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¡Pinche gachupines!

15 August 2008

The Spaniards still don’t “get it” after 500 years.  Though he normally covers the commodity trading and mining stocks in South America (with some excellent writing on “other stuff” like culture and politics in the region), Otto at the (English-language) Peruvian site, IncaKola News, has the same reaction anyone in Latin America would have to this photo of a Spaniards in China acting like… well… Spaniards who think their shit don’t stink (in Mexico, these guys would be called “guchupines” which in Nahuatl literally refers to a Spaniard with a horse — or rather the spurs a horseman wears — but “racist assholes” is a pretty good metaphorical translation).

This picture is only “shocking” for people who don’t know Spain, Spaniards or the Spanish language. I know all three, and it comes as no surprise at all.

The thing is, I’m quite sure the Spanish basketball team who posed all slitty-eyed for the cameras didn’t even realize themselves how insulting their behaviour is, this because the whole country is as ignorant about their disgusting attitudes as they are. Latin Americans are well used to this kind of racism from the Spanish, unfortunately. It started in 1523 and hasn’t changed much since.

The Bourbon rulers of Spain were said to “never change, and never learn”. The same seems to be true about Spanish sports teams. From the LatinAmericanist, here is the Women’s Tennis Team:

There have been several instances if [sic] racism and sport in Spain in the past; monkey chants were made from the stands of a 2004 England-Spain soccer friendly in Madrid, while in the 1990s ex-Atletico Madrid owner Jesus Gil y Gil threatening to “slash the nigger’s throat” and “shit on the bitch mother” of Colombian player Adolfo Valencia.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Rushing permalink
    16 August 2008 7:47 am

    I always wondered how Mexicans thought of the Spanish. Is it any where near the level that Americans have thought of the British? Or do Mexicans and the rest of Latin America share a common hatred of the Spanish? I read that Vincinte Fox pissed off a lot of Mexicans when he made a speach in Castilian Spanish that said that Mexico still shares a Castilian heart or something like that. Is this the equivelent of an American using a cheasy British Accent and speaking with British English terms? I am curious about this. I have heard about the caste system that the Spanish enacted on Mestizos, is there any way that you coul elaborate and explain this more? It is quite interesting to me.

  2. ... permalink
    16 August 2008 10:20 pm

    Talk about a complicated relationship. How Mexicans think of the Spanish… depends. For the most part we like the good parts and hate the bad. The conservative, right wing people consider that the Conquest was a good (or justifiable) thing, and that Catholicism and
    Colonial art make up for whatever damage it may have caused. Take into account that the top notch conservatives are in fact descendants of the criollos, who thought themselves superior to all simply because they descended from the Spanish (and in Colonial society they were treated as superior to all except the Spanish themselves). Left wing people are prone to consider that the Conquest was genocide.

    During the Independence, mestizos (and all other assorted castes) were really mad at the Spanish and criollos . Remember that there were laws that prevented mestizos from entering public service, etc. Your blood decided your place in society.

    The criollos were backing up the Spanish, at the beginning. But when they saw that the 1812 Cadiz Constitution would remove some of their privileges, they switched sides.

    After the Independence the Spanish were expelled from the country. This was cruel and dumb, and it effectively broke the productive chain.

    Afterwards… there was a certain prejudice. If there’s animosity towards migrants who take menial jobs, can you imagine the animosity towards the migrants that for three centuries took the best jobs? Still it couldn’t be forgotten that we shared a language and plenty of cultural traits. There were always important diplomatic relationships. You may want to check late 19th century poetry and essays. (Oh you, the Iberians/the striving voyagers/the children of Charles the 5th/when you leave the shores/bathed by the sea of America/tell to your Spain/that the austere cradle of Juarez/salutes with songs/your flag)

    There are posts about the Spanish Republic here. Lefties adore the Spanish artists and scientists that took residence in Mexico back then.

    See how complex it is? I doubt any educated Mexican could be anti-Spanish (they shouldn’t, at any rate). But we’re always wary of neocolonization attempts. Not happy with having Repsol and Bilbao Vizcaya breathing down our necks. (This is the context where you may insert Fox’s Spanish background and the reactions against his Spanish-ness)

    Plus, really, Franco screwed them up. Thanks to their crappy education many of them are racist, and we know it. We know that Mexicans in Spain are called “Sudacas” (derogatory term for South Americans). We know they don’t like giving us visas. We can only hope they learn.

  3. Mr. Rushing permalink
    17 August 2008 9:57 pm

    Wow, makes the WASPS in America look good.

  4. FRAN permalink
    31 October 2008 2:39 pm

    tha same way you call us gachupines criollos,gallegosetc we call you sudacas.
    i really feel sorry for the people who after 500 years keep judging us as a killers and racists.
    i think you are the ones who are not learning after all this time.only the ignorance is the answer.

  5. Nallely permalink
    9 January 2011 1:35 pm

    Lets get things stright first of all we call criollos the sons of aztecs mixed with spainards, and gallegos the people who are from Galicia. And maybe we label you guys as killers after 500 years because thats exactly what you guys did for 500 years, we dont give people names just becuase we feel like it. And the only thing that we have learned from you guys is that you guys are worse than animals due to the fact that you guys killed, destroyed our temples, made fun of us, insulted our gods, took all our gold and jewels. And you guys didnt kill us with your guns and stupid armor it was with your dirty diseases, we werent exposed to all that crap you guys brought over to us. We were clean, as a matter in fact did you know that the chicken box at that time was called the disease of the poor due to the fact that it came from dirty sick and poor people. And I think its very logical that thats the reason for why most of us hate spainards. And it isnt ingnorance its using our brains to understand what was done to us, and we were way advanced we were 500 years advanced in medicine and we already had the number zero, if we wouldnt have been intrupted by the spainards we would of gone really far.


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