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Latino issues thesis

Share on Twitter. Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media Abstract The Latino population is growing faster in the southeastern United States than anywhere else in the country and impacting communities on numerous fronts. This study sheds light on the complexity of how Latinos are represented in North Carolina's news media and ultimately deals with questions of belonging and of rights.

The results show how societal forces work to marginalize groups, yet at the same time, that the marginalized have opportunities to counter the hegemonic discourses and practices. I used content analysis to examine five issues, then selected two, the changes to driver's license rules and the Mt. The content analysis found that coverage of the Mt.

Olive boycott and changes to policies for issuing driver's licenses were the least covered issues despite being the most important regarding immigrant Latino rights. Additionally, the content analysis raised questions about what constitutes a "Latino" issue. Constructing Latinos as "them" and attaching criminality justified taking away their access to resources, namely a driver's license.

In the CDA of the Mt. Olive boycott, the Anglo and Latino newspapers used different discourses to talk about labor and economic justice for farmworkers. Anglo newspapers relied on the South's antiunion script to construct Mt.

Olive as an innocent victim of a politically-motivated, northern labor union. In contrast, the Latino newspapers gave the Farm Labor Organizing Committee FLOC a voice which they used to assert their struggle as a just and noble one - an example of the powerless fighting for what they rightly deserved.

I conclude by mapping the issues onto a cultural citizenship continuum and propose that future research may define Latino issues based on this framework. In addition, I suggest that Latino newspapers find examples in which they have successfully articulated alternative discourses and model future struggles on these examples. Parents: This work has no parents.

South Public Press to Select an action Download. Tweet Share. Master's Papers Deposit your masters paper, project or other capstone work. Scholarly Articles and Book Chapters Deposit a peer-reviewed article or book chapter. In the current essay, I will mostly focus on Mexican Americans and Mexican American organizations, particularly in the discussion of the historical roots of Latino struggles for inclusion. Mexican Americans were present in both larger numbers and higher concentrations than other Latino communities earlier in U.

The pool of issues set by these early Mexican American organizations served, in part, as the foundation for pan-ethnic Latino organizing in the s and beyond. I will also focus primarily on collective efforts for inclusion; it is this collective demand and voice as Latinos that defines the Latino politics discussed in this essay. Prior to the contemporary era, collective efforts primarily took the form of community-based, civic, and trade union organizing. In the current era the period after the civil rights revolution of the s , electoral politics and voting added to the palette of collective political activities.

This focus on collective activities is not to minimize the role of key individuals. Instead, it emerges from the recognition that the story of Latino political inclusion stems from diverse efforts across the country and across Latino national origin groups to build a collective and inclusive political voice that could be sustained and expanded over time.

Latino collective organizing to achieve a civic and political voice is a largely 20th and 21st-century phenomenon. While the Latino presence in the U. Consequently, demands were primarily individual rather than collective.

Why was this the case? The story varies somewhat by region, but the primary answer is found in the form of colonial incorporation of early U. Latino populations. In the years just after the end of the U. To some extent, this now Mexican American elite did share in the political leadership of the new states and territories of the U.

Southwest, but their numbers were small. In addition, conflict quickly emerged throughout the Southwest between the former Mexican subjects and Anglo populations, many of whom were new migrants after the end of the war and who viewed the Mexican American population as racially subordinate. Consequently, in the years that followed the end of the U.

Many lost their lands; others intermarried with Anglo migrants leading to the loss of ethnic identity within a generation or two. By , there were few Mexican American leaders outside of the territory of New Mexico and the Mexican American community was almost entirely made up of agricultural workers and urban laborers. Neither had the resources to organize collectively nor to make more than sporadic political demands.

New Mexico proves an exception to this pattern of declining political influence of pre-war elites and their children. European-descended whites did not migrate to the territory of New Mexico in the same numbers they did to other parts of the Southwest. As a result, the Hispano population of the territory continued to dominate state politics into the 20th century. The presence of the Hispano state leaders and their insistence on maintaining New Mexico's bilingualism, however, slowed the admission of New Mexico and Arizona as states.

The addition of Puerto Rico to the U. The Jones Act of , which granted a limited form of U. These struggles, however, did not result in the full incorporation of Puerto Ricans into the U. They were largely fought from Puerto Rico during this period and involved few Latinos in the U. Despite the fact that there was little collective action to demand civic inclusion in Mexican American and Puerto Rican communities in the late 19th century, there were efforts by individuals to highlight inequalities and obstacles.

Mexican Americans in the Southwest, for instance, used the federal and state courts to assert their citizenship rights. Territory of New Mexico []. The courts were also the locus of Mexican American demands for the enforcement of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo's protections of the property rights of Mexican Americans who had owned land in the Southwest before the U. During this period, local political machines also courted Latino voters. This form of organization existed in New Mexico and South Texas; the New York Democratic machine intermittently sought the votes of Puerto Ricans in some elections and excluded them in others as late as the s.

For the most part, however, these machines engaged Latino communities to serve the ends of the political parties and Latinos had little influence on the people their votes elected. In the early period of Mexican American presence in the Southwest, some unions organized Latino workers, particularly the mining unions and the anarchists.

This union outreach was the exception rather than the rule, however, and did not add to the community's public leadership. Because of their concentration and the relatively lower share of whites, Mexican Americans in New Mexico Hispanos had more collective voice in this period than did Mexican Americans in other states.

Several of the territorial governors were Hispano as were many members of New Mexico's Constitutional Convention which preceded New Mexico's statehood. At the turn of the 20th century, Latinos started to organize more broadly to meet their collective needs, including the creation of insurance pools to meet end-of-life financial needs, but these efforts were largely apolitical.

Early Latino civic organizing took on a more explicitly political dimension in the late s and s. This era saw the formation of the first regional Mexican American civic organizations as well as labor organizing that included the first "national" Latino political movement. It was these efforts that laid the foundation for post-World War II civic and political gains. LULAC was established in The goals of the organization were both revolutionary and assimilationist.

Their leadership sought to challenge and reverse the discrimination that had characterized the treatment of Mexican Americans in the Southwest since They used the tools available to them as U. Their core claim was equal protection as U. LULAC members did distinguish themselves, however, from recent immigrants of Mexican ancestry by limiting membership to U. The organization offered assistance to Mexican immigrants seeking to naturalize, but did not believe there was a political or civic equality between non-naturalized immigrants and U.

In the s, LULAC conducted voter registration drives, encouraged members to support candidates who spoke to Mexican American concerns, organized to end the poll tax, and used the courts to challenge discrimination, particularly educational discrimination. In the early s, several chapters formed Ladies' Auxiliaries. Despite their somewhat narrow focus and the middle-class status of the early members, LULAC chapters quickly emerged throughout the Southwest making it the first regional Latino organization.

It also offered a new model for Latinos of tactical alliances with other excluded groups in U. Yet, its membership and the issues that it articulated were closer to the majority of Latinos in the s and beyond. Its rhetoric was more activist than that of LULAC, in large part based on its roots in the labor movement and labor's internationalism and ties to labor movements abroad in this era. The issues that it focused on — particularly the equal treatment of immigrants and citizens before the law — were ones that would have long-term resonance for Latino activism and that anticipated long-term changes in non-Latino attitudes in the post-war period.

El Congreso's vision extended to the elimination of barriers that limited civic, political, and economic opportunities for non-U. For most Latinos in the pre-civil rights era, the barriers that had long characterized the opportunities for Latino civic and political voice remained. Yet both organizations laid the foundation for the flowering of Latino demand making that would follow.

They demonstrated that despite generations of discrimination, Latinos not only wanted a political voice, but also had the resources within the community to translate these demands into successful organization. The s, s, and early s saw a rapid expansion in Latino demand making and the formation of diverse paths to political organizing. It also saw the foundation of Latino electoral influence. As was the case in the African American community and its civil rights movement in part of this period, leadership emerged from new segments of the population, including returning World War II and Korean War veterans and college educated young adults.

These movements were not just united by their styles. In each case, anger over state-sanctioned discrimination and denial of rights was at the core of their mobilization efforts. As will be evident, these movements appeared in all parts of the country with concentrated Latino populations. Although they did not form a national Latino movement as we understand it today, their recognition of the shared experiences of Latinos nationwide laid the foundation for the pan-ethnic Latino politics that emerged in the post-civil rights era.

Early post-World War II activism transitioned Latino politics from civic organizing to electoral mobilization. Anger over the failure of Latino candidates to be elected to local offices in California and Texas led to the formation of community organizations focused on candidate recruitment, voter registration, and voter mo-bilization. Latino youth, primarily U.

Their activism reflected Latino-specific concerns over discrimination and disparate outcomes, but also the anger of young adults in general in this era over the war in Vietnam. These spontaneous movements coalesced in organizing to reform the delivery of education and in anti-war mobilization under the auspices of the Mexican American Youth Organization MAYO. The Crusade for Justice, formed in Denver, focused its energies on youth more broadly including young adults in schools and in and out of the workplace.

MEChA is the only national Latino student organization on college and university campuses during this period still active today. Young adults also led new movements to challenge white-dominated political institutions.

They sought election to local offices in rural Texas, demonstrated that Mexican Americans could be mobilized, and use their numbers to challenge electoral discrimination. Raza Unida candidates won local and a few state offices in this period. Puerto Rican migrants who seized this opportunity tended to be unskilled laborers and, later, rural migrants pushed off the land as Puerto Rican agriculture industrialized. Like the Mexican residents of the Southwest in the years after the U.

Perhaps the most prominent of Puerto Rican youth groups of this era was the New York-based Young Lords, which had a different emphasis than the social movement organizations in the Southwest. Puerto Rico's colonial status ensured stronger ties to the homeland than existed among most Mexican Americans in this era.

As a result, The Young Lords organized around a two-prong strategy. In New York and Chicago, they challenged discriminatory practices that denied Puerto Ricans the protections of their U. They also sought, ultimately less successfully, to build a new independence movement on the island and build bridges between Puerto Ricans on the Island and the mainland.

Civil rights era activism did not just appear among young adult Latinos. In New Mexico, the Alianza de Pueblos y Pobladores The Alliance of Towns and Settlers confronted federal and state authorities to enforce land claims by the descendants of Mexican residents of the state that had been largely neglected for the century since the ratification of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

The United Farmworkers made the cause of California's primarily Latino agricultural labor force into a national issue and introduced non-Latinos in many parts of the country to the second-class status routinely experienced by many Latinos. The frequently confrontational style of these newly emerging organizations in this era — and their new generation of leaders — should not obscure the core of their demands.

They sought full inclusion in U. Constitution and saw, as the primary strategy to achieve that goal, the opportunity to elect the candidate of their choice to office. Although their rhetoric sometimes focused on the distinct experiences of Latinos and separateness, their demands and goals focused on the equal ability to compete in the civic and political world.

In this, their pluralist demands were similar to those of other excluded groups in U. The new opportunities for Latino civic organizing in the civil rights era were also not limited to challenging existing political structures from the outside. This era also saw the foundation of Latino voices within the major political parties and social institutions as well as the formation of Latino-led institutions to research, document, and articulate the Latino condition.

It was in this era that the "Latino vote" entered the rhetoric of the national parties and some elected leaders it would be the s before discussion of it became more common. John F. Kennedy relied on Mexican American votes in Texas to win the presidency in ; he earned these votes and probably increased the size of the Mexican American vote by running a well-financed campaign targeting Mexican Americans.

He made some half-hearted efforts to reach out to Mexican Americans while his re-election campaign secretly funded La Raza Unida in an effort to reduce the Democratic vote. The Nixon campaign, and Republicans in general, were much more successful at winning support from Cuban Americans based in part on their strong opposition to Fidel Castro's regime in Cuba.

Building on the organizational efforts of community-based voter mobilization efforts, Latinos began to elect co-ethnics to office, including national offices, in this period. Members of Congress elected in this era — Henry B. These Latino Representatives institutionalized their presence with the formation of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Latinos also built their first national advocacy institutions in the civil rights era.

This alliance of Latino community-based organizations nationally had a twin mission. First, it provided capacity building to ensure that local Latino organizations could grow and expand service provision at the local level. Second, it sought to amalgamate the needs and issues identified by these member organizations into a regional and, ultimately, national Latino agenda that would serve as the foundation for Latino advocacy at the state and national levels.

This organizational Latino voice provided an external resource for Latinos and non-Latino officeholders seeking to serve Latino needs. NCLR's advocacy targeted the legislatures and executive branch agencies. MALDEF's scope was broad, but it focused much of its energy on discrimination in schools, in public and private employment, in contracting, in the delivery of government services, in housing, and in employment as well as in voting rights and districting.

NCLR was by no means the only national Latino civil rights organization that formed in this era, although it probably had the broadest scope. Activists in Texas who had become dissatisfied with some of the rhetoric of Raza Unida formed the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project to challenge barriers to Latino registration and voting and to register Latinos to vote, initially with a focus on urban areas where the largest concentrations of Latinos resided.

Although it often took more conservative positions on economic issues than other Latino civil rights organizations, it too challenged discrimination and barriers to the equal participation of Latinos in U. Forum, which formed after World War II to fight discrimination experienced by returning Mexican American troops, continued to serve as voices for Latinos in this era and became more national in scope.

They focused their resources on battling educational discrimination and litigated a number of important court cases. The national civil rights organizations that were founded in this period were not exclusively pan-Latino. Local organizations were more likely to focus primarily on the policy concerns of specific national origin groups.

In the case of Puerto Rican and Cuban American communities, these community-level concerns included homeland issues as well, such as the status of Puerto Rico for Puerto Ricans or the vicissitudes of U. The national Latino civil rights organizations that formed in this period reflected a new position of Latinos in U. The national organizations were more explicitly pluralist in their rhetoric and operations, but they and the more activist organizations shared a vision of Latino empowerment by challenging barriers and expanding the Latino electoral and economic voice.

Occasional activist rhetoric aside, the demands of the civil rights era focused on ensuring that the language of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.

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Begin with statistical sources:. Use Library of Congress Subject Headings to find the concept you're searching for:. Use the databases listed in the previous tab to find articles on a given topic related to Mexican Americans in California. Tips for researching Chicana Studies at Sacramento State:.

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Toggle navigation. Search this Guide Search. America's Border Fence. The results show how societal forces work to marginalize groups, yet at the same time, that the marginalized have opportunities to counter the hegemonic discourses and practices. I used content analysis to examine five issues, then selected two, the changes to driver's license rules and the Mt. The content analysis found that coverage of the Mt.

Olive boycott and changes to policies for issuing driver's licenses were the least covered issues despite being the most important regarding immigrant Latino rights. Additionally, the content analysis raised questions about what constitutes a "Latino" issue. Constructing Latinos as "them" and attaching criminality justified taking away their access to resources, namely a driver's license. In the CDA of the Mt. Olive boycott, the Anglo and Latino newspapers used different discourses to talk about labor and economic justice for farmworkers.

Anglo newspapers relied on the South's antiunion script to construct Mt. Olive as an innocent victim of a politically-motivated, northern labor union. In contrast, the Latino newspapers gave the Farm Labor Organizing Committee FLOC a voice which they used to assert their struggle as a just and noble one - an example of the powerless fighting for what they rightly deserved.

I conclude by mapping the issues onto a cultural citizenship continuum and propose that future research may define Latino issues based on this framework. In addition, I suggest that Latino newspapers find examples in which they have successfully articulated alternative discourses and model future struggles on these examples. Parents: This work has no parents.

South Public Press to Select an action Download. Tweet Share. Master's Papers Deposit your masters paper, project or other capstone work. Scholarly Articles and Book Chapters Deposit a peer-reviewed article or book chapter. Undergraduate Honors Theses Deposit your senior honors thesis. Scholarly Journal, Newsletter or Book Deposit a complete issue of a scholarly journal, newsletter or book.

Datasets Deposit your dataset.

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