Spain’s public postal service has been accused of a damaging and counterproductive approach to equality after issuing a series of flesh-colored anti-racist stamps in which the stamp with the lightest skin color is worth more than twice as much than the darker. .
On Tuesday, Correos España unveiled the series of four “equality stamps”: a pale € 1.60, a slightly darker € 1.50, a brown at € 0.80 and a black at € 0.70 .
The Postal Service said the initiative, which was developed in collaboration with the national SOS Racism federation, was launched on the first anniversary of George Floyd’s murder to help highlight lingering inequalities.
“At Correos, we believe that a person’s value should not have color, which is why we are launching Equality Stamps, a collection of stamps in which the darker the color of the stamp, the less its value.” the service said in a tweet. “It’s a reflection of a painful and unjust reality that shouldn’t exist.”
But the project was quickly criticized online by anti-racist activists.
Antumi Toasijé, a historian who chairs the Government Council for the Elimination of Racial or Ethnic Discrimination, said: “A campaign that infuriates those it tries to defend is always a mistake” and called on Correos to withdraw the stamps.
“When it comes to fighting racism, irony, double meanings and ‘You have to talk about it even if it’s wrong’ don’t help” he said in a tweet. “We can all make mistakes, but it’s time to fix this one.”
The Madrid branch of SOS Racismo also deplored this initiative. ” [This] unfortunate campaign shows how necessary it is to create a better anti-racist understanding in Spain ”, It said. “Racism is not just about the color of the skin; it is a systemic and historical problem that has been constructed to privilege certain sectors of society and belittle others.
Moha Gerehou, a Spanish author and former president of SOS Racismo Madrid, told The Associated Press that the stamps were “an insurmountable contradiction,” adding: “In the end, an anti-racist campaign sent a clearly racist message.”
Correos España has been asked for comments.