Mexico and America; Ethnic Groups and Discrimination

Mexicans immigrated to the United States back in the 1800’s (Stanford, 2006). In 1848 the United States took over a part of Mexico which is not the Southwest (which is where I’m from, The Rio Grande Valley). Hispanics living in these areas were Mexican citizens before the acquisition. The United States even went into agreements with Mexico to have Mexicans work in the United States. Mexicans were treated with cruelty, while working the agricultural fields for years. The United States made several agreements with Mexico to have the Mexicans come to work in the US while American soldiers were fighting in the world wars. The labor shortage that the United States went through was reason enough to have Mexicans migrate to the United States as laborers. The United States found there was a need to have Mexicans come fill in for the labor shortage but they were no longer needed during the depression of the US. Not only were Hispanics send back to Mexico, but Mexican-Americans were sent back as well because they were no longer needed. My culture has suffered from prejudice and several other discriminations such as the dual labor market, redlining, affirmative action and reverse discrimination.

Mexicans suffered from the dual labor market even though employment was offered to Mexicans during the shortage of labor that the United States was going through, no safety was provided to the workers. No insurance was available for the laborers either. The United States was prejudice towards Mexicans because as soon as there was no need for their labor services they were sent back to their country. Everyone who was brought to the United States to work including the Mexican-Americans, who were citizens of the United States, was sent back to Mexico. Why were the first colonists not sent back too? Mexicans used to live in what is now the Southwest before it became part of the United States. Not only was my culture robbed from their rightful land but no benefits were given to them while assisting the United States with their shortage.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Everything is bigger in Texas.”? Texas is the largest state in the United States. The majority of residents in Texas are Mexicans. Mexican Americans are not the minority in the state anymore and discrimination occurs in several hidden ways. We have come a long way and diversity is practiced throughout the work place. It will continue as long as society continues to compare ethnic groups. Yes we are all different, and we should be proud of who we are, but are we all not human? Redlining used to happen and is still happening. “Mexicans will not be able to purchase their own homes much less be the owner of a new vehicle.” This type of comments is patterns of discrimination that Mexican-Americans have faced at one time or another. I, myself, have encountered this type of discrimination several times before. Rather it is at school or at work. I drive up in a new vehicle and I have heard people make comments about how it cannot be mine!
The affirmative action took place when the minority groups were given the opportunity to get jobs (Schaefer, 2006). Although in Texas and in some other states Mexican Americans are not the minority, the ethnic group overall is still a minority; therefore the group has faced and endured the affirmative action. Presently there is still some social inequality and reverse discrimination is something that I have faced. Some places exist where they will not hire someone if they do not know how to speak Spanish even though English is the main language at the work place. They can easily get away with it because they report that the language is needed to conduct the business and this is accepted by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
With this in mind there will always be hidden ways discrimination will present itself. The world seems to have improved throughout the years but there will always be a certain someone who did not learn from the mistakes. Mexican-Americans are not the only minority in this country and all other minorities have faced some sort of discrimination as well. This has always been a touchy subject, why can’t people get along with each other? I think it’s about time we all tried! The world would be a better place if we learn to accept each other’s differences and learn to appreciate each other, and understand that we are all equal.
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References:

Schaefer, Richard. (2006). Racial and Ethnic Groups. [Axia College Custom Edition e-text]. , : Prentice-Hall. Retrieved August 29, 2008, from Axia College, ETH 125 Cultural Diversity Web site.

Stanford, E. (2006). Interracial America. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center Detroit: Greenhaven

Press. Retrieved February 15, 2008 from Gale. Apollo Library. http://find.galegroup.com/ips/start.do?prodId=IPS

www.ask.com. (2008). Hispanics in America. Retrieved August 29, 2008, from www.ask.com
Google. (2008). Hispanics in America. Retrieved August 29, 2008, from www.google.com

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