As a good Mexican living abroad, specifically in Poland, I like to talk to my friends and acquaintances about how diverse and beautiful my country is. I speak to you about the simplicity, solidarity and joy of its people, about the natural beauties with which nature has endowed us and about the cultural richness that is a product of the fusion of the two great cultures that make up the society of present-day Mexico.
The conquest, in 1521 of the original cultures of the territory that today occupies the great country called Mexico by the forces of the Spanish empire, caused an almost immediate fusion of men and women, of women and men from different worlds.
The result of this merger has shaped the general characteristics of current Mexicans, which have been enriched by the influence of minority groups from all over the world from 1521 until today.
From the mid-twentieth century, the rapid development of mass media and digital technologies have also contributed to the intellectual and behavioral characteristics of Mexicans of the last three generations.
The last case generating the controversy at the national level
On February 24 of this year, the famous Oscar Awards of the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences were presented, in which the film “Roma” by the Mexican Director Alfonso Cuarón was nominated to receive 10 awards among those who excelled the best director, best foreign film and best actress. It is here that the skirmish is born that until today does not end and that sadly exposes a dark facet that many Mexicans did not want to see in themselves. The racism.
Yalitza Aparicio, a young woman of evident Indigenous roots, native of the Mexican State of Oaxaca, began to be noticed in the media and in social networks, since she was the one that the jury of the Academy had nominated as best actress. As if this had been an act in which a transcendental event for the life of the country is publicly exhibited, the opinions, the comments, the support samples and of course the criticisms and insults towards Yalitza sprouted profusely from nothing, faithfully reflecting the feel and think of some Mexicans.
It is natural that disagreements arise when a public character is involved, but the fact is that Yalitza Aparicio was a true unknown until the date when the Oscar nominations were published. Almost nobody until that date knew of their qualities, their virtues or their possible weaknesses and this is where the great controversy arises … The great amount of detractors based their criticisms, denials and not a few insults towards Yalitza Aparicio in its origin and natural aspect indigenous.
Social networks and practically all the mass media in Mexico and some abroad touched on the topic with more or less depth and from different perspectives, however, the common denominator is until this date the open exposure of the racist sense of a large part of the Mexicans.
Famous people from different areas manifested through different media their rejection of what is different and mainly what they consider to be of lower hierarchy, in this case because of the race of our protagonist. No need to dig too much to find in Internet search engines examples of the gross and vulgar jokes that Yalitza indigenous condition exist in the network.
From my point of view the worst of this situation is that this discreet Indian woman, unintentionally unmasked the hidden face of Mexico that did not seem to exist, uncovered the rancid vanities of a social sector that were very hidden, brought out the hypocrisy of those who take pride in our culture and take selfies in Mexican archeological zones, and eat tortillas daily and show off their Mexicanness by wearing hats and colorful sarapes.
This topic has been talked about ad nauseam in Mexico, but it goes without saying that we must, as a society, undergo a profound process of reflection if we want to advance together by enlarging the name of our country.
Yalitza did not win the Oscar for best actress, but it did generate, with Alfonso Cuarón, a storm of ideas, thoughts and feelings, which is showing the true face of many Mexicans, who will have two options left. to choose looking to the future:
-Analyzing and recognizing these have no more value because they think they are descendants of foreigners, nor that the indigenous people of Mexico are worth less because of their natural condition.
– Openly accept that they will continue to be miserable racists.
Obviously racism is not a problem unique to Mexico, unfortunately it is more frequent than you think. It is spread all over the planet and unfortunately it is increasing.
I will close this note by thanking Cuarón and Aparicio for reinforcing the idea that Mexico is indeed a diverse and very complex country, perhaps more than many people think. I hope that every time there are less expressions of intolerance in my country, because I am sure that what is done and said in Mexico has an increasing projection in the world, for this I sincerely tell you that I will continue talking with my friends Poles and Europeans of the endless good things of Mexico.
Greetings from Poland