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Stamps renew racial tensions with Mexico (Day 2)
Bakersfield Californian ^ | 6/30/05 | Mark Stevenson - AP

Posted on 06/30/2005 9:49:46 AM PDT by NormsRevenge

MEXICO CITY (AP) - U.S. activists called on the Mexican government to withdraw a postage stamp depicting an exaggerated black cartoon character known as Memin Pinguin, saying the offense was worse than recent remarks about blacks made by President Vicente Fox.

Mexico defended the series of five stamps released Wednesday, which depicts a child character from a comic book started in the 1940s that is still published in Mexico.

But the 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 said that like Speedy Gonzalez - a cartoon mouse with a Mexican accent that debuted in the United States in 1953 - the Memin Pinguin character shouldn't be interpreted as a racial slur.

"Just as Speedy Gonzalez has never been interpreted in a racial manner by the people in Mexico, because he is a cartoon character, I am certain that this commemorative postage stamp is not intended to be interpreted on a racial basis in Mexico or anywhere else," said Rafael Laveaga, the spokesman for the Mexican embassy in Washington.

But NAACP Interim President Dennis Courtland Hayes countered that "laughing at the expense of hard-working African Americans or African Mexicans is no joke and it should end at once."

The NAACP - the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People - called the stamps "injurious to black people who live in the United States and Mexico."

Jackson also said Mexico should "issue a complete and full apology."

Activists in Mexico said the stamp was offensive but not unexpected.

"One would hope the Mexican government would be a little more careful and avoid continually opening wounds," said Sergio Penalosa, an activist in Mexico's small black community on the southern Pacific coast.

"But we've learned to expect anything from this government, just anything," Penalosa said.

Carlos Caballero, assistant marketing director for the Mexican Postal Service, said the stamps are not offensive, nor were they intended to be.

"This is a traditional character that reflects part of Mexico's culture," Caballero said. "His mischievous nature is part of that character."

However, Penalosa said many Mexicans still assume all blacks are foreigners, despite the fact that at one point early in the Spanish colonial era, Africans outnumbered Spanish in Mexico.

"At this point in time, it was probably pretty insensitive" to issue the stamp, said Elisa Velazquez, an anthropologist who studies Mexico's black communities for the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

"This character is a classic, but it's from another era," Velazquez said. "It's a stereotype and you don't want to encourage ignorance or prejudices."

Laveaga, the embassy spokesman, countered that "if you look closely at many of the cartoon characters in U.S. pop culture, those who try will be able to find something offensive."

But, he noted, "the vast majority will see a cartoon character, which is what Memin Pinguin is."

The 6.50-peso (60 cent) stamps - depicting the character in five poses - was issued with the domestic market in mind, but Caballero noted it could be used in international postage as well.

A total of 750,000 of the stamps will be issued.

Ben Vinson, a black professor of Latin American history at Penn State University, said he has been called "Memin Pinguin" by some people in Mexico. He also noted that the character's mother is drawn to look like an old version of the U.S. advertising character Aunt Jemima.

The stamps are part of a series that pays tribute to Mexican comic books. Memin Pinguin, the second in the series, was apparently chosen for this year's release because it is the 50th anniversary of the company that publishes the comic.

Publisher Manelick De la Parra told the government news agency Notimex that the character would be sort of a good-will ambassador on Mexican letters and postcards.

"It seems nice if Memin can travel all over the world, spreading good news," de la Parra said, calling him "so charming, so affectionate, so wonderful, generous and friendly."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Mexico; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: mexico; racial; renew; stamps; tensions; turass
Day 1 ...

Mexico Issues Stamps of Black Cartoon Character Weeks After Racial Flap ^

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1433224/posts

1 posted on 06/30/2005 9:49:48 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

A series of five stamps was released for general use on Wenesday June 29, 2005 issued by the Mexican government depicting an exaggerated black cartoon character known as Memin Pinguin, a child character from a comic book started in the 1940s that is still published in Mexico. The release comes just weeks after Mexican president Vicente Fox riled many by saying that Mexican migrants take jobs in the United States that 'not even blacks' want. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)


2 posted on 06/30/2005 9:50:15 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... "To remain silent when they should protest makes cowards of men." -- THOMAS JEFFERSON)
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To: NormsRevenge

Do they still have Sambo's restaurants in Mexico?


3 posted on 06/30/2005 9:55:29 AM PDT by hunter112 (Total victory at home and in the Middle East!)
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To: NormsRevenge
Laveaga, the embassy spokesman, countered that "if you look closely at many of the cartoon characters in U.S. pop culture, those who try will be able to find something offensive."

Like the Frito Bandito?

4 posted on 06/30/2005 9:57:11 AM PDT by hunter112 (Total victory at home and in the Middle East!)
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To: NormsRevenge
When I was growing up in Panama, we used to get Memin comic books. They were very funny, and the main character--Memin--was hapless but loveable. No kid would ever have considered it some sort of racial attack, though.
5 posted on 06/30/2005 10:00:43 AM PDT by hispanichoosier
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To: hispanichoosier

Vincente is going to get another visit from $harpton and Je$$e Jack$on...he better open up the checkbook again.


6 posted on 06/30/2005 10:04:35 AM PDT by libs_kma (USA: The land of the Free....Because of the Brave!)
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To: hispanichoosier

When I was a kid we used to say "Einnie Meenie Minie Moe".... That seems like a very long time ago. I would have thought that Mexico would have a little more respect for those of color? Oh well, in the end it would seem that Chicanos and Blacks are in for a little struggle. I think the Blacks will win.


7 posted on 06/30/2005 10:05:33 AM PDT by Sterco
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To: Sterco
Oh well, in the end it would seem that Chicanos and Blacks are in for a little struggle. I think the Blacks will win.

No way. The blacks will be too busy killing each other.

8 posted on 06/30/2005 10:30:11 AM PDT by BostonianRightist (I don't trust a government I can't shoot back at.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Looks more like a Mexican Curious George than a black character.


9 posted on 06/30/2005 10:31:41 AM PDT by swmobuffalo (the only good terrorist is a dead one)
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To: NormsRevenge

The black community must realize that their sense of entitlement has no value beyond our borders.


10 posted on 06/30/2005 10:34:02 AM PDT by Niteranger68 ("Spare the rod, spoil the liberal.")
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To: hispanichoosier
No kid would ever have considered it some sort of racial attack...

When I was young we watched reruns of the Amos and Andy Show. This was hillarious. I understand political correctness put a lot of very good black actors and actresses out of work. What a shame.

11 posted on 06/30/2005 10:36:23 AM PDT by WesternPacific
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To: libs_kma
Vincente is going to get another visit from Sharpton and Jesse Jackson...he better open up the checkbook again.

Apparently he already has...

But the Rev. Jesse Jackson said President Bush should ...

Jackson is disgusting beyond belief with this statement. Notice how he has turned this from a problem for Fox into a problem for Bush. The man is just disgusting.

12 posted on 06/30/2005 10:38:06 AM PDT by Clock King
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To: NormsRevenge

This has made my day.

I haven't laughed so hard in weeks.

I find it particularly hilarious that Jesse (R.I.C.O. statute) Jackson's response is to run up and try to sic the man from the "big house" on 'em. Like it's just gotta be George Bush's fault. I guess they've gotten bored with extorting American corporations and ripping off their own followers.

I suspect they'll find their scam a bit more difficult to pull off south of the border. There're only about 100 million people there who would trade places with them in a heartbeat, and wouldn't complain about anything. I hope the Mexicanos tell Jesse and Al to go F*** themselves. Really now, what are they going to do, stop sending their kids to spring break in Cabo?

Actually, if you squint, and hold your head at the right angle, the one in the blue suit does look kinda like Deion Sanders when he gets all gussied up.


13 posted on 06/30/2005 10:40:58 AM PDT by conservativeharleyguy (All of God's creatures have a place at my table; right next to the mashed potatoes!!)
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To: Sterco
I think the Blacks will win.

Don't bet the farm on that proposition. Black Americans have a lower birth rate than Hispanics and are not supplemented by massive foreign immigration, legal or not. Blacks presently have more effective leadership, whatever our misgivings are about Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, et. al. Liberals, being non-Christian or CINO, have two sacraments: votes and money. Hispanics will be able to provide more votes than blacks, if not now, then 20 years hence. With Hispanic gangs muscling blacks and Italians out of the more lucrative portions of the drug trade, they have, or will have, more money.

The Hispanics are a safer long term bet.

14 posted on 06/30/2005 10:42:26 AM PDT by Wallace T.
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To: BostonianRightist

"Oh well, in the end it would seem that Chicanos and Blacks are in for a little struggle. I think the Blacks will win".

"No way. The blacks will be too busy killing each other".


Yep, while the Mexicans are on their way to work.


15 posted on 06/30/2005 10:43:29 AM PDT by conservativeharleyguy (All of God's creatures have a place at my table; right next to the mashed potatoes!!)
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To: hunter112
Like the Frito Bandito?

Like Speedy Gonzales!

16 posted on 06/30/2005 10:44:23 AM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.)
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To: Wallace T.

Not if they are headed South. I think the pendulum has made it's zenith and is headed the other way. If not we are a society headed for ruination. I speak from first hand information. I live near the front range of Colorado. We have been over-run by the Mesican invasion. When the employers in this are are held accountable. Things will change. If not..... they may change anyhow. People are getting pretty damn pissed around here.


17 posted on 06/30/2005 10:48:40 AM PDT by Sterco
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To: hispanichoosier
When I was growing up in Panama, we used to get Memin comic books. They were very funny, and the main character--Memin--was hapless but loveable. No kid would ever have considered it some sort of racial attack, though.

Amigo, this kind of thing may have been somewhat amusing about 1940. Even then it was not entirely in good taste, even if innocent and juvenile. It was, and is EXTREMELY racist.

18 posted on 06/30/2005 10:49:25 AM PDT by Kenny Bunk
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To: NormsRevenge

Looks just like Sharpton to me, LOL.


19 posted on 06/30/2005 10:53:16 AM PDT by Mister Baredog ((Minuteman at heart, couch potato in reality))
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To: NormsRevenge

So, the Rev. Jackson is beginning a shakedown across the border.

It's a welcome relief that we're finally able to export something to Mexico.


20 posted on 06/30/2005 10:54:26 AM PDT by reelfoot
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To: NormsRevenge
"But we've learned to expect anything from this government, just anything," Penalosa said.

Welcome to the club. That's not only how I feel about Mexico's government, it's also my opinion of the U.S. government.

"This is a traditional character that reflects part of Mexico's culture," Caballero said.

Oh, my mistake. In the spirit of multi-culturalism, I salute you. /sarc

21 posted on 06/30/2005 11:04:53 AM PDT by DumpsterDiver
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To: Sterco

"When I was a kid we used to say "Einnie Meenie Minie Moe"."

One of the PC lines was "catch a tiger by the toe."
Don't you remember a flight attendant said over the loudspeaker a couple of years ago, "Einnie Meenie Minie Moe, take your seat we gotta go." Two negros took offense and sued the airline and WON a modest cash prize. So without even using the old line, people were offended. I'm more offended that they sued and won, can I sue them?


22 posted on 06/30/2005 11:12:57 AM PDT by hophead ("FRY MUMIA")
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To: NormsRevenge
But the Rev. Jesse Jackson said President Bush should pressure Mexico to withdraw the stamps from the market, saying they "insult people around the world."

Once again, it is Bush's fault.
23 posted on 06/30/2005 11:16:27 AM PDT by Captain Rhino ("If you will just abandon logic, these things will make a lot more sense to you!")
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To: Sterco

"When I was a kid we used to say "Einnie Meenie Minie Moe"...."



So did I (I was born in the early 70s), but we said "catch a *tiger* by the toe," and until just a few years ago I didn't even know that there used to be a racist version.

The Mexican government is being rather insensitive here. While I despise PCness and people who try to apply modern sensibilities to bygone days (such as when Warner Brothers was pressured not to release WWII-era cartoons featuring racist stereotypes of Japanese soldiers), I don't think a government should honor such a stereotypical portrayal of any group of persons. This isn't Speedy Gonzalez, this is Little Black Sambo.


24 posted on 06/30/2005 11:18:40 AM PDT by AuH2ORepublican (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.)
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To: AuH2ORepublican

Mexico may very well be the most racist country on the planet. Their population is predominantly mestizo, but you would never know that by watching Mexican TV. They rival apartheid-era South Africa in that regard.


25 posted on 06/30/2005 11:22:41 AM PDT by dfwgator (Congratulations Longhorns.)
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To: Clock King
Actually, I responded before I even read that about Jackson, but I knew Je$$e would stick his palm out there.

And you're absolutely right. His trying to make it GWB's problem is disgusting. Even though I don't agree with GWB about his dealings with Fox, he's right about this. The White House says it's an internal Mexico issue.

26 posted on 06/30/2005 11:23:46 AM PDT by libs_kma (USA: The land of the Free....Because of the Brave!)
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To: dfwgator

"Their population is predominantly mestizo, but you would never know that by watching Mexican TV."



I read that Salma Hayek had to go to the U.S. to become a star because she wasn't light-skinned enough to get starring roles in Mexican telenovelas.


27 posted on 06/30/2005 11:26:28 AM PDT by AuH2ORepublican (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.)
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To: AuH2ORepublican

Their loss, our gain.


28 posted on 06/30/2005 11:28:51 AM PDT by dfwgator (Congratulations Longhorns.)
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To: AuH2ORepublican; dfwgator

Salma Hayek is also half-Lebanese (not lesbian!). ;-)


29 posted on 06/30/2005 11:32:38 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("All my own perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded upon Our Lady." - Tolkien)
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To: NormsRevenge

The stamps are not nice, but blame Fox. Not Bush.


30 posted on 06/30/2005 11:34:14 AM PDT by richmwill
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To: NormsRevenge

I'm tempted to slip across the border into Mexico just long enough to mail Jesse Jackson several "donations" in envelopes bearing these stamps.


31 posted on 06/30/2005 12:34:39 PM PDT by ghost of nixon
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To: WesternPacific
"When I was young we watched reruns of the Amos and Andy Show. This was hillarious. I understand political correctness put a lot of very good black actors and actresses out of work. What a shame"

Jackie Gleason did a reprise of "Amos 'n Andy" that became "The Honeymooners."

Good comedy lost to P.C.

32 posted on 06/30/2005 1:11:52 PM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: Kenny Bunk

“Amigo, this kind of thing may have been somewhat amusing about 1940. Even then it was not entirely in good taste, even if innocent and juvenile. It was, and is EXTREMELY racist.”

There is an important thing that has not been considered: There is American culture and there is Latin culture not to mention all the other cultures in the world.

What may be offensive and racist to an American, may not be offensive and racist to Mexicans and Panamanians such as this comic book.

There is no such thing as politically correct speech in Panama or in Mexico. What may be offensive to both these Latin countries may not be considered offensive in the United States. What may be offensive to Americans is probably not offensive in Panama or Mexico. One can't continue applying American values to other countries. It doesn't work.

There are folks who make themselves victims of being offended. I don’t have time for them.


33 posted on 06/30/2005 2:20:13 PM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)

OK how about we quit adusting American values to a massive influx of goddamn mezicans. Maybe we just keep them on their side of the goddamn border and then we don't have to worry about it much. OK Amigo?


34 posted on 06/30/2005 7:58:25 PM PDT by Sterco
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)

OK how about we quit adusting American values to a massive influx of goddamn mezicans. Maybe we just keep them on their side of the goddamn border and then we don't have to worry about it much. OK Amigo?


35 posted on 06/30/2005 7:58:29 PM PDT by Sterco
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To: libs_kma
I think Jessie Jerkson is jealous because the character on the stamp is better looking than he is.Don't worry Jess he's not going to take over your shakedown business.
36 posted on 06/30/2005 9:42:06 PM PDT by rdcorso (To Fight And Win The War On Terror We Must Secure Our Borders Now.)
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