SPAIN’S postal service is under fire after unveiling a new set of stamps representing skin-tone with the highest value placed on the whitest.
A stamp representing the fairest skin colour sells for €1.60 with each darker shade valued at incrementally less. The black stamp costs 70 cents.
“The darker the stamp, the less value it will have,” Correos explained in a press release announcing the launch of Equality Stamps this week.
“Therefore, when making a shipment, it will be necessary to use more black stamps than white ones. That way, each letter and each shipment will become a reflection of the inequality created by racism.”
The anti-racism campaign was designed to highlight inequality with the collaboration of SOS Racismo, a non-profit group in Spain and with Spanish activist and rapper El Chojin.
It was timed to coincide with the commemoration of the European Diversity Month and the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death.
Floyd was murdered by police officers in Minneapolis on May 25 last year sparking the Black Lives Matter movement across the United States and around the world, including in Spain.
But the post office campaign was immediately slammed by critics who questioned whether any people of colour had been included in a focus group on the issue, or if indeed anyone Black actually worked for Correos.
“This is classic Spain,” bemoaned one social media user, an American working as a teaching assistant in a school in Madrid. Another commented: “I can’t believe this isn’t satire.”
Journalist Moha Gerehou, author of a book about racism in Spain, branded it a ‘disaster’.
“There is a huge contradiction between the message and what we are left with: a campaign that to show the equal value of our lives puts into circulation stamps that have an unequal value according to colour. It’s an absolute disaster. It is racist. There isn’t much more to say,” he said on Twitter.