Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Oops... They Did it Again (in Spain)

Boy do those Spaniards make it hard for a politically correct, socially conscious, Black girl to love them (except my hubby of course.).

In the latest offensive, racist act committed in the name of good fun in the sports arena, Spain's national basketball team posed for an advertisement while making "Asian eyes." (Please note, I don't know what the correct, non-offensive term for this gesture is, but it's when you pull on the corner of your eyes to make them look "Asian.") The ad was for a Spanish courier company and featured the entire team on the way to the Olympics in China, thus the great idea to mock the Chinese (I'm guessing.)

And wouldn't you know, the ad appeared several times in Spain without making the slightest stir. It wasn't until an English reporter saw it and wrote about it in the Guardian newspaper that all hell broke loose. And now, are the Spaniards contrite, embarrassed, or sorry? No, they don't understand what the big deal is!

“We did it because we thought it was going to be something nice, something with no problem. But somebody wants to talk about it. It is too much of a big deal with you guys (the media) and everybody talking about that.” This from Jose Calderon, a member of the Spanish team who plays for the Toronto Raptors.

As woman of color who has lived in Spain, married a Spaniard and continues to spend extended periods of time there, I wish I could offer more insight into this behavior besides, "They just don't get it." But I can't. I can only hope that with the rest of the world shaking a shaming finger at Spain as they continue to make themselves look woefully ignorant on an international stage, they might just begin to understand.

In Peace and Hope.


Anonymous said...

Is it because the population of Spain is very homogenous, that they don't have the sensitivity as other heterogenous countries would have? What are your Spanish husbands thoughts?

Christina M. said...


Love the blog! My family is a rainbow as well. I am cauca, and my husband is from Mexico. We have two daughters. :)

Anonymous said...

As a Spaniard who knows his people very well, I have to say is that we do not get it, period. Yeah, we have been a homogeneous country for a long time, but that has been changing for a while know. One of the problems is that my people are still very clannish among other things, which does not help our deep ignorance of the other.

Peace out.

Barba tecadi