A Class Apart Film Analysis

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While Mexican Americans were considered white by law, the documentary A Class Apart sheds light on the struggles and eventual triumph of Mexican Americans in the their journey for racial equality within the United States. Following the Mexican War, Mexican Americans were subjected to a Jim Crow style of discrimination. Despite retaining U.S. citizenship, Mexican Americans were treated as second class citizens. Frustrated by social, political, and economic disenfranchisement, Mexican Americans sought the assistance of the United States Supreme Court, in what would become a landmark case, to secure the full rights afforded to them as United States citizens. The end of the Mexican American War in 1848 resulted in tens of thousands of new American citizens. After the war, America acquired vast areas of Mexican territory which had been inhabited by Mexicans. While the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ensured citizenship of those occupying the newly seized lands, their equal treatment was another …show more content…

Texas. Although Hernandez was undeniably guilty of his crime his conviction in the murder of Joe Espinosa was deemed unfair by the Mexican community based upon the enlistment of a partial jury of all whites. Texas authorities argued that Hernandez was legally considered white and had therefore been tried by a jury of his peers. A brilliant yet personally troubled Mexican American lawyer named Gustavo C. Garcia and equally talented Carlos Cadena took on Hernandez’s case, standing not on the claim of his innocence but on the notion that Mexican American were treated as a class apart from whites. Prior to Garcia and Cadena’s victory in the Hernandez vs. Texas case Mexican Americans had been denied protection under the 14th Amendment. The amendment was interpreted by the ruling class as a clause to protect black Americans, Mexican classification as white left them pigeon held in

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