Mexico’s Color Line and the Cultural Imperialism of Light-Skin Preference

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico on 2018-05-28 23:27Z by Steven

Mexico’s Color Line and the Cultural Imperialism of Light-Skin Preference

Truthout
2018-05-26

Roberto Rodriguez, Associate Professor in Mexican American Studies
University of Arizona

A busy street in Mexico City. (Photo: Getty Images)
A busy street in Mexico City. (Photo: Getty Images)

The color of the people of Mexico is one of the things that had a most profound effect on my psyche when I first visited the place of my birth in 1976 at the age of 22. The people came in all colors, though primarily different shades of red-brown, owing to the nation’s Indigenous roots.

Having grown up in a white-dominant society, it was an affirmation of my own brown skin color, in sharp contrast with the artificial color of official Mexico. I was used to seeing government bureaucrats and those that graced the nation’s television screens with light skin, bleached blond hair and artificial blue or green eyes.

The truth is, more than 40 years later, the nation’s color line has seemingly not changed much at all. When I first noticed this preference for light skin in Mexico, it was present at every turn and every corner. It wasn’t just a case of difference, but also disdain. Apparently, all things that were light were “good” and all things dark were “bad.” This was especially true of television. White or light skin was preferred for virtually every role, except the ones for the subservient, demeaning and outlaw roles…

Read the entire article here.

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The 2020 Census and the Re-Indigenization of America

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-07-03 02:31Z by Steven

The 2020 Census and the Re-Indigenization of America

Truthout
2016-06-26

Roberto Rodriguez
Mexican American & Raza Studies Department
University of Arizona

As the 2020 US census looms, this arcane ritual will once again result in the painting of a false picture of the demographic makeup of the United States. While the nation has been getting “browner” for many decades, the US Census Bureau has actually been complicit in obfuscating this change, which I have long described as demographic genocide. Yet this time around, due to a long-overdue change in the census, rather than being corralled against their will into the “white” category, many Mexican, Central American, Andean and Caribbean peoples will no longer be checking the white racial box.

Countering the delusions of previous generations, we know that simply checking the white box has never meant being treated as white anyway. This time around, per this change, many of us will instead (again) be checking the American Indian box, while rejecting the bureaucratically imposed Hispanic/Latino box. Others will check and affirm both.

This change however, will not alter the historic de-Indigenization schemes of this society, including those of the Census Bureau, which has always been an ideological instrument of empire. The census does not just count people, but actually helps to shape the nation’s self-image, character and national narrative. It helps tell the world “who we are” — who the United States is.

And just precisely who or what is the United States supposed to be? God’s chosen people?…

Read the entire article here.

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Whiteness is provisional and cannibalistic. The imposition of whiteness is based on falsehoods and conflation.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-06-14 01:26Z by Steven

Whiteness is provisional and cannibalistic. The imposition of whiteness is based on falsehoods and conflation. White supremacy is a conglomerate forged through fear, colonialism, imperialism and anti-Blackness, not through the purity of blood. The time has come not to seek access to farcical social constructs used to oppress, but instead to seek liberation through rejection of such. Racial superiority doesn’t actually exist, and to accept the concept of whiteness inherently represents a denial of Black humanity. The expression of who we are as individuals is what makes cultures and people the world across beautiful. Embracing who we are without dehumanizing anyone else or distancing oneself from Blackness poses a direct threat to the ideation of whiteness. In order to invest in humanity, we must divest from whiteness and our contributions to it.

William C. Anderson, “The Changing Face of Whiteness,” Truthout, June 5, 2016. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/36292-the-changing-face-of-whiteness.

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The Changing Face of Whiteness

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-06-13 00:42Z by Steven

The Changing Face of Whiteness

Truthout
2016-06-05

William C. Anderson

When Guido Menzio sat down on a regional jet for a short flight from Philadelphia to Syracuse, New York, he certainly couldn’t have guessed what was going to happen. The 40-year-old economist was profiled as a terror suspect for being focused too intently on a math problem. The differential equation he was working on was possibly mistaken for terrorist scrawlings by the nervous passenger next to him, who was concerned that Menzio wasn’t polite enough, looked suspicious and was too distracted by his foreign scribblings.

After delaying the flight and profiling Menzio, the media would soon report on the “Ivy League economist” who was “ethnically profiled” for doing math on a plane. Focal points of this story were Menzio’s whiteness as an Italian and his stature as an Ivy League economist — both of which should assure him no suspicion from authorities, unless he should be mistaken for a person of color. Amid the reverberating outcry around Menzio’s treatment, the fact that no one should be treated that way may have gotten lost. After all, the passenger followed what is protocol for many; she saw something and she said something. But what is it she saw? She saw someone she was scared of and someone who was possibly not white…

Read the entire article here

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Brazil’s Federal Universities Approach Racial Quota Implementation Deadline

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2016-01-07 01:55Z by Steven

Brazil’s Federal Universities Approach Racial Quota Implementation Deadline

Truthout
2015-12-30

Marlenee Blas Pedral, Fulbright Fellow
ComissĂŁo Fulbright Brasil

In 2016, Brazil’s prestigious federal universities will be required to confirm that fifty percent of their incoming students come from public schools. Furthermore, slots for self-identifying Black, mixed-race and Indigenous students must correspond to the proportion of the local population.

Implemented in accordance with Brazil’s Lei de Cotas (Law of Social Quotas), these measures seek to ensure that Brazil’s public universities reflect the country’s diverse population. The implementation of these measures represents a big leap, but Brazil still faces many hurdles to making its higher education system more democratic.

More than half of the population in Brazil identified in the census as Black or mixed race, yet only 10 percent of this group made it to the university. In response to these high educational gaps, Brazil’s congress voted in 2012 for a plan to implement the Lei de Cotas…

Challenges in Higher Education

The residual effects of slavery are acute in Brazil, a country where roughly 4 million African people arrived through enslavement, compared to the estimated 400,000 Africans who arrived in the US.

While the US suffered from Jim Crow laws and one-drop rules, Brazil’s aim of branqueamento (whitening) and its push for imaginary “racial democracy” has yielded a different form of racism…

Read the entire article here.

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Professor Jared Ball on Ferguson and the Media

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, History, Interviews, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-03 17:02Z by Steven

Professor Jared Ball on Ferguson and the Media

Truthout
2014-12-29

Dan Falcone

At the recent “Shrouded Narrative teach-in” at American University, Dan Falcone met Jared A. Ball, a professor of communication studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, who discussed, “Propaganda and Media.” In this interview, father and husband, author of I MiX What I Like: A MiXtape Manifesto and coeditor of A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X, Ball talks about the construction of Black identity, colonialism and what is needed to stop the police killings of a Black person every 28 hours.

Dan Falcone for Truthout.org: Professor Ball, could you tell the readers about your teaching, academic interests, and how they relate to activism and democratic participation?

Jared Ball: Thank you. My academic interests and teaching are very much tied to my personal political passions – all of which revolve around Black or Africana studies, political struggles, cultural production and how that all intersects or interacts with the political and “libidinal” (thanks to the work of Frank Wilderson and Jared Sexton) economies of media, communication and journalism.

This primarily works out to be a focus on the political function of mass media within the context of ongoing power (national, racial, class) struggles. I generally look to extend or tailor deep traditions of radical political, economic and cultural analyses and media criticism to our time and hope that I can make them relevant to students today. To better connect traditions of political activism to the immediate work of my classes, I’ve increasingly infused the work of political prisoners into our own course work, which allows me to tap an almost endless reservoir of knowledge and experience – while exposing students to a more realistic political context for our own studies.

Additionally, this approach infuses into our classes, ideas of political struggle and activism while challenging the limitations of conventional approaches to such study, including notions of “American democracy.”…

Read the entire interview here.

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