Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Was He Mexico's Barak Obama?

Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña
Mexico's First Black President

President Vicente Guerrero of Mexico (1829) and President Barack Obama (2008-2016) have some things in common as well as differences. Both are of African heritage; Obama on his father's side, and Guerrero on his mother's side. Like Barack Obama, Vicente Guerrero tried too damn hard to please the very people who disliked him as he received stubborn, heated political opposition because of his African ancestry. When Obama was elected, my hope was that he would watch his back, and not surprisingly, Obama receives considerably more death threats than any other president in the history of this country. Guerrero's presidential term, on the other hand, didn't even last a year before conservatives threw him out of office, convicted him of treason, and put him to death.

Vicente Guerrero immediately set out to improve the conditions of Afro-Mexicans and indigenous people.

Guerrero, like Obama, had a thorough understanding of the Constitution of the United States. Guerrero was inspired by the Constitution to order the immediate release of every slave in Mexico, be they black or indigenous. Unlike Obama, who is getting heat from blacks, like the Congressional Black Caucus for overlooking the needs of the black community, Vicente Guerrero immediately set out to improve the conditions of Afro-Mexicans and indigenous people.

Mexico does not have a one-drop rule.

Vicente Guerrero, like Barack Obama, was inexperienced when it came to political leadership. Obama, at least, served as a senator before being formally elected president. Guerrero, on the other hand, with the aid of a general and a politician, bullied his way into the presidency by staging a coup d'etat years after he freed Mexico from Spanish rule on the battlefield. Obama, unlike Guerrero, is Harvard University educated. Guerrero did not have a formal education or the social grace of Barack Obama.

Mexico, historically, does not keep statistics on race. According to my understanding, Vicente Guerrero was responsible for this policy because he wanted all of Mexico united regardless of race, economic standard of living, or class. Whereas, the U.S. not only kept racial statistics, the one-drop rule was included where one drop of black blood makes you black. Mexico does not have a one-drop rule.

Barack Obama
United States of America's First Black President

Related Post
The “Soul” of Mexican Independence


  1. Modern day Mexico is still pretty racist. People there hardly recognize Afro-Mexicanos. But there's a lot of flack given to people of indigenous heritage or people who "look" indigenous. I could hardly talk to my ex-boyfriend about native peoples and when I asked him if he was native he kept saying "no no no no" like a broken record. So maybe they don't have a one drop rule in the American sense but most would prefer not being associated with natives, even though there are tons of native peoples throughout Mexico, especially in border towns. It's like here, or any place really, people love to associate themselves with their European ancestors.

    Even a "color blind" approach does not prevent racism. It's rampant in television.

  2. I've heard about the racism against the indigenous people in various parts of Latin America, but you drove this point home very well. Especially your comment, “Even a "color blind" approach does not prevent racism. It's rampant in television.”

  3. Can you give us where you found this information?

  4. Scott,
    You didn't clarify as to whether you wanted information on Obama or Guerrero. Since so few people are knowledgeable of Vicente Guerrero, I will give you a couple of main sources.

    1. Great Men of Color by J.A. Rodger
    2. No Longer Invisible: Afro-Latin Americans Today by Minority Rights Press

    If you can read Spanish, there is a book by Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán, late anthropologist and professor of the University of Veracruz in Mexico entitled, “La Poblsción Negra de México (The Black Population of Mexico).”

    If you want more information on Vicente Guerrero, there are is an overwhelming number of sources on the web that I don't remember off the top of my head. You might want to Google.

  5. One big difference between Guerrero & Obama: Obama's a communist while Guerrero was no where close.


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