MovieChat Forums > Roma (2018) Discussion > Race and Class in Mexico

Race and Class in Mexico


White Mexicans are still at the top due to Spanish Colonialism.

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I learned about this from ROMERO. Mexicans are white Spaniards or brown Indians. No idea what Latino means in that context.

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Many mexicans aren't white or Indian. Most are mestizos (mixed).

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Many mestizos often identify as white(Spanish) which just confuses things all the more.

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That "you indentify therefore you are" is very postmodern. Either you are objectively something or you are not.

I'd say that unless the person is crearly very white-looking or is a son/daughter of recent European inmigrants or his/her family has always lived in a racially segregated zone or class, is hard to claim racial purity in latino countries.

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What their true ancestry may be was mostly besides the point. The point being that many mestizos choose to officially identify as white(Spanish) rather than native or mixed. It seems to be because it's seen as socially advantageous in many Latin American countries as well as for immigrating to western dominated countries such as the U.S.

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That was several centuries ago. Isn't about time to look for new excuses?

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But it's true. Colonial institutions are still prevalent in Latin America. You can just see this when you look at the race of the elites and the race of the poorest people

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Mexico has been independent for more than 2 centuries, about 7 generations. Again, isn't about time to look for new excuses?

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First, thanks for this thread, all. I appreciate the learning opportunity.

You can just see this when you look at the race of the elites and the race of the poorest people


Would I be correct in thinking the elites are white, the poorest are Indian, and the...middle class?...is mestizo?

Still not sure where Latino/Latina fits in.

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First, i need to say that i'm not Mexican but Colombian. Though i think i'm making an accurate generalization, racial composition in our countries varies.

Would I be correct in thinking the elites are white, the poorest are Indian, and the...middle class?...is mestizo?


It's true that it may be reductionist up to a certain point, because is not too rare to find some mestizos or brown-skinned people in priviledged postitions. For example, look at the current Mexican president Manuel López Obrador. He looks racially indigenous to me. However, on average, yes, economical and political elites are whiter than the rest of the people, and indigenous people and black people have singnificant higher poverty rates.

It's a little like in the US: Black people are on average poorer than white people, but you have already had a black president and there are many examples of succesful black persons. Even though black people may be "equal" in the law now, given that there was a (long) history of racial segregation and economic exclusion and racism still exist to some extent, you still have an economic gap in the present. The difference is that in our countries non-whites are the majority of people so white priviledge is distributed worse. Also, some countries still lack the public discussion about race.

The situation you saw in the movie: white rich people having indigenous-looking servants, isn't uncommon. In Colombia you can still see what you saw in that movie "The Help" in some places. Pic related: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zXw2-LWV20s/Tt_AMg-m6UI/AAAAAAAAAvs/Mh_-VKrbycI/s640/poderosas.jpeg

But that's not even the worst. The worst is that you can still find postcolonial-extractivist institutions in our political systems. Read that book "Why Nations Fail" by James Robinson and Acemoglu. I believe it explains well why are we so poor.

Sorry if my English sucks too much and isn't comprensible

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You're doing great except that Google says I should search "postcolonial-extractive institutions" instead of "postcolonial-extractivist institutions." :)

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Look at that! Top link - review of "Why Nations Fail"!!!

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For those who, like me, were unfamiliar:

Acemoglu and Robinson theorize that there are two kinds [of political institutions, which are asserted to be the real determiner of national success or failure] — “extractive” institutions in which a “small” group of individuals do their best to exploit the rest of the population, and “inclusive” institutions in which “many” people are included in the process of governing.


From Huffington Post, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-k-levine/why-nations-fail_b_2007916.html

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[deleted]

I thought that was Cubans?

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