Activist Still Angry after Wal-Mart Pulls Racist Comic

July 10, 2008 03:36 PM
by Rachel Balik
Wal-Mart removed the Mexican comic Memín Pinguin from shelves after accusations of racism, but Black Panther Activist Quanell X wants a public apology.

30-Second Summary

After flipping through a Spanish-language comic book she found on the shelves at Walmart, Shawnedria McGinty thought, “This is, you know, rude.” “Memín Pinguin” depicts a Cuban boy living in Mexico; he looks remarkably like a monkey and embodies crude and outdated stereotypes about African-Americans.

McGinty contacted local activist Quanell X, a member of the New Black Panthers Party, who contacted Wal-Mart and got the store to take the book off the shelves. “This is poking fun at the physical features of an entire people,” he said. Wal-Mart issued a statement: “we understand that Memín is a popular figure in Mexico. However, given the sensitivity to the negative image Memín can portray to some, we felt that it was best to no longer carry the item in our stores.” Quanell X felt the statement was insufficient, and believes that Wal-Mart should have apologized to the entire African-American community.

Memín has inspired American anger before. When Mexico released Memín commemorative postage stamps in 2005, the U.S. Government and Mexico’s black community chastised Mexico for perpetuating the usage of a racist symbol.

Headline Link: ‘After Houston complaint, Wal-Mart pulls comic book’

Reactions: Beloved cultural icon or crude racial stereotype?

Background: Mexico releases ‘racist’ Memín stamp

Key Player: Quanell X


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