Dennis Courtland Hayes, NAACP Interim President and CEO, said the decision by the Mexican government to issue a blatantly racist postage stamp "is injurious to black people who live in the United States and in Mexico." Hayes called on the Mexican government to immediately cease printing and distributing the stamp that bears an offensive cartoon character with black skin and thick lips known as Memin Pinguin and his mother, who resembles an early version of Aunt Jemima.
"It is inexplicable that the Mexican government would not comprehend the insensitivity of the negative depiction of blacks on this stamp," said Hayes. "Since Mexican Americans, like African Americans, have struggled for years to overcome negative stereotypes you would think this kind of thing wouldn't happen today." Although the Pinguin character first appeared in a comic book, Hayes said, "laughing at the expense of hard working African Americans or African Mexicans is no joke and it should end at once.
Hayes said he would extend an invitation for Mexican President Vicente Fox to meet with the NAACP to discuss this latest attempt to unfairly label an entire group of people. "It is clear that President Fox would benefit from talking to us," said Hayes. Last month Fox reportedly said that Mexican migrants take jobs in the United States that "not even blacks" want. He later said he did not mean to offend African Americans.
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