African-American and Mexican American Civil Rights in Texas Term Paper

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Civil Rights

African-American and Mexican-American

Civil Rights in Texas

This essay discusses African-American and Mexican-American civil rights in Texas. The goal is to discover what some of the key events was in each the African-American and the Mexican-American battles for their group's civil rights. The secondary objective is to see how these movements resembled each other and how they differed from one another and if one was more effective than the other. As the United States and its individual states like Texas become more racially diverse, all new criteria will arise that may be more closely linked to India's caste system than to what we understand and take for granted here in the United States. Economic barriers and not racial barriers are gradually becoming the underlying motivator of the civil rights movement. In other words, being black or Mexican will not matter in regard to civil rights. If the respective individual, no matter what his racial background, has the financial clout to mix into our capitalistic society at the higher levels, then that individual can be considered to enjoy the freedoms associated with individual civil rights. Consider if there will ever be a civil rights violation against a Tiger Woods or George Lopez, two wealthy Americans, one black and one Mexican-American. However, take a poor Mexican or black person; we don't know their names. They do not have the associated financial freedoms that are provided by being affluent. That poor individual is far more likely to have his expected civil rights trampled on by the law and by society. The poor today will continue to suffer socioeconomic and cultural injustice even though there have been great efforts throughout history to correct this. Black and Mexican-Americans and all of the other minorities in this country are now more than ever to fall under a certain income line that is the magic dividing line for civil rights acceptance. This new financial glass ceiling will be the discriminating racial barrier that if below it, all "poor people" whether black, Mexican, or even white, will begin to see fewer applications of their expected civil rights.

Texas civil rights campaigns for African Texans and Mexican-American Texans have many similarities but also some differences. Most of the key events in these movements center on the movements' origins and their purposes. For example, Mexican Texans have always had more of an objective to improve their political circumstances since white Americans began to dominate them in Texas in the late 1830's while black Texans have been fighting for their civil rights as they pertain to receiving full citizen status ever since they were emancipated from slavery after the Civil War in 1865. One similarity is that each of these groups, black and Mexican Texans, did not officially launch real organized civil rights efforts until well into the early twentieth century. The Great Depression was a major trigger that created even harsher atmospheres for both groups. Early on, Black citizens were less organized in the sense of campaigns or movements after the Civil War while Mexican-Americans were a little more organized but still divided by social classes within their own ranks. Another obvious similarity is that both groups were blatantly discriminated against by white Texans.

These movements resembled each other because of racism. Mexican-Americans saw the most hatred towards them immediately following the Texas Revolution. For example, in the mid 1850s, Tejanos were threatened that they would be kicked out of their homes in Central Texas because they were accused of helping slaves cross the border into Mexico. Many others were the victims of whites during the Cart War of 1857 and after Juan N. Cortina's capture of Brownsville. Blacks, right after the Civil War, were the victims of atrocities from whites as lynching became a regular form of retaliation for alleged rapes of white women and other made up injuries to white society.

Of course Mexican-Americans also felt the wrath of groups like the Ku Klux Klan, the White Caps and the Texas Rangers. These black and Mexican Texans were simply victims of white authority because both Mexican and black Texans were regularly terrorized. As Federal laws began to protect these groups in the early twentieth century, all new forms of segregation were created. Suddenly, both black and Mexican Texans were…[continue]

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