The history of America has been tainted with discrimination against Mexican Americans. Find out the causes and the extreme acts of prejudice that have smeared the history of Mexican American relations.
Mexican Americans have been the victim of discrimination throughout the history of the United States. The media has played a big role in promoting the negative Mexican stereo type. They have been discriminated against on the basis of race, culture, language and ethnicity. The Ku Klux Klan in particular has voiced opinions of negativity against Mexican Americans. They are also held responsible for lynching a considerable number of Mexican Americans during the time period between 1848 and 1928.
One of the main reasons that have led to the discrimination against Mexicans is their illegal migration. This is why they have developed a bad reputation and are frequently raided by the immigration authorities. The great depression era saw a massive deportation of Mexican Americans back to Mexico under the shade of a Mexican Repatriation program. The number of people that were deported during this era is known to have been around 500,000.
Various Acts of Discrimination
During the 1940’s the print media played a big role in sparking the fire of hatred towards Mexicans. The imagery in the newspapers portrayed Mexicans as disloyal foreigners, murderers and Zoot suiters. As a result many young Mexican American males were killed in L.A. These riots got really big after some time when around 5,000 civilians and servicemen attacked the Mexican Americans. World War II saw the Mexican Americans working together with the general American population as around 300,000 of them served in the US armed forces. Unfortunately this did not deter the Mexican American discrimination as many of them were denied medical services on their return to the U.S.
Discrimination in Society
Even the school system is not free of this racism. The Mexican Americans of mestizo and mullato descent are the ones that have been at the blunt end of this prejudice activism. The extent of the discrimination in schools was so much that Mexicans were actually forced to develop their own schools to house the Mexican youth. Furthermore the court room was also a place where injustice prevailed in the case of Mexican Americans. They were out rightly restricted from being selected as jurors, especially in cases where Mexican Americans were being convicted.
Many localities saw Mexican Americans living in their own separate residential areas. Although law and real estate policies had a lot to do with this red lining it was still more of a social understanding that led to this separation. The intimidation and harassment of the ethnic Mexican public in America continues even till today, albeit to a lesser extent. With the racist organizations of our times such as the neo Nazis, white supremacist groups and the nativist groups the Mexicans face a continuing onslaught of discrimination. Rather than the problem being curbed we find the anti Mexican American activities being increased on behalf of the American public which is quite a sad situation.