Los Angeles was the place to find work if laboring was all you knew. Not speaking a word of English, but able to labor in the fields of California's various crops, Mexican immigrants flocked to Los Angeles. Los Angeles quickly became a Mecca for Mexicans wishing to partake of the American dream establishing themselves and creating families. The American dream, however, became just a dream as harsh unequal assessments by white Americans placed Mexican-Americans at the bottom of the social, economic, and political ladders. Whites believed that Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans had no place in their society: a place shared by many minorities (Del Castillo 7). Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans in Los Angeles were at a great disadvantage despite their great numbers. No representation existed for the minorities. During the tumultuous sixties and seventies, civil rights and especially the rights of minorities came into sharp focus in the United States. Los Angeles would see the rise of ethnic Mexicans and Mexican Americans because of the formation of many groups targeting them and emphasizing their involvement within their community and within their government. "Mexican-American" would no longer be a term used by the group it tried to identify. To the group, the term "Mexican-American" implied that Mexicans living in the United States were second-class citizens; the hyphenation meant lower class. The group preferred "Mexican American" or Chicano and they used the hyphenated version ("Mexican-Americans") to identify Mexicans who had assimilated. The city of Los Angeles by this time contained a greater population of Mexicans and their descendents equaled nowhere else in the world other than Mexico City. It is then only proper for Los Angeles to be the rightful target of an investigation involving Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans. There were many groups and organizations attempting better the Mexican American Condition during the sixties and seventies: the Alianza in New Mexico, the Crusade for Justice in Colorado, La Raza in Texas, the Brown Berets, La Raza Unida Party, etc. Many of these groups were militant organizations aimed at bringing equal civil rights to Mexican Americans taking a forceful approach in the struggle for civil rights, but many militant organizations such as these and others were short lived because they lost federal support (Gracia 29). Two noteworthy civil rights organizations having some influence on public policies during the early sixties in Los Angeles were the Community Service Organization (CSO) and the Asociación Nacional Mexico-Americana (ANMA).
However, in Los Angeles and throughout the southwest, the Mexican population had shifted from heavily immigrants into United States-born citizens. These new English speaking, young generation no longer thought of themselves as “Mexico de afuera” but, started to embrace the American clean-cut style at the time. Resulting in new Deal youth programs...
Mexican immigrants in the United States are willing to work hard and long hours throughout the day regardless of the amount of sleep or rest they may get. Conversely, this is not how Efren Mendoza, a public city bus driver, views Mexicans and he believes they are not motivated to achieve things in life. One would assume that he would understand how difficult it is for immigrants to assimilate in a new foreign country without knowing anyone or anything here, but he is not on their side and it is somewhat hypocritical of him because he himself is Mexican. It is as though Efren sees his own people as invisible individuals because he does not acknowledge all their hard work and sacrifices they may have gone through in order to arrive in the United States. He further proves his insincerity when he mentions that the “new wetbacks [are] picky about what jobs they’ll do [and that they] half-ass [the] work” that they are given to do (77).
The English immigrants are given a brief introduction as the first ethnic group to settle in America. The group has defined the culture and society throughout centuries of American history. The African Americans are viewed as a minority group that were introduced into the country as slaves. The author depicts the struggle endured by African Americans with special emphasis on the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement. The entry of Asian Americans evoked suspicion from other ethnic groups that started with the settlement of the Chinese. The Asian community faced several challenges such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and the mistreatment of Americans of Japanese origin during World War II. The Chicanos were the largest group of Hispanic peoples to settle in the United States. They were perceived as a minority group. Initially they were inhabitants of Mexico, but after the Westward expansion found themselves being foreigners in their native land (...
This book was published in 1981 with an immense elaboration of media hype. This is a story of a young Mexican American who felt disgusted of being pointed out as a minority and was unhappy with affirmative action programs although he had gained advantages from them. He acknowledged the gap that was created between him and his parents as the penalty immigrants ought to pay to develop and grow into American culture. And he confessed that he got bewildered to see other Hispanic teachers and students determined to preserve their ethnicity and traditions by asking for such issues to be dealt with as departments of Chicano studies and minority literature classes. A lot of critics criticized him as a defector of his heritage, but there are a few who believed him to be a sober vote in opposition to the political intemperance of the 1960s and 1970s.
While many remember the Great Depression as a time of terrible trials for Americans, few understand the hardships faced by Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the U.S. This paper examines the experiences of Mexicans in America during the Great Depression and explores the devastating impact of repatriation efforts. America has an extensive history of accepting Mexican workers when they are needed for cheap labor, and demanding that they be deported when the economic situation is more precarious in an attempt to open jobs for Americans. In the 1930s, “Americans, reeling from the economic disorientation of the depression, sought a convenient scapegoat. They found it in the Mexican community.” Mexicans were blamed for economic hardships and pushed to leave the United States because Americans believed they were taking jobs and draining charitable resources; however, few understood the negative repercussions of these actions. During the Great Depression, the push to strip jobs from Mexicans and repatriate them had the unintended consequences of adding more people to welfare rolls, contributed to labor shortages and forced out legal citizens of Mexican descent which created feelings of bitterness and rejection.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” That statement holds strong for immigrants in America. Equal access to opportunities allows immigrants to achieve the American dream. Their success correlates with America’s success because of the contributions immigrants provide to America. Unfortunately, the current immigration policy in America denies many immigrants the American dream. It is crucial to understand the historical context of immigration in America. Initially, most immigrants were from Europe and were not restricted by any immigration laws. Now, most immigrants come from Latin America but are restricted to severe immigration laws. The Latino/a community is one of the most severely affected groups because the current immigration system disproportionally affects Latino/as. Recognizing how the experience of Latino/a immigrants have been both similar and different in the past from other immigrant groups and dispelling common misconceptions about Latino/as today bring an awareness how Latino/as are affected.
The Chicano Movement, like many other civil rights movements, gained motivation from the everyday struggles that the people had to endure in the United States due to society. Mexican-Americans, like many other ethnicities, were viewed as an inferior group compared to white Americans. Mexican-Americans sought to make a change with the Chicano Movement and “the energy generated by the movement focused national attention on the needs of Mexican-Americans” (Bloom 65). The Mexican-American Movement had four main issues that it aimed to resolve and they ranged from “restoration of la...
Ever since the United States acquired land from Mexico, Chicanos have struggled with finding their own place in the United States. In order to prove that this was a problem, the Chicano movement came about post World War II. When Mexican-American servicemen returned from duty, many were discriminated and were being segregated.
During The Great Depression and World War II, large numbers of Mexican women and men joined the workforce, unions, and other organizations (Page 212). The workplace allowed Mexican women to socialize with one another and they finally for the first time experience what it is like to be independent without relying on any man. “By 1930, some 25 percent of Mexican (and Mexican American) women were in some kind of industrial employment” (Acuna 215). However, Mexican Americans were paid less than a white American, especially Mexican women. In order to for Mexican and Mexican Americans to fight for their rights to be paid and be treated like a white American, Mexican women formed labor unions that would you united them and protest against the owners
As long as civilizations have been around, there has always been a group of oppressed people; today the crucial problem facing America happens to be the discrimination and oppression of Mexican immigrants. “Mexican Americans constitute the oldest Hispanic-origin population in the United States.”(57 Falcon) Today the population of Mexican’s in the United States is said to be about 10.9%, that’s about 34 million people according to the US Census Bureau in 2012. With this many people in the United States being of Mexican descent or origin, one would think that discrimination wouldn’t be a problem, however though the issue of Mexican immigrant oppression and discrimination has never been a more prevalent problem in the United States before now. As the need for resolve grows stronger with each movement and march, the examination of why these people are being discriminated against and oppressed becomes more crucial and important. Oppression and Anti-discrimination organizations such as the Freedom Socialist Organization believe that the problem of discrimination began when America conquered Mexican l...
There are many reasons as to what shapes Latinos/as experiences in the labor force. For example, race is a contributor to the labor. Most people have the mentality that Lationos/as do not know the English language and that they cannot preform certain jobs. It seems like they can only be restricted to preform certain jobs. For example, in the movie Made in L.A. many of the immigrants were facing inequalities when they were working in the garment industries. They were treated unfairly because they were illegal immigrants and the garment industries think that the immigrants do not have any say into their jobs. In the movie, they follow around three woman, Maria, Lupe and Maura. In which they come from different parts of the world. Maria comes
The American dream, as some may call it, is a cherished idea by those who may lack opportunities. For those in Mexico, it is something that is sure to have crossed their minds sometime in their life. The United States, to foreigners, has been looked at as a sign of opportunity and freedom from oppressive governments or unfortunate living conditions. The Other Side of Immigration takes a look at the Mexican nation and provides thought-provoking interview segments about the people still living in the nation who experience and observe the effects of immigration to the United States.
Immigration is a very important part of the history of the United States and continues to be today. Immigrants during the 1900’s had many hardships to face and sometimes the “golden land” was not so golden. Many immigrants had very high hopes about what their lives could have been like here in the U.S., and unfortunately only very few got to experience that great life. Although each of the readings had their differences, the theme of hardship seemed to prevail throughout.
The ethnic- Mexican experience has changed over the years as American has progressed through certain period of times, e.g., the modernity and transformation of the southwest in the late 19th and early 20th century, the labor demands and shifting of U.S. immigration policy in the 20th century, and the Chicano Civil Rights Movement. Through these events Mexican Americans have established and shaped their culture, in order, to negotiate these precarious social and historical circumstances. Throughout the ethnic Mexicans cultural history in the United States, conflict and contradiction has played a key role in shaping their modalities of life. Beginning in the late 20th century and early 21st century ethnic Mexicans have come under distress from the force of globalization. Globalization has followed the trends of conflict and contradiction forcing ethnic Mexicans to adjust their culture and combat this force. While Mexican Americans are in the struggle against globalization and the impact it has had on their lives, e.g., unemployment more common, wages below the poverty line, globalization has had a larger impact on their motherland having devastating affects unlike anything in history.