According to the Associated Press, “a series of five stamps was released for general use on Wednesday June 29, 2005, issued by the Mexican government, depicting an exaggerated black cartoon character known as Memin Pinquin, a child character from a comic book started in the 1940s that is still published in Mexico. This release comes just weeks after Mexican President Vicente Fox riled many by saying that Mexican migrants take jobs in the United States that ‘not even blacks’ want.”
The stamps show a boy in black face with big eyes and broad white lips. There is also a mother character who is reminiscent of “Aunt Jemima.” If George Bush were to have allowed the United States Postal Service to issue such stamps, radio personality Tom Joiner and black leaders like Jessie Jackson would be up in arms about the matter.
In Mexico black activists have criticized the stamps as offensive. Earthlink.net quoted Sergio Penalosa, a black Mexican, saying, “It’s a stereotype that encourages ignorance and prejudice. He also said, “We’ve learned to expect anything from this government, just anything.” This continued aggressive attack by the Mexican government on the image of blacks both at home and abroad should not go unansweared by black elected officials.
Where is Congressman Danny Davis of the 7th Congressional District on this issue? What about United States Senator Barack Obama, the millionaire who has become the darling of white America? Do these men care that black people once again are being portrayed as “shiftless, lazy, big-lipped buffoons?”
While this attack on black people is being perpetrated in the media by the Mexican government, United States officials are busy attempting to pass a piece of legislation called Secure America & Orderly Immigration Act, which, if successful, would further erode the American job base for unemployed African Americans. The proposed legislation allows foreign workers to legally enter the country on a temporary visa to fill jobs not wanted by Americans (i.e. black people). In the House of Representatives the bill has been designated H.R. 2330, while in the Senate it is S. 1033.
Title 3 of the proposed act would allow these individuals to enter the U.S. and fill jobs that require few or no skills. They are proposing to hand out at the minimum over 400,000 such visas that could last up to six years. While this is happening at the low end, immigration authorities currently grant hundreds of thousands of similar visas to individuals taking America’s high-end jobs.
Yet black elected officials at the national and state levels continue to be conspicuously silent on this matter. This despite current data repeatedly showing the African-American unemployment rate to be double that of whites. That many blacks are unable to obtain even menial labor jobs because of a criminal record. Yet still today white corporate America continues to discriminate against blacks.
If Adam Clayton Powell were alive today and in Congress, I am certain he would be fighting to amend any legislation purporting to give away jobs that could be held by African Americans?”but not our current crop of “weak-kneed,” “rock star” politicians, who are too busy selling their books and kissing up to the powers that be to look out for the interest of black people.