5 Jan, 2015 @ 13:48
1 min read

Petition demands end to Three Kings ‘blacking up’ in Madrid

Three Kings procession Ma
TYPICAL SCENE: The Three Kings parade, featuring a blacked-up Balthazaar

THOUSANDS of people in Madrid are demanding an end to white politicians ‘blacking up’ for the Three Kings parade.

More than 62,500 people have signed a petition to Madrid City Hall, insisting that a black person play the role of Balthazar, rather than a white one painted black.

“It is senseless and unnecessary in this day and age for the kind Balthazar to be a white man painted black,” argues Miguel Calabria Abad, the author of the petition on change.org.

“Children must know that black people are not just immigrants on boats or street vendors without papers,” added one signatory.

But the Madrid City Hall insists that the choice is not racist, but simply traditional.

Since the return of democracy following Franco’s death, the city councillors decide who will play the kings by drawing lots.

Representatives of the PP, the PSOE and UPyD from the 57-strong assembly will dress up as the Magi on January 6.

“We don’t have any non-white councillors, and nor can I remember there being any,” explained a spokesperson.

For Esteban Ibarra, the leader of Spain’s Movement Against Intolerance, the problem is lack of political representation for minority groups.

“As well as black people, Gypsies, Muslims or Jews do not have any public presence either,” said Ibarra.

“Spain reflects its diversity poorly and this is reflected in ridiculous incongruences such as having a white councilor blacking up to be Balthazar.”

Imogen Calderwood

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  1. It’s not that PC Spain. There’s sometimes more important things to worry about.

    You could be like the ultra PC UK though, but while it’s also heading towards the far right!

  2. It is a miserable reflection on Spanish intolerance that it’s capital city has no ethnic minority representatives on their city assembly. Is there any other word than racist to describe that situation?

  3. Spain is a Racist Country, Lewis Hamilton in Barcelona was one such example, bananas thrown at footballers in 2014 etc, no wonder you don’t have many black people there. Referring to Derek’s point about PC UK, in parts of London a small minority of Muslims (small I said Derek, not all of course) were putting up Sharia Law posters and stating anyone who drinks alcohol in the streets will be punished, I think a few people were badly beaten as well by a few of the Muslims in this area. All these people who hold up posters stating that they want to kill the infidels, British etc, well they should not even be in this Country and all those who have gone to join ISIS, leave them there please, but they are being given a short prison sentence when they return and then let free in the UK. Nothing like a plan to hurt yourself. What about that bunch that were caught who were going to set off a bomb, but where late out of bed so missed the march, then they had no Road tax and got caught with all of their bombs in the boot, that is what you are dealing with here, several hundred people who are so thick that they are easy to brainwash. Not much common sense in this Country and you are right Derek, as I am typing this I am thinking have I put anything that the authorities will not like, using the wrong word etc, you are not even allowed an opinion in the UK nowadays.

  4. “You could be like the ultra PC UK though, but while it’s also heading towards the far right”

    Derek’s off again on tangent doing a meaningless UK comparison on a Spanish website. Put it this way Derek, black people are better represented in the UK than they are in Spain. As for the UK headed towards the far right, I think you need to look at who leads Spain again.

  5. I have to admit this is something that has always bothered me a bit. In this day there is no need to have someone in blackface. I understand there are people who have play the part of Balthazar for years; however, now is the time to think forward. I don’t think it is racism as much as I think society having a hard time with change.

  6. Isn’t the film “Exodus” in hot water through using western Hollywood actors to portray ancient characters in Egypt? I understand many film locations were in Spain.

  7. My kids were in a public ie non fee paying school in central BCN when we left for Andalusia they told us that every day the catalan kids said
    go home whiteys
    go home we hate you go home
    go and take the money from the uk for your education
    they were aged 3, 5 and 8 years old.
    When they won the jocs florals they were booed and hissed at on stage by adults as they read their prize winning poems.
    A national ANONYMOUS poetry competition.
    They speak better Catalan than the Catalans as a teacher protecting them from the slow handclap grandparents and parents pointed out.
    Racism lives in Catalunia.
    Andalusia has been a wonderland of acceptance. Now they all speak Castillian perfectly.

  8. My kids went to school in Andalucía and both were bullied. The young one has a lot of spirit so I taught him boxing but and although he did take a few down in the end the older ones ganged up on him and held his arms and punched him etc. The teachers just stood in a corner in the playground not taking any notice of what was going on, did not care either. I am very glad I only stayed for one year but good luck to the others that are there and schools probably vary as much as they do back in the UK for standards although bullying is not mentioned too much nowadays in the UK, of course it happens but I expect it could be a lot less than Spain. Racism in Spain is not just about colour, it is to do with not being from the local tribe as well.

  9. Correct Reap. Too often prejudice is conflated with skin colour. Spanish bigotry is a very broad church, taking in a wide range of “outsiders”. The state religion could also do much more to educate it’s adherents, running as it does through the school system. But with the scandals that beset them, it suits their book to redirect hatred elsewhere.

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