I first came to Mexico in 1964 and have visited probably a dozen times. With each succeeding visit, I’ve seen the country grow richer and more developed, expanding its educational and cultural institutions and growing its middle class. Many of us know that Mexico is far more than its many poor people and its endless drug wars.
What a horrible, misguided screed! The author is so dense and unreflective that he caricatures and denigrates one diverse nation with a rich history and culture (Russia) while attempting to correct Trump’s equally moronic view of another (Mexico). Sadly, such is the power and impact of Russophobia.
I would guess that racism has everything to do with Trump’s view. For Trump, Russia would be the ideal country which would be a model for the US to emulate. Basically a pretty much all white country run by a dictator. That is exactly what Trump’s political base, and particularly the alt-right, wants the US to become. Mexico is seen by Trump as polluting the US with undesirables, millions of non-whites many of whom mainly speak Spanish. He must see them as eroding the dominant white European culture of the US. All of the advantages that the US has over Russia would seem to be nullified by one big disadvantage in Trump’s view, the US has about 100 million non-whites. He seems to particularly object to immigrants from Haiti. Trump’s ideal America would have large wall on the Mexican border and be filled with statues of Robert E. Lee and others who fought for the confederacy to maintain slaves.
Race is a factor in Trump’s emotional approach to countries and continents but this is way too simplistic of a conclusion. We do know there are other factors in play which are being investigated by FBI now. Trump has extensive business connections to Russia and there are some presumed connections between Russian hacking of Democratic party candidates and Trump campaign. Trump is also very much admiring authoritarians like Putin as oppose to Democratically elected leaders.
Two many factors to pin it all on race.
I have never been to Mexico. I’d appreciate some views on this article. It seems to be written from a bourgeois liberal perspective where success is gauged by cities filled with yuppie “professionals”, and he ignores the poverty, strife and corruption in the countryside and towns. I wonder if Mr. Dubro has even heard of the Ayotzinapa 43, and all the murdered journalists?
I do know that another similarity the author forgot to mention was that Russians are migrating to the USA in large numbers too for similar, mostly economic, reasons. In cities, Russians seem to take over historically Jewish neighborhoods, like Squirrel Hill here in Pittsburgh, and Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, NYC is now called “little Odessa”. And if you get on a CB radio, you will here Russian at least as often as English or Spanish from the truckers. But Russians are not noticed because they are very white.
But at least, as bad as it is, Mexico is still a bit more democratic. The left-populist-reformist Andrés Manuel López Obrador is running, and leading the polls for next Mexican President. His counterpart, in Russia, Alexei Navalny, isn’t being allowed to run at all.
Yes, @Airedale, racism is too simplistic, and business is almost certainly the real difference. And djt is a simple man (as in “simpleton”), and Mexican immigration was a handy meme. Don’t forget, either, the influence of djt’s preferred news sources.
As I was reading the article (which I reposted directly from FPIF), I wondered why djt doesn’t have a resort in Mexico? OK, probably not a great place to build golf courses, or maybe it has to do with laws on condos. Hmm.
Dubro didn’t at all ignore the poverty in Mexico (which you acknowledge you know only from what you read), just tried to put it in perspective.
I think maybe the bigger difference he missed is in political culture (and this may be where race indeed comes into it). Russia has never been colonized, indeed has been a colonizer, and there’s great disdain by, say, Russian Russians for Slavic minorities and especially for Asian minorities with non-Christian religious traditions (to whatever extent they may be practiced today). Mexico is a nation created by colonization, and race plays a major role in who has and who has not. Spanish descent counts, “mestizo” is suspicious. But the national, indeed imperial, political tradition in Russia has always been authoritarian; most people just do not expect what we think of as democracy.
Oh, and I don’t know about Squirrel Hill, but Brighton Beach has been “little Odessa” for long, long before Putin. The US welcomed Soviet “defectors” during the Cold War, and I believe it was Jews from the Soviet sphere who started the “little Odessa” character.
I can’t find in the article where he goes beyond indirectly mentioning poverty in Mexico.
The closest he came was this insulting little gem:
“But Mexico’s rate is extraordinary because of the more or less permanent peasant revolt financed by the drug trade.”
What could he possibly mean by this condescending statement?
The “peasant revolts” I am familiar with is the indigenous Zapatista revolt in Chiapas, and the 43 leftist students disappeared and presumed the teacher’s strike in Oaxaca that were met with deadly force, and the 43 disappeared dead in Guerrero and the various journalists losing their lives. He is dismissing real grievances as just the work of bad guys.
So you want to pick on one small point, where we’ve acknowledged neither of us knows any more than what Dubro says, and ignore all of the stats he presents? I decline to participate.
With regard to Mexico I think he is simply playing to his racist base. The US had pretty good relations with the Mexican government until Trump came along and he immediately treated Mexico as some sort of enemy. With regard to Russia is does get complicated. He continues to hide his tax returns and it is suspected that they would show considerable connections to Russia. Also there is the dossier and we still don’t know it the Russians were able to compromise him. And he probably still wants to build hotels in Russia. He has refused to enforce sanctions on Russia that were mandated by Congress so something has to up when you put all his actions and statements together. Since Russia remains an adversary his whole stance towards Russia should be a major concern, particularly since he has said nothing about dealing with the Russian interference with our election.
I agree with your assessment , with a caveat that Trump is not an active racist in my opinion, but an opportunistic one. He is mostly playing it to the red republican base.
My contention was with the premise of the article which basing its argument on “white” Russians vs “brown Mexicans” comparison . I do not think it is quite valid , considering Putin is very “pro Muslim” when needed as oppose to Trump who needs to anti Islam as much as possible in order to satisfy the Republican base.
Dubro is presenting lots of fine stats, but it is clear to me that he spends his time only with rich urban yuppie Mexicans and seems totally clueless, and worse, does not care about, about the struggles of the poor Mexican majority which he insultingly called “peasants” - when it is the corrupt governments - city state and federal, that are in cahoots with the drug gangsters. And this struggle is hardly a “small point”.
A check of Dubro on the internet that shown his career has been one of reviewing albums on Rolling Stone and writing a book about the Japanese Mafia.
Trump is not an ideological racist. He wouldn’t fit in with neo-Nazis or KKK but by just being himself, a racist, he was able to get the white supremacists behind him as well as others who inhabit the right wing alternative universe of Alex Jones, Fox News, Breitbart News, etc. He is opportunistic by playing the red Republican base but he is able to do it successfully because he is one of them. He doesn’t have to pretend and therefore comes off as an authentic racist and not just another politician scrambling for votes. The only time he acts like a politician is when he reads from a teleprompter and says things other people write for him. Look, the guy lives in NYC where whites are a minority. I think that bothers him a lot. .
Are White folk a minority in NYC, or just not the majority, still the plurality (the largest number, but less than 51%)? Not that I think it matters to djt, but this is a mistake often propounded by the racist Right.
And btw, his father was a card-carrying, getting-arrested-at-a-riot KKK member. That might have been the kind of “fine people” the younger had in his sights in Charlottesville.
I’ve been to Mexico but it has been a few years. They are not really considered a poor country but they they have extreme inequality. I’m sure it has changed quite a bit since I was there. They also have the cultural changes that come with colonialism.