Obama’s Hispanic Voting Block?

On our last visit to my native México we stopped by a convenience store and purchased some items one usually purchases at such an establishment, ice, drinks, snacks etc.

My dear sister (who along with her husband also were visiting there) bought me a pastry. A very delicious and thus unhealthy pastry. A pastry which if it were sold in the United States would be subject to much controversy.

The name of the pastry is “Negrito” which is Spanish for “little black boy”. The wrapper for this treat used to have a spear-wielding, bone-through-the-hair, dancing black boy (if you can stomach it, click here). Bread giant, Bimbo, is the company which makes it.

The wrapper housing today’s “Negrito” features a black boy (think Huey from Boondocks) on a skateboard. Who says México hasn’t outgrown colonialist attitudes? By the way the pastry is sold here in the States but understandably so, it is called something else.

Saw it at the local Wal-Mart a few weeks back and I can’t recall what it is called.

Some find it hard to believe that Mexicans are racist (melaninist to be fair). Probably because,

1) it is not understood how a people who are typically on the short end of discrimination can also discriminate others

AND/OR

2) Some mistakenly think us inferior and so can’t understand how one group of inferiors can regard another group of inferiors as well, inferior.

I bring all this up because of  the content found in this New Republic article,
“Hillary Clinton’s Firewall”

For example,

But there may be another factor in Clinton’s success among Latinos, particularly with regard to Obama. And it may have less to do with enthusiasm for her candidacy than with a lack of enthusiasm for the Illinois senator. Over the last two decades, there has been evidence of growing hostility from Hispanics toward African Americans. Some of this hostility is the result of conflicts, or perceived conflicts, over politically controlled resources in cities and states. But as Tanya K. Hernandez, a professor of law at George Washington, has argued recently, it may also be a legacy of an older Latin American prejudice against blacks that has been transplanted to this country.

Furthermore,

… Latinos display more prejudice toward African Americans than African Americans do toward Latinos or than whites display toward African Americans. In the words of University of Houston sociologist Tatcho Mindiola, Jr. and two associates, “in general African Americans have more positive views of Hispanics than vice versa.”

And,

In Mindiola’s surveys of racial attitudes in Houston, they asked Latino respondents to describe blacks.

Some of the terms that most often came to mind were “noisy,” “loud,” “lazy,” “dropouts/uneducated,” “hostile,” “complainers/whiners,” “bad people,” “prejudiced,” “aggressive,” “angry,” “disrespectful/rude,” and “violent.”

Only 54 percent of U.S.-born Latinos and 46 percent of immigrant Latinos approved of their children dating an African American.

Based on my personal experience these descriptions and figures are not shocking. These attitudes were untenable and repulsive to me after I was born-again. God has helped me to overcome some of the stereotypes about blacks which were presented to me as givens.

Truly He has shown me that there is no difference, every human being regardless the quantities of melanin he/she expresses on their skin is made in His image.

Given the Sambo-like caricatures prevalent in Mexican pop culture, this is hardly shocking or is it? Does the presence of these caricatures translate into racism (melaninism)?

Mexicans (and most Hispanics, Cubans being the exception), it can be said, are Democrats by “nature”.

There are a number of reasons as to why this is so, the most prevalent one is that Democrats are perceived as “champions of the poor” and well our self-image is so great that we are perpetually in struggle against the so-called hegemony (a fav of non-white resistance movements).

If Obama gets the Democratic Party’s nomination, how is he going to be embraced by those who hold to the old attitudes?

Should this concern the Democratic Party?

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22 Responses to Obama’s Hispanic Voting Block?

  1. Dave says:

    I am a Puerto Rican born in the fifties and raised in New York. I grew up in a neighborhood that was probably 80 percent African American and 15 percent Puerto Rican/hispanic. I never experienced any incidents racism involving African Americans and Hispanics. Hispanic groups are different. Cubans differ from Puerto Ricans, who differ from Mexicans etc…. Much of the tension between the two groups may be attributed to prejudices held by Hispanics of Mexican descent than by other Hispanics.

  2. Laz says:

    Thank you Dave for your comment. Your readership and input are very much appreciated.

    I agree with what you said. México, if I’m not mistaken, has one of the lowest populations of blacks living within its borders in comparison to other Latin American countries (Argentina and Uruguay probably have even less).

    Given this, the prejudices that exist in my native country are not surprising. It would not be surprising to find the same attitudes present in Argentina and/or Uruguay.

    I tried to focus solely on the attitudes of Mexicans but I can see how the post’s title can be misleading, my apologies.

  3. Ben says:

    I have been reading a lot about the Obama’s lack of support from the hispanic community due to the tension between the two groups but this is a very skewed perception. Growing up in Florida and being a part of the black and hispanic (Puerto Rican) cultures I as well as most others have very different experiences. In Florida as well as New York when you think of hispanic the first thing that comes to mind is Puerto Rican (other caribbean hispanics) not mexican. These hispanic cultures identify very closely with black americans, often live in the same neighborhoods, and very commonly intermarry. Many of the members of these hispanic groups are racially black. These hispanic cultures are racially and culturally an amalgamation of black, spanish, and native culture dating back centuries. When the term hispanic is used it should be clarified which groups are being referenced because not everywhere in the US is hispanic synonomous with Mexican and these groups are extremely different.

  4. Laz says:

    That is why apologized Ben, because “these groups are extremely different”.

    I decided to leave the post’s title intact due to the cited article’s word choice.

    Is there melaninism in Puerto Rican or other Caribbean cultures?

  5. Sara says:

    I agree that MEXICANS are racist against blacks. I have not been witness to any of the other hispanic demographics sharing a hatred against this particular racial group. I think it stems moreso from Mexicans wanting to BE white. There are no distinctive features from getting them there— but there are distinctive features that separate people of african desent and asian desent from blending in as easily. The one hold up they have is their language. Some but not all of people of Mexican desent hold on to their language and refuse to learn english. It’s become the trend now to hire them on because they’re bilingual and how exciting… but, the tables turned. Other racial groups are showing how easy it is to learn Spanish (a second language). Blacks and Mexicans are competing for the same jobs. One has to remain superior to the other to survive until we make more attempts towards desegregating our country. I mean… isn’t it a bit odd that you have people supporting their country of origin more than the country they moved to? Why did the families move in the first place? Blacks and whites… the culture between the two racial groups is virtually the same because Blacks lost their culture with slavery. People who meshed into “being white” … they lost their cultures as well and moved into being American. Mexicans that moved here.. for whatever reason.. don’t all seem to understand that concept.

  6. Laz says:

    Sara thanks for reading and commenting.

    isn’t it a bit odd that you have people supporting their country of origin more than the country they moved to?

    And nowhere is this more evident than during USA v. Mexico soccer matches, like the one last night here in the fair city of Houston.

    According to the guys calling the game on Univision, the fan support was approx. 70% Mexico, 30% USA (by the way I was rooting for El Tri.

    As a Mexican who came here, I have acclimated myself pretty well into American culture. Some even think I have done this to a fault, as sometimes I’m accused of denying my parent culture, but I suppose everyone is entitled to their delusions.

    Sara, what is interesting is how nationalism is an evil thing when it is an American who has such sentiments, but let it be a Mexican and then nationalism is not just not evil but patriotic. That I will never understand.

  7. Jeff says:

    It’s amazing to me that people are voting for “Obama” someone that does not follow our country’s traditions, no hand during the pledge, “a Muslim past”. It’s kind of scary to see how someone can give such wonderful speeches and the media can be so biased of Hillary and he gets a free ride with free media coverage, just crazy… he’s a dreamer without any substance and HOPE is not going to change this countrys direction based on WORDS.

    Great job, Hillary on your win in New Mexico! Continue to campaign and reinforce to the average American worker that Obama continues to give invigorating speeches, but has never provided a plan to improve health care. Also, he has never addressed the high gas prices, heating bills, grocery bills. I applaud Obama for motivating speeches but we need someone who will produce and who actually has a plan to help the middle class struggling families. The term “Change” is only a word if you don’t have a plan!

    WAKE UP TEXAS, WE HAVE SOME WORK TO DO….OBAMANIA IS A FALSE HOPE THAT SPELLS TROUBLE…….He’s a Republican in a donkey suit.

  8. MERLE7 says:

    I DON’T KNOW WHY LANTINO’S ARE PREJUDICE AGAINTS BLACKS. IT SEEMS LIKE MINORITY GROUPS SHOULD BE UNITED. SURE THEIR SKIN MAY BE LIGHTER, HAIR A LITTLE STRAIGHTER BUT THEY ARE STILL A MINORITY IN THE EYES OF WHITE PEOPLE. CHECKING WHITE IN RACIAL SECTIONS ON APLLICATION FORMS ETC, DOES NOT MAKE THEM WHITE. WHITES DO NOT REGARD THEM ANY BETTER THAN ANY OTHER MINORITY GROUPS.I ADMIRE LANTINO’S FOR UP HOLDING THEIR LOYALTY TO BILL CLINTON’S YEARS IN THE WHITE HOUSE, BUT CAN ONE SAY LIFE WON’T BE EVEN BETTER WITH A MINORITY LIKE OBAMA’S PRESIDENCY. THESE ARE DIFFICULT TIMES WE ARE FACING IN OUR NATION,UNITY ESPECIALLY AMONG MINORITY GROUPS CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE, IN CHANGING THIS COUNTRY FOR THE BETTER. INSTEAD OF LETTING PAST YEARS OF DISLIKE BETWEEN THE RACES TAKE HOLD, WE SHOULD BE WORKING OUT OUR DIFFERENCE TO COME TOGETHER.LIKE OBAMA SAID THERE IS NO WHITE, BLACK, LATINO, ASIAN AMERICA, WE ARE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! LANTINO’S TOO NEED TO BE COLOR BLIND WHEN GOING TO THE POLLS.

    OBAMA 08!

  9. Laz says:

    Merle,
    “Latinos” typically aren’t. I was speaking more from a Mexican perspective, that is all I can do since I am from México.

    Our culture is racist (well melaninist to be precise) for the same reasons any other culture is, mainly human depravity in addition to ignorance.

    Hate to burst your bubble but there are white Mexicans, black Mexicans and yellow Mexicans. So I’m not sure what “race” has to do with anything. You must be confusing “race” with nationality, 2 completely different things.

    WHITES DO NOT REGARD THEM ANY BETTER THAN ANY OTHER MINORITY GROUPS

    So is it implied that “whites” regard all minority groups as inferior?

  10. vonn says:

    hispanics consist of black hispanics also, its the wanna be white mexican hispanics that hate blacks . and its because they are to stupid to realize that to white america look at them as modern day slaves. an black people dont hate mexicans they hate us they are the new face of american hate.

  11. DJ says:

    My family is Mexican and we belong to a group called Hillary Supporters For John McCain. The Democratic Party we have now did not give Hillary a fair shot in the primary. There are tens of thousands of us who have left the Democratic Party. We have learned much since the primary and CAN NOT vote for Obama. Come to our web site and you will see comments from hundreds of people, videos, and articles that have made us conclude that Obama is not fit to lead our country. He does not have the experience, he has friends who are very radical. The way Obama treated Hillary is disgusting, now he even is trying to take her delegates away. Hillary is friends with John McCain. She respects him and he respects her. She said herself that she and John McCain had the experience to govern, Obama does not. America is in tough times right now, and we CAN NOT afford to put someone in the White House who won;t even debate the issues so that we know where each one stands. Remember Rev. Wright, Obama’s preacher said Obama is just telling you what you want to hear. We must keep our country and our families save above all else. One Democratic Senator who is NOT voting for Obama said Obama cound be a terrorist for all he knows. Is that the kind of person you want in the White House. Obama said we must sacrifice,,,don’t eat so much..don’t keep your house too cool,,,don’t drive an suv. It sounds more like a dictatoship to me if Obama gets elected. Come to our website and see why Hillary Supporters aren’t voting for Obama…our website address is…www.hcsfjm.com …and go to http://www.noquarterusa.net……Vote for John McCain…we all TRUST him…and he is NOT like Bush.

  12. Irma says:

    I am Mexican. I will not vote for Barak Obama. I agree Obama treated Hilary and Bill like dirt. I cannot vote for Obama – but I will not vote for McCain.
    In battle ground states, NOT voting for Obama is the same as voting for McCain.

    By the way, how many Mexicans besides Patti Solis -Doyle the person who
    ruined Clintons campaign did Obama make part of the inner circle.

    Solamente quieren los pendejos.

  13. Laz says:

    Irma, I’m just curious, why won’t you vote for McCain?

  14. Bobbo says:

    Why not vote for Nader/Gonzalez? Nader’s VP is from the Rio Grande Valley! Vote your conscience!

    Oh, and as an aside, I grew up in a Mexican/Mexican-American household, and the elders of my family are ardent “Hill-Rod” supporters…because we LOVE Bill, and because of inherited racism. Isn’t it truly odd that this “melaninism,” as my friend aptly called it, is so prevalent, despite the fact that Mexico was one of the first countries in the New World to legally abolish slavery?

  15. Laz says:

    McAllen? Guau, local kid makes good, maybe if he was from the All-American City…

    Well V.A. let’s not forget how the broader Mexican culture views, if not treats darker-skinned Mexicans in comparison to lighter-skinned ones.

    Though slavery was abolished a system similar to it was ensured to remain in place for a good while.

  16. Bobbo says:

    Dude…McAllen DID get All-American City a while back! It’s all good…but that award is still a joke, mijo.

    …and I know all about the treatment of darker skinned Mexicans…remember, my grandma’s nickname was “La Prieta” and she was lighter-skinned than I am!

    Oh, btw, in your post about Gorki Aguila, you posed the question that he should start asking where Tom Morelo is…Just so you know, Tom Morelo is in Denver…at Nader’s campaign party singing Arlo Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.” http://www.votenader.org/blog/2008/08/20/kilmer-sheehan-morello-with-nader-in-denver/

  17. Laz says:

    I would think that Morello would be belting that tune back in the old U.S.S.R. (Cuba at least) not in Denver.

    I will never be able to get the image of Erica draped in the Soviet Flag out of my head…

  18. Bobbo says:

    Some people just need a hammer and a sickle to be happy in life, I guess.

    Speaking of politics, I’m thinking of running for governor…My platform: will be 6 inches off the ground so I can look taller.

    But seriously, though…I’m thinking of running for governer…what do you think: “Vote for V-Yay.”

  19. Laz says:

    Like it!

    What about when you win, you can christen it V-Yay day?

  20. Musette says:

    I was surfing the web for information on why are hispanics prejudice against african americans and happened upon this site.
    The reason for my query , my husband who is of Polish/Lithuanian descent is taking conga lessons from a world reknowned percussionist for the last seven months. Over the course of these lessons I have noticed subtle changes in my husband. Sometimes I hear very negative stereotypes coming from him after he gets with this guy. It’s like he is trying to convince my husband that his life is no good since he married a black woman. I feel this negative tow each week and warned my husband that his life is valuable because he is with me and don’t read into those stereotypes that are being fed to him.
    I needed to know what the statistics regarding
    Puerto-Ricans being prejudiced against blacks.

    I can’t give you hard data, but I’d venture to say that there is less compared to Mexicans. Why? Because boricuas have been exposed to blacks more than Mexicans have, at least in their respective countries. Though, then there’s the phrase, familiarity breeds contempt.

    Sorry to hear that your husband is so easily influenced by negativity.

  21. Frani says:

    I was just in Mexico a few weeks ago. Im Peruvian, living in the USA for 20 years. I can tell you that Mexicans in Mexico were very excited and happy that Obama was new world leader. We can’t label all Mexicans racist because of the “negrito” bimbo bread which is also sold in Peru. Mexico’s 70% are poor, and more accepting than the 15% wealthy white mexicans who came up with the name of that product. I’ve being to Mexico 6 times and I can guarantee you, that if a humble mexican sees a black man dying of hunger, they will feed him to save his life. I swear this to you, Mexicans in Mexico are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. We are Latinoamericanos. Back in Miami, many Cubans say that they will rather marry a Mexican than a Puerto Rican which is totally racist. Mexicans love dominican music. Peruvians love Mexicans. And as Peruvians, well a lot of our neighbors hate us lol. I always promote unity among us because if we dont, other americans are going to eat us alive.
    p.s, In Spain they sell chocolate balls in a package called “Conguitos” with a similar picture of bimbo’s negrito.

  22. Oscar says:

    Like Frani, before, I also came from Mexico 16 years ago. When i arrived to chicago, all this talk full of racial hatred really saddened me and disapointed me. I was happy to meet so many people of many nationalities. One thing I learned from my humble place back in Mexico was to judge people for their character and actions and not just because of the color of their skin. I associate myself with positive people regardless of nationalities. Who cares if you part this and that. I feel very relax working with blacks than working with whites. White people have stabbed me in the back so many times. I love puertoricans. My best advice is to pick up a book and learn about other people that you tend to judge for no reason. Don’t judge Mexico for what Mexican people or their desendents say or do here. Like our peruvian friend said, go to Mexico, but try to talk to the average Mexican and for the most part, you’ll say “nothing compare on how Mexicans act in the States” Because yes, Mexicans once in the USA tend to change and tend to change for the worst.

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