Mexican President apologises for racist remark on US jobs

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The Independent US

Vicente Fox, the President of Mexico, bruised by fall-out from comments he made that Mexicans performed tasks in the United States that "not even blacks" would do, promised to join with the Rev Jesse Jackson to unite Mexicans and African Americans in the struggle to overcome racial bias.

Vicente Fox, the President of Mexico, bruised by fall-out from comments he made that Mexicans performed tasks in the United States that "not even blacks" would do, promised to join with the Rev Jesse Jackson to unite Mexicans and African Americans in the struggle to overcome racial bias.

"He now realises the gravity of the statement he made and the ramifications," Mr Jackson said after flying to Mexico City to meet President Fox. "We cannot let the forces of greed manipulate blacks and browns into confrontation."

Mr Fox made the remarks last weekend, apparently airing his frustration at delays in the implementation of new immigration agreements promised long ago by President George Bush. They caused an instant furore in the US. On Tuesday, a State Department spokesman said Mr Fox had been "very insensitive and inappropriate" and said that the US embassy in Mexico City had raised the issue there. In his efforts to cool the row, Mr Fox apologised in telephone calls to black leaders in the US, including Mr Jackson and the Rev Al Sharpton, who is also expected to visit Mexico City this week.

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