[ September 12, 2010 ]
The injustices of being a Mexican Throughout the course of history, United States has been home to millions of immigrants from every country in the world. In particular, Latino immigrants are the highest number of immigrants presently in the United States. Latino and African-American immigrants,have suffered the most injustices than any other culture. Injustices, that comes from every type and form of racial and ethnic discrimination. The impact that this subordinate group has made on the economy, education, justice system, and population is undeniably tremendous. Did the United States discriminate more, towards the Mexican-American immigrants than an any other minority group? Immigration of Mexican-Americans
During the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), the United States conquered and took much of the Southwest area from Mexico. For any of the Mexicans that lived in those areas, were subject to discrimination. Mexicans, entered American society, as a “conquered-people”. Labeled as “illegal immigrants”, the start of injustices in the form of discrimination began. In the Unites States, racism and discrimination is a major issue, starting back during the colonial era. Racist attitudes and prejudices are held by a huge portion of the population in the United States. The majority according to statistics, 32.5 million foreign-born people are from Latin America, specifically Mexico. Segregation, Discrimination, and Racism Mexican-American immigrants suffered many injustices, here in the U.S., especially during the Great Depression. During this era, the United States sponsored a Mexican Repatriation Act, that encouraged all Mexican immigrants to go back to Mexico voluntarily. However, many were removed by force, and beaten. The Zoot Suit Riots (1943), were racial violence issues against Latinos (e.g. Mexican-American), in Los Angeles. Dozens of naval servicemen, were stationed in the Latino communities, and conflicted with Mexican-American youths. Young Mexican-Americans, throughout the Untied States, struggled to belong anywhere. The struggle to create identities for their people and themselves, thus the Chicano Movement was born (Gale, 1997). Businesses, public institutions, and homeowner’s associations created policies that purposely excluded Mexican-Americans from doing business with them. In other terms, redlining discrimination occurred. School children of Mexican American descent, were subject to racial segregation. Mexican-Americans were also excluded from being jurors in court cases. Many Mexican-Americans were forced to live in separate residential areas, due to real estate laws, and environmental justice discrimination. With the housing for Mexican-Americans, being near refineries, and highly polluted areas, the effects of run-down areas of the local environment, caused unwanted health conditions for many. Forms of Discrimination Mexican-Americans became subject to many forms of discrimination. (Bartles, 2010), stated,[ “ Just as an invisible barrier that seems hard to see, but exists like a glass escalator”. Prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination are based on sex, and gender and are conceptually similar to those based on other biological characteristics, of age and race. The most comprehensive report created in 1996, by the Federal Glass ceiling commission, was about gender and ethnic segregation in the workplace. This report identifies barriers to woman and ethnic minorities in employment, otherwise known as Glass Walls. Ethnic Minority women(Hispanic), make up only 2-9% of the workforce (Sidanius, 1993). Other forms of discrimination that Mexican-Americans have suffered are: Reverse Discrimination, Double Jeopardy, Glass Ceiling, Affirmative Action,, Institutional Discrimination, and Dual Labor Market. When two separate labor markets are defined by two dimensions of characteristics of jobs against characteristics of individuals (Wachtel, 2009). I am culturally defined by the Mexican-American ethnic group, but seemed to be perceived as “white”. This type of identity has it’s good an bad points. I live by a traditional Mexican culture and heritage, but am classified as American, by language, skin tone and class. Conclusion
Since the first day that Mexicans, and Mexican-Americans touched American soil, they have suffered some type of racial or ethnic discrimination. Today, this type of injustice continues to occur in businesses, society, and school systems. A solution will probably never be found, that will be accepted by society as a whole. Mexican-Americans, and Mexicans, who are illegal and legal, have seemed to just bear with the problems. A prideful and fearless race we are, and we are here to stay.
Bartles, P. (2010). Community Empowerment.
Retrieved on: September 12, 2010 from: www.scn.org/cmp/modules/ine-glas.htm
Gale Ceniege-Search (1997). Hispanic-American Almanac 1941-1970. Retrieved on: September 12, 2010. From: www.gale-ceniege.com
Sidanius, J. (1993). The psychology of group conflict and the dynamics of oppression: A social dominance perspective. (pp. 183-219) Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Retrieved from: Google books on September 12, 2010. http://books,google.com/book?hl=Double+Jeopardy
wachtel, H. (1997). Low wage workers and the dual labor market. Volume 5, Number 3, pp. 288-301. Retrieved on: September 12, 2010 at www.springerlink.com/content/m5773447/recourse/secured/?full text.pdf DOI: 10.1007/