MADRID (AP) — Spain
's postal service is facing criticism after attempting to highlight racial inequality.
Espaa, the state-owned postal service in Spain, issued a set of four stamps in different skin tones this week, with the darker stamp costing 0.70 euros ($0.85) and the lighter one costing 1.60 euros ($1.95).
Obtain #EqualityStamps and include a message opposing racial inequality on each letter and envelope. In collaboration with @FederacionSOS — Correos (@Correos) May 25, 2021
The postal service refers to them as "Equality Stamps," and they were first issued on the anniversary
of George Floyd
at the hands of a Minneapolis police
It stated that the stamps "reflect an unfair and painful reality that should not be tolerated" and that any letter or parcel sent with them would "send a message against racial inequality."
The campaign, which featured a 60-second video with Spanish hip-hop star and activist El Chojn, was launched during European Diversity
Month in collaboration with Spain's national SOS Racism
Federation, a nonprofit group.
However, while Correos Espaa's stated goal was to "shine a light on racial inequality and promote diversity, inclusion, and equal rights," critics accuse the company of turning a deaf ear to racial issues and misreading the sentiment of Black people
Antumi Toasijé, the head of the government's Council for the Elimination of Racial or Ethnic Discrimination, urged the postal service to discontinue the sale of the stamps.
“A campaign that offends those it claims to defend is always a mistake,” he wrote on Twitter
While the national SOS Racism Federation supported the initiative, the organization's Madrid chapter slammed it.
According to SOS Racismo Madrid, the campaign contributes to the concealment of racism's structural nature
and the perpetuation of the notion of Black inferiority.
Any racially aware person would have recognized what was wrong with the campaign, it said, adding that the blunder demonstrated the need for more racially aware people in corporate decision-making positions.
On social media
, the campaign was also criticized.
Correos Espaa stated on Friday that it would not comment on the controversy.
This is not the first time the Spanish postal service has attempted to make a social statement; in June, to coincide with LGBT Pride Month
, it issued a special stamp and painted its delivery fans and mail boxes in rainbow colors.