Mexican comic “Memin Pinguin” removed from Wal-Mart StoresJuly 10th, 2008 - 1:09 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi
Wal-Mart Stores removed the comic book “Memin Pinguin” from its stores after receiving complaints the popular Mexican character was a racist depiction of blacks.
Memin Pinguin , is the main character and is a black Cuban - Mexican boy. The series started 60 years ago in Mexico.
This comic sold a millions in Mexico and Latin America.
“This is poking fun at the physical features of an entire people. Making them look buffoonish (and) portraying the young (black) kid as stupid,” said local activist Quanell X. “Whenever they are beating him, they are referring to him as Negro. Even here when he is being punched, slapped (he is called) Negro. This is a disgrace.”
“We understand that Memin is a popular figure in Mexico. However, given the sensitivities to the negative image Memin can convey to some we felt that it was best to no longer carry the item in our stores,” said Lorenzo Lopez, a spokesman for Wal-Mart.
“We apologize to those customers who may have been offended by the book’s images,” Lopez added.
A black woman in Houston told the Houston Chronicle this week she complained about the comic books after seeing them at a Wal-Mart.
“I said, wait a minute: Is this a monkey or a little black boy?” Shawnedria McGinty told the newspaper. “I was so upset. This is 2008.”
Many Mexicans argue Memin Pinguin is misunderstood in the United States and that he is a lovable character and not a racist depiction of blacks. Memin Pinguin became a controversy in 2005, when the Mexican postal service issued a series of stamps featuring the character.
The book will no more be availabe in the Wal-Mart Stores