So far today I’ve seen quite a few co-opted, misappropriated depictions of Mexicans in the name of celebrating what was it again….Mexican Independence, right? Right?! The worst costume, or caricature, I suppose, was a man wearing a sombrero with two bandoliers across his chest, like the image below.
Mexican Revolutionary General Pancho Villa wearing two bandoliers.
Cinco de Mayo is actually a regional Mexican holiday celebrated primarily in the State of Puebla, as it commemorates the unlikely victory over French forces and today is known as El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (Battle of Puebla). Mexican Independence Day is September 16.
I’m indignant at seeing the rampant stereotypical depiction of my people! Ugggh. There’s a heavy parallel with the portrayal of Irish people and St. Patrick’s Day, obviously, which is equally as distasteful. When will people realize that dressing like a “Mexican” and using Cinco de Mayo as the impetus to drink heavily to “celebrate” a day that isn’t particularly meaningful to many Mexicans themselves (myself included) is in poor taste?
Guess this makes me a PC thug.
The Knife have never been as overtly political. I love it!!
Shaking The Habitual Comic by Liv Strömquist (part 1)
Many white folk and light-skinned people in general will, after living through an experience where a person of color is rude to them in some way, conclude that they have suffered ‘reverse racism.’ I contend that there is no such thing as reverse racism, but rather individual acts with racist motives. As I get going here, let me preface by saying I am a third generation fairly light-skinned Latino, in case you’re wondering.
Racism is not a single action, but a process embedded in the wider society. Racism works in such a way that it props up the dominant society (and those that fit into this dominant society) over all others (minorities). Racism is historically rooted and through this history, certain dominant groups have emerged in far better positions than the dominated.
So, imagine a light skinned person is waiting to be served at a McDonald’s primarily staffed by black employees and is skipped over by the cashier, who instead serves a black customer who was not next in line. This is not reverse racism. There is nothing historically entrenched in this scenario that reveals a wider pattern of light skinned people being oppressed and made to feel not as valuable, viable or useful in society.
In fact, I would argue that the above scenario is simply an extension of plain old racism. The reason some people of color may treat white/lighter skinned individuals with disdain or harbor resentment toward a generalized white ”other” most likely stems from their life experiences and the oppression they’ve no doubt suffered at some point. This does not make it admissible and I am not an apologist for racism that travels from the bottom up. Of course, racism is racism, and is not an acceptable expression in any situation, but I cannot stand by any longer while light skinned people continue to compare their experiences of individual racist acts to those of people of color, some of whom have certainly endured racism on a daily basis throughout their lives.
To not acknowledge this discrepancy is not only naive, but to argue that ‘reverse racism’ is on any level commensurate with racism as we generally understand it, is unfair. I am not trying to offend anybody with these ramblings, but merely to enlighten. Light skinned people (myself included) do not know what it is to experience life in the United States as a person of color (unless you’ve dressed in blackface). Wake up and realize reverse racism is nothing more but a tool of self pity that attempts to equate isolated racist-driven acts directed at white/light skinned people (or anyone who otherwise easily fits within the dominant society) with the historical oppression and secondary status ascribed to minorities in a hegemonic society.