Columns, Opinion

Our True Face: Mexico is much more than just Whitexicans

When many people look at Mexico they assume there is only one kind of person, but the country is surprisingly diverse. Historically, the land that was rightfully owned by the indigenous people of Mexico and was taken illegally by those of European descent. 

This created a staggering socioeconomic divide in Mexico’s population; the divisions between classes were mainly between those who had more Spanish ancestry than indigenous ancestry and a white complexion became desirable. 

As Mexican culture has evolved, a new class has been born — the “Whitexicans.” This term was first popularized by Twitter and used to make fun of the elitist class of Mexicans in a series of memes. A Whitexican is a person who shows pride in Mexico when abroad, but are classist and have racist attitudes within the Mexican population. 

They are supposedly a class of Mexicans that live in a bubble, where their money shelters them from experiencing the hardships of the country. They believe that all the opportunities are the same for all for them, life is relatively easy. 

I have to admit, I am a Whitexican. I live in the United States, I was sheltered by being upper class when I lived in Mexico and I am white. This makes me feel a little unqualified to speak about the divisions between light complexion Mexico. But the colorism I benefit from should be eradicated and there are not enough people talking about or emphasizing this large social division.

Whitexicans are more likely to get a better quality of education, higher salary, and better job opportunities. A study done at Vanderbilt revealed 45 percent more of Whitexicans are educated compared to darker skinned Mexicans, and a Whitexican household income salary is an average of  $220 a month versus a darker skinned Mexican $137.

In Latin American the idea of “mejorando la raza” associates the white complexion comes with money and opportunity. As generations progress, mejorando la raza suggests we should aim to make are descendants lighter and lighter and look for a partner who has a light complexion. 

Regardless, the movie “Roma,” which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, does an amazing job of representing Mexicans with darker skin tones. This movie does not only give representation towards white Mexicans, but also exposes the Whitexican society, which expects dark skinned Mexicans to be housemaids and they treat them as inferior.  

Whitexicans need to be put more on the spotlight and judged for their actions. Without this they — or should I say we — will continue to exude our privilege without feeling any backlash.

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