How many Americans can say that?

RACISM IN MEXICO

There is racism in Mexico, of course. There are people in Mexico. But, surprisingly
(or maybe not so), most of the racism is against native Mexicans.

Racism against black people is not so common in Mexico because there are just very few black people there. In fact, most of the "black" people in Mexico are not exactly what in America would be considered "African American" (African Mexican in the case of Mexico) but a mixture of Native Mexicans and Africans who, in most cases, acquired the local culture and adjusted themselves to their new home. There are some tribes, which never mixed with Native Mexicans and which live in the Sierras, that stayed "Africans" though.

I won't deny that there's racism in Mexico, that's for sure, there's racism almost everywhere (an unfortunate world-wide disease), however, I find it very hypocrit from some Americans to make such a big fuss about some stamps in Mexico, to say that in Mexico "there's such a big deal of racism" (well, in Mexico the seats in the bus and the restrooms were not separated by "colored" and "white"), and to use this as a scapegoat for the real sh#t in the United States (and by some other very well known ones as a cheap political trick) when they have the major problem in their homeland.

ABOUT MEMÍN

I'm not keen to the comic book so I wouldn't know if the whole Memín thing is something racist, I've heard from many people who have read it that is nothing like that, though.

According to some people (most people, actually), the comic book is about encouraging family values and showing the adventures of this fellow, Memín.

What is a fact, is that in Mexico this comic book got once to be very popular among children and grown ups and used to sell thousands of numbers so, it is true that Memín (whether people like it or not) was and still is an important part of Mexico's literary history.

TO BLACK PEOPLE (NOT ONLY AFRICAN AMERICANS)

Whether you should be outraged by these stamps or you should just discard them as something irrelevant is up to you. I'm not black so, my opinion about how "offensive" or how "irrelevant" these stamps are, would be just selfish. I think only black people can make a fair judgement (nevertheless, an individual one) about whether these stamps offends them or not.

I know that some people are more sensitive than others, and that some people are taught to be sensitive because of their historical background. For example, I'm white and Mexican. I've lived all my life in Mexico and since I'm white I've always been called "güero", which means "white one" (at first it actually meant "blonde one") and I've never felt offended in any sense by the people who call me that way. However, there are some white Americans who would feel annoyed if they were called that way even if they knew what the word means. Of course, that is understandable; cultures are different from one another, the problem is that some people tend to think that because they grew up in a certain culture they have the "divine right" to judge any other culture as they please, as if their own were "the one", and they may even try to impose their ideas and moral to the other ones.

Perception of things changes from place to place and from culture to culture.

TO AMERICANS

You, as well as any other people, have the right to express your ideas and feelings freely. You, guys, can say whatever you want about the Mexican President, about these stamps, about racism, about modern days, about moral, about values, etc.
That is one thing. Another very different thing is playing the police of the world, trying to impose your moral to a sovereign nation, having a American priest demanding apologies from the President of another country for some political cheap trick and even getting the support from the White House for such a stupid thing.

Understand this: THE AMERICAN MORAL STAYS IN THE UNITED STATES as well as the Mexican moral stays in Mexico.

This is a Mexican affair and the decision taken about it will be made by Mexican authorities.

No matter if your white or black, or how "offended" you feel, even if you feel you're blood is boiling, all you can do is express your ideas; other than that, if you're American understand this: THIS IS NONE OF YOUR BUSSINESS.

THE AMERICAN DEMANDS FOR APOLOGIES ARE TOTALLY IRRELEVANT TO MEXICAN GOVERNMENT.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

Is it so important for an American priest whether Mexico is a "racist" country or not?
Why isn't it more important whether his own country is a racist one?
Could you tell by the country's stamps?
Mmmmhhh or maybe it's just the comic book?
Are there in the United States no stereotypes?
Why the double moral?
I'm starting to remember some other "outrageous" images…. but this time, from the United States:

The Red Skins logo
Speedy Gonzalez
The Chihuahua dog of Taco Bell
Speedy Gonzalez' cousins (Boy! Were those guys lazy)
Pepe le Pew
The Fighting Irish guy on a green suit (I don't know if he has a special name)
And let's not talk about Hollywood movies….

Forget it, guys, when it comes about stereotypes, compared to Mexicans, Americans are in the Major Leagues.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2005 08:11 am
Contestatario-Good points all. I read this when Baezer pub'd it yesterday and thought "how strange that we have the gall"
In US, one of the more important areas for antique collectors is "pre 1940 racist material" None of ours, at least of those that Im aware, are not positive reinforcements.The good priest and Rev Jackson need to be able to distinguish this.

Remember however, we are a huge nation and we give ear to anybodys POV no matter how silly.

Baezer, I always used "Pinche la capesa" as a "dick head"
.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2005 05:00 pm
Well, that's the last straw. Contestatario has slimed Pepe LePew! My favorite French rapist.
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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2005 06:57 pm
Lash wrote:
Mexico seems to have skipped Racial Sensitivity seminars.


Lash's signature line:
Towelhead (n)...Someone who wears a towel on their head.

I doubt that I'll ever again come across such a perfect dictionary entry for HYPOCRITE/HYPOCRISY.
0 Replies
 
KiwiChic
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2005 07:36 pm
...well I couldn't tell you what was on our stamps here in New Zealand
as I never look. I can believe someone would kick up such a fuss over what was printed on a stamp! It seems no body can do anything these days without the accompanied accusations of being culturally insensitive.
....I thought it was a cartoon dog, I would never relate that to being a dark skinned person....I think people who make such a mountain out of a mole hill so to speak are just simply sh.t stirring radicals....
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