Mexico’s new racial reckoning: A movement protests colorism and white privilege

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Mexico, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science on 2022-10-21 19:29Z by Steven

Mexico’s new racial reckoning: A movement protests colorism and white privilege

The Los Angeles Times

Kate Linthicum, Staff Writer

An ad greets passersby at the new Mitikah mall in Mexico City. (Luis Antonio Rojas/For The Times)

MEXICO CITY — A few months ago, several employees of an upscale Mexico City steakhouse came forward with a damning allegation: The restaurant had a policy of segregation in which the best tables were reserved for the customers with the lightest skin.

The notion of whiter Mexicans getting preferential treatment was not surprising in a country where darker-skinned people have long earned less money, received less schooling and been all but invisible in the media. But the ensuing public outrage was.

Within days, activists mounted a boycott and the city launched an investigation into the restaurant, Sonora Grill Prime, which denied the accusations. Multiple public figures highlighted the scandal as evidence of pervasive bigotry. “Racism is real,” Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum told reporters, using a word long regarded as taboo. “We have to accept that it exists and fight it.”.

For the vast stretch of Mexico’s modern history, many denied that racism existed here at all.

They embraced the nation’s foundational myth that its people are mestizos, a single blended race of indigenous and Spanish blood, insisting that there could be no prejudice if all Mexicans were the same.

But a growing social movement is challenging that thinking, thrusting discussions of discrimination based on skin color to the fore…

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What Obama’s visit means for Cuba’s national conversation about race

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Caribbean/Latin America, Economics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-03-25 15:41Z by Steven

What Obama’s visit means for Cuba’s national conversation about race

The Los Angeles Times

Kate Linthicum, Contact Reporter

In recent years, Afro-Cuban intellectuals have started gathering in a cramped Havana apartment to discuss a topic long considered off-limits in Cuba: race.

Fidel Castro’s communist revolution 60 years ago promised to wipe out racial divisions and level the playing field for all Cubans, regardless of color or wealth. Yet racism persists in Cuba, and many say recent economic changes here have overwhelmingly favored the light-skinned elite.

The historic visit this week of an American president who happens to be black is of special significance to Afro-Cubans, who, like many minorities around the world, view President Obama as a symbol of what is possible. It’s of particular importance for the small but growing movement of black activists on the island, who have struggled for years under government pressure, and who hope that warming U.S.-Cuba relations will push Cubans toward greater race consciousness.

“Maybe without an enemy, everyone here can begin to look more closely at things inside our own country,” said activist Manuel Cuesta Morua, who said he is one of several Cuban dissidents, most of whom are not black, invited to meet with Obama on Tuesday. “We hope it will help people see the racism here with more clarity, and see that there is diversity, and diverse ways of thinking.”…

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