Thursday, March 08, 2012

Traditional "Sleeping Mexican" mural draws TX protest

The image presumably draws on the Latin tradition of a siesta during the afternoon
A proposed mural of a sleeping, sombrero-topped Mexican man has created a cultural minefield in South Texas, where supporters say it's a tribute to a classic image and opponents say it's offensive.

The image of a man sleeping with his back against a wall, knees against his chest and hat covering his face, has been floated as part of a proposed mural honoring San Antonio's first drive-in theater.

"Latinos are not asleep. We are on the march," said Gabriel Velasquez, a former member of the city's arts advisory board who was removed after pointing out the images earlier this week. "We must be portrayed as awake and active and leaders, not as being asleep at noon every day."

The effort in one of the state's largest cities, which is more than 60 percent Hispanic, demonstrates a growing clash in the United States between efforts to preserve and record history and the fight against honoring racist imagery.

In San Antonio, the issue has degenerated into allegations of racism and cultural insensitivity over the images, which appeared on the wall of the theater when it was built in 1947.

The so-called "Sleeping Mexican" image was created for 1940s era travel brochures and billboards, to promote a then-sparsely populated southwestern United States which included ethnic groups and cultures that were foreign and exotic to many Americans.

It was a common sight on advertisements and roadside souvenir stands through the sixties until changing sensitivities in the 1970s raised awareness of its unflattering portrayal of Mexicans as being lazy.



Anonymous said...

"until changing sensitivities in the 1970s raised awareness of its unflattering portrayal of Mexicans as being lazy."

It's a problem with the portrayal of the siesta and not the siesta itself. Studies have already shown that a mid-day nap makes people more alert and productive for the rest of the day.

Those who are complaining about the image based on an incorrect stereotype are blind and senseless, they should be using the image as an opportunity to educate people about the true value of a custom in their culture instead of being embarrassed about it and wanting it removed.

Bird of Paradise said...

In all the cartoons the mexicans are always taking seistas like that

Anonymous said...

And in most US movies and tv series Americans are shooting at each other!

Matt said...

Come out here to Southern California and walk through the hispanic food aisles in the grocery stores, and you'll see lots of products decorated with cartoonish sombrero-topped Mexicans. You'll also see similar images on Mexican delivery trucks, Mexican tv shows, inside Mexican restaurants that cater to Mexicans, etc.

Anyways, the siesta comes from Spain. People, mostly peasants during the pre-industrial age, would sleep through the middle of the day because it would simply be too damn hot to work in the fields.

For the leftist, its all about exercising power, not preventing racism.

Anonymous said...

I like tacos.

Anonymous said...

fuck the illiegal wetbacks,no one wants them here anyway. They all are a bunch of lazy assholes anyway.

stinky said...

I see our troll is back, projecting his self description onto others again. Hi Troll!

Anonymous said...

Hey troll 7:25, I live here in California and Mexicans do some hard work out here. I watched 2 men break up my neighbor's drive way with a jackhammer and a sledge hammer. I couldn't/wouldn't have done it. I doubt you could either.

Go Away Bird said...

Deport all illegal aliens including our illegal president