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Fox (not the news channel) in hot water over comments

 
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Cthulhu



Joined: 02 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 2:49 pm    Post subject: Fox (not the news channel) in hot water over comments Reply with quote

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/mexico_fox_blacks

Quote:
MEXICO CITY - President
Vicente Fox refused to apologize Monday for saying Mexicans in the United States do the work that blacks won't — a comment widely viewed as acceptable in a country where blackface comedy is still considered funny and nicknames often reflect skin color.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City had raised the issue with the Mexican government. "That's a very insensitive and inappropriate way to phrase this and we would hope that (the Mexicans) would clarify the remarks if they have a chance," Boucher said.

Fox's spokesman, Ruben Aguilar, said the remark has been misinterpreted as a racial slur. He said the president was speaking in defense of Mexican migrants as they come under attack by the new U.S. immigration measures that include a wall along the U.S.-California border.

Stung by the U.S. crackdown on illegal immigrants, many Mexicans — including Mexico City's archbishop — said Fox was just stating a fact.

"The president was just telling the truth," said Celedonio Gonzalez, a 35-year-old carpenter who worked illegally in Dallas for six months in 2001. "Mexicans go to the United States because they have to. Blacks want to earn better wages, and the Mexican — because he is illegal — takes what they pay him."


What mystifies me is trying to figure out what part of his statement is actually insensitive--or racist, depending on your view. No one doubts that immigrants who come to other countries often do it for economic reasons, and that many of them do menial work until they can move up the ladder and other groups take their place. Historically it has happened many times as waves of immigrants reached more prosperous lands--the Irish in London, the Irish and Italians in America, later the Vietnamese, Koreans etc. Migrant workers from Mexico are key parts of the labor force in agriculture as well as other areas; they even come up to Canada, so clearly they are doing jobs no one else wants, whether those people are white or black, because unemployment is still an issue in America.

This doesn't change the fact that illegals are exploited, but that doesn't seem to be the issue here. It is interesting that the article focuses on Mexican ignorance of black people when the statement itself goes unchallenged--do people from Mexico go to America to take jobs that whites and blacks won't do? It seems to be the case, but perhaps I'm missing something. Does anyone feel it is racist when one points out the reality of the situation, or is it simply bad because the leader of a country points out the reality of the situation?
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mithridates



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Location: President's office, Korean Space Agency

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG it's hagwon politics on a supra-national level! For a moment there it sounded like the Americans getting riled at the 'insensitive' South Africans again.
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