Americans know nothing about the plot-line of the comic but are reacting to Memin's image which seems to be a variation of the Little Black Sambo theme.
Now Wal-Mart is in trouble because they recently made a Memin book available in their stores as part of a series of Spanish-language titles. After a customer complaint they immediately took the book off their shelves and issued this statement:
Wal-Mart carries a wide array of products that reflect the wants and needs of Hispanic customers. And we understand that Memin is a popular figure in Mexico. However, given the sensitivity to the negative image Memin can portray to some, we felt that it was best to no longer carry the item in our stores. We apologize to those customers who may have been offended by the book’s images.
These two Memin issues as well as President Fox's statement about the Mexicans doing the work that the blacks would not do, sent me looking for some more information about Mexico and Racism. Claudio Lomnitz's article, Mexico's Race Problem, in the Boston Review, states that,"Mexicans, by and large, seem content to believe that they have conquered racism through mestizaje. Indeed, Mexican opinion in response to the Memín affair predictably displayed a sense of superiority on racial issues." If you have time, read the whole article that explores the differences in racial attitudes in Mexico and the United States and affects our international relations.