Extreme Racist Stereotyping on BBC Show: Mocking Mexicans


The hosts (h/t Carson) on the very popular and often rowdy BBC show “The Gear” let loose with one of the more racist-stereotyped contemporary tirades against Mexicans that I have ever seen. See here from youtube.
(Source: Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VH5omPNwlc&feature=player_embedded)

Notice that these whites cover many of the standard racist images constructed in the old white racial frame over the long history of the oppression and domination of Mexicans by whites in North America. Mexicans are stereotyped and mocked as lazy, feckless, liking certain “odd” foods like refried stuff (and the British should talk about odd foods?), somehow favoring blankets and sleeping, being linked somehow to cactuses, being incompetent in regard to making good products. Somehow waking up Mexican is also thought to be bad, and funny. Presumably their defense, the standard one these days among whites, is that they were “just joking.” Joking or not, repeating these racist frames, with emotions and host and audience laughter (Loud laughter, notice), only reinforces it in the brains of all those in earshot.

Notice too here the other side of the white racist framing, the great virtue of whites and whiteness, and white made (German, Italian) stuff. Once again, whites are the norm, but remain unstated and the unreflective standard.

I guess they have not gotten the message that all people are due respect and that the old extremist racism is not only “bad form,” but bad for a little island of whites in economic trouble now set in a rising political-economic world that is overwhelmingly not white–and not fond of whites’ historical and contemporary racial oppression in any of its nefarious forms.

There is an effort to protest The Gear’s racism using these addresses:

By email/telephone
tgweb@bbc.co.uk or call 020 8433 3598
bernie.scranney@bbc.co.uk
queries.tgmag@bbc.co.uk
andy.cowan@bbc.com

Or mail:
TopGear.com, Second Floor A, Energy Centre, Media Centre, 201 Wood Lane, W12 7TQ

Mexican Immigrants Target of Racist Hate Crimes on Staten Island (Updated)

In recent weeks there have been a series of attacks against Mexican immigrants on Staten Island, a borough of New York City.  The police are currently investigating another possible hate crime that occurred around 5:00 p.m. on Friday night.   News reports say that a 31-year-old Mexican man was walking home from playing soccer at a local park when he was attacked by five men yelling anti-Mexican slurs.

There is something of a history of hate crimes against Mexican immigrants on Staten Island.    In 2008, a man living in the Port Richmond area of Staten Island took out his racism-fueled anger by driving his truck into store fronts he believed were owned by Mexican immigrants.

This kind of violence directed toward a particular group can be attributed, at least in part, to the anti-Mexican and anti-immigrant rhetoric that is becoming more pervasive in the current political climate.   Evidence of this hostile climate is as close as the nearest Google search.   Type in the keyword “Mexicans” and get the suggested “Related search: I hate Mexicans.”   Also, note the racist images that generated just on the search for “Mexicans.”  This sort of rhetoric is not only created by those on the (supposed) lunatic fringe of society, but by some mainstream news media talking heads as well.  This kind of hostile environment – in speech, in images – eventually leads to action that affects real human beings.

There are ways to stand up against this sort of violence and intolerance.  The folks at Change.org have launched a website based on anti-racist actions, called Not in Our Town. The site is dedicated to empowering people to fight back against hate and intolerance in their communities.  When attacks like these occur, revealing a dangerous atmosphere of hate, it’s up to everyone to denounce that hate and violence and work toward building a community that is safe for everybody.

UPDATED 8/5/10: Another person has been attacked on Staten Island.  A young man, Christian Vazquez, 18 who volunteers at with an anti-violence organization, was kicked and punched to the ground by assailants allegedly yelling anti-Mexican slurs. The attack was the 11th bias incident in the Port Richmond area since April.  Some New Yorkers continue to stand up and speak out against this anti-immigrant, anti-Latino violence, as in the recent “Night Out Against Crime” event.