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Re: Allan Wall's blog item Correcting the "Correction" about the Mexican Miss Universe's WhitenessFrom: Erick Fuessner [Email him]
Karin Ontiveros, Miss Mexico 2010
I suggest than Sr. Wall's article [Miss Mexico Crowned Miss Universe And Guess What—She's White!] would have been more accurately titled: "Miss Mexico Crowned Miss Universe, and guess what? She's a Euro Mexican".
Señorita Navarrete, although she is (apparently) predominantly of European ancestry, would be cataloged as a Mestiza in official statistics. To be more specific she is a Castiza. A Castiza (female) or Castizo (male) is a subdivision in the Mestizo category to refer to persons of mixed ancestry but still predominantly European—although still considered to be non-white in Mexico.
The Mestizo concept it is a very tricky one, especially in cases in which a person who has either predominantly Indian or European ancestry but is slightly mixed—that person fits instantly in the Mestizo (male) or Mestiza (female) category. By their ancestry and physical look, that very same person could be classified as an Indian or as a European without much trouble in both race and official statistics, but it does not happen.
Why? Well, let's say there is a considerable Mestizo population in Mexico—but it is not as large as the government always wanted to make both insiders and outsiders believe.
In order to avoid the brutal brown vs. white race wars that have happened in other parts of Latin America, the Mexican government adopted the Mestizo myth, saying we are all Mestizos and that's it. Obviously, this was in part done to protect Euro Mexicans, a minority usually found in the higher socioeconomic levels, from the largely impoverished Amerindian population.
Currently, the white population in Mexico is a minority estimated variously depending on the source: for example, the CIA World Fact book says 9 % or about 12 million; the State of Mexico University says it is 15 % or about 17 million; and the Encyclopedia Britannica says is about 17- 18 % or 19 million. That would be a considerable if Mexico were a country with a population of about 34 million, like Argentina, but it is decidedly a minority in a country with a population of about 115 million.
If persons classed as Mestizos who are ethnically Indians or Europeans were redistributed into their respective categories in the official statistics, the proportions of Amerindian, European and even African people would increase considerably, which probably the government doesn't want.
In a country in which whites are a minority, a person with tan skin will be judged as non-white by the general population even though that person has a considerable chunk of European ancestry. That is why the average man in Mexico, if asked if Jimena Navarrete is white, will answer "no" and will think that Señorita Navarrete is just a Mestiza who is a Morena Clara despite her evident predominance of European ancestry.
However as Sr. Wall says:
"The preponderance of white (Euro-Mexican) beauty queens is yet another evidence of Mexico's racial hierarchy. The higher you go up the Mexican socioeconomic ladder, the whiter the Mexicans are."That is a fact and applies not only to Mexican beauty queens. It is true for most aspects of Mexico's socioeconomic life—and is also present in other Latin American nations, a problem directly inherited from Spain and Portugal).
And that's the reason why some clueless foreigners, especially Americans, are shocked when they see the ancestry of Mexicans in the upper classes and upper middle classes compared to the ancestry of those fellows entering illegally in the US to perform menial jobs.
I would like to add some points to Steve Sailer's America's Imported Caste System and Importing Mexico's Worsening Racial Inequality but I have extended too much in this letter so I would save it for the next one.
James Fulford writes: Thanks again to Sr. Fuessner. We are running it to illustrate how important this stuff is in Mexico, ("right up there with oxygen" as I put it once) and because it gives us an excuse to run pictures of Karin Ontiveros. A sociological note—the broad-brimmed hat that Senorita Ontiveros is wearing in the top picture is traditionally intended to prevent suntanning.