Skin opportunities. The phrase is used openly

Skin
color is a subject that is rarely mentioned in Latino households, and when it is
mentioned it’s because someone is letting you know how dark your cousin got
over the summer, or how cute your sisters baby is because she married a white
guy. Besides that, colorism is a taboo subject and very little family members
like to admit that they have a preference for white skin. ‘Mejorar
la Raza’ is a phrase that has been well said throughout the Latino community. What
it states is that people should marry and have children with a white person so
that their kids come out better looking and have better opportunities. The
phrase is used openly without thinking that it brings consequences, even though
it can start psychological damage. In a way by saying the phrase ‘mejorar la
raza’ it makes it ok and it justifies all the years of colonization that the indigenous
went through.  This saying is mostly said
from lower class parents to their children in order for them to marry rich and
help the family out. It is sad to think about that people continue to associate
white with better, but can you really blame them when that has been deeply
rooted over hundreds of years (Glenn). In Mexico, 10% of
individuals with light skin have highly qualified positions, while only 5% of
those with darker skin have similar positions. This prejudice, “could create substantially unequal
access to economic, social, and cultural resources” (Hannon). Point proven light
skin Latinos make more money and have a better chance of being hired. In
television, politics, and in schools you mostly see white Latinos. Then when
you turn your head towards the other side, all you see darker skinned Latinos
working construction, in the fields, restaurant kitchens, and as housekeepers.

The consequences that
colorism has on the community is very apparent. In the media when showing a
person of color, they mostly show lighter skin people. They usually make the
darker skin person be a maid, the ugly friend, or the villain. While the lighter
skin person is showed as beautiful, smart, and funny. Since the Mexican
Revolution Mexico seems to continue to be at war with one another, rich vs
poor, dark-skinned vs light-skinned (Friedrich). In order to move forward Mexican
cultural has to acknowledge colorism and has to accept it into society.

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Otherwise colorism kills progress. Another example of how colorism has affected
society has been with telenovelas and television shows.  Sábado Gigante was the longest running Latino
show that has been a symbol for many Latino households. What is lesser known
about the show is how offensive and old-fashioned the humor is. The show always
has racist depictions of indigenous people, as well as afro-Latinos. In an
episode Don Francisco tells a lady in the audience that the indigenous people
will be banging on their drums (maurougartenaudy). A lot of people have the
misconception that because everyone in Mexico shares a country that they are
all the same race, which is hardly the case. People forget to acknowledge Afro-Latinos,
Asians, and the indigenous.

 If an American tuned in and watched that show
what portrayal would they have of Latino people? Even more importantly will
Latino people continue to have such an awful sense of humor or will they realize
how disturbing it is. Another issue is how white the actors all are, only
casting dark Latinos in minor roles. The problem is not seen as a big deal
until you realize how many Latino families are gathering around to watch
novelas. The image that the children get in their head is that they should
aspire to look like how all the actors look in the novelas, making those who
are darker begin to suffer from lifelong of low self-esteem and bullying. Many
Mexicans begin to deny their indigenous ancestry, stating that they are mixed
with mostly Spanish and European. Out of the thousands of novelas shown on
television I only found a handful that portray dark skinned Latino people in a
more positive light. Novelas like Maria
Isabel and Xica da Silva, where
they show indigenous people as the main protagonist, and where the slave
becomes the most successful person. Novelas usually bring an identity to
Mexican families, especially Mexican American families because sometimes the U.S.

takes away their identity. Other times novelas reinforce the stigma that white
people are superior, by providing an idea of beauty and embedding it in their
minds.

By acknowledging
that colorism exists one person at a time can help bring awareness.

Many times, the older adults have
no idea that they have been programmed through years of colonization to desire
European features. A national survey in 2010 by the Mexican National Council for the
Prevention of Discrimination (MNCPF) identified discrimination as the main issues
the indigenous community felt. If the media showed inclusivity, and showed a
cast of people with more diverse features, then future generations would not
feel the backlash. Helping people revert their old ways is always challenging,
but if we change who we see on television, and who we see in politics, and the
work place then progress can be made. It is important for people of
color to continue to show change and to challenge the harmful stereotypes. The
more attention people can bring to the prejudice that darker skinned people
feel, the greater chance of bringing awareness, and a better chance of promoting
a more accepting society that appreciates all forms of beauty.