Friday, December 23, 2011

A Burro Hall-iday Tradition

It's that time of the year again, when we repost this item from 2007 and ask our more knowledgeable readers to enlighten us. Which, at the risk of being churlish - and let us here reiterate how much we love you all - you never fucking do. Why do you all hate the baby Jesus?
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Have Yourself a Mammy Little Christmas

One of the most popular Mexican Christmas traditions is the posada, a nightly procession reenacting the night before Christmas, in which the processioners go from house asking for shelter and are turned away, usually in song. To our way of thinking, this is quintessentially Mexican. While the rest of the world takes this time of the year to "accentuate the positive" - celebrating the birth of the Messiah, the Redeemer of Mankind, etc - Mexicans repeatedly and obsessively dwell on the night Mary and Joseph - nice couple, a bit down on their luck, but still favored by God - asked for one little favor, nothing lavish (and, by the way, something they'd totally do for you if the positions were reversed) and were told to fuck off. These people know how to nurse a grudge - and this happened 2000 years ago, to someone else, half a world away. (This is something Americans may want to keep in mind during the current orgy of anti-Mexican sentiment; it'll be the year 5000 and these guys will be acting like it happened only yesterday.)

So in addition to the regular processions comprised of the miscellaneous faithful, there's an official town Posada Float, pulled by a tractor, rigged with a sound system, that travels around the streets of the Centro Historico every night, stopping every few hundred yards for a song. There's a chorus of little angels, a white-bearded Joseph, and Mary sitting sidesaddle on a burro. The angels sing a beautiful little song on behalf of the couple, asking for shelter for the night, and are angrily turned away by Hattie McDaniel.

If we may pose a question here in the spirit of honest holiday inquiry, what the fuckin' fuck? We expected attorneys for the Aunt Jemima Corporation to step in with a cease and desist order. We know Mexico has a somewhat less-uptight attitude towards blackface minstrelsy than we do up north, but putting aside the offensiveness of it for a minute, it just doesn't make sense. The angels, the donkey, the Holy Parents, all more or less period-correct for an event that happened 1-Day B.C....and then - sho 'nuff! - out pops this antebellum galley slave! Can someone with a better understanding of all this explain it to us?


Crazy Rita said...

Cuz we's all know dat theys used ta getting handouts an' not giving dem and shit.

God, along with NAACP, ACLU, and possibly the Mexican cartels, may hunt and strike me down for that racist remark.

graciela said...

So this sounds mega racist, but my boyfriend from Michoacan says that the black persons often represent el diablo, who is watching everything as it happens. Or it can also represent temptation of sins that is always presents. He said he hasn't seen it often, but sometimes in religious things to remind that the devil is present. It doesn't quite explain why it's a Mammy.

I have never seen this in Culiacan, or when I was little in D.F.

No Soy Chango !!! said...

At least the "Black Face" person wasn't called a monkey and given a banana.

From show "Zero En Conducta"