Opinion: Mexico not racist compared to America

"The United States has been an independent nation for 229 years. Has it ever had a Native American or African American president? We all know the answer is no. Mexico, on the other hand, can point to two presidents of Native American origin who were as decisive in the history of their country as Abraham Lincoln or Theodore Roosevelt in the United States: Benito Juarez, a Zapotec Indian who learned Spanish as a second language, and Porfirio Diaz, whose mother was a Mixtec Indian.

Other famous leaders in Mexico's history were African American in their origins: Jose Maria Morelos, for instance, who became the second commander of the Mexican rebels in their War for Independence (1810-1821), and his immediate subordinate, Gen. Vicente Guerrero, who became president eight years after Mexico won its independence from Spain. In the 20th century, only two presidents were of pure-blooded Spanish descent (Jose Lopez Portillo and Vicente Fox). All the rest were mestizos, of mixed ancestry.

Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and even President Bush have recently complained that a Mexican postage stamp bearing the image of Memin Pinguin, a dark-skinned comic-book character, is an offensive racist caricature. The reality is different and worth clarifying. Memin Pinguin is a very popular personage of Mexican historietas , a kind of comic book read by people of all ages, and especially by the poor and relatively uneducated."

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Enrique Krauze: The Pride In Memin Pinguin (The Washington Post 7/12)