Racism in Mexico? As a result of the protests that have arisen in the United States for the murder of the African American George Floyd, in our country, we have looked inward and a discussion about racial discrimination in Mexican territory has resurfaced.
Phrases like “I hope your son is born güerito” or “you look like an Indian coming down from the hill to drums “ are very common in our daily life. Now, on social networks, it is recurrent to read the speech that “the poor do not advance because they do not want to. “
So what? We live with these phrases and with this discourse on a daily basis, which means that in Mexico, although we know that there are inequalities related to ethnicity or race, we do not recognize their negative impact.
Racial discrimination in Mexico
Before entering any debate, it is important to know that racism is the exacerbation of the racial sense of one ethnic group that motivates discrimination or persecution of another.
There are those who think: “But if in Mexico the indigenous people are not persecuted . ” But they are violated and displaced from their lands.
And here comes the concept of racial discrimination as a catalyst for inequalities: ” Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or physical appearance reflected in actions that deny or restrict the enjoyment of rights .”
According to Conapred (National Council to Prevent Discrimination), in Mexico racial discrimination is rooted both in government institutions and in society – a kind of inheritance that left us with miscegenation, segregation of indigenous people, and European supremacy. promoted at the time of the Colony.
It’s not just about making you want to
Does skin color determine access to services and opportunities in Mexico? In our country, there is a range of vulnerable groups formed by communities indigenous, of African descent, migrants, and poor people.
These communities make up the lower scale of the social pyramid, and for six years there have been few advances to improve their living conditions.
” 49 out of every 100 people born in the homes of the lowest group on the social ladder, stay there all their lives. And although the other half manages to rise, 25 of them fail to overcome the poverty line, ” according to the 2019 Social Mobility Report in Mexico.
According to this report, this implies that 74 out of every 100 Mexicans born at the bottom of the social ladder, fail to overcome poverty.
For a person who is part of an indigenous or vulnerable community, the path is already more or less drawn between poverty and lack of opportunities.
And his development does not have as much to do with how much desire he throws at him, because above this person is a structure that encourages racial discrimination – and therefore, the obstacles that vulnerable communities access their rights like any Mexican.
With the 2017 National Survey on Discrimination (Enadis), the Conapred investigated discrimination actions for 10 different traits: skin tone, way of speaking, weight or height, way of dressing or personal grooming, social class, the place where you live, religious beliefs, sex, age, and sexual orientation.
The 20% of the population surveyed -of 18 and more- claimed to have been discriminated against in the last year.
Regarding skin tone, the majority of the population (33.5%) with darker tones acknowledged having an incomplete basic education. 30.6% said they have a complete basic education, 15.9% with higher secondary education studies, and 16% with higher education.
In contrast, 30.4% of the population that reported having a lighter skin tone attended higher education.
We continue with the skin tone. Regarding occupations, 6.1% of the people who said they had a lighter skin color hold managerial positions, are officials or bosses.
Only 2.8% of the population with darker skin tones acknowledged having such a position. 44% are dedicated to personal services, support activities, and agriculture.
Human rights and indifference
40.3% of the indigenous population surveyed by Conapred acknowledged having suffered some type of discrimination due to their condition in the last five years.
75.6% of this population considered that they are little valued by society. But things get even more complicated if you add other characteristics such as sexual orientation, gender, and age.
With these elements, it is difficult to turn the other way and think that in Mexico racial biases and discrimination do not exist —or that we have overcome them.
One of the steps forward was the Inegi Census 2020 that included the Afro-descendant population — Afro-descendant communities and people who are mainly concentrated in Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Veracruz — in this year’s questions.
The Mazatlan Post