Memin Pinguin

A couple of years ago, Mexico’s postal service launched a series of special commemorative Memin Pinguin stamps. Memin is a little Cuban Mexican boy in a comic series that has been going for decades. The more outspoken, emtremist African Americans in the US were outraged, as they would be. They called on the postal service to withdraw the ‘racist’ stamps. It would seem they are fairly ignorant of the storylines that have featured in Memin’s comics. Stories that attempt to ridicule and mock racists, demonstrate what racism is and to generally promote tolerance. But there is no pacifying the ignorant…

Although it has to be said, Memin may well be used as a racial taunt sometimes. I went to a football game between Pachuca and Cruz Azul several years ago, and heard some people in the crowd shouting that a black Pachuca player was the ‘Son of Memin’. But it didn’t seem to be said in an aggressive way, or with any apparent malice. Not with the aggression and malice that accompanies what I have known to be racism anyway. Who knows.

Every now and then I collect a little piece of Mexico. Just little things I can take back to the UK with me one day. You could call them souvenirs, but I think they’re a little more than that. Little bits of history, culture, news, events and of course memory items. I didn’t manage to get my hands on the Memin stamps, so I bought one of the comics. It’ll go into the tin along with all the other little bits. I scanned the front cover and a couple of pages for your viewing pleasure.

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