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Racism Is Everywhere

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By Raoul Lowery Contreras Stop the presses! There is racism in Mexico! Ten percent of Mexico is “gachupine” (gah-choo-pee-neh) which is loosely translated as “White” with 60 percent mixed Indian and white and 30 percent pure Amerindian. The word comes from the Aztec == “A man wearing shoes with pins” – SPURS. As there were no horses in the Western Hemisphere when the Spanish arrived, there were no SPURS. Mexico News Daily published an in-depth article about recent studies conducted about Mexican racism. No honest Mexican can deny the fact of Mexican racism. It is a fact and there are multiple studies that confirm it beyond any doubt. A recent study was conducted by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography. It determined that skin color directly influences how much education is achieved and what kind of employment an individual is offered. Surprise! This is not the only study ever conducted in Mexico that shows that racial differences heavily influence Mexican society. This is not new. No study was needed between 1519 and 1821 when the Spanish ran Mexico with racial codes that organized the Spanish Western Hemisphere into 32 different racial classifications starting with those born in Spain, the Peninsulares – they were number one. Their children born in the New World, the Criollos were number two. Number three was the part Spanish-part Indian, the mestizo. Number thirty-one was the Zamba, half Black and Half Indian. Last, number 32 was the pure 100 percent Indian, Indio. The only people who could own land and conduct government affairs were numbers one and two. There was no voting as Spain was a monarchy not a democracy. Governance limited to Spanish-born white men and their male children left much to be desired. It was no wonder that a fed up Catholic priest – Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla — enamored with American independence and democratic government loudly pronounced, “Death to bad government” to his parishioners at midnight September 15, 1810; the churchgoers rushed out of the church and immediately attacked Spanish-owned businesses and government property which started more than ten years of war for independence. In retrospect, his followers included mestizos and Indians who were fed up with the overt racism officially imposed by the Spanish-born and their children on them and Africans who Spain brought to Mexico as slaves. Father Hidalgo was himself a “criollo” without a drop of Indian blood. One view of modern Mexico is that the racial society Father Hidalgo detested still exists though it is not official policy as it was when Hidalgo rebelled. There is an interesting “bridge” across the Rio Grande border in one of the Mexican studies noted here. Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren and his colleagues on the Supreme Court included in their landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision against “separate but equal” schools; results of a study that measured Black children choosing white dolls over black dolls because the white dolls were prettier, nicer, etc. than black dolls. The same study was done in Mexico a few years ago and is included in reports about the current state racism of Mexican people. The Mexican children of all colors chose white dolls for exactly the same reason American black children made their choices of white dolls over Black dolls almost 70 years ago in the United States. Racism in Mexico is not news to Mexicans. The Mexican National Council to Prevent Discrimination has done a recent study that shows 20 percent of Mexicans are uncomfortable with the color of their skin. 25 percent say they have been discriminated against because of their “appearance;” 55% recognized that there is discrimination based on skin color. In a similar study in 2016, the National Autonomous University asked whether skin color influenced the way people are treated…Fifty-one per cent of respondents answered yes with a 33.4% replying probably, maybe. Study respondents: 72% of them agreed that racism does exist in Mexico and 47% said Indians, Indios, don’t have the same job opportunities as other Mexicans. Considering that there are 72 different Indian dialects spoken in Mexico, it is no wonder they don’t all get jobs as university Presidents. Surprise! There is racism in Mexico and the people recognize it. Surprise! There is racism in the United States and the people mostly avoid the subject, unlike Mexicans. Skin color is important in the U.S. despite most people denying it. It has been since 1619 when the first African slave walked of a boat in the United States. But American racism wasn’t always against Blacks with, of course, the darkest of all skins. A basic white racist victimizes anyone, even if the victim is demographically white. Founding American founder Benjamin Franklin set unlimited limits of American racism against people of other races and ethnicities with this in 1751: German immigrants “will shortly be so numerous (in British America) as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion.” Unlike our fellow Americans, Mexicans admit to their racism. If only we could. Contreras is the author of THE ARMENIAN LOBBY & U.S. FOREIGN POLICY and THE MEXICAN BORDER: IMMIGRATION, WAR AND A TRILLION DOLLARS IN TRADE; he formerly wrote for the New America News Service of the New York Times

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