Spain’s postal service ends skin-tone stamps to fight racism due to backlash

The postal service made the whitest skin-tone stamp the most valuable while the darkest was the cheapest

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Correos, Spain’s postal service, received widespread backlash in connection to the release of their skin-tone stamps. The lightest ones were the most valuable and the darkest were the least valuable. The stamps were an effort to promote anti-racism.

Equality Stamps collection listed four stamps – from palest to darkest – with the darkest tone costing the least, meaning to reflect the value Spanish people place on others based on their skin color, according to the campaign.

The pale stamp costs 1.60 euros ($1.95 in the U.S.) while the darkest costs 0.70 euros (85 cents in the U.S.)

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Days after its launch on Tuesday, Correos removed the stamps after people online accused the postal service of being tone-deaf, CNN reported. Many people believed the stamps fed into racism rather than actively combating it.

A spokesperson for Correos told the outlet that the postal service “will not make comments” surrounding the criticism and sales of the stamps ended on Friday. The spokesperson also noted that “Correos is an anti-racist company.”

In the official launch video, Hip-Hop artist and activist El Chojin said, “The darker the stamp, the lower it’s value. That means you’ll need more Black stamps than white ones for your delivery. That way, every letter and every parcel will be a reflection of the inequality generated by racism.”

“At Correos, we stand firmly against racial discrimination. Therefore, as part of #EuropeanDiversityMonth, and coinciding with the first anniversary of the murder of #GeorgeFloyd, we are launching #EqualityStamps; a collection reflecting an unjust reality that should not exist, in an effort to raise awareness of diversity, inclusion, and equal rights,” according to the campaign video description.

In the comment sections, viewers voiced their disapproval. One commenter said, “This is absolutely abhorrent. Take it down!”

Antumi Toasijé, president of the Council for the Elimination of Racial or Ethnic Discrimination, tweeted Correos to remove the campaign.

“A campaign that outrages those it claims to defend is always a mistake. In the fight against racism, irony, double meanings, and ‘even if it is badly spoken’ do not help,” Toasijé tweeted earlier this week. “We can all make mistakes, now it’s time to fix it: @Correos you must withdraw your campaign #EqualityStamps.”

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The stamps received criticism on social media with PR Week UK news editor, Arvind Hickman, tweeting, “Spain’s idea of promoting equality is releasing a set of ‘skin tone’ stamps where the darker the colour, the less valuate they are. Can’t see that one backfiring. #EqualityStamps. #Fail.”

Leela Srinivasan tweeted, “Epic gesture, epic fail,” while David Meyer, a writer for Fortune Magazine simply said, “I have no words.”

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