It seems racism against black Americans is unacceptable, except when it’s endorsed by the untouchable Mexican government.
As CNN and many others are reporting, Mexican President Vicente Fox’s administration has issued a stamp depicting an exaggerated black cartoon character known as Memin Pinguin.
The series of five stamps released for general use Wednesday depicts a child character from a comic book started in the 1940s that is still published in Mexico.
The boy, hapless but lovable, is drawn with exaggerated features, thick lips and wide-open eyes. His appearance, speech and mannerisms are the subject of kidding by white characters in the comic book.
Activists said the stamp was offensive, though officials denied it.
Judge for yourself:
There’s one other image of Memin Penguin available via Google images:
You’d think there would be more of an uproar about this. President Bush likes to recite his empty platitude that “Family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande.”
Neither, apparently, does old-fashioned bigotry.
Gerard Van der Leun: “Is it too much to hope that the United States issues a similar tribute using, say, Gordo and Speedy Gonzales?”
My so-called blog: It is 2005, right?
Waveflux: “In a situation like this, where two cultures maintain divergent viewpoints, sometimes a correlative argument can make things clear. Maybe it’s a good time for Frito-Lay to dust off” one of its retired mascots.
Bill Quick: “The open and unabashed racism and bigotry practiced by many countries and cultures in the world today goes entirely unacknowledged by the American race-baiting establishment, which is far more concerned with ferreting out imaginary offenses in what is one of the least racist nations in the world.”
Ken Masugi at Local Liberty: “The serious side to this exercise in Jackson self-promotion is the question of what political and moral teachings immigrants bring with them to this country. Those principles are not created by postage stamp caricatures. The problem of elevating American citizen character transcends the issue of racial stereotyping among Mexicans.”
Joe Gandelman has much more and shares his experience working with sensitive Mexican officials. He adds: “PLEASE, government of Mexico, don’t do a stamp honoring people of my religion. Spare us the cherished cartoon of Pinnochio eating bagel.”
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