Racist comic being sold at Wal-Mart?

Call it cultural confusion, but a comic book featuring Memin Pinguin created a minor uproar at a Wal-Mart in Texas. After a complaint about the cover of a comic book staring the comic book character, Wal-Mart chose to remove it from the shelves. CNN covers the latest dust up.

Mexico’s government have insisted in the past that,

“…a black cartoon character with exaggerated features is a historical icon who deserves to be celebrated on a postage stamp — and that U.S. leaders charging racism do not fully understand Mexican culture.”

The character was created in the 1943 and translates to Mischievous Guillermo. The stories are supposed to reflect the life of a poor boy in Mexico City. His adventures are read and remain popular in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Panama, Colombia, Philippines, and other countries. Stories about racism have been covered in the series,

While Memín suffers a degree of racist taunting, especially in the first issues, the characters mocking him are depicted as either cruel or ignorant. As the story progresses, his race becomes less of an issue.

This isn’t the first time the character has caused a stir this side of the border. In June of 2005 Mexico had to deny stamps of the character were in fact racist.

One comment

  • Aw! come on! To call this comic racist is as dumb as calling the same all the stuff related to the Chang family, or Webster, or the appearence of Lone Ranger’s Tonto -Tonto, by the way, means “Dumb” in spanish-.
    Memin is the central character on the comic: a goodhearted kid who also happens to cheat, dam, is mishievous -as any kid- and always gets out with it. The kid is loved by most other characters and -of course- envyed and hated by the bad characters.
    Is he black…errr… african-mexican? Yes! as almost 5 percent of the mexican population’s ascent. And they call black themselves , no hypocrisy needed. In fact, in Mexico it is very common to call “blackie” -negrito/negrita- a person only because you love him/her, even when he/she can be blond.
    Is the comic loaded by stereotypes? Yes, as must of popular literature.
    Come on people! Americans always look the straw in the eyes of others. And Texans! Come on, will you?