The Latin American business blog Inka Kola News is running a translation of an interview with the new Honduran chancellor (foreign minister) Enrique Ortez, recently appointed by de facto president Roberto Micheletti, in which he disses world and regional leaders who reject his coup-installed government in contemptuously condescending terms—and refers to Barack Obama as a “little black man who knows nothing.”
Inka Kola News picks up the offending quote from the July 4 edition of the Salvadoran daily La Página, which cites the Argentine newspaper Clarín, which in turn cites an unnamed Honduran TV station. The translation—with our bracketed annotations—follows:
Following the coup d’etat of José Manuel Zelaya, the de facto government led by Roberto Micheletti has named its new government team, among them the new Chancellor Enrique Ortez Colindres, who in his declarations has made the position of the coup-mongers [golpistas] clear.
According to the Argentine newspaper El Clarín, the new “chancellor” Enrique Ortez took part in a journalistic TV program in Honduras where he was asked about the international reactions to the coup d’etat. Ortez said that he gave no importance whatsoever to the OAS and “the other little groups out there”; he said [Spanish Prime Minister] José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero should “go back to his shoes” [zapatero is Spanish for shoe-maker] and said that he was not going to talk about El Salvador “because it’s not worth talking about such a small country, where you can’t even play football because the ball lands in another country.”
But he went further, defining the president of the United States, Barack Obama, as “that little black man who knows nothing” [ese negrito que no sabe nada de nada].
File under “how to win friends and influence people.”
See our last post on Honduras.
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“Little black man”?
There are even less pleasant translations for “negrito.” If Ortez Colindres really said this on TV, it is a good indication of how the oligarchy thinks of the Afro Honduran population.
Benefit of the doubt
I went with the translation provided by Inka Kola News.
Obama wants to force Hondurans to be enslaved!
“Negrito” is the least offensive term anyone could use to refer to someone who, like Obama, is trying to force the Honduran people to submit to Zelaya, one of the Marxist thugs working for Castro and Chavez to enslave Hondurans and Latin Americans in general, and destroy the U.S.
So you think it is OK to use racial epithets against your political opponents. Did you guys ever consider contracting a PR firm? I highly recommend it.
Meanwhile, someone else on this blog just told me “Obama supports the coup.” You can’t both be right…
RIE LLORA LA NEGRITA NO PASE DE MODA
it is not racist
Back from the grave?
Celia, we thought you were dead. Welcome back!
On a serious note: Yes, “negrito” can be used in an affectionate sense. But that was obviously not the sense in which Ortez meant it. Nice try.
Obama, the little black man.
If he thinks he can run around the globe playing diplomat, he’s got another thing coming. People are not that stupid. I said it once and I’ll say it again: he’s giving conflicted messages. Really Sad.
We certainly agree he’s giving conflicting messages re. Honduras. But to reiterate: If you think it’s OK to use racial epithets against your political opponents, you might consider contracting a PR firm. Buena suerte.
The term “negrito” in most Latin languages is usually not offensive as it may sound in English.
For instance, in Italian, my own mother language, “una bella negretta”, just means “a nice little black girl” and can be meant as a compliment, even though it may be a little archaic.
The term comes from the Latin word “niger” or “nigrus” which simply mean black (sustanctive or ajective).
What might be considered though offensive (or at least undiplomatic) is to claim that the president of USA is someone “que no sabe nada de nada”. It is not just “who knows nothing” but “who knows nothing at all”, something like saying “who is a complete idiot”.
Your second point negates your first. Yes, “nada de nada” is even stronger than “knows nothing.” This is clear indication that “negrito” was meant in a racist sense, not as an affectionate archaism.
With respect I am in desagree with that interpretation.
The meaning of “negrito” in spanish have to be seen in context.
In the case cited, the coup canchellor is speaking, the word “negrito” is offensive. To say “He is a negrito who doen not know bla bla bla “… can not be an expresion to means ” nice little black boy” in this context thats means “A NIGER” …in a despective and offensive way.
I am from Venezuela an spanish speaker country, who used to live in USA for 9 years.
As if calling someone (much less the 6’2″ leader of the world’s most powerful nation!) a “nice little black boy” were innocent anyway!
“leader of the world’s most powerful nation”
So, Obama is chinese?
Was Obama in on the Honduran coup?
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That is nothing
If you really want to hear profanity just listen to *ANY* of Hugo Chavez’s speeches. That will be a life-changing experience, I guarantee you.
Honduras now a rogue nation with a criminal government
Zelaya brought electricity and running water to the poor. He increased minimum wage for the working and middle class. He has done more for Honduras than any former dictator or the robber-barons/business owners who now control and dictate policy in fascist Honduras. The Honduras Supreme Court is the balwark of misinformation and totally an odious opportunist throwback to the 1970s when a renegage military slaughtered civilians with immunity from international justice. The current officers of Honduras military are worse than the former, now adding cold-blooded murder of a ten-year-old boy and 19-year-old man to their list of crimes, while torturing women and children (on par with Peru’s Alan Garcia’s National Police genocide of the Amazonian people to steal their land and hand it over to Shell of the Netherlands). There can be no freedom, no recognizable human rights, no justice as long as the military coup is permitted the the junta is in charge. It is time to boycott all things Honduras.