Blonde-Haired Child Beggar in Mexico Sparks a Not-So Polite Discussion About Racism

Illustration for article titled Blonde-Haired Child Beggar in Mexico Sparks a Not-So Polite Discussion About Racism

A blonde-haired girl begging on the street in Mexico has caused quite a Facebook stir, prompting some observers to renew a long-standing debate about racism in Mexico, where indigenous people, according to CBS News, "live in poverty and passers-by often barely notice the dark-skinned children begging in the street." A photo of the blonde girl shows her begging for coins. Her fingernails and clothes are dirty. After making the Facebook rounds, police reportedly rushed into action, exerting an effort to find and the girl and detain her mother that many critics don't believe would be exerted for a less European-looking child. The Jalisco state prosecutors' spokesman Luis Gonzalez has said that the police had to respond so quickly "because there was suspicion a crime had been committed," though the incident is fast-becoming a lightning rod of racial controversy.

Case of blonde girl beggar strikes nerve in Mexico [CBS]

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Alis Volat Propriis

Possibly a slight derailment, but I was just having a conversation about colorism/racism in Mexico with a friend.

He's Mexican American (born in Mexico), I'm a white American. While we both acknowledged that native people get a shit ton of racism and discrimination, he was trying to tell me that a) it makes no sense for there to be colorism in general because so many Mexicans are darker especially within families, b) Mexican media shows plenty of darker people, and c) Mexico treats blacks (especially African Americans) better than the U.S. does.

I was saying a) that wasn't necessarily true since there are plenty of ethnic communities where the darker are discriminated and I've even heard him and other Mexican friends fret about becoming "darker" ergo it must be thought of as bad, b) the Mexican media does no such thing and flipped to five different channels to prove my point, c) he is not black, so how can he speak for others about their experiences and furthermore, just because he didn't see overt racism doesn't mean racism against blacks is almost entirely lacking there.

Since I had never been to Mexico though, I was almost entirely shut down and I haven't been able to talk to any of my other friends (Mexican or black) about it. Just wondering if any others of Mexican heritage, or blacks that have visited Mexico wanted to tell their experiences.