Mexicos dark secrets of Racism and Classism


By Joel Hernández Santiago

Painter of saints in the bedroom

painter without earth in the chest,

that when you paint your saints

you do not remember your town,

that when you paint your Virgins

pints beautiful angels,

but you never remembered

to paint a black angel.

[Andrés Eloy Blanco]

Do not tell him, do not tell him, that the moon is cheese … Nothing. Every day, every hour and for so many years, racism in Mexico is our daily bread. It is, let’s say, a secret war that starts with the güeritos and güeritas, the color of refined sugar and the morenitos and morenitas, the color of a starry night. That is … Racism is racism, with all its lyrics and there is in Mexico even below the stones …

Let’s see. All this comes to mind because-again-the film by Alfonso Cuarón ” Rome ” has awakened all kinds of comments; Many of them are really solid, others are excited and even there are “shameful” …

Shame because Mexicans without shouting and without war have been disqualifying and insulting its protagonist, Yalitza Aparicio, who in the film plays a maid in a middle class house, and herself in her physical presence is what we might call, of race of origin … She has done well. Requetebien. Because he makes a masterful interpretation of Cleo, the beloved nanny of children and who lavishes all their tenderness in them and in that family in which he shares solitudes with his employer, also alone: ​​women’s house ends up being that house.

But good Once the film began to be recognized as a work of art of cinema, and that its director Alfonso Cuarón began to reap the rewards of his excellent work, actors and actresses also began to turn the show around. One of them, Yalitza, was suddenly called to be interviewed and placed in the orbit of worldwide success on covers of famous magazines and a millionaire print run: “Vanity Fair” one of them, took her on its cover and interiors, wearing clothes from Brand: Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton …

Video insertado

Vogue Mex y Latam@VogueMexico

And it was then that the racist rage in Mexico began to expel their bitter and class hatreds. All of them hurtful. Poisoned darts that wanted to give in the heart of someone who has not done anything, who does not know them and who has only done in life is to climb the train of success based on his work of excellence as an actress:

“The although she dresses in silk, shes still a indian,” they said on Twitter; “The Indian does not wash away off even with those clothes” … “The tianguis is noticeable to leagues” … “Surely she is going to open a tortillería” … “Are you pleased that the Indian is triumphing?” … And also questions brutal as the one in which the television reporter tells him that if he knew Alfonso Cuarón and if he had seen cinema before; or if he knew what Netflix is ​​… Everything there put on the tray of racial ignominy …

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But that’s how it is. It is clear that being dark and with traits of national ethnic origin is a calling card to be marked as ‘being minor’ as ‘fuchi’ as ‘get over there’ like “Why did you invite him, do not you see that he is out of place at the table? “…” Let’s see if we have to teach him how to use silverware “… and all that marks a country where we are all mestizos: I said all, because it is well known that there are no pure races and much less in our Nation where” at night, with the moon, he bathes his dark skin “…

Is it that we do not want Mexicans? Is it that we pretend to be happy in unity, but ‘with the proper distances’? …

In a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) 55% of the national population recognizes that insults others just for their skin color. And that the color of the skin influences the level of studies and job opportunities that people in Mexico have. “The darker the skin, the harder it is to get ahead.”

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In the last National Survey on Discrimination in Mexico of the National Commission to Prevent Discrimination (Conapred) [The mere fact of the existence of this Commission, is indicative of the existence and worrisome situation of racism in Mexico], showed that 20% of People in Mexico do not feel comfortable with their skin tone. “One out of four Mexicans said they felt discriminated against because of their physical appearance. 23% of the respondents, inhabitants of Mexico, said they were not willing to live with someone from another “race” or with a different culture … “

Another study: that of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) says that last year, “when questioning whether the color of the skin influences or not the treatment people receive, 51.2 percent said yes.” “72.2% considered that there is racism in Mexico, and 47% said that indigenous people do not have the same opportunities to obtain a job in Mexico.”

It is still remembered that a few years ago Conapred carried out a campaign to show the state of racism in Mexico since childhood. This is: In a video showed some girls two dolls, one white skin and one dark skin. They had to choose the one they liked best. All the children chose the one with the white skin: “for greater sympathy, confidence and similarity”.

And more. The INEGI described: “People with lighter skin are directors, bosses or professionals; the darker-skinned ones are artisans, operators or supporters “according to Julio Santaella. “Racism,” says the Conapred in a 2012 text, “expresses itself with attitudes and erroneous ideas in the sense that some social groups are superior to others, and that superiority is” natural “and is expressed in the color of the skin. , the features of the face or the type of hair “.

“The racism -Conapred- expresses itself mainly in jokes, comments and hurtful phrases or that ridicule, underestimate or despise people because of their skin tone, their history, their culture, their traditions or their social condition”.

Not long ago, in Oaxaca, two lawyers had to deal with a legal matter. Both took their allegations to the courts and, in the end, the judge pronounced judgment in favor of one of them. Once the process was over, upon leaving, the lawyer who won the process in favor of his client extended his hand to the other. The answer was: “Get out of here, fuck Indian hair standing up! “¡Pinche yope!” Which in Oaxaca is an extreme insult of racist tone to refer to the Indians.

Another case, which is related, is when a university student goes in the car with a friend. Suddenly they see some Mennonites who come to sell their cheeses. When the green light came on, the university student said: “Kids should not work on the street. It does not look good “…” Racism can be subtle, but it is powerful. ” [Diego Rodríguez Eternod]

“Racism is a problem because it affects the lives of people (says Eternod). It is used to deny benefits or rights to some, at the same time that it privileges others “

And this intrinsic racism is fed by Mexican television today. You rarely see stellar actors with dark skin or native features. Almost always they are people with clear skin, light hair – natural or painted – and eyes that are clearly transparent and blue or green … The stereotype of beauty, according to TV, is of “beautiful” people, while dark-skinned people are the supporting actors, the evil ones or the comedians, when they get a job.

In Monterrey, an experiment was carried out. In a milk advertisement he put a blond family, as usual; in another he put a dark family. The clientele reacted by saying that milk with dark-skinned people ‘is milk for the poor’ …

But, well, it is historical and it comes from centuries. Do not forget that for many years, for example, the south of the country, the Indians could not climb the sidewalks of the streets because they were exclusive for people with fair skin and money.

Today in some “dens” only people of clear color are given access, otherwise they do not dream of entering the place: “Prietos no” they put as a sign on the door of one of them.

What Yalitza Aparicio is again tells the story of the beginning. That of a woman who triumphs for herself, for her talent, for the luck of being in the place and with the right people to participate in the creation of a work of art and be part of it. But what the sinister children of his clear skin and sense of class do not forgive – although they owe everything – is the success of an “Indian” …

By Joel Hernández Santiago

[email protected]

Source: El Sol de Mazatlan

The Mazatlan Post