Just a couple of days back, the US rebuked Mexico for introducing a stamp that supposedly had racist undertones. The stamp is of a mexican cartoon character, Memin Pinguin. The US said Mexico failed to show proper respect to the black populations (ahem, african american in america), and that it was propagating a false stereotype of that particular race.
I see it mainly as a failure of US to understand what the character means to the mexican (now, I am not a mexican, and so don't claim any better understanding. However, America seems to be imposing its own racially discriminatory view here.)
More notably, such 'discrimination' is a part of the american philatelic tradition, too - Speedy Gonzales (remember the song by Pat Boone) - Speedy Gonzales is the mexican version of the italian Casanova, or the spanish Don Juan - only, with a twist. He is perceived to represent the mexican stereotype - lazy, drunk, and womanising. So, what happened to all the american yap when they were printing that stamp? What happened to Jesse Jackson's (the self-proclaimed torch-bearer of all black culture in america) 'racial discrimation' view? Why didn't he see it in the Speedy Gonzales stamps? It sure looks like he isn't really interested in discrimination. He is just interested in blacks. A very familiar case of one bigot fighting against the bigotry of others! Great , simply great!
Another thing, there are too many american (cartoon) stamps that portray violence (from cartoons). While it is by itself innocuous (at least to me), using the 'american yardstick' should lead us to accuse America of not respecting basic human morals/feelings. I mean, isn't violence something to resist (even as per the american constitution)?
As far as I can see, those people who see racism in the Memin Pinguin stamps are themselves either racist 'whites' or obsessed 'blacks'. Too many whites in america are racist, and too many blacks in america are overly sensitive about such crap because of this. So, what the whites usually do is keep mum about their feelings - doesn't mean they don't have them, and in fact lash out at anyone who does voice his opinion. Note, it happens all too often that a black man can make fun of both white people and balck people (pretty openly), but rarely do you see the opposite - of a white man making fun of both - the moment he does it, he is deemed racist. The term racism has gained an all together new meaning in america (and perhaps the whole world). It no more means the 'discrimination against the people of a particular race'. Rather, it now means, 'discrimination against minority races', more specifically, 'black minorities' in america.
Similar problems exist in India too. Let a muslim or a christian or a 'lower caste' hindu open up a school or office only for 'his people' - this is hailed as good coomunity service, while a similar action on the majority hindu's (or more specifically brahmins') part is immediately deemed communal and anti-social! The indian constitution forbids 'casteism', yet when it comes to admissions in schools and employment opportunity, 'low caste' quotas are openly accepted. Where the hell is the constitutional right for all the others then? Many, have claimed that such sops help decrease the divide. But, long gone are those days where only the low-caste' people are economically challenged or only the 'higher caste' people are basking in plenty. If any sop needs to be given, it has to be for the 'poor' people. Yes, i agree the overlap is huge between the so called low-classes and the poor, but if the idea is to help the people without opportunity then, why not include the 'high-caste' people who are poor - they lack opportunities too! All i see here is the same blatant violation of the constitutional rights by the indian govt. that is shown by its american couterpart.
I guess, it is not 'racism' but 'discrimiantion' that has a new meaning. I am not pro-hindu or pro-white. All i am saying is, let everyone have the same freaking privileges!