What ancestry do Mexicans have

Daily discrimination

Even if Mexico has no real caste system, the distribution of privileges very often correlates with the socio-cultural origin of those affected. The majority of Mexicans perceive differences between social classes and racism towards people with dark complexions. This is practically normal.

However, a study published in April this year by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), a Mexican government agency for economic and geographic data collection, sparked debate. For the survey, the institute used a classification system with 11 skin tones. According to the results, there was a large educational deficit among people with dark skin tones, while those with lighter skin tones reported a higher level of education. The same imbalance has been found in employment: fair skin appears to be a factor in achieving better jobs.

In the social networks, the emotions immediately boiled high. Some agreed with the results of the study and considered them to be truisms. The others saw the questioning as an attempt to divide society. Apparently, the representation of the ethnic groups in the media is consistent with the findings. Whether the prejudices are correct is, of course, a completely different question.

Another example is the language found daily in forums and social media dealing with societal issues. The political, economic and intellectual elites often use adjectives and ascriptions to express moral superiority. Certain terms - such as "Indio" - define "the others" as economically inferior and of dark skin in order to disqualify and disregard their concerns.

Conversely, terms are used to describe the elites - sometimes with colonial connotations. "Mirrey" sounds something like "virrey" (viceroy) and means "my lord". The word is used for a member of the privileged class to which he belongs not by virtue of his own merit, but because of his parentage. A “Mirrey” shows off his wealth and influence and at the same time expresses contempt for the social condition of the country - without, of course, recognizing that his position is a consequence of it. A “Mirrey” does not have to adhere to the rules that apply to the others and enjoys impunity, which he takes advantage of at every opportunity. (vm)