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For Black Americans, Mexico offers little respite from racism

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William Shakespeare's famous adage "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" was once just a phrase I had stuck in my head from that '90s "Romeo and Juliet" remake in which the creators made the questionable choice to use the Shakespearean language nearly-word-for-word alongside shootouts and soul patches.

But while walking the streets of Mexico, I had finally found a personal connection. Albeit in a much less romantic and far more disturbing manner. Because here I was reminded that racism by any other name hurts just as much.

I came to Mexico City (aka CDMX) in April for an extended vacation and language immersion. CDMX has become a popular tourist destination. And over the last couple of years, Black American ex-pats had been traveling to Mexico to seek refuge from racism.

I later learned that ex-pats have formed tight-knit communities in CDMX, with organized events and meetups, helping to foster connection and form roots. But if the only way I could find community was through spending time solely with other Americans, then why would I pay all this money to leave Florida?

And the idea of "refuge" still seemed like a reach to me because I couldn't believe Black Americans could go from living in one country with well-documented systemic racial issues to another with its own racial inequality and somehow have a better experience.

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Emily L

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I can't remember which country it is, but somewhere red-haired people are considered to be good luck. If you're a redhead visitor, people will come up to you and ask to touch your hair.

But I tend to agree with people quoted near the end of the OP. I honestly think they are just curious. Seeing something unusual in person isn't the same as seeing it on TV.
 

Court Jester

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Not sure why the Black person in the article is so touchy? They aren't really that special a case.

When I have traveled to Mexico, especially in some areas, I get all kinds of second looks and stares, sometimes even questions about my blue eyes and my height, especially in Oaxaca where the people there are very short, very dark complected, and no blue eyes.

My daughter who has deep blue eyes, is naturally bloned, and also tall, has always had especially Mexican women who are facinated with my daughter's hair color. Not just in Mexico, but here in the USA.
 

Roadvirus

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Racism is the last thing they'd have to worry about in Mexico. I'd be more concerned about being attacked by the cartels, intentionally or by accident.
 

Emily L

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My daughter who has deep blue eyes, is naturally bloned, and also tall, has always had especially Mexican women who are facinated with my daughter's hair color. Not just in Mexico, but here in the USA.

Yes, CJ--that's the kind of thing I've heard from others.
 
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Emily L

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Racism is the last thing they'd have to worry about in Mexico. I'd be more concerned about being attacked by the cartels, intentionally or by accident.

Road, my parents visited Mexico City a few years ago, and as they were walking around, they turned to go down a particular street. A nearby cop stopped them and advised them not to go that way--for the very reason you are describing.

(I am extremely grateful to that cop, whoever he was.)
 

Roadvirus

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Road, my parents visited Mexico City a few years ago, and as they were walking around, they turned to go down a particular street. A nearby cop stopped them and advised them not to go that way--for the very reason you are describing.

(I am extremely grateful to that cop, whoever he was.)
Yeah. Not even the resorts are safe.
 
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