May 16, 2005

Vicente Fox update: Racist Fox won't apologize; Jackson & Sharpton joins upset voices

Mexican President Vicente Fox refused to apologize for racist statements he made late last week about black Americans -- when he said that illegal Mexicans in the US do work that blacks won't.

Officials at the US Embassy in Mexico City had raised the issue with Fox's government.

Fox's spokesman, Ruben Aguilar, said Mexican and foreign news media have misinterpreted the remark 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.
Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton both offered sharp criticism of Fox's statements today.
"His statement had the impact of being inciting and divisive," Jackson said Monday, noting that in many U.S. cities tensions are already high between blacks and Latinos because they compete for scarce jobs and often have children crowded into underfunded schools.

"President Fox should issue an unequivocal apology," Sharpton said, "explaining the offense only adds insult to injury."

"The words are offensive," the civil rights activist said. "The words he used confirm the stereotype that blacks are the lowest peons in the workforce of this country."

Sharpton said the comment was especially disturbing because Fox was educated in the United States, and "he is not unaware of the racial sensitivities here in the United States."

Fox's statement comes as he tries to influence American lawmakers who want to crack down on illegal immigration from Mexico.

Posted by mhking at May 16, 2005 04:25 PM

I guess this is one of those topics that everybody knows is true, but it is taboo to say in public (outside your respective groups). What hypocrites on all sides. I can't count the number of times this was said by African Americans. But, I guess since we are not saying it in the privacy of our cliques, I guess it is a racist statement. I wonder how many other people were thinking the same thing.

Posted by: cynthia at May 16, 2005 09:51 PM

Mexican President Vicente Fox is a right wing politician and former General Director of Coca-Cola in Mexico and Central America. In addition, at the beginning of his presidency, it was found out that he hired children to work in his farms in Mexico.
Can someone with that resume be sensible about labor or civil rights?
alvaro sanchez
Caracas, Venezuela

Posted by: alvaro at May 18, 2005 07:52 PM

Perhaps Mr. Fox has not paid any attention to the hundreds of years menial work that African Americans have done to survive, which we STILL have not been paid for. My family was never issued any land or cattle for the years of slavery it endured. While the labor of African-Americans was STOLEN AND EXPLOITED, Mexican Americans have it way better than black people did. (1) Mexican-Americans actually had a choice in immigration. (2) Mexican-Americans' labor is exploited, not only by themselves, but through their own government leaders (i.e. Vicente Fox). Instead of sitting around worrying about jobs black people will and will not do, perhaps he should be fixing the poverty in his own country, instead of continuously exploiting his own countrymen. His behavoir exacerbates unfavorable conditions, and perpetuates a society that breeds dependence. A lot of these political leaders who call themselves "for the people" are blocking laws that would give education, and health care to Mexican immigrants. You don't see any black leaders rallying to deny immigrants these rights that we (black people) believe should be inalienable. The reason why is because we know personally what it means to be shut out and refused to be educated and taken care of when we were sick-which is why we founded our own educational institutions and started our own hospitals and medical schools.

The issue is not whether a person wants to perform a job, based upon their skin color... what it is about is education. In America, the more educated a person is, regardless of what race they are, the more opportunities they have. The more you can master a country's native language, the more opportunities you can create for yourself when you think there are none. Many of these jobs that black people supposedly will not do... it's not because they don't want to, they simply don't have to.

Posted by: Kris at May 19, 2005 01:55 AM
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