Jan 3 2012

Mexicans Recreate ‘Black Doll-White Doll’ Experiment to Measure Skin Color Preference South of the Border

In an attempt to measure the degree to which Mexican children are affected by the legacy of European colonialism and the present day images they are bombarded with via the media, researchers in Mexico conducted an experiment modeled after the famous 1940’s Clark study that was designed to measure skin color preference in black American children.

Mexico’s National Council to Prevent Discrimination, or CONAPRED, are circulating a video in which children who are mestizos, or half-Spanish, half-Indian, are asked to pick  the “good doll,” and the doll that most resembles them. The children, mostly brown-skinned, almost uniformly say the white doll was “better” or was most like them.

“Which doll is the good doll?” a woman’s voice asks one child.

“I am not afraid of whites,” he responds, pointing to the white doll. “I have more trust.”

Mexicans who viewed the video online said that they were disturbed but not surprised by the results.

Some comments on the video have noted that the options were “very limiting” in that the children were offered only black and white, or good and bad as choices.

“It is a poorly formulated question, it is pretentious,” one viewer said on the website VivirMexico.

Others say the study reveals a deep-seated prejudice that is taught to Mexican children from an early age.

Wilner Metelus, a sociology professor and leader of a committee advocating for Afro-Mexicans and black immigrants, said the doll video shows the prevalence of racism and the need to educate young people.

“The Mexican state still does not officially recognize Afro-Mexicans. There are few texts that talk about the presence of Africans in Mexico,” Metelus said. “We need a project in the schools to show that the dark children are just the same as them, as the lighter children. And not only in schools; it is also necessary in Mexican families.”

Luz Maria Martinez, a leading anthropologist on Afro-Mexican culture, said, “We do not know how to value the indigenous culture, which is very rich, or the African culture, which is as great as any in the world.”

by Kathleen Cross for rollingout.com

Jul 21 2011

Mexican Beer Ad Implies African Women Are Animals

I was driving down Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood and had to circle the block for a second look at this bus bench poster. What the hell? This is just wrong on too many levels to believe, but the most glaring offense is the negative message it sends about African women.

At first glance, the guy in the middle seems dressed for a safari, and the immediate assumption is these two men are his tour guides. However, closer inspection shows they are all holding golf clubs, which is a subtle way of lifting the African men into a higher economic class. These two men in loincloths would then represent guides of a different kind — cultural guides, so to speak, who are possibly educated and definitely worldly and sophisticated enough to be golfing with the white dude.

The wording of the ad doesn’t specify women of any race, and it is disrespectful to all women, but the African man on the left is the one dishing out relationship advice and that tells the observer that this man is speaking on what he knows from his own experience and culture, which would imply that he is speaking about the African woman. His message: The only way to deal with her is to recognize she’s basically an animal that must be approached with caution. The white dude finds this amusing.

We already are bombarded with misogynistic and demeaning messages in music, television and film. The last thing we need to see is a bus bench lesson on how black women are not human.

It is said that controversy sells, and drawing more attention to an ad like this might be what the company intends. But I’m thinking a national boycott of this brand might be just the economic smackdown needed to prevent this kind of blatant disrespect from happening in the future.

If you have an opinion you’d like to share with the company, Dos Equis can be reached at 877-522-5001, or email them at ccmcerverza@qualitycustomercare.com.

It would be great if the calls and emails came from both women and men.

by Kathleen Cross for rollingout.com

May 17 2011

Did I Tell You the One About the Mexican…

A few years ago I attended a Power of Oneness Awards ceremony where actor Edward James Olmos was honored for his work to bring about the unity of the human family. In his acceptance speech that night (to an ethnically diverse, majority Euro-American crowd) he referred to “our common African mother…”

He wasn’t joking.

Olmos acknowledged his own mother (who was in the audience) and he explained how it really hurt her the first time she heard him refer to his people as “originally African.” He is a proud Mexican man who is not “trying to be Black,”  but knows that Mexico is an amalgamation of peoples, histories and cultures whose origin, ultimately, is the same African woman who gave birth to all of humanity. 

He told the audience he believes that embracing the true history of the human race is the key to the healing and progress of the world. He went on to say that people all over the world have been influenced (by pernicious ideas of White supremacy and social and political remnants of colonialism) to detest or distance themselves from Africa, and he revealed that his own Mexican mother had been raised to deny any relationship whatsoever to the African continent. He said she has since changed her resistance to that ideal, and embraces what she now believes to be true — that for any human being to deny a kinship with Africa is to deny him/herself.

Last year, the United Nations hosted a panel to discuss the television series Battlestar Galactica and its effective and creative focus on themes humanity faces today (child soldiers, religious conflict, genocide, terrorism, etc.). The panel was moderated by Whoopi Goldberg and featured Battlestar Galactica cast members Edward James Olmos (Admiral William Adama) and Mary McDonnell (President Laura Roslin), as well as Executive Producers Ronald D. Moore (of Star Trek fame) and David Eick.

Olmos had this to say at the event:

You have to stick around for the last ten seconds of the video clip for the following to make sense: