Monday, March 31, 2008

Emo suppression in Mexico

This is terrible. When I first heard about this I was going to write a post talking about how unfortunate it was and how people in the United States tend to underestimate the cultural cross fertilization between Mexico and the U.S. as well as the general awareness of people in Mexico of U.S. culture, but in reading the stories what's going on looks to be much more serious than that.

Time magazine article about it

"The trio of long-haired teenagers grasped the plaza wall to shield their bodies as hundreds of youths kicked and punched them while filming the beating on cell phone cameras. "Kill the emos," shouted the assailants, who had organized over the Internet to launch the attack in Mexico's central city of Queretaro. After police eventually steamed in and made arrests, the bloody victims lay sobbing on the concrete waiting for ambulances while the mob ran through the nearby streets laughing and cheering."

Daily Swarm article about it with links to other articles

"There are brand new developments to the Mexican Emo Witch Hunt story. The national government of Mexico stepped in to try and quell the violent attacks and riots erupting over the past several weeks in cities across the country. But the violence threatens to spread. Excelsior reports (English Google translation):"

"As David Hernandez noted earlier, many people in Mexico point to the on-air rant of Televisa television personality Krisoff as the tipping point that incited the violence.

The gravity of this should not be underestimated: The broadcaster, Televisa, is a massive entertainment conglomerate that’s the Mexican equivalent of Viacom and Clear Channel and Live Nation combined. Kristoff’s provocation was not just the equivalent of an MTV VJ stirring kids up, but more like Jay Leno calling for blood. While Kristoff did finally broadcast an anti-violence speech following last week’s incidents, some in Mexico are suggesting that he may take the fall if the government blames the company for stirring up trouble."

This is really shocking, and although I myself am much closer to Industrial and Goth culture than Emo culture the idea of kids being beaten up for belonging to a culture that's never hurt anyone is something that effects me personally.

*on edit: Here's a google translation of an article in "La Journada" linked to by the L.A. Daily
that provides an alternative to the analysis in Time magazine, which after saying that rock music and other U.S. subcultures have only recently come to Mexico attributes the anti-Emo violence to homophobia and macho culture.

The "La Journada" article makes the point, in a round about way, that these kids are attacked because they're middle class and belong to a subculture that's linked strongly to the United States. Lack of opportunity for kids in Mexico makes these folks a very visible target for victimization.

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