During the Mexican American War, President Polk of the United States ordered the invasion of Mexico to force them to sell their northern territories, including California. In 1848, The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo gave the US the lands to create their southwestern states. Within these newly acquired territories remained Mexicans that were given the option to become American citizens, but they were treated as second class citizens. The Mexican-American identity began with these people, but continued to develop with the movement of undocumented immigrants in a environment where regardless of their immigration status their skin made them unwelcome. Latinos and Hispanic are the largest and fastest growing minority group in the United States because the US shares a border with Mexico. The State of California contain the largest Latino population of the all the United States with more than three million people because Latinos cross the border to immigrate from Tijuana, Mexico through San Diego, California, and then remain in the state. This alarming rate of increasing Latino populations in California changes the social dynamics of the United States and allows problems to arise for Latino/Hispanic communities as they attempt to navigate this racial binary where racism is institutionalized for them.
“The data from the census are compiled in a chart below:” said News Taco (The Top 10 States With the Largest Latino Populations).
“Note over half of the U.S. Latino population lives within California, Texas and Florida,” said News Taco.
The purpose of this website of to bring to light the inequalities that Latinos are face with and the problematic preconceived notions that Americans have on Hispanics/Latinos in the United States. For example, Americans believe that Mexican come to their country to take advantage of the resources given to citizens without contributing to the economy. Although few immigrant families may not file taxes, all people that purchase objects within the United States are taxed at a state and federal level. Apart from that, undocumented students who “take advantage” of the free K-12 public school education don’t get the opportunity to go to college because they’re not eligible for financial aid nor loans as a result of their immigration status even though they have to sign up for the draft like everyone else otherwise they’re arrested. There is a wealth a wealth and opportunity gap between latino and Caucasian students, but there is an even larger gap between documented Latinos and undocumented Latino student’s families where student don’t attend college because they feel a need to economically contribute to their family’s struggle. These students and their families that assimilate into American culture are expected to go above and beyond, but aren’t given human rights like access to health care.
“while the incidence of advanced college degrees for Hispanics is 60% below the national norm, this level has been on the increase for decades – driven substantially by changes in the behaviors of young Hispanic women,” says Doug Anderson (Below the Top line US Hispanics and Acculturation)
Then, there are the negative stereotypes that Americans categorize Latinos/Hispanics under. The American people choose to believe that all Latinos be are the cholos (the gangsters), the corrupt police officer, the macho man, the gardeners, the maids, the feisty woman. Latinos have the potential to bring an exotic fantasy or to be seen as a threat to society, instead of the media bringing attention to Latino doctors, engineers, math teachers, philanthropists as examples of Brown success. This is not to say that a Latino father or mother that immigrated with nothing to work two to three jobs to put their child through their journey through higher education isn’t an example of Brown excellence because there is honor is honest hard work. There is an uneven road to the American Dream for minorities like Latinos/Hispanics, but the strengthening of cultural identity and connections to community will inspire Latino students to become the leaders their people need. Throughout this website you will be informed about the Mexican-American and Latino activism that takes place in California’s communities through grassroots community organizations.
This is the picture that Hollywood paints for the Americans and the world of Latinos because “identities are not made outside of representation but through it. So, stereotypes make the group distinct; they are both an idiom through which the group is perceived and a way through which the stereotyped seeks to understand his or her place in society,” says Ed Morales. (Latino Media Gap)