The picture above of Spain’s national basketball team competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics doing their best “slit- eyed” gestures in a publicity photo for their sponsor is creating a ruckus in the sporting world. The said photo has been regularly running in Spanish newspapers since July and the nosy British newspaper aptly- named the Guardian got wind of it and broke it to the world press.
It’s no big deal though for many Spaniards as can be gleaned from Spanish guard Jose Calderon's statements who just shrugged it off and muttered, “We did it because we thought it was going to be something nice…It is too much of a big deal with you guys and everybody talking about it. “
I am not surprised though since the Spaniards are known for that and history can prove that and we don’t need to look back a hundred years to do just that---
Back in 2004, Thierry Henry, a black Frenchman and one of the best soccer players in the world was the subject of racist slur by Luis Aragones, Spain’s manager when he called one of his players and said something to motivate him against Henry.
"Tell that negro de mierda [black s***] that you are much better than him. Tell him from me. You have to believe in yourself; you're better than that negro de mierda."
Also in 2004, when the English soccer team visited the capital Madrid for some friendly game, the black members heard some whistles and monkey chants from the spectators whenever they got the ball.
And recently when Lewis Hamilton, McLaren’s black Formula One driver came to visit, some fans of his rival Fernando Alonso took it upon themselves to show how they feel about him by painting their faces black while at the same time wearing T-shirts that says “Hamilton’s Family.”
...And that folks answers the origin of the Filipinos penchant for name- calling and our preference to bleach our beautiful brown skin white?
I guess, more than 300+ years of Spanish rule made us like that.
Muy mal! :)