Friday, April 11, 2008
Selective Mexican Cartographic Nationalism
By now all of you probably have heard of the Absolut vodka ad that features the southwestern United States as part of Mexico. The ad claims a perfect world would feature a Mexico with lands ceded to the Republic of Texas and the United States. The lands were transfered under both war treaties and the peaceful Gadsden Purchase.
Some have brought up how this ad is offensive and compared it to hypothetical ads that feature "lost" Germanys or Russias. There is another factor. The racist-factor of the radical Mexican-coined "reconquista" that focuses solely on American gains. The First Mexican Empire won its expanded all the way to the present-day Panamanian border. When the now-day republics left Mexico to attempt their own federal republic Mexico was too corrupt to stop them. There has been no effort by Mexico to reclaim the lost southern lands. In fact, Mexico is notorious for its brutal treatment of Guatemalan and other Central American illegal immigrants it finds. There is no concern in Mexico about families being destroyed or immigrant rights. The only historical and racial prejudices are turned solely to the north.
Every nation has won and lost lands including the United States. Some schools still teach how the United States stole the present-day American Southwest. Sadly this claim and the many others like it focus on one history while ignoring others (Spain had a claim on all of Mexico and I am sure the American Indians have a valid one too). When a country focuses on the past they are stuck in it. Mexico needs to look forward and realize the future is in global collaboration. By looking in the past the world will continued to be host to hate.