May 9, 2005, 1:56 PM
Post #1 of 28
In the spirit of enquiry, I would like to compare my own experience of certain aspects of the behaviour of la gente mexicana (a small minority, at least), with that of other readers.
I am sure that many of us have been overcharged, or short-changed, for goods and services, simply because of our whiteness. Was it done by the unscrupulous, thinking they could exploit our ignorance? Or was it done in the spirit of maliciousness, as a way to 'stick it to Whitey'. Was it racism or rudeness?
In similar vein, I have been spat at in the streets of downtown Tampico on more than three occasions. I am not speaking of a phlegmy hawking into the gutter near where I stood at that moment, but a full throat-load deposited vehemently at my very feet (and once actually upon my person) - and, on the most recent occasion, accompanied by a furtive mutter of, 'Pinche Gringo'. Rudeness or racism?
Today, in the market, an old man was blocking the passage alongside our store, chatting animatedly to friends. As I wished to pass by I politely asked, 'Con permiso, señor, por favor.' He turned and shoved me aside me with a cry of, 'Andalé! Gringo cabron!'. Rudeness or racism?
From what I can gather, there is a good deal of latent racist feeling in Mexico towards the darker-skinned. My guess is that there is not only an inversion of this amongst those folk but, additionally, a common hatred of the norteamericano - hence, 'pocho' as an insult.
Has anyone else experienced such treatment and wondered in what spirit it was meant? Or is someone going to tell me that either I deserved it or it was meant in a humourous manner?