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Racism Rears Its Ugly Head in Mexico
Cinnamon Stillwell

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

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Mexico's President Vicente Fox is having a tough year.

During the much-publicized Minuteman Project in Arizona last March, Fox's arrogant comments and dismissive attitude didn't win him too many fans north of the border. Then in May, while making yet another speech about how America couldn't function without illegal immigrants from Mexico, Fox managed to insult African Americans in the process. He claimed that illegals do the work that "not even black people want to do," implying that African Americans make up the lowest rungs of society.

About a month later came the unveiling of Mexico's latest series of postage stamps, featuring none other than a black character like something out of a minstrel show. Needless to say, Fox found himself on the defensive yet again -- with good reason.

It turns out that racism in Mexico, both against blacks and dark-skinned indigenous Indians, has a long history. Mexico's colonial past has left its mark on modern-day society. Prejudice toward "pureblood" Indians from those who are "mixed-blood" (Spanish and Indian) is rife. Almost uniformly, people who are darker-skinned and of Indian descent make up the peasantry and working classes, while lighter-skinned, Spanish-descent Mexicans are in the ruling elite. Fox himself comes from that background, as his appearance makes evident.

This inequality may explain in part why the majority of immigrants coming into the United States fall into the darker-skinned category. Beyond the failure of the Mexican government to sustain a decent economy, darker-skinned Mexicans have a difficult time getting work because of job discrimination. According to the Web site IndigenousPeople.net, "sixty percent of Indians over 12 years of age are already unemployed, and of those who work, most earn less than the minimum wage of about $2.50 a day." The same story notes that Mexico City's top restaurants don't allow patrons to bring along Indian domestic workers for fear of tarnishing their business image.

'Color Continuum'

Mexico's racial dynamics are perhaps best summed up by Steve Sailer in his article, "Where Did Mexico's Blacks Go?" He writes that "[w]hat Mexico does have instead of a color line is a 'color continuum.' There are no sharp racial divides, yet the rule for social prestige remains 'the whiter the better.'"

With this in mind, the popularity of the "Memin Pinguin" postage stamp series in Mexico starts to make sense. In fact, the flat-nosed, thick-lipped, bug-eyed, shucking and jiving Memin Pinguin is one of Mexico's most beloved comic strip characters. He's a children's character from a 1945 comic book that's still published in Mexico today. The cartoonist, Sixto Valencia Burgos, describes Memin as "this funny little kid. And nice. And generous. Oh, and black, too."

Fox's spokesman Rubén Aguilar vehemently denied that the character was racist, even going so far as to make the absurd claim that the series served to "combat racism and promote family values." Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez chimed in with his own defense of the Mexican comic strip and had the gall to accuse critics of showing a "a total lack of respect for our culture."

But Americans were unmoved. The White House issued a statement saying that the stamps had "no place in today's world," and the ubiquitous Jesse Jackson demanded that the stamps be withdrawn from the market. He also vowed to lead a demonstration at Mexican consulates unless Fox apologized. Leaders of the NAACP, the National Council of La Raza and the National Urban League also spoke out against the stereotypical stamps.

Similar to U.S. Caricatures

Far from it being a "cultural misunderstanding," as members of the Mexican government term it, Americans know all too well what Memin Pinguin represents, as such caricatures originated in their own backyard. According to David Pilgrim, curator of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., the character is "consistent with what we in the United States would refer to as a pickaninny image."

But such stereotypes have long been banished to the realm of collectibles in this country, and rightfully so. Long before the overreach of political correctness, people worked to rid the nation of some truly ugly elements. This was a product of political struggle on the part of African Americans and others who fought for an integrated society. So naturally most Americans recoiled in disgust when the offending stamp was revealed.

But in Mexico the stamps have been selling out, with lines out the door of local post offices. In fact, the Mexican postal service defended the series vigorously, calling Memin Pinguin a "nice, little motor-mouth who, thanks to his good humor and particular way of seeing the world, wins the hearts" of the other characters. Isn't that special?

Mexicans themselves seem perplexed by all the hoopla. In a society where such terms of endearment as guero (blond) for Caucasians or fair-skinned Mexicans and negro (black), negrito (blackie) or moreno (brown) for darker-skinned Mexicans are standard, the Memin Pinguin stamps are simply par for the course.

So is it reasonable to suggest that the struggles that have been waged by African Americans have not filtered down south of the border? Both countries have a legacy of slavery, but different pathways led to the divergent populations that exist today.

Slave Trade in Mexico

Although the study of slavery tends to focus exclusively on the United States, it was widely practiced in the ancient world and later by various people around the world, including of course Europe. It was the Spanish slave trade that first brought Africans to Mexico, as early as 1520. Although slaves were initially treated more like personal servants and Christianized before their arrival, the Spanish crown soon expanded the practice into a full-blown slave trade. The population of blacks grew to outnumber the Spanish and eventually reached 200,000. With Mexico's independence in 1829, slavery was finally abolished after almost 300 years.

But slavery had taken its toll on the remnants of African culture, and intermarriage with indigenous people, and to a lesser extent with the Spanish, created a population of mixed-bloods, or mulattos. The descendants of these people continued to intermarry, which may be why the contemporary Afro-Mexican population is relatively small.

The two areas where the most blacks in Mexico live are the Costa Chica and the state of Veracruz. Like the indigenous people in the area, Afro-Mexicans are mostly campesinos or peasant farmers. Because the Mexican government does not use "race" in its census data, it's difficult to gauge population, but Afro-Mexicans appear to be short of both political and economic power. Compared to the legion of African American faces among the rich and famous, Afro-Mexicans are relatively invisible in popular culture, except of course for derogatory figures such as Memin Pinguin.

Despite the backdrop of slavery, many Mexicans are in denial about this aspect of their history. Colin A. Palmer, in an article titled "A Legacy of Slavery," recounts one such conversation in which a Mexican student insisted that Africans came to Mexico only as fugitive slaves from North America or Cuba. Yet at one time, Palmer notes, Mexico "probably had more African slaves than any other colony in the Western Hemisphere." And unlike the United States, where people have openly confronted their past, Mexico has yet to come to terms with its history. Maybe this is why gross misrepresentations of blacks such as Memin Pinguin are considered harmless. If racism never existed in Mexico, then how could this caricature be racist?

Factional Attitudes

Then there's the factional attitude of various Latin Americans toward each other -- often partly based on the color continuum. These prejudices have traveled along with their purveyors to the United States and are well known by those who rub shoulders with Latino workers. My stepfather and his brother work in construction, and over the years they have noticed the hostility between Mexicans and the mostly darker-skinned Hondurans. They often refuse to work together and must be segregated by job. Although hardly politically correct, this bigotry is overlooked because it's perpetrated by one brown person against another. The truth is, racism transcends any one group, and when one looks beyond the white-vs.-black paradigm, discrimination is between degrees of brown.

Americans schooled in the ways of racial sensitivity can be shocked to travel abroad and witness the real world. My mother and I were in Hong Kong during the late 1980s and ran across something astounding: a toothpaste called "Darkie" (since changed to "Darlie.") On the front of the tube was a drawing of an Uncle Tom-like character from the Old South. We were so flabbergasted at the offensive find that we had to buy a tube to bring back and show our friends. But it was left in our hotel room, destined to be only a crazy story.

Unfortunately, Memin Pinguin is no crazy story and the proof is staring us all in the face. It's just too bad that it doesn't seem to bother our Mexican neighbors.
I thought this little piece from the Mexican Constitution in this thread HERE was interesting!

Summary

In brief, the Mexican Constitution states that:

- Immigrants and foreign visitors are banned from public political discourse.

- Immigrants and foreigners are denied certain basic property rights.

- Immigrants are denied equal employment rights.

- Immigrants and naturalized citizens will never be treated as real Mexican citizens.

- Immigrants and naturalized citizens are not to be trusted in public service.

- Immigrants and naturalized citizens may never become members of the clergy.

- Private citizens may make citizens arrests of lawbreakers (i.e., illegal immigrants) and hand them to the authorities.

- Immigrants may be expelled from Mexico for any reason and without due process.

The Mexican constitution: Unfriendly to immigrants

The Mexican constitution expressly forbids non-citizens to participate in the country's political life. Non-citizens are forbidden to participate in demonstrations or express opinions in public about domestic politics.




Now ... if I could just find that old thread where they're talking about how the Mexican gov't (and anybody else!) regularly shoots and kills illegal immigrants to their country with no legal repercussions ... 19
Allow me to toss in this little pastie re: Mexican governments treatment of its own illegal immigrants:

Published: 04.20.2006

Mexico asks U.S. to do as it says, not as it does
Our view: Mexico's criticisms of U.S. illegal-immigration debate prove to be hollow "” and hypocritical
An Associated Press story on the front page of Wednesday's Star contained an eye-popping account of Mexico's mistreatment of illegal immigrants from Central America. The story said that illegal entrants are considered felons in Mexico and many are routinely robbed, beaten or raped by police or the military. Some are shot to death.
The story was all the more shocking because it revealed horrendous human-rights abuses in a nation that has recently been a harsh critic of U.S. immigration policies.
The story seemed to be a classic case of Mexico saying to the U.S., "Do as I say, not as I do." But hypocrisy is abhorrent wherever it's found.
Just a few months ago, when Congress was debating whether to stem the flow of illegal immigrants by building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, Ernesto Derbez, Mexico's foreign secretary, accused American politicians of acceding to the wishes of "xenophobic" extremists while ignoring the contributions that illegal immigrants from Mexico make to the American economy and the nation's cultural tapestry.
The plan to build a border wall was "stupid" and "underhanded," Derbez said in an Associated Press story published in the Star on Dec. 20. Derbez and Mexican President Vicente Fox have acknowledged that illegal immigration is a problem in the U.S. but have always called for humane solutions.
The latest AP story indicates, however, that Mexican politicians expect the United States to meet a standard for treatment of illegal immigrants that Mexico itself does not adhere to.
And that's putting it mildly.
While many Mexicans vociferously denounce the criminalization of Mexicans living illegally in the United States, Mexico itself classifies those who enter its borders illegally as felons subject to deportation or two years in prison.
In fact, illegal immigrants in Mexico are treated so poorly that it's hardly any wonder that Central Americans try to get out of Mexico and into the United States as quickly as possible. At least if they're caught here there's much less of a chance they'll be robbed, raped, beaten or killed.
Wednesday's story said, "Undocumented Central American migrants complain much more about how they are treated by Mexican officials than about authorities on the U.S. side of the border, where migrants may resent being caught but often praise the professionalism of the agents scouring the desert for their trail."
Illegal immigrants from Guatemala and other Central American nations told reporter Mark Stevenson that federal and local police in Mexico would typically take all their money and then set them free.
That extortion and bribery are widespread in Mexico is not news to many Arizonans and certainly not to Mexican citizens. But the news that this parasitic behavior is practiced on helpless migrant workers certainly tends to dilute the moral outrage that Mexico's leaders express when talking about the plight of illegal immigrants in the United States.
On Monday, for example, Mexican Interior Secretary Carlos Abascal declared that, "Mexico is a country with a clear, defined and generous policy toward migrants." Yet the facts indicate that such statements are hollow. Mexico, with a population of 105 million, has legalized only 15,000 immigrants in the past five years, and many undocumented migrants who are detained are deported, the AP reported.
It would be pointless to scrutinize Mexico's immigration laws or its treatment of illegal immigrants if the Mexican government were not so vocal in its criticism of U.S. attempts to grapple with the complex illegal immigration issue.
But based on Wednesday's AP story, any criticism of U.S. policy from Mexico is a glaring case of the pot calling the kettle black. Our neighbor to the south is hardly the poster child for ethical governance or humane treatment of illegal immigrants.


All content copyright © 1999-2006 AzStarNet, Arizona Daily Star.
Well, Zakar and Zodo ...

Apparently, regardless of how we (African peoples) have been historically treated and looked upon by the Mexican population and their government ... we, as Americans and Black Americans at that, should continue to appreciate our "door mat" treatment by these people, who, by the way, are here under no legal means or laws ... and we should welcome them with open arms, graciously allow them to live among us, cipher our resources, abuse our kindnesses, look the other way as their gangs target and murder our young children in the streets, appreciate the fact that they undercut us in the employment area by happily working for the lowest possible wages ... earn the money and send it back in the Mexico, and perhaps it is we that should be building their homes and taking care of their children since they (voluntarily and oftentimes pay money to) make such a long and dangerous journey from their country to ours in search of the same better life we are all seeking for ourselves, but, as Black people, we are still prohibited from in this country due to discrimination and hatred for us, from the same government that welcomes these illegal immigrants so warmly! Eek

How you guys can want to be so cruel and heartless as to want to secure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for yourselves and your own people at the expense of others .. I'll just never know! Razz
See thats the power of White Supremacy. We as black people really dont have anything to say, our children dont matter, these poor immigrants were forced to run through the desert and come across the border.They dont have to work for free, but they are not in the Union,they are being taken advantage of. We should join their cause. Eventhough the send billions back to Mexico every year to secure better lives for their family often making many times more money here than they would in their home country. What about the Haitians, the cant even escape Coupe, or dictatorships to come to America. What is wrong with us black people dont we know we suppose to put everyone else intrest in front of ours and we should not expect anyone to come to our aide because we are spiritual people and we know how to suffer with grace.
Black Latin America
This page focuses on the people of African descent in Latin America. There is confusion as to who should be considered Black or what country should be a Latin American nation. Latinos or Latin Americans includes people from the nations in the western hemisphere whose number one language is the Latin derived Spanish. Brazil, a Portugese speaking country is included because of the similar history with Spanish-speaking nations. English-speaking Belize, although technically not a Latin American country, will be included as well because of its ties to the Central American Garifuna culture. Blackness is not an American thing, its a global thing...

Carmelo Anthony Denver Nuggets (2003 - Present)*Puerto Rico*
Oscar Torres Houston Rockets (2001 - 2002) Golden State Warriors (2002 - 2003) *Venezuela*
Felipe Lopez Vancouver Grizzlies (1998 - 2000) Washington Wizards (2000 - 2001) Minnesota Timberwolves (2001 - 2002)
Dallas Mavericks (2004) *Dominican Republic*
Luis Flores Golden State Warriors (2004) Denver Nuggets (2004-2005) *Dominican Republic*
Carlos Boozer Cleveland Cavaliers (2002 - 2004) Utah Jazz (2004 - Present) *Dominican Republic*
Nene Hilario Denver Nuggets (2002 - Present) *Brazil*
Leandro Barbosa Phoenix Suns (2003 - Present) *Brazil*
Milt Palacio Vancouver Grizzlies (1999 - 2000) Boston Celtics (2000 - 2002) PPhoenix Suns (2002) Cleveland Cavaliers (2002 - 2003)
Toronto Raptors (2003 - Present) *Belize*
Peter Ramos Washington Wizards (2004 - Present) *Puerto Rico*
Dominican Republic
Ezequiel Astacio, Houston Astros (Hato Mayor); Pedro Astacio, SD Padres (Hato Mayor); Armando Benitez, SF Giants (Ramon Santana); Ramon ORtiz, Cincinnati Reds (Cotui); David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox (Santo Domingo); Julio Franco, FREE AGENT (S.P. De Macoris)
Luis Castillo, Florida Marlins (San Pedro de Macoris); Juan Encarnacion, Florida Marlins (Las Matas de Farafan); Octavio Dotel, Oakland A`s (Santo Domingo); Carlos Febles, Kansas City Royals (El Seibo); Adrian Beltre, Seattle Mariners (Santo Domingo); Cristian Guzman, Washington Nationals (Santo Domingo); David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox (Santo Domingo); Vladimir Guerrero, LA Angels (Nizao Bani); Alfonso Soriano, Texas Rangers (San Pedro de Macoris),Raul Mondesi, Atlanta Braves (San Cristobal); Miguel Tejada, Baltimore Orioles (Bani); Felix Rodriguez, NY Yankees (Montecristi); Moises Alou, SF Giants (Born in Atlanta, GA, USA); Antonio Alfonseca, Florida Marlins (La Romana); Jose Mesa, Pittsburgh Pirates, (Azua); Odalis Perez, LA Dodgers (Las Matas de Farfan); Miguel Ascencio, SD Padres (Villa Mella); Bartolo Colon, LA Angels (Altamira),Miguel Batitsta, Arizona Diamondbacks (Santo Domingo); Victor Diaz, NY Mets (Santo Domingo); Jesus Colome, Tampa Bay Devil Rays (San Pedro de Macoris); Francisco Cordero, Texas Rangers (Santo Domingo); Deivi Cruz, SF Giants (Nizao Bani); Jose Guillen, Washington Nationals (San Cristobal); Felix Heredia, NY Mets (Barahona); Josias Manzanillo, Boston Red Sox (San Pedro de Macoris); Julio Lugo, Tampa Bay Devil Rays (Barahona),Guillermo Mota, Florida Marlins (San Pedro de Macoris); Neifi Perez, Chicago Cubs (Villa Mella); Juan Cruz, Oakland A`s (Bonao); Solomon Torres, Pittsburgh Pirates (San Pedro de Macoris); Timo Perez, Chicago White Sox(Bani); Angel Berroa, Kansas City Royals (Santo Domingo); Jose Vizcaino, Houston Astros (San Cristobal); Denny Bautista, KC Royals (Sanchez); Franklyn German, Detroit Tigers (San Cristobal),Luis Vizcaino, Chicago White Sox (Bani); Antonio Perez, LA Dodgers (Bani); Jose Lima, LA Dodgers (Santiago), Jose Reyes, New York Mets (Villa Gonzalez); Jose Uribe, Chicago White Sox (Bani); Esteban Yan, LA Angels (Campesina Del Seibo); Ruben Mateo, KC Royals (San Cristobal); Rafael Soriano, Seattle Mariners (San Jose); Wily Mo Pena, Cincinnati Reds (Laguna Salada),Jorge Sosa, Atlanta Braves (Santo Domingo); Amaury Telemaco, Philadelphia Phillies (Higuey); Miguel Olivo, Seattle Mariners (Villa Vasquez); Yhency Brazoban, LA Dodgers (Santo Domingo); Jose Offerman, Ny Mets (San Pedro De Macoris); Damaso Marte, Chicago White Sox (Santo Domingo); Ronnie Belliard, Cleveland Indians (Born in Bronx, NY); Hector Luna, St. Louis Cardinals (Montecristi); Wilton Guerrero, St. Louis Cardinals (Don Gregorio)
Venezuela
Bobby Abreu, Philadelphia Phillies (Aragua); Roger Cedeno, St. Louis Cardinals(Valencia); Endy Chavez, Philadelphia Phillies (Valencia); Kelvim Escobar, LA Angels (La Guaria); Richard Hidalgo, Texas Rangers (Caracas); Melvin Mora, Baltimore Orioles (Agua Negra); Jorge Julio, Baltimore Orioles (Caracas)
Cuba
Jose Contreras, Chicago White Sox (Havana); Livan Hernandez, Washington Nationals (Villa Clara); Orlando Hernandez, NY Yankees (Havana); Alex Sanchez, SF Giants (Havana); Eduardo Perez, Tampa Bay Devil Rays (Born in Cincinnati, OH, USA); Ricky Guttierez, Seattle Mariners (Born in Miami, FL, USA)
Puerto Rico
Ruben Gotay, KC Royals (Rio Piedras); Sandy Alomar, Jr., Texas Rangers (Salinas); Carlos Delgado, Florida Marlins (Aguadilla); Roberto Hernandez, NY Mets (Santurce); Ruben Sierra, NY Yankees (Rio Piedras); Bernie Williams, NY Yankees (San Juan); Benito Santiago, Pittsburgh Pirates (Ponce)
Colombia
Orlando Cabrera, LA Angels (Cartagena); Edgar Renteria, Boston Red (Barranquilla)
Panama
Carlos Lee, Chicago White Sox (Aguadulce); Jose Macias, Montreal Expos (Panama City); Mariano Rivera, NY Yankees (Panama City)

The 2003 MLB Rookies of the Year were both of African descent. Angel Berroa (Afro-Dominican), of the Kansas City Royals wins for the American League while Dontrell Willis (Afro-American), of the Florida Marlins takes the honor of the National League`s top rookie.
Rolando Blackman (Panama) Augustin Delgado (Ecuador) Luis Tiant (Cuba) Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico)
Felix "Tito" Trinidad (Puerto Rico) Bobby Bonilla (Puerto Rico)

Merlin Santana (Dominican Republic) Mongo Santamaria (Cuba) Tatyana Ali (Panama)

COLOMBIA
2002 Black Population: App. 10,000,000

The story of Afro-Colombians is like night and day. Blacks were brought to region which would be later known as Colombia in the 16th century during the Atlantic slave trade. African slaves worked on Gold mines, sugar cane plantations, cattle ranches and large haciendas. Afro-Colombians are very visible along coastal Colombia but during the mid 1970s, many blacks migrated to the larger cities. In 1851, slavery was abolished but it would be over 100 years before Blacks would be truly visible. After the emancipation, the Spanish mestizaje (race mixing) movement was an idea that the elite wanted to put in effect to "wipe out" any trace of Africansm by making the nation "lighter". The movement was not totally successful because many Blacks ran for the jungles where they lived with AmerIndians. Not until 1991, after a very strong popular struggle, did the new Colombian Constitution give Afro-Colombians the right to collective ownership of traditional Pacific coastal lands, and special cultural development protection. Even with this new Constitution, Afro-Colombians still have problems facing them but they are slowly but surely gaining "firsts" in their history of being Colombians. Overall, the daily struggle is still there, as witnessed in the state of Choco as Blacks are the prime victims of the 40 year long civil war. The question is just how longer will it take in order for the rest of the world to find out what`s happening to this group.
From the city of Baranquilla, Edgar Renteria, went from selling fruit and fish to becoming the most famous Colombian born Major League Baseball player. His popularity has increased baseball exposure in his native land. He is a breath of fresh air for a country waged in war with itself. He is famous for the game winning hit in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. "My performance in the World Series showed the United States something positive about my country," he said. He received "San Carlos Cross of the Order of the Great Knight," Colombia`s highest honor, from President Ernesto Samper at La Casa de Narino presidential palace on 11/4/97 and was named 1997 "Man of the Year" by El Espectador newspaper. The Afrocentric shortstop is one of the best players ta his position. In the winter of 2004, he signed with the Boston Red Sox.
Joe Arroyo is one of the top Salsa soloists of all time. Dating back to his days in the city of Cartagena, the city of escaped slaves, he
started singing in church choirs and in nightclubs. He provides a fusion of sorts in his music by incorporating sounds of Cumbia, Soca and Zouk which ends up having a very Caribbean sound. After battling drug addiction in the 1980s, he made his way back to reclaim the career he almost lost due to drug abuse. Arroyo is probably the most afrocentric Latin artists to ever hold a mic as many of his songs deal with Black life and Black history in Colombia. Songs like "Piel Canela" and "Blaco y Negro" come to mind but his most important songs is "Rebelion". Read the lyrics and you will see why.
Luis Murillo is the Ex-Governor of the State of Choco, now living in exile in Washington, D.C. He worked tirelessly for peace in his state and his country. He was elected in 1996 but did not take office until 1998 due to election fraud. "Choco, Territory of Peace" was a plan he thought up asking for the Colombian army, paramilitaries and guerrillas to leave the state and to allow the government to exercise neutrality. For his efforts, he received death threats and was eventually kidnapped by paramilitaries. Quickly after his release, he moved his family to the USA. He is now touring the US to build support for a more humane US foreign policy toward Colombia. He wants to return one day to Colombia to continue his political fight.

Senator Piedad Cordoba is the highest ranking Afro-Colombian congress person. Her work is mostly directed towards trying to find a solution towards the civil conflict, and towards the rights of women, Blacks, AmerIndians, gays and lesbians, and victims of violence. In 1999 she was kidnapped in Medellin. Her kidnapping was orchestrated by paramilitary leader Carlos Castano. After being held captive for 2 weeks, she was released on June 4. She later said "Castano is genuinely interested in participating in peace talks, which currently involve only the government and leftist rebels. The country has to consider this other actor in the conflict." Cordoba has an excellent chance to become the first female president of Colombia which would make tremendous strides for a Black movement in Latin America. Unfortunately, her life is constantly in jeopardy as assassination attempts have halted her progress. However, she continues to work hard towards her goals for a better Colombia.

The Department of Choco is known as one of the most violent places in the world. Choco is sometimes called the Rwanda of the western region of the world. Located on the Pacific side of Colombia, it is one of the country`s most famous parts for having a large Black population. Yes, it is named "Choco" but not because of its African roots, but because of the Choco AmerIndian tribe who lived there first. Out of the 600,000 citizens, 90% are Black. It is one of the most richest regions in the world because of its diversity as many different species of animals and insects. Also, its a source for mineral deposits, namely oil. Due to the land being rich in its diversity, paramilitaries are on an all out rampage to eliminate Black and Indigenous peoples from the state to take advantage of the land riches and to implement highways. "Ethnocide" is what some are calling it. More and more people are being displaced everyday. The US Congress passed a $1.3 billion "aid" package called Plan Colombia. The only thing this package is going to aid is the continuation of the violence that plagues Colombia and the state of Choco. In the next US presidential election, find out what the politicians are going to do about this plan. The Colombian government is worried that the news of how severely the Black community is suffering will get out and get the attention of African-Americans or African countries. Plan Colombia is detrimental to the lives of all Colombians of all different races. The war is not based on racism, in my opinion, but Blacks are the prime victims. For Afro-Colombians, the war is not based on drugs. The above picture is on two (2) kids whose home was destroyed by violence.

Choco has, however, produced individuals that all of Colombia can be proud. One of them is Vanessa Mendoza. In 2001, she became the country`s first black woman to win the Miss Colombia beauty pageant. Vanessa grew up very poor as did most of Choco`s population in the town of Unguia. Her region had no electricity so she had to use a candlelight to do her homework plus she rarely had a pair of shoes to wear. With the help other people in Unguia, she raised enough money to enter the competition for Miss Colombia. After winning the state of Choco she went on to win the national competition. She has persuaded government officials to provide more electricity in Unguia, she is the first Black person to appear on a Colombian stamp and she has offered to help with negotiations for peace in the country.

Also hailing from Choco is another noteworthy individual. Ilia Calederon, in 2001, made history by becoming the first Latin American of African descent to anchor a U.S. Latin news program. She is the lead anchor of the Noticiero Telemundo del Fin de Semana and a graduate of de la Universidad de Antioquia which is in Medellin.
Nimia Vargas is the co-founder of the Colombian Network of Rural Women and the Network of Choco Women. Gender equality and the social development of Choco is her specialty. The Women`s Leadership Training School was set up by Vargas in 1996 and helps women to become elected delegates. Once women learn how the government operates, they will want to take part in it.

Marino Cordoba is the head of AFRODES which is the Association of Displaced Afro-Colombian. This organization brings together displaced Afro-Colombians settled in Bogota. It appeared in 1999 to denounce the lack of visibility of displaced Afro-Colombians, claim their rights and promote specific measures of attention and protection against forced internal displacement. At the present time AFRODES comprises 176 Afro-Colombian families in Bogota and has organized chapters in several other localities of the country, including Cartagena, Buenaventura, Quibds and Riosucio. It is included in the Ministry of the Interior Register of Afro-Colombian community organizations and undertakes state-financed socioeconomic stabilization projects in these communities. Cordoba compares the struggle of Afro-Colombians to the plight that African-Americans and the Civil Right movement of the mid 1900s. He was forced to leave Colombia in 2001 and he now tours the USA and is connecting with African-Americans and informing them and the USA about Afro-Colombian issues. He lives in Washington, DC.



ECUADOR

2002 Black Population: App. 2,000,000

Afro-Ecuadorians...yes, there are black people in Ecuador. Africans were brought over in boats from West Africa to work on the coastal areas and food plantations. The first ship, in 1553, that carried the slaves was stranded on the coast of Esmereldas. Then, the African fought off their white captors. 10% of the population is black. The other groups are mainly whites, mestizos, indigenous peoples and Asians. The blacks and the indigenous peoples are the poorest in the nation. According to some, Ecuador is one of the most racist countries in Latin America. Although slavery was abolished in 1821, it did not officially end until 1881. The profusion of racism with Ecuadorian society constrains blacks both in terms of labor and educational opportunities. Many are concentrated into informal labor markets with little to no job stability or security. If you need a comparison of the treatment of Afro-Ecuadorians, think of the way that the Indians are treated in the USA by the whites. Blacks are located in the major cities but are mostly concentrated in the Esmeraldas (La Capital Negra) and Imbabura. Ecuador does not deny the fact that it has a black population but the country tries their best to limit their exposure except when it comes to boosting national pride for Black athletic achievements or using them and Amerindians as tourists attractions
Marimba is a trditional Afro-Latin art form from the Pacific coast of Ecuador and Colombia, consisting of music, dance and theatrical expressions. A perfoming group usually consists of musicians (marimba, drums, other percussion and vocal) and dancers (3 or more pairs of male and female). The once declining art of marimba is now reviving as the core of resurgent Afro-Ecuadorian culture.
Papa Roncon is a legendary marimbero and a symbol of Afro-Ecuadorian music.
1996 included an important milestone for Afro-Ecuadorians. Monica Chala was the first ever Afro-Ecuadorian to win the Miss Ecuador beauty pageant. She currently fights for the rights for Afro-Ecuadorians and for all poor people in her native land.

Augustin Delgado, the top futbol player to hail from Ecuador. Born in the Juncal village in El Chota (Imbabura), he played a very important role in Ecuador qualifying for the 2002 World Cup for the first time ever. La Escuela de Futbol (The Futbol School) is a school he set up in Juncal where young players come and learn how to play futbol and to better their skills. Before the 2002 World Cup, however, he signed a #3.5million deal in November 2001 with the team in Southampton, England. Signed while injured, his stay has been surrounded by rumours of discontent and language problems but he is sure to make an impact on the FIFA world.
Born in the town of San Lorenzo, Esmeraldas, Luz Del Alba is of Afro-Ecuadorian and Native Indigenous descent. She has been a leading activist in social, environmental, and women issues in Esmeraldas, where Afro-Ecuadorians concentrate. She coordinates the ecological community project in Olmedo Village let by the Japanese NGO "ACTMANG" (Action for Mangrove Reforestation).
Afrik`ns Homo Sapiens is a musical group that performs "Bao" music. Bao is a fusion of native rhythms and Caribbean rhythms including candombe, salsa, merengue, reggae and calypso. According to GoEcuador.com, Afrik`ns Homo Sapiens may be this generation`s ambassadors of Afro-Ecuadorian culture and identity. Through their music, one can sense the possibilities of a commonality which transcends cultural, racial and economic barriers.
Notorious is how the government would describe Jaime Hurtado. However, the people would describe him as inspirational. Hurtado was infamous for figthing for the rights of the working people of Ecuador. Tirelessly he fought for a "New Ecuador", if you would, which would have been ran by the working class. Those who knew him called him the "Champion of the Poor". Hailing from the city of Guayaquil, he went on to become the founder and leader of the Democratic Popular Party (MPD). His opposition of rightwing governments and the neo-liberal economic model led to his unfortunate assassination in the winter of 1999. The crime is part of an Ecuadorian campaign to frighten anti-government protestors such as the killing of Petrice Lumumba in the Congo or Malcolm-X in the USA. His death was not necessarily racially motivated but the government did kill two birds with one stone. Apparently, he was getting to close to the truth.

2002 marked the first time that Ecuador qualified for the FIFA World Cup. Futbol, or soccer, is king in Ecuador as it is in most South American countries. Qualifiying for the World Cup has brought more national pride to Ecuador. Although, the country is mostly mestizo, the national team is overwhelmingly black. The success of the team has had a little effect of the daily racism blacks endure living in Ecuador but their success will go down in their country`s history. That cannot be denied.

VENEZUELA

2002 Black Population: App. 4,500,000

60,000 Africans were brought to the land of Venezuela in the 17th and 18th centuries to work on *bleep*o plantations. As in other South American nations, blacks dominate the population along the coast. Venezuela is known as having a Cafe Con Leche culture and proven by the fact that over two-thirds of Venezuelans define themselves as mixed race. However, there are many pure black Africans. Not to mention the large mulatto population. Venezuelans sya that there is little to no racism in the country. However, blacks work in poorly paid agricultural or domestic jobs. Power and wealth remains in the hands of the white (Spanish) elite but remains a highly unequal society. Although, the nation is unequal, Venezuela does have blacks working in high government positions. The African community in Venezuela is very African conscious and they even publish a magazine called Africanias.



Barlovento is the Black mecca for Venezuela. It was known among Europe`s chocolatiers for its high quality c@c@o. For 300 years this was one of Venezuela`s greatest sources of revenue, from plantations worked by large numbers of black slaves. Black pride reigns in Barlovento such as Esmereldas in Ecuador and Choco in Colombia. The Venezuelan African community in Barlovento hosted the Second International reunion of the Latin African Family in 1999 with reps coming from Puerto Rico right down to Argentina. The Africans in Venezuela are now playing a prominent role on the international stage whereas previously, they were unseen.
The sonero. The showman. The entertainer. Oscar D`Leon has been performing Salsa for over 30 years and has brought many crowds to their feet. His music is 100% guaranteed to make people nod their heads, rush to the floor, drop their drinks, and just have a good time. He is responsible for one of the greatest Salsa songs of all time, "Lloraras". Anyone can have a party with nothing but Oscar D`Leon music. He even has said, "My music is for dancers, directly from my heart to your feet". D`Leon has recorded over 60 albums including El Mas Grande, La Salsa Mayor and El Rey De Los Soneros. Also, of course, he has worked with other big names in the business such as Tito Puente, Arturo Sandoval and Celia Cruz. Although he is from Venezuela, , he is influenced by famous Cuban musical legends like Beny Mori and La Sonora Matancera. In an interview he did with Sabor Magazine, D`Leon said "Cuban music was influenced from the roots of Africa and, in turn, spread that influence on the rest of the world`s music.". Fans need not worry, this brother will not be retiring anytime soon. Matter of fact, he may never retire.



BELIZE
2002 Black Population: App. 90,000


GUATEMALA
2002 Black Population: App. 110,000

If one were to look up the population numbers on Guatemala, the most populous country in Central America, many times they will not see a percentage for its Black population. Many Guatemalans, even, are unaware of the fact that there are Black people in the land. Mestizos, Mayan Indians and Black Africans make up the bulk of Guatemalan people. Africans arrived as slaves around the same time that Guatemala was invaded by Pedro de Alvarado around 1524. Sugar plantations and haciendas were the big reason for slavery. Most of the Africans, who were enslaved, eventually intermarried with the Native American population. Slave importation did not last a long time as the conquistador became very nervous due to the uprising of the Blacks they captured. Slavery became less important to the conquistadors and slavery was abolished in 1823. The Afro-Guatemalans one may meet today are the Garifuna peoples who came from Honduras in the 1800s and maintain many of their traditions in art, food and music. The next batch are Afro-Caribbeans (BlackWest Indians) and they speak Creole English as well as Spanish, and mostly have English last names. Afro-Antilleans came to Guatemala seeking jobs from neighboring Belize and Jamaica and found those jobs working with the U.S.`s United Fruit Company. Punta and Reggae are popular amongst Afro-Guatemalans. The Black population of the country is mostly located on the Caribbean lowlands in Livingston, Puerto Barrios and Santa Thomas but there are some in Guatemala City.



HONDURAS
2002 Black Population: App. 110,000



NICARAGUA

2002 Black Population: App. 380,000

One would think that a certain situation or certain cause would bring together a group of people to bring about change. For example, the Civil Rights Movement in the United States during the 50s and 60s brought people of all colors together to gain civil right for everyone in the country. In Nicaragua, that is not the case; the country is split down the middle. Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries, not only in Central America, but also in the world. Bad leaders, natural disasters and the recently ended, civil war have ruined the country. Mestizos, Blacks, Native Americans make up the bulk of the people but there are also Whites, Arabs and Asians. Besides the Garifuna peoples, Afro-Caribbeans and Miskitos make up the other major African groups in the nation. Slavery began in 1524 and ended in 1821 as Blacks were primarily used for farming purposes, replacing the murdered Natives. Most Blacks live along the Atlantic coast.
Miskitos are located along the Atlantic, or "Mosquito Coast", side of the country and are descendants of Blacks and Indians. The Blacks are descendants of escaped Caribbean slaves. The Mosquito Coast was a region of Nicaragua that was not colonized by Spain, but instead became a British "protectorate". Because of this English is mostly spoken by the people living there. During the civil war, many Miskitos were displaced from their homes by the Sandinista guerillas. Most fled into Honduras but eventually came back in the mid 80s. There are about 75,000 Miskitos in the country. Although, they are of African/Indigenous ancestry, they are mostly associated with their Indian culture because of they have retained their language and culture.
The Garifuna peoples came from Honduras in the 19th century and are located in Orinoco, the Bluefields and Puerto Cabezas. The still speak their African tribal languages and also have a faith-healing festival called Gara-Wala.
Afro-Caribbeans are the largest group of Black people. They arrived as slaves with the British and the Dutch in the 17th century from the British-influenced West Indian island countries, namely Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. They still speak Creole English but the entire population speaks Spanish. The United Fruit Company provided jobs for Afro-Caribbeans during the early 1900s. The Bluefields and Puerto Cabezas have the largest Afro-Caribbean community. "Mayo Ya", an annual festival in May, fuses elements of their West Indian tradition such as Reggae music dancing. Most of these English-speaking Blacks are very educated and hold an edge over the indigenous people and Mestizos in the area.
Blacks, of all cultures, and the Indigenous peoples have "beef" with the Mestizos. Some blame it on the different languages spoken, some blame it on the different sides that were chosen during the recently ended Civil War, and some blame it on political factions. If poverty and natural disasters, like Hurricane Mitch in 1998, cannot bring about some Nicaraguan unity, what will?



COSTA RICA

2002 Black Population: Est. 103,000

Costa Rica`s Black population is the largest "minority" in the country. Slavery brought is the first wave of Blacks but more migrated, along with other ethnic groups such as Italians, to become workers on the Costa Rica Railroad and fruit plantations in the late 1800s. The Black population are descendants of Jamaica, Barbados and coastal Africa. The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish but the Blacks speak English as well from their days in the West Indies. Limon is where most Blacks are located. Segregation was a daily ritual for the Blacks who worked on the railroad and banana plantations. The government felt that they were not citizens of the nation so most of the country was off limits to them, sort of like a color bar. In the mid 1900s, operations moved to the Pacific due to "spoiled" bananas, but the Black workers could not follow becuase of the color laws. A labor strife in 1934 would be the start of changes for the Afro-Caribbeans in Costa Rica. The strike was followed by a 40-day civil war which was won by Jose Figueres who was concerned about the discrimination and poverty of the Black people. It was Figueres who allowed the Blacks to apply for Costa Rica citizenship and freedom to travel the country after rewriting the Constitution in 1949. The Afro-Costa Rican population has declined as most moved to neighboring Panama and to the USA but they have attained high education standards are employed in leading professions. Their culture has also been attained as they speak Creole English, practice African religions, perform Caribbean music and enjoy West Indian cuisines. It is because of this that they have not been fully accepted as "Latinos" by Costa Rican Mestizos and Whites because they have not fully adapted to the culture, although they speak spanish. Racism still exists but it is extremely quiet.

Limon is the place where you will find most Black folk. It is still the main port for bananas for Costa Rica. Also, it is home to the best carnival in Central America which was started by Alfred King and takes place in October. Calypso and Reggae are king in Limon which is the ultimate party-starter.

San Jose`s own, Quince Duncan, is probably not just the most important writer in Costa Rica`s history, but possibly amongst all Latin American countries, as well. He is the unofficial representative for Blacks who dominate the Atlantic coast and of course, who helped build the country into what it is today. When people think of Blacks in Costa Rica, they think of Duncan. His stories show that Black people of Costa Rica have contended with the African, Caribbean and Costa Rica elements which have made up their identity. "La Paz del Pueblo", "Los Cuatro Espejos", and "El Negro en Costa Rica" are non-fiction stories that deal with Afro-Costa Rican`s self-concept.
Costa Rica has a rich futbol heritage. The national team made the World Cup for the first time in 1990. After failing to qualify in `94 and `98, Costa Rica reemerged as one of the six Latin American teams to make it to soccer`s "big dance". The Central American country finished level on points with Turkey, but lost out on goal difference. Seven players on the team are of African descent.



PANAMA

2002 Black Population: App. 600,000

Panama was the first place in the Western region`s mainland that had a Black settlement. Formerly, a part of Colombia until its independence in 1903, Panama is not always considered a Central American nation, historically at least. The first Blacks arrived around 1513 as explorers who built vessels, the next batch arrived a few years later as slaves who transported goods from ships and to work on gold mines. The first African slave rebellion in the Americas took place in Panama as they overpowered the slavemasters and received help from the AmerIndians. These people were called "cimmarones" (the wild ones) but are now known as "Playeros" (the beach people), Spanish speaking and Roman Catholic Black people.
1849 marked the building of the Panama Railroad and the opportunity for work. It also marked a second coming of Black people as Afro-Caribbeans, mostly from Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad, were recruited to work on the railroad. In 1880, the French started work on the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interoceanique. Its purpose was for a transoceanic canal across the ithmus. Finally, the building of the Panama Canal by the USA began in 1907. Like the building of the railroad, Blacks were recruited to work for the French and the Americans in Panama. Workers lost their lives during construction of all 3 projects and after the jobs were done, most Blacks remained. Racial segregation has been taking place ever since the building of the canal. A "Gold" and "Silver" label was used in Panama, White workers were paid in gold while Blacks were paid in silver. Public facilities were labeled "gold" and "silver". The label was not only used in the Canal Zone, but in all of Panama for many years. Afro-Caribbeans preserved their culture and traditional ways as a way to rebel against North Americans and other Latinos. Conflicts between them and Spanish-speaking Panamanians last through today. Discrimination and lack of citizenship caused Afro-Caribbeans to stick together even more and develop their own communities with Protestant churches, schools and businesses. Just like Abraham Lincoln wanted to deport all Afro-Americans back to Africa, former Panama president, Arnulfo Arias tried to deport all Afro-Caribbeans, East Indians and Chinese out of Panama. Segregation in the Panama Canal Zone ended during the Noriega regime and the government has made laws to enable equal treatment. Their West Indian culture has been and is always on the rise in Panama. Most Blacks from Panama, when they migrate to the USA, don`t always identify as Latinos but as spanish-speaking Blacks. Calypso, Reggae, Soca, Creole English and French, have all been retained.
The original Blacks in the country are nicknamed "nativos" while the Afro-Caribbeans are known as "antillanos". The lack of unity between these two groups is very surprising. There are still laws that are directed towards Afro-Caribbeans in Panama but they are getting closer everyday to equal human rights. Both groups have been fighting for their rights for 500 years.
Afro-Caribbean, Rod Carew, was one of the best hitters in Major League Baseball in the past 30 years. Born in the Panama Canal Zone, him and his family moved to New York City when he was a teenager. In addition to his skills at hitting, he was once thought of the next player to hit .400 in a season. The closest he got was .388 in 1977. A member of the 3,000 hit club, Carew played for the Minnesota Twins and California Angels in his career. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991 and later became a batting coach for the California/Anaheim Angels. In the 2002 World Series, he threw out the first pitch in one of the games.



ARGENTINA

2002 Black Population: App. 2,000,000

Afro-Argentinians are in danger. How you may ask? Well, the black population in Argentina are at risk of being erased from existence. Yes, Afro-Argentinians are an endangered species. How can a people be endangered? Blacks are not even included on the official cencus. Next to Ecuador, Argentina is very racist as well. Lets start at the beginning. Portugese colonizers brought Africans to Argentina around 1630 from Angola. Portugal could not hang onto the land and its slaves due to its conflict with Spain and to protect its claims in Brazil. Farming and servant duties were the primary jobs of black slaves in this territory. The population in the country in the 1700s was almost 50 percent. The decline would start in the 19th century.
Abolition of slavery occured in 1851. However, there were two ways that a black person would be granted freedom before that. Either by manumission or, more frequently, by coartacisn (self-purchase). Most men participated in manumission while women paid for freedom.
The reasons which contribute to the endangerment to Afro-Argentinians are as follows. First, black men were heavily involved in Argentina`s wars with Great Britain in 1806-1807, the wars for independence from 1810 to 1816 against Spain, the civil wars throughout the 1820s, and wars against Brazil and the Indian population. Looking to gain social and economic mobility promised by politicians Blacks fought in the Indian extermination campaigns of the 1830s and 1840s. Second, racial intermarriage was encouraged due to the deaths of black men in the wars and for possible social mobility for mixed kids. Third, Argentina`s desire to be a European nation in the western region. Aregntina has long been obsessed with the idea of modeling the country after Italy or Spain while making the land whiter while "wiping out" the Natives and the blacks. In Spain, Italy and France, however, there are sizable black communities, but Argentina is obsessed with being a totally White republic. Policies to attract European immigrants worked as a migration began from Europen nations Between 1869 and 1914. a large number of Afro-Argentine women married European immigrants, thereby losing their ethnic identity.
Today, whites make up about 85 percent of the nation and mestizos make up about 15 percent. Blacks are more exoticized than stigmatized but are still kept below the poverty line. Due to the decline, Argentina can deny their African history and the fact they are one of Latin America`s most racist nations. A museum worker in Buenos Aires in an interview said "We can`t waste space putting things that don`t have any relevance to our history". That is a very bold statement when the Tango is a dance and music with such strong West African roots and adored in the country. One of the country`s newspapers, during the 1998 World Cup, ran a headline, "Bring on the monkeys" in reference to possible matches with Nigeria and Brazil.
Africa Vive, a group to emerge from Argentina, has reached out to Afro-Argentine leaders with the aim of creating an organization that can battle poverty in Afro-Latino communities. To assist, I suggest a large migration of blacks of around 3 million from Nigeria and South Africa to Argentina. Would that make or break the population? If Europeans can do it, why can`t Africans?
Maria Lamadrid is the president of Africa Vive, the Afro-Latin American organization based in Argentina. She calculated the first Black cencus in a long time and determined that there are approximately 2,000,00 people of African descent living in Argentina ranging in skin tones from "high yellow" to "jet black".



BRAZIL
2002 Black Population: App. 80,500,000



MEXICO

2002 Black Population: App. 1,000,000

..the Mexican city of Cibola was founded by a Black man named Esteban el Negro (Steven the Black), a Moor from Spain
...Blacks had important roles in Mexico`s military and helped gain its independence from Spain
...the song `La Bamba` by Los Lobos was originally a song sung by African slaves as they worked in Veracruz
...Bamba is the name of an African tribe in Angola
...Mexico employed more African slaves than any other nation in the western world
...Veracruz, Campeche, Panuco and Acapulco were the main ports for the entrance of African slaves
...Most of the roads, bridges and cathedrals were erected by Black people
...In the 16th century, Afro-Mexicans made up 71% of Mexico`s population
...The offspring of African/AmerIndian integration was called jarocho (wild pig), chino or lobo (wolf)
...Vicente Guerrero (El Negro Guerrero), who was Mexico`s 2nd President, helped abolish slavery
...Under the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz Black people were not allowed to immigrate into Mexico
...Many Black communities bear names related to Africa such as Mozambique, Cerro del Congo (Congo Hill) and El Mulato
...Guerrero, Oaxaca, Tabasco and Veracruz are where most Afro-Mexicans live today
...Negro is viewed as derogatory and is no longer used but rather Moreno (Brown) when the subject of Afro-Mexicans is brought up
...Light-skinned Blacks are known as blanquitos (Little Whites) and are the most priveleged of Afro-Mexicans



CUBA

2002 Black Population: Est. 6,000,000

Unlike other Latin American countries, or in North America for that matter, racial discrimination in Cuba has mostly been non-violent, mostly verbal. One known incident of violent racism was in 1912 when government troops killed about 3,000 blacks in fighting that erupted after an Afro-Cuban political party was declared illegal. One Afro-Cuban is quoted as saying "There is no official racism here anymore but there is still a culture of racism. The mistake was to think that just by having everyone integrated, racism would fade away." One of the myths is that there is no discrimination in Cuba. Sure Blacks, Whites, mixed people, Asians and others interact with each other but racism still persists. Work is being done to bring about changes, though. Christopher Colombus landed on the island in 1492. After the decimation of the AmerIndians, Africans were brought in as slaves to work on sugar plantations. The fact that sugar was the basis of the Cuban economy, many more Blacks were enslaved to work on the island`s crops. Slavery was abolished in 1886, one of the last nations to do so. Upward mobility for Blacks has improved considerably, although they are still underrepresented in the high levels of government and the communist party. Blacks have particularly found advancement in military careers and in Cuba`s highly successful sports programs. If there ever were a spanish-speaking nation that epitomized African pride it would be Cuba. As a matter of fact, the Marxist government of Cuba has declared Cubans an Afro-Latin American people and has formed close ties with Angola, Ethiopia, and other African states. Most Afro-Cubans are proud of their blackness and consider Cuba to be a "Black country".



DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

2002 Black Population: App. 7,000,000



PERU
2002 Black Population: App. 1,500,000



PUERTO RICO

2002 Black Population: App. 320,000

March 22, 1873 marked an important day in Puerto Rico`s history. It was the day that slavery was finally abolished. Puerto Rico, nicknamed the "Island of Enchantment" was, for Blacks and Indians an "Island of Disenchantment" or an everyday living hell during the colonial period. As in other western region nations, the Amerinidians mostly were either worked to death or died from diseases caught from the conquistadors. Puerto Rico, which translates into "rich port", became the new home for many Africans as they were forcefully brought over to take the place of the declining Tainos to produce coffee, tobacco and most importantly sugar. From the day they set step through the port around the year 1560, Afro-Puerto Ricans were seen as inhuman, strange, exotic and suspicious. Slavery was an expensive business to be engaged in so White slavemasters began branding the foreheads of slaves to distinguish legal slaves from the illegal ones and keep them from being kidnapped by rivals. Just like the U.S.A. during slavery time, Puerto Rico had what is known as "house negros" and "field negros". Like I stated earlier, Blacks were primarily used to grow sugar cane; they usually were the field negros and were much more rebellious. House Negros, namely Black women, were used as servants in the house and not only served food and clean houses; they were used to provide sexual pleasure to the masters and their sons. Black people all over the world have historically been viewed as "sexual beings" even to this day. For the conquistadors in PR, they felt the only purpose for Black people on Earth was to serve them with sex not to mention give birth to more slaves, perform culinary arts, and make the masters rich by harvesting the aforementioned crops. If it wasn`t for Ramon Betances and the rest of the Puerto Rican Abolistionist movement, slavery came to an end after over 350 years. It was definitely a business decision on behalf of the Spanish National Assembly as they were compensated with 35 million pesetas per slave and Blacks had to work three (3) more years before totally losing the shackles. The abolition of slavery on the island did have another cost. Just as in Mexico, Puerto Rico according to many scholars suffers from "African Amnesia". Take into fact that in 1820, Blacks made up 56% of the nation and then in 1950 it was down to 23%. In the 2002 census, 8% out of 3 million plus people identified as Black while 80% said they were White. It is without a doubt that Puerto Rico is "the lightest country in the West Indies" but one can`t only determine race by only skin color as is done on the island. Truthfully speaking, Puerto Ricans are more Mulatto than Mestizo plus there also is a small surviving Amerindian Taino population even today. Blackness is acknowledged, though, but rarely in a positive light. The ones who do acknowledged it are mostly Black or dark-Mulatto and have been seen as less "Puerto Rican" due to the racial policies still practiced in PR and the relationship with the U.S.A. has played a huge part in the denial of Blackness. Even though native Boriquas like Ricky Martin and Mark Anthony have embraced the African element in Salsa music, Black history in Puerto Rico exists but it does not exist. However, thanks to some, Puerto Rico is starting to regain its memory letting the world know that there was an African past therefore influencing the present. Maybe one day, Puerto Rico can truly be the "Island of Enchantment". from the upcoming book, Afros All Over



HISTORICAL PAGES
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
Well, Zakar and Zodo ...

Apparently, regardless of how we (African peoples) have been historically treated and looked upon by the Mexican population and their government ... we, as Americans and Black Americans at that, should continue to appreciate our "door mat" treatment by these people, who, by the way, are here under no legal means or laws ... and we should welcome them with open arms, graciously allow them to live among us, cipher our resources, abuse our kindnesses, look the other way as their gangs target and murder our young children in the streets, appreciate the fact that they undercut us in the employment area by happily working for the lowest possible wages ... earn the money and send it back in the Mexico, and perhaps it is we that should be building their homes and taking care of their children since they (voluntarily and oftentimes pay money to) make such a long and dangerous journey from their country to ours in search of the same better life we are all seeking for ourselves, but, as Black people, we are still prohibited from in this country due to discrimination and hatred for us, from the same government that welcomes these illegal immigrants so warmly! Eek

How you guys can want to be so cruel and heartless as to want to secure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for yourselves and your own people at the expense of others .. I'll just never know! Razz


quote:
On a Saturday in March, a black baseball coach, Arthur Green, went door-to-door in the apartment complex, recruiting players for Little League tryouts later that day at a nearby park. He did not speak Spanish, and the Mexicans greeted him with suspicion as he explained why he was there. Suspicion is a constant for those here illegally when an American stranger knocks on the door. None of the Mexicans sent their children to the tryouts.



Suspicion and fear, divide and rule:

http://africanamerica.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/79160213/m/2531026144
From the link to HonestBrother's post:

"Shortly thereafter, during the period of the Mexican Revolution, large numbers of black people migrated from New Orleans to Tampico, Mexico as the oil industry prospered. These Africans in Mexico established branches of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association. "


Kool! I see I have more research to do!
quote:
Originally posted by ZAKAR:
See thats the power of White Supremacy. We as black people really dont have anything to say, our children dont matter, these poor immigrants were forced to run through the desert and come across the border.They dont have to work for free, but they are not in the Union,they are being taken advantage of. We should join their cause. Eventhough the send billions back to Mexico every year to secure better lives for their family often making many times more money here than they would in their home country. What about the Haitians, the cant even escape Coupe, or dictatorships to come to America. What is wrong with us black people dont we know we suppose to put everyone else intrest in front of ours and we should not expect anyone to come to our aide because we are spiritual people and we know how to suffer with grace.


See, that's exactly what I'm talking about, ZAKAR!! And I certainly don't hope you think that we have suffered nearly enough, 'cause I'm here to tell you, there is much more trampling on our dignities to be done before this is even close to over!! After all .. we have to give these illegal immigrants rights, first, so that they are entitled to everything that we had to fight and beg and get bit by dogs for ... and, of course, we have to give the the political clout that they need to further make us second -- no -- third class citizens in our own country!!

And I don't know why you would think we would help stage a bloody, military coup in Haiti and then want to help the poor and starving people there actually put their lives together and be able to eat or have the bear necessities of life??? We're very busy taking care of the illegal Mexicans, for goodness sake, and trying to make them as comfy as possible!! Do you really expect us to be able to handle everything at one time?? Confused

Priorities, ZAKAR!! Priorities!
Simply put:

Whether an illegal immigrant or not at least THEY HAVE A COUNTRY of origin to return to if the U.S. isn't to their liking.

They'll have the option of double citizenship and the ability to vote simultaneously both here and their country of origin.

They have consulates here to advocate their causes and and seats at the United Nations to reveal their issues to the world.

Do we A.A.'s have those resources or political clout?????
Last edited {1}
well actually, I was hoping to highlight the drastic measures that a Haitian, who is definitely seeking relief from political and economic chaos in his home country

has to take to get here

and the efforts expended to gather and deport them.

I am in support of immigration reform that is fair to black immigrants.

One of the linked articles has peaked my further interest in the history of Afro-Mexican relations so i plan to do my own research on that.
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:
One of the linked articles has peaked my further interest in the history of Afro-Mexican relations so i plan to do my own research on that.


You will probably find that it is the same as it is for Afro-anybody else in this world. Nobody likes Black people ... regardless of where they are or how they got there. Roll Eyes
LATIN AMERICA: Black Women on the Bottom Rung
By Diego Cevallos

MEXICO CITY, Jun 19 (IPS) - There are at least 75 million black women in Latin America and the Caribbean, but those who occupy high-level political or public administration posts number less than 50. As activists pointed out to IPS this week, black women are at the very bottom of the social ladder in this region.

"The inequality suffered by Afro-descendants is plain to see. There are few or no spaces where we are decision-makers. Our situation is one of the worst," said Dorotea Wilson, head of the Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrocaribeñas y de la Diáspora (Network of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latino Women), made up of groups of black women activists from 33 countries.

Poor black women "must make a huge effort against discrimination and xenophobia," said Wilson, a former mayor and legislator from Nicaragua who is also the head of the non-governmental organisation Voces del Caribe (Caribbean Voices).

Wilson spoke to IPS by telephone from Panama, where she participated Monday and Tuesday along with 30 other women in the Inter-generational Conference of Afro-descendant Women of Latin America, sponsored by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Latin America's 150 million Afro-descendants have failed to make inroads against the marginalisation and segregation that they have historically suffered, and have not gained a significant role in politics or the public administration.

By contrast, indigenous people in the region, who number around 40 million, have become increasingly organised in countries like Ecuador and Bolivia, where they have begun to gain political representation.

According to the Network of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latino Women, there are less than 50 black women in political decision-making positions in the entire region.

Wilson said the conference in Panama was aimed at networking, strengthening ties and defining a shared agenda for black women, "who have been dispersed."

The participants plan to present a common position at the 10th Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, to be organised Aug. 6-9 in Quito, Ecuador by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

"We must urgently come together as Afro-descendant women, because we are separated and have not even gotten our governments to count exactly how many of us there are in the region," said Wilson.

At the August regional conference in Quito, one of the central focuses will be the question of female domestic service. Half of the region's domestic employees work more than 48 hours a week, receive inadequate pay and have no access to social security coverage, ECLAC reports. In fact, there are millions of domestics who are not even paid.

A large part of the region's domestics are black or indigenous women. Studies show that more than 90 percent of people of African descent in the region are poor, only have access to the worst paid jobs, and have a low level of education.

In Brazil, for example, 71 percent of black women work in the informal sector of the economy, compared to 65 percent of black men, 61 percent of white women and 48 percent of white men. And whites in Brazil are 2.5 times richer than blacks on average.

In Colombia, meanwhile, 80 percent of blacks live in extreme poverty. And in Cuba, the only socialist country in the region, people of African descent live in the worst housing and have the lowest-paid jobs.

"It is very difficult to be black in our region, and even more so if you are a woman," said Wilson. "I know that because I myself have often had to suffer degrading humiliations."

Wilson is from Puerto Cabezas in Nicaragua's North Atlantic Autonomous Region.

"My father worked as a miner for over 48 years. My mother was a homemaker and raised nine children. It was hard for us -- six girls and three boys -- to make it in this society, but we fought and we did it," she said.

In 1975, as a nun and missionary, Wilson joined the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) and later took part in the leftist group's armed struggle, which overthrew dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979.

That year, she became the first female mayor of Puerto Cabezas and was later elected to parliament, representing the Caribbean coastal region.

She remains a member of the FSLN, which, after losing the 1990 elections, returned to power this year under President Daniel Ortega. (END/2007)
The below is from Afro-Latino rapper Tego Calderon:


BLACK PRIDE
By TEGO CALDERON


February 15, 2007 -- Just this morning, I was listening to radio host Luisito Vigeroux talking about a movie project that I am working on which co-stars Mayra Santos Febres and he was saying, "Her? She's starring in it?"
Questioning her Black beauty.

I remember, too, when Celia Cruz died, a newscaster, thinking she was being smart, said Celia Cruz wasn't black, she was Cuban. She was pretty even though she's black.

As if there is something wrong with being black, like the two things can't exist simultaneously and be a majestic thing. There is ignorance and stupidity in Puerto Rico and Latin America when it comes to blackness.

In Puerto Rico, Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" was only shown in one theater and unlike all the other movies shown here, there were no subtitles. It's as if they don't want the masses to learn.

But it's not just here - in Puerto Rico - where I experience racism. When I lived in Miami, I was often treated like a second class Boricua. I felt like I was in the middle - Latino kids did not embrace me and African American kids were confused because here I was a black boy who spoke Spanish. But after a while, I felt more embraced by black Americans - as a brother who happens to speak Spanish - than other Latino kids did.

Because I am well known, sometimes I forget the racist ways of the world. But then I travel to places where no one knows Tego Calderón I am reminded.

For instance, when I travel first class, the stewardess will say, "Sir, this is first class," and ask to see ticket. I take my time, put my bags in the overhead, sit, and gingerly give them my ticket, smiling at them. I try not to get stressed anymore, let them stress themselves.

And the thing is that many white Puerto Ricans and Latinos don't get it. They are immune to the subtle ways in which we are demeaned, disrespected. They have white privilege. And I've heard it said that we are on the defensive about race.

Those things happen and it's not because of color, Tego, but because of how you look, how you walk, what you wear, what credit card you have. Then, they spend a couple of days with me, sort of walk in my shoes, and say "Damn negro, you are right."

When I check into hotels and use my American Express they call the credit card company in front of me saying the machine is broken. This happens a lot in U.S. cities but it's not because there is more racism there, it's because they don't know me. When I'm in Latin America, I am known, so it's different. That is not to say that there is less racism. The reality for blacks in Latin America is severe, in Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Honduras ...

Puerto Rican (and Latin American) blacks are confused because we grow up side by side with non-blacks and we are lulled into believing that things are the same. But we are treated differently.

My parents always celebrated our history. My dad always pointed things out to me. He even left the PIP (Pro-Independence Party) because he always said that los negros and our struggle was never acknowledged.

Maelo (Ismael Rivera) and Tite Curet did their part in educating and calling out the issues. Today, I do my part but I attack the subject of racism directly.

It makes me so happy to see Don Omar call himself el negro and La Sister celebrate her blackness. Now it's in fashion to be black and to be from Loiza. And that is awesome, it makes me so happy. Even if they don't give me credit for starting the pride movement, I know what I did to get it out there.

Young black Latinos have to learn their story. We also need to start our own media, and forums and universities. We are treated like second class citizens. They tell blacks in Latin America that we are better off than U.S. blacks or Africans and that we have it better here, but it's a false sense of being. Because here, it's worse.

We are definitely treated like second class citizens and we are not part of the government or institutions. Take for instance, Jamaica - whites control a Black country.

They have raised us to be ashamed of our blackness. It's in the language too. Take the word denigrate - denigrar - which is to be less than a negro.

In Puerto Rico you get used it and don't see it everyday. It takes a visitor to point out that all the dark skin sisters and brothers are in the service industry.

It's hard in Puerto Rico. There was this Spaniard woman in the elevator of the building where I lived who asked me if I lived there. And poor thing - not only is there one black brother living in the penthouse, but also in the other, lives Tito Trinidad. It gets interesting when we both have our tribes over.

Black Latinos are not respected in Latin America and we will have to get it by defending our rights, much like African Americans struggled in the U.S.

It's hard to find information about our people and history but just like kids research the newest Nintendo game or CD they have to take interest in their story. Be hungry for it.

We need to educate people close to us. I do it one person at a time when language is used and I am offended by it. Sometimes you educate with tenderness, as in the case of my wife, who is not black.

She's learned a lot and is offended when she sees injustices. She gets it. Our children are mixed, but they understand that they are black and what that means. My wife has taught her parents, and siblings, and they, in turn, educate the nephews and nieces. That is how everyone learns.

This is not about rejecting whiteness rather; it's about learning to love our blackness - to love ourselves. We have to say basta ya, it's enough, and find a way to love our blackness. They have confused us - and taught us to hate each other - to self-hate and create divisions on shades and features.

Remember that during slavery, they took the light blacks to work the home, and left the dark ones to work the fields. There is a lot residue of self-hatred.

And each of us has to put a grain in the sand to make it into a movement where we get respect, where we can celebrate our blackness without shame.

It will be difficult but not impossible.



As told to Sandra Guzman





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


NEW YORK POST copyright 2007 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.
I am an active follower of the debate over "illegal immigration" here. Just now on 'Meet The Press', for the first time, I heard the notion of amnesty for corporations mentioned. Pat Buchanan, who is a staunch opponent of any measures that might create a path to citizenship for undocumented workers in this nation raised the issue in response to the current bill pending in Congress.

While the mention still feels like an after thought, it's great that the words get out there to percolate around the American consciousness! tfro


While I disagree with where Pat's coming from on this issue, I applaud the articulation of the business complicity/role in the issue.
MBM ...

Do you have a specific idea/opinion/suggestion as to what should happen to these corporations that are now engaging in these illicit practices??

Do you think that governmental enforcement of the laws that are now on the books would be good enough? Do you propose that we, the people, should be involved and that these companies should be boycotted against? Would you like to see new, tougher laws created to punish them in more/different ways?

Since you find they so wholly complicit in this illegal immigration debate (and, I understand they really are the bad guys!), but, what would you suggest is an effect manner to punish/stop their wrongdoing as far as this issue is concerned? Who could/would/should hit them the hardest? Confused

Just curious. Smile
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:

Do you have a specific idea/opinion/suggestion as to what should happen to these corporations that are now engaging in these illicit practices??


Clarity About The Undocumented Labor Issue

quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

So - what do we do about it? Instead of looking to make criminals out of hard working, honest people - why don't we go after the real criminals: the businesses who hired undocumented workers? Let's fine them for every undocumented worker they have ever hired. How? Let's require them to self report and pay a one-time fine (perhaps financed over a number of years or even applied against future tax credits) for each worker and then let's randomly – but aggressively - audit the process. Companies that in any way misrepresent their reporting/fines get penalized even further (a la tax evasion) with potential prison terms for CEO's. The objective wouldn't necessarily be to collect every potential fine dollar. Companies that have demonstrated the propensity to break the law already would not be the most likely candidates for ultimate honesty here. But, it would create the major disincentive of CEO's seeing other CEO's going to jail for this. A couple of high profile CEO "perp walks" and all of a sudden this problem would subside rather quickly.


BTW . . .

quote:
What do we do with these fines? Fund a poor/working class tax cut designed to replace some of the money that was illegally and immorally stolen from them through this practice. In that way we penalize the appropriate parties and seek to redress the wrong to those aggrieved. (Perhaps we also push for/help fund increases in the minimum wage law with the fines.)


And . . .

quote:
Finally, it is imperative that we overhaul immigration law in this country. We must create a blind/neutral policy that puts everyone precisely on the same footing - that doesn't treat Haitians in one way and Cubans in another, or Canadians one way and Mexicans another. We increase security on our borders to support our sense of national security - not as a function of immigration policy. And finally - we ensure that business pays its fair share in every way. We stop mindlessly attacking the "little guy" and hold those really responsible in this country accountable for their actions. It's the least that they can do for the privilege that they enjoy in America.


Oh yeah . . .

quote:
Bottom line: let's focus our attention on the appropriate party here. Mexicans in this country stand next to us as exploited people. Like us, they are just trying to put food on their table; this while businesses that hire undocumented labor gets fatter and fatter. Let's be clear about that and redirect our energies appropriately.
So ... if I'm understanding you right ... what you're looking for is governmental interference/enforcement to compel companies to stop hiring illegal immigrant workers? Do you know if any of the suggestions you've mentioned are already part of the previous immigration reform package? I keep hearing news reports how there are laws already on the books that are not being enforced .. but, I don't remember ever hearing exactly what they are! sck

Also ... since there's probably only a snowball's chance that government will ever actually do anything that might actually be detrimental to the profiteering of big business ... have you ever considered any kind of other grassroots-type of solution? Do you think there's anything that we as citizens can do to fight back?

I would assume you would be opposed to mass deportation as an alternative? And do you believe that making the illegal immigrants instant citizens will in any way affect the relationship between the corporation and the exploited illegal alien? Confused

I'll stop here and take a breath! Smile
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:

Also ... since there's probably only a snowball's chance that government will ever actually do anything that might actually be detrimental to the profiteering of big business ... have you ever considered any kind of other grassroots-type of solution? Do you think there's anything that we as citizens can do to fight back?


As a matter of fact I do . . . Taming The Profitocracy

quote:
And do you believe that making the illegal immigrants instant citizens will in any way affect the relationship between the corporation and the exploited illegal alien? Confused


Sure - it will instantly raise the average effective minimum wage - as millions of workers across the country will now fall under the protection of the US government.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
And do you believe that making the illegal immigrants instant citizens will in any way affect the relationship between the corporation and the exploited illegal alien? Confused


Sure - it will instantly raise the average effective minimum wage - as millions of workers across the country will now fall under the protection of the US government.


Well, considering that the minimum wage is already slated to rise over the next two years ... are you still suggesting that this is viable? Do you think it would get a bigger boost just because millions are added to the number of workers??

Personally, since it took more than a decade to get an increase for those of us who were/are already citizens ... I can't really see them doing any special favors for the millions who would be added into the mix. I mean, why should they (the gov't.) really care about the crumbs the lower class has to share? sck
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:

Do you think it would get a bigger boost just because millions are added to the number of workers??


These are millions of workers who are currently working beneath the minimum wage - so - the effective wage rises just by protecting all of those jobs that now are 'under the radar'.
Okay ... I thought I was through ... but, I do have (at least) one more question! Smile

While I realize that this entire subject is about the plight of illegal immigrants/workers (and the corporate influence that's involved) ... is there anything that you have said or believe is a part of your argument that in any way affects or benefits African Americans?

Not that it necessarily should, and it's cool if it doesn't ... but, I don't think I've seen (or asked about) anything that does ... and I was just wondering if I may have missed something in that regard! Confused Smile
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:

... is there anything that you have said or believe is a part of your argument that in any way affects or benefits African Americans?


quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

Sure, I recognize that their presence here has had a damaging effect on African America. We have certainly lost jobs. Many argue that the influx of Latinos in this country has also compromised our political stature as well.


My whole argument is intended to make African America's efforts on this issue more effective. By focusing on the illegal activity of those hiring, it not only gets to the heart of the entire issue, it also impacts the party who can create more jobs in our community (aside from the fact that we need to be creating more jobs for ourselves anyway!).
Okay ... and just so I'm clear ...

quote:
... make African America's efforts ...

Those efforts would be a reference to 'Taming the Profitocracy' whereby our direct efforts go towards effecting change? Confused

And ...

quote:
... impacts the party who can create moer jobs ....

That "party" would be big business/major corporations, correct? Confused
Our "efforts" would be anything and everything directed toward resolving this issue from marching to writing letters to our Congresspeople to boycotts to strategic consumer buying to absolutely anything that would help us in this issue.

If collectively we have 100% effort - IMO - whatever % that gets spent on crying about individuals is wasted energy that could be effective at getting the issue resolved. (BTW - that's what those who have an interest in the status quo want - for energy to be directed/diverted away from them.)

The parties would be those who are in a position to hire back folks who should have been hired in the first place.
Well ... er um .... now that you mention it!! Big Grin

No, not a lunatic, at all. hug I do much better understand your perspective now. I can't really say that I agree with it any more than I did before ... because I have always agreed that corporations were wrong for hiring/exploiting illegal immigrants in the manner they do.

But, I do have to say that this hasn't swayed me to be as upset about or as diligent towards the situation as you are. And I don't begrudge you any for your stance ... somebody needs to take it and it might as well be you! Smile

However, it's not something that I see as a benefit to African Americans, for one, and I just don't really have much of an interest in waging a fight that benefits another group of people that have never shown much of an interest in offering a hand towards us ... when we have our own battles to wage and need so much to take care of ourselves.

I can't in any way see where there would be any incentive for those corporations to give or create more jobs for African Americans after legalizing the millions of now illegal immigrants that they employ. With Mexicans, especially, employers find not only a cheap, but a very dedicated workforce .. and there's no way I'm going to believe that those employers would suddenly (and for no particular reason) have some kind of stroke of conscious and start hiring us instead.

But ... I do believe we have our own reasons for targeting corporate entities and would be more than happy to do battle against them for things that would be to our benefit help us to gain. And any residual benefits that gets shared by any one else is well and fine if/when and after we get ours.

But again, I do see clearer about where you're coming from! And I'm glad you explained it ... because I really did think you were a raving lunatic before today ... but not now! Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:

Do you think it would get a bigger boost just because millions are added to the number of workers??


These are millions of workers who are currently working beneath the minimum wage - so - the effective wage rises just by protecting all of those jobs that now are 'under the radar'.



How would "taming the profitocracy" effect the small construction companies, small farmers, and individuals who go to the parking lot of home depot to pick up "laborers" every day?
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:

How would "taming the profitocracy" effect the small construction companies, small farmers, and individuals who go to the parking lot of home depot to pick up "laborers" every day?


First, the nature of TTP is to disseminate information throughout grassroots America so that more of us make more informed decisions - or to say it another way - make decisions that include a broader range of considerations than before. If more Americans were aware of the deleterious effect of their actions (e.g. hiring day labor under the table), then perhaps fewer would do it. It's just like making folks aware that shopping at Walmart may save them a few dollars, but in reality has serious consequences to our communities and nation. At the end of the day, the marketing challenge for something like this is whether we can persuade people to define their self interest beyond price and product performance to include things like keeping Americans employed, the environment, a company's social standing etc.

Beyond that, increasing the political awareness (of what I see as the true causes) of this problem would hopefully encourage lawmakers to actually enforce the laws that are currently on the books on this matter.
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:


However, it's not something that I see as a benefit to African Americans, for one, and I just don't really have much of an interest in waging a fight that benefits another group of people that have never shown much of an interest in offering a hand towards us ...


ER, answer the following question please?

1) Do you have a problem with illegal immigration?

If the answer is "yes" - then:

2) Do you want to do something about it?

If the answers to the two questions are both "yes", then - as with any effort - don't you have to care about the effectiveness of efforts to attack this problem?

If you care about getting black folks more jobs, then how does directing energy and efforts at people who have NO ability to make things better for African Americans help you? The entire population of Mexico (and all of South America, Canada, whoever . . .) could transplant themselves into America and offer to actually pay American companies to work for them. If the companies didn't accept their offer, then their offer would have ZERO effect on American labor. It is the fact that American companies are creating the incentive for undocumented people to come here by breaking the law to hire them that is at the absolute root of this problem. If you disagree with this, please tell me how. 15

Furthermore, if you want to get back some of the jobs that were filled by undocumented workers, then don't you have to address your efforts (legal, political, economic, whatever . . .) to the people who make the hiring decisions and created the problem in the first place?

ER, please consider this equation:

A) the number of undocumented workers who have made the decision NOT to hire black folks in America?

B) the number of companies that have made the decision to break the law and hire undocumented workers so as not to have to hire black folks in America?

In your opinion is A>B or is B>A?

African America needs to direct its energy toward whichever group, A or B, that is the greater number. 15

Thoughts?
why dont we as a people, advocate for open borders. Just let as many come in as possible. Also lets let them move into our neighborhoods (which we already do) allow them to get all the jobs they can get, they dont need documentation or a background checks. Just use them for us blacks and maybe when these people get enough numbers they will return the favor and look out for our best intrest and then maybe we can rent our housing from them and maybe they will give us jobs!
quote:
Originally posted by ZAKAR:

why dont we as a people, advocate for open borders. Just let as many come in as possible. Also lets let them move into our neighborhoods (which we already do) allow them to get all the jobs they can get, they dont need documentation or a background checks. Just use them for us blacks and maybe when these people get enough numbers they will return the favor and look out for our best intrest and then maybe we can rent our housing from them and maybe they will give us jobs!


Why not answer some of the questions from the post to ER? Why not deal with the facts? 15
what facts are you talking about man? How is taking this viewpoint you have (which i believe is basically the Rhetoric of the National Democratic Party) and get any other group besides us and these illegal aliens to put pressure on these corporations. The very same corporations that pay for both the Democratic and Republican party, but you want us to believe that we can some how fight through the lobbyist, and get a bill that both helps the Illegal immigrants and black people.Might I ask where would the poor and middle class whites fall on this matter. How about the leadership in either of these parties? I mean we cant get any of our pressing issues like unemployment, education, incarceration, hiv, housing, discrimiation taken care of. But we suppose to join in arms with people that dont give a dam about me you or anyone else in our community. They simply are taking advantage of a situation for their own benifit, and you want us to help them.
quote:
Originally posted by ZAKAR:

what facts are you talking about man?


Just answer the last post to EbonyRose.

quote:
How is taking this viewpoint you have (which i believe is basically the Rhetoric of the National Democratic Party)


Obviously you have no clue what Democrats are saying about this. NO ONE is putting the rightful pressure on the folks who made the decision to hire undocumented workers. Have you ever heard of the notion of corporate amnesty other than from me?
quote:
The very same corporations that pay for both the Democratic and Republican party, but you want us to believe that we can some how fight through the lobbyist, and get a bill that both helps the Illegal immigrants and black people.


But wait . . . you just said that I mimic Democratic party talking points. Which is it brother?

Secondly, my concern is not with undocumented workers, other than basic human fairness. My issue is how to most effectively get more jobs for black folks.

How many Mexicans are hiring bruh? Confused

quote:
Might I ask where would the poor and middle class whites fall on this matter.


They'd agree with me 100% since they are being exploited by corporations and by the elites in the exact same way as we are.

quote:
How about the leadership in either of these parties?


No - everyone is pretty much giving business a pass. I know why they are. Why are you doing so? Confused

quote:
I mean we cant get any of our pressing issues like unemployment, education, incarceration, hiv, housing, discrimiation taken care of. But we suppose to join in arms with people that dont give a dam about me you or anyone else in our community.


Here's your problem. You are so full of emotion that you can't see straight enough to deal with the issues. You are so mad - and you've got to direct it somewhere. Might as well be the Mexican you see on the street as opposed to the person who is keeping you from work. nono

quote:
They simply are taking advantage of a situation for their own benifit, and you want us to help them.


Your emotions have you blind too. This has little to nothing to do with them and everything to do with how we can more effectively put food on our tables.

How is being mad at Mexican immigrants going to feed your family? It aint.

But - focusing your efforts on getting corporate America to follow the law and to rehire the millions of folks who have been fired to outsourcing - whether in India/China etc. or to within our borders - is beyond you. You'd rather just sit there and be mad.

Great - be mad. bang

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