I found this less than brilliant cartoon over at Pandagon. Just at first glance it has several layers of wrong. It stinks of so much geographic Northern privilege, I might just need a virtual glade plug in to attach to this post.
You will notice how Mexico is constructed as the gift that keeps on giving, as though it is in the condition that it is without the intervention of western countries…seriously a little thing like spurious debts, unfair trade contracts, forced devaluation of currency, colonialism, manifest destiny inspired conquest, racism, illegal military activities, and one of my personal favourites union busting. The sad part is that the aforementioned list is nowhere near complete, it only includes incidents that are off the top of my head.
The western world is like the wicked step sister to Latin America. It has no intention of helping because if the condition in Mexico continues to deteriorate it offers more opportunities to exploit. As much as the disgusting minute men rail against illegal immigration, we all know that many North American industries thrive on immigrant labour. How many so-called “American made” products are made in factories on Mexican soil where they barely pay a living wage and then avoid taxes and duties? Yeah, follow your jingoist dream and buy all American and in the process you ensure the continuation of slave labour.
North Americans refuse to employ useful strategies to deal with drug addiction and somehow it is the Mexicans that are understood as criminals. Imagine the nerve of these brown thugs growing cocaine and pot because other cash crops don’t pay enough to sustain a family. Why oh why are they so unwilling to starve; oh well at least it allows us to stand on our false moral pedestals and wag our fingers.
This little cartoon is nothing more than a this is your brain on western privilege
commentary. It abdicates all responsibility as though the luxury that we live in comes at no cost to others. Our over sized houses need to be maintained, the SUV’s have to be made somewhere and heaven forbid we should stitch our own clothing or pick our own fruit; isn’t that why we constructed the concept of third world bodies in the first place? I know, I know, we are doing them a favour right? Just imagine what would happen if we decided to release some of the privilege that we have gained through illegal and soul crushing activities….Mexico might actually be a country enjoying a decent standard of living. Oh well, at least we still have a place to get a decent shot of Tequila, while we use the cultural phenomenon of the siesta to construct the idea of the lazy, dirty Mexican.
Editors Note: The cartoon that accompanied this post was removed at the whining of the author. It seems that offering a critique when someone is being not only insipid but racist is a no no. I don’t care if you are a woman Ms. Barstow, it does not give you the right to be an ignorant ass at will. Ta ta and I am sure that you will continue to enjoy choking on your privilege.