Racist Nativism Essay

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Nativism, the Intersection of Race and Legal Status While race is a social construct, it has historically been used as a tool to maintain and perpetuate institutional racism that inherently creates social inequities for people of color (Huber, 2010). Nativism is an act of assigning values to perceived real or imagined differences in an attempt to justify superiority of the native, and to validate the “natives” right to superiority at the expense of non-natives (Huber, 2010). According to Huber (2010) racist nativism a conceptual framework researchers use to help them understand how the historical racialization of immigrants of color has shaped their experiences in the U.S. Nativism can be approached in numerous ways, but there are three critical…show more content…
States have even gone as far banning undocumented people from residing in their state and do not recognize them as ‘persons’ under their constitution (Huber, 2010). Racist nativism has targeted specific groups and constructed a racialized ideal of who fits into the “American” national identity (Huber, 2010). A prime example of this is the Comprehensive Immigration Act 2006, which prohibits any person the right to enlightenment, or claim to have the government or any official communication, perform, or provide services or material, in a language other than English (Americans at Heart, 112). The rational behind the passing of this Act, is the government is trying to preserve the English national language. Laws such as this are clear illustrations of how racist nativism is a defense mechanism to sustain white dominance. Whites are historically and legally deemed the native “founding fathers” of the U.S., and undocumented students and people are deemed as a threat to the nationalistic identity. The true identity of an American, according to the Constitution is white. Racist nativism only reinforces the racist nativist ideology that America’s “beneficiaries” are only for…show more content…
In his book Lives in Limbo, author Roberto Gonzales explores undocumented student’s experiences through interviews and data retrieval. In U.S. dominant culture, the transition from adolescence to adulthood is believed to entail moving from full-time schooling to full-time work and from financial dependence to financial independence, living independently, getting married, and starting a family of one’s own. (Gonzales, 2015, 95) For undocumented youth, the transition to adulthood is more complicated, and as they leave adolescence, they enter the condition of illegality. Laws aimed at narrowing the rights of those unlawfully in the United States prevent these youths from participating in key adult rites of

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