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MEXICAN AMERICANS

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Title: MEXICAN AMERICANS


1
MEXICAN AMERICANS
  • CHAPTER 8

2
  • Latinos
  • Persons whose national origins (or whose
    ancestors national origins) are in the countries
    of Latin America
  • Caribbean, Central and South America
  • Hispanic
  • An English word derived from Hispania
  • Roman name for Spain

3
THE CONQUEST PERIOD, 1500-1853
  • In 1500s, Spaniards conquered sought to
    Catholicize indigenous population in Mexico and
    southwestern U.S. for economic exploitation
  • Offspring of sexual liaisons
  • Mestizos
  • Mixed people
  • Outnumbered colonizers

4
Depiction of casta system in Mexico from the
Museo Nacional del Virreinato.
5
Las castas. Anonymous, 18th century, oil on
canvas, Museo Nacional del Virreinato, Tepotzotl,
Mexico.
6
Casta Paintings Inventing Race Through
ArtMexican Art Genre Reveals 18th-Century
Attitudes on Racial Mixing - June 2004 LA County
Museum of Art
  • The upper-class Spaniards views on race, class
    and skin color during the 1700s, when Mexico was
    a colony of Spain

"De Espaniol y Albina, Torna Atras" "From a
Spaniard and Albino, return backwards."
7
The Texas Revolt (1820-1830s)
1821 Mexican independence 1830s Anglo American
presence
  • Mexican government freed enslaved people and
    placed restrictions on U.S. immigration,
  • Texas rebellion
  • U.S. settlers go beyond an existing boundary and
    intentionally aim to create new territory (Texas
    portion of Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas)
  • 1836 Republic of Texas 1845 joins US
  • 1848 Mexico surrenders (15 million)
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

8
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9
The Mexican Cession agreed by Mexico (White) and
the Gadsden Purchase (Brown). Part of the area
marked as Gadsden Purchase near modern-day
Mesilla, New Mexico, was disputed after the
Treaty. (1853)
10
California and New Mexico
  • Discovery of gold in 1849 led U.S. Anglos to
    enter California
  • At the time of acquisition, the 50,000 Mexicans
    in what is now New Mexico had long maintained
    cultural traditions
  • Soon many lost their lands to invading whites

11
PAST AND PRESENT IMMIGRATION
  • Immigrants include
  • Those with official visas
  • Undocumented Immigrants or Illegals
  • Immigrants without legal immigration papers
  • Braceros
  • Seasonal farmers on contract
  • Commuters
  • Those with official visas that live in Mexico but
    work in U.S.
  • Border Crossers
  • Domestic workers with short-term permits

12
Braceros and Undocumented Workers Encouraging
Immigration
  • 1924 Immigration Act 1929 illegal entry is a
    felony
  • 1942 Emergency Farm Labor (Braceros) Agreement
  • Between U.S .and Mexico to provide Mexican
    workers for agriculture
  • Today they are not rural migrants but come from
    urban areas in Mexico
  • U.S. economy depends on immigrants from Latin
    America
  • Backbone of Dole, Green Giant, McDonalds,
    Burger King, Del Monte, etc.

13
  • U.S. involvement in Latin America long involved
    U.S. government and major corporations
  • Most immigrants pulled by U.S. jobs
  • Pushed by serious economic problems
  • Maquiladoras (1960s)
  • Manufacturing operations in Northern Mexico near
    the U.S. border, where they can take advantage of
    low-wage labor and weak environmental standards
    while avoiding certain tariffs and duties

14
On Maquiladoras
  • Corp Watch
  • http//www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id1528
  • On vioence against women
  • Femicide along the border
  • http//www.libertadlatina.org/Crisis_Lat_Mexico_Ju
    arez_Femicide.htm

15
  • NAFTA North American Free Trade Agreement
  • Accelerated U.S. investment and manufacturing in
    Mexico
  • Approx 12 million undocumented
  • Most are temporary labor migrants caught by INS
    and do not intend to live in U.S.
  • Large reverse flow into Mexico goes unnoticed and
    unreported
  • Most pay more in income and other taxes than they
    receive in government benefits

16
  • 1986 Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA)
  • Legalization of undocumented immigrants in U.S.
    since 1982
  • Sanctions for employers who hire undocumented
    aliens
  • Reimbursement of government for cost of
    legalization
  • Screening of welfare applicants for migration
    status
  • Programs to bring in agricultural laborers
  • 1.7 of 3 million applications accepted

17
  • 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant
    Responsibility Act (IIRIRA)
  • Established regulations restricting legal
    immigration as well as undocumented immigration
  • 2006 Secure Fence Act
  • Estimated to cost 35 billion
  • Increased number of border enforcement personnel
    and surveillance technology
  • Construction of physical barriers to Latin
    American immigrants including double-layered
    fence to be completed by 2008

18
In a country of immigrants, a(nother) case of
social closing
Arizona Senate Bill 1070 Signed into law April
23, 2010 It is the 1st state to demand that
immigrants meet federal requirements to
carry identity documents legitimizing their
presence on American soil. An example of
prejudice, discrimination, and xenophobia.
19
Population and Location
  • Latinos - fastest growing major racial-ethnic
    segment of U.S. population. Approx 42 million.
  • Latino population in Los Angeles now larger than
    population of numerous states
  • More than one third of the residents of
    California, largest state
  • California and Texas have population majorities
    that are not European American

20
Conflict and Protests Since the 1960s
  • Brown Berets, Chicano Movement
  • Chicano Studies departments
  • Cesar Chavez -
  • (March 31, 1927 -
  • April 23, 1993)
  • Latino civil rights activist and founder of the
    United Farm Workers
  • Delores C. Huerta
  • (April 10, 1930 - )

21
THE ECONOMY
  • Mexicans initially incorporated into U.S. economy
    by often violent conquest and takeovers of
    Mexican lands
  • Mexicans were original Vaqueros
  • Spanish word for cowboys
  • Late 1800s to early 1900s
  • Working conditions in agriculture were often
    severe and wages very low
  • Few whites competed for these jobs
  • Women concentrated in agriculture, domestic
    service, and manufacturing

22
Continuing Language Discrimination
  • Language discrimination in workplace involves
    treating people unfairly because they speak
    language other than English
  • EEOC reports increase in complaints
  • Garcia v. Gloor (1981)
  • Supreme Court upheld firing an employee for
    speaking Spanish
  • Lawsuits over language discrimination more common
    in recent years
  • Language discrimination periodically draws
    protests from Latinos

23
Unemployment, Poverty, and Income
  • Latino unemployment rates relatively high for
    decades
  • Mexican American incomes consistently low
    compared with whites
  • Poorest families include workers immigrated in
    recent decades with little education or economic
    capital
  • U.S. has predominantly service-worker economy
    with decreasing industrial jobs

24
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25
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26
  • Recent research shows two divergent patterns of
    economic mobility
  • Earning of low-skilled, foreign-born Mexicans
    decrease as immigrants reside in U.S. longer
  • Earning of high-skilled, foreign born Mexicans
    increase as immigrants reside in U.S. longer
  • Movement of large numbers of immigrants into
    Latino communities buttressed local economies and
    maintained a demand for businesses that provide
    Latino goods and services
  • Extended family and strong cultural frameworks
    remain at core of communities

27
Immigrant WorkersTargeted for Discrimination
  • Mexicans now neighbors of other Americans in all
    U.S. regions
  • Yet, other Americans treat them as outsiders
  • Growing numbers report housing and related
    discrimination by white neighbors
  • Housing discrimination plagues Latino families,
    both immigrants and established citizens
  • Patterns of discrimination led to Latinos living
    in Latino-majority neighborhoods

28
POLITICS AND PROTEST
  • Before 1910 only a few hand-picked Latinos held
    office in territorial and state legislatures in
    the southwest
  • Gerrymandering in some districts diluted Latino
    voting strength and prevented election of Latino
    candidates
  • Voter registration and turnout of Latinos have
    risen over past three decades

29
Growing Political Representation
  • Recent surveys indicate Latinos are committed to
    working together to increase political
    participation and political power
  • National Association of Latino Elected and
    Appointed Officials Educational Fund
  • Empowerment organization for Latinos
  • Played major role in increasing Latino voter
    registration and turnout
  • Between 1960s and mid-200s number of Latinos in
    state legislatures increased significantly and
    are overwhelmingly Democrats

30
The Courts and the Police
  • Mexican Americans long underrepresented in
    judicial system
  • First judge appointed in 1960s
  • All together, Latinos make up 11 of police but
    only 6 of first-line supervisors
  • 3.5 of lawyers and 6 of various judicial
    workers
  • Arizona, California, and Colorado require jurors
    to speak English, screening out many citizens
  • Recent survey found only 35 felt they receive
    fair outcome when dealing with the courts

31
The Chicano Political Movement
  • Chicano Political Movement
  • Social movement that sought greater political
    power and less discrimination for Mexican
    Americans
  • La Raza Unida Party (LRUP)
  • Goals include significant representation in local
    governments and pressing latter to better serve
    Latino communities
  • Mexican American women held important roles in
    LRUP
  • Feminism easy because of womans traditional
    roles and strength as center of family

32
Other Organization and Protest
  • Union organization has long history among Mexican
    Americans
  • 1st was Confederacion de Uniones Obreras
    Mexicanas (CUOM) (1927)
  • American GI Forum
  • Formed after Texas cemetery refused to allow
    burial of a Mexican American WWII veteran
  • Chicanismo
  • A philosophy of self-esteem and antiracism
  • Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
    (MALDEF)
  • Address problems of jury discrimination, police
    brutality, and school segregation

33
Unions for Low-Wage Workers
  • Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC)
    and National Farm Workers Association (NFWA)
  • Created by Jessie Lopez, Dolores Huerta, and
    Cesar Chavez
  • Agricultural Labor Relations Act (1975)
  • Provided for protection of union activities
  • Many Mexican American and other farm workers
    still get low wages across the country
  • Increasing number members of mainstream unions

34
Other Recent Challenges Latinos and African
Americans
  • Growing number of Latino population in urban
    areas have led to political conflict and
    cooperation with African Americans
  • Modern capitalism sometimes pits new immigrants
    against established citizens who rely on
    lower-wage blue-collar and service jobs
  • General political competition between Latinos and
    African Americans also generates conflict
  • White-controlled media focuses more on conflict
    and neglects cooperation

35
EDUCATION
  • Mendez v. Westminster (1946)
  • Federal judge ruled that segregation of children
    in Mexican schools in California violated the
    14th Amendment
  • Anticipated Supreme Court ruling in Brown v.
    Board of Education
  • For decades, some schools with high percentages
    of Latino students prohibited all manifestation
    of Mexican American subculture
  • Six-hour retarded
  • Functioned well in the outside world but
    mislabeled by school discrimination and poor
    testing

36
Current Education IssuesSegregation and
Bilingualism
  • 2000s, too many Mexican American children placed
    in learning-disabled classes, textbooks still
    neglect Mexican American history, and de facto
    racial segregation persists
  • Children with limited English proficiency become
    discouraged, develop low self-confidence, and
    fail to keep pace with English speakers
  • Myth propagated by nativists is that bilingual
    education is ineffective

37
Educational Achievement
  • Mexican American attainment lowest of three
    Latino groups
  • Dropout / pushout rate is high
  • Poverty and need to earn money to help relatives
    is an obstacle
  • Education highly valued by students and their
    families
  • 9 out of 10 believe college education important
  • Steps to improve public education
  • Include Spanish language and Mexican American
    culture, involve parents, increase meaningful
    interaction between teachers and students

38
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39
ASSIMILATION OR INTERNAL COLONIALISM
  • Assimilation theorists
  • 10,000 initially brought by U.S. conquest
  • Most arrived later voluntarily and generally
    improved their economic circumstances relative to
    those in Mexico
  • Aspects of traditional culture have begun to
    disappear as acculturation proceeded
  • Yet, substantial degree of Mexican cultural
    heritage persists
  • Bilingualism
  • The ability to speak two languages

40
  • One U.S. problem is structural
  • Private and public organizations do not now
    provide enough language training
  • Widespread use of English among immigrants
    underscores error of xenophobic calls for
    English-only laws and school policies
  • Structural assimilation, especially economic
    upward mobility, has come slowly for many
  • Behavior-receptional and attitude-receptional
    assimilation have varied considerably

41
The Limits and Pacing of Assimilation
  • Structural assimilation or marital assimilation
    reached a high level
  • 1970s study revealed some intergroup friendship
    contacts
  • Significant numbers demonstrate movement toward
    identificational assimilation
  • Indicates diversity of opinion
  • Racial and ethnic identification varies with
    class, age, experience and whether self-defined
    or imposed

42
  • Structural socioeconomic incorporation also
    limited
  • Ease of movement and incorporation into white
    institutions varies with perceived class and skin
    color
  • As long as there are major immigration streams
    from Mexico into Mexican American communities,
    traditional assimilation will be slowed
  • Latinos interested in developing or viewing their
    own mass media
  • Fastest growing television audience in 2000s

43
Applying a Power-Conflict Perspective
  • Internal colonialism analysis
  • Mexican American history began with ruthless
    conquest of northern Mexico
  • Problem in applying traditional colonialism
    perspective
  • Most entered as voluntary immigrants after
    initial conquest
  • Most significant difference between Mexican and
    European immigrant experience
  • Intensive discrimination and cultural
    subordination of later Mexican immigrants in U.S.

44
  • Mexican immigrants entered environment in which
    progress and mobility generally limited
  • Low wages, inferior schools, and various types of
    racialized discrimination
  • Internal colonialism analysts
  • White employers intentionally created a split
    labor market from which they received enormous
    profits
  • Power-conflict analysts
  • Emphasize continuing reality that majority of
    whites still see Mexicans as not white

45
A Pan-Latino Identity
  • Anti-Latino discrimination has led many Mexican
    Americans to adopt a broader Hispanic or Latino
    identity
  • Collective Latino/Hispanic consciousness
    developed since 1960s
  • Pan-Latino process emerged as a political
    strategy to accomplish political goals shared by
    component groups
  • Facilitated by shared language and similar home
    cultures

46
Further Reading
  • Acuna, Rodolfo F. (2011), Occupied America A
    History of Chicanos (7th ed.), Boston Longman
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