June 30, 2005

Mexico issues offensive stereotypes on stamps

Weeks after Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton played patty-cake with Mexican President Vicente Fox over insults directed toward black Americans, the Mexican government strikes again, thumbing their collective noses at Jackson and Sharpton.

A series of five postage stamps was released yesterday in Mexico featuring a stereotypically offensive black cariacture from a 1940s comic. The character, Memin Pinguin, is still published in Mexico today.

Rev. Jesse Jackson said President Bush should pressure Mexico to withdraw the stamps from the market, saying they "insult people around the world."

"The impact of this is worse than what the president said," Jackson noted, referring to Fox's May 13 comment that Mexican migrants take jobs in the United States that "not even blacks" want. Fox later met with Jackson and expressed regret but insisted his comments had been misinterpreted.

The character on the stamp, 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.

Mexico, predictably, defended the stamps and the images, comparing them to the Warner Brothers cartoon character Speedy Gonzales, a hyper-speed mouse which debuted in 1953.

Mexican authorities said that more than 750,000 of the stamps, in a 6.50 peso (60 cents) demonination will be issued. The 6.50 peso stamps are mostly used domestically, though some could be sent abroad.

Posted by: mhking at 03:46 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 239 words, total size 2 kb.

1 The cartoon's creator states, in an interview w/the BBC, that it's all OK because it's "part of the Mexican popular culture". Disgusting statement, indeed.

Posted by: Fausta at July 01, 2005 08:44 AM (G3tVf)

2 FIRST MEMIN PINGUIN IS NOT AN AFRICAN AMERICAN HE WAS INSPIRED IN A CUBAN KID. SECOND MEMIN IS A CULTURAL ICON IN MEXICO , NEVER INTENDED TO OFFEND NO ONE. AND FINAL IN REGARDS OF THE "STUPID" COMMENT OF OUR PRESIDENT VICENTE FOX, I ONLY CAN SAY THAT HE IS NOT A BAD PERSON AND NOT VERY BRITTE ETHER. SORRY FOR THE GRAMMAR.

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