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The Consequences of Segregation: The Case of Mexican Americans

Free «The Consequences of Segregation: The Case of Mexican Americans» Essay Sample

Segregation is perhaps the most critical historical issues that the Mexicans in America are eager to forget. Before and after the victorious court cases against segregation presented in the movie “The Lemon Grove Incident,” the tendency of delineating the Mexican Americans still prevailed at high level. The demand of students during the 1968 Chicano Walkout confirms this particular fact. The Chicano Walkouts took place in the early March in 1968 in East Los Angeles (“Chicano! Taking Back the Schools”). The incident involved at least 15,000 students from eight high schools including Theodore Roosevelt and Garfield. They walked out of the classrooms and went to the streets claiming that they were subjected to critical and undesirable life. During the walkout, the students expressed demand for equality, cultural recognition and equal quality treatment; they placed high emphasis on education (“Chicano! Taking Back the Schools”). In fact, the students were subjected to harsh treatment by school administrators and police during the walkouts. Indeed, the demands of the Chicano students expressed during walkout events served as a reflection of the consequences of the segregation that took place in the society. Therefore, the paper will discuss the consequences of the segregation based on the experiences of the historical Mexican Americans as stated in the research materials. Moreover, the paper will include the analysis of the important events in order to clarify the emergence of the consequences.

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As it was mentioned before, the Chicano students demanded equality, cultural recognition and quality education. Thus, the following conclusion can be made: the consequences of segregation experienced by the Mexican Americans were associated with inequality in the society, inferior education and inappropriate cultural recognition. To affirm such a statement, the central importance should be placed on exploration and discussion of the historical segregation events that Mexican Americans went through. According to Powers, the Mexican American separation took extralegal form (35). Unlike the case of the black Americans, the particular state statute that authorized the segregation of the Mexican Americans was absent. While the discrimination of Mexican Americans wasn’t supported by law, they were denied the access to such public facilities as schools, churches, dancing classes, swimming pools and cinemas (“The Lemon Grove Incident”). Moreover, Powers claimed that the members of the Mexican American community were subjected to intense residential segregation, which was exercised through restrictive housing agreements (35). Interestingly, there is some evidence that the Mexican Americans were denied access to facilities and public places reserved for the white community in some regions. Powers revealed in her study that the macro racial order structures in the Southwest provided the Mexican Americans with a formal racial equality (38). However, the members of the group could only enjoy restricted equality privileges. Such a level of equality was absent in other regions in the US. Therefore, the majority of the Mexican Americans immigrated to the Southwest. However, according to Powers, the level of extralegal segregation increased as the number of Mexican Americans increased in the new area (38).


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The empirical evidence by Powers presents the inequality and cultural insensitivity consequences that are often associated with segregation. The issue of inequality is ranked forth by the author. The example of inequality is provided by the author, when she states that in contrast to white Americans, the Mexican Americans were denied access to some of the most important public resources and spaces. Evidently, such an example demonstrates a high level of inequality that resulted from segregation. Actually, the structures and mechanism of a society that values segregation are often designed in such a manner that provides some groups with privilege at the expense of others. Cultural insensitivity is another consequence of segregation. However, Powers does not explicitly covers this issue. Therefore, it requires a person to make inferences on how this issue relates to the context. Since the historical times, such activities as swimming, dancing, education and attending religious places were essential parts of the Mexican American culture. Therefore, the society was violating cultural recognition, when Mexican Americans were denied access to the facilities, where they could practice cultural activities. Indeed, the society is trying to disintegrate the culture of the segregated group. Therefore, the demands of the Chicano students portray the inequality and cultural insensitivity resulted from segregation.

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Powers states that the rate of establishment of the Mexican American schools was increasing tremendously. According to Powers, in some locations school officials opted to send the Mexican Americans to segregated schools, which were extremely inferior (38). However, some districts allowed a small portion of the Mexican American students to attend the White American schools. Conversely, most of the Mexican American students opted to join the segregated Mexican-American schools due to the racially abusive treatment provided by school authorities. The racially abusive treatment made other students drop out of high school. The segregation issues made Mexican Americans to prompt several anti-segregation activities and suits.

The facts discussed above show that segregation also causes the prevalence of inferior education standards, especially, for the segregated group. Thus, the high-quality education is a vital demand made by the Chicano students in 1968. As Powers portrays, the segregation settings and laws usually cause a disintegrating education quality within a society. In fact, the laws often favor non-segregated educational institutions. Therefore, much quality-oriented effort will be concentrated on non-segregated facilities. Moreover, unlike the segregated education centers, the best educators and facilities will be provided to the non-segregated sectors. As a result, a disparity in the student achievement standards within the school system will become dominant. However, as Powers informs segregation not always leads to the establishment of segregated schools. What is important, some states integrated the Mexican-American students in the education system. However, the school policies deeply segregated the students. Therefore, the white students continued to perform better while the Chicano failed to learn well. According to the psychological research, the absence of the institution of discriminatory policies can potentially cause psychological issues for the targeted groups.

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