Discrimination In The Mexican American War

1845 Words 8 Pages
The Mexican American war gave citizenship to thousands of individuals who resided in the American southwest prior to the war. Under the new treaty between Mexico and the United States, these new citizens were considered white according to the law. Consequently, these new citizens were never treated equivalent to Caucasians of Northern European ancestry. They were not allowed to occupy the same bathrooms, restaurants, schools, and even in death they had to be prepared and buried in isolated areas away from Caucasian Americans. Mexican-American lawyers sought a case that would prove that Mexican-Americans were labeled by law as white but were treated in a discriminatory fashion. In Hernandez v Texas, the lawyers found a case that confirmed that …show more content…
In addition, thousands of individuals who lived in the new land acquired by the United States were Mexicans. In the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, these individuals were given the option to automatically become United States citizens, which included all of the rights that Caucasian Americans were endowed with. Consequently, the new American citizens were considered white Americans under the law but were not treated as equals. Many Mexican-Americans were swindled of their land by criminals and ambiguous laws that targeted them. Moreover, after the civil war, many new white southerners migrated to Texas and the southwest and brought their racist ideology, that ultimately clashed with the large Mexican-American population. According to the law, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo gave Mexican-Americans white status, however many of them were lynched and murdered by law enforcement, cowboys, regulators, and so-called vigilantes. Subsequently, the dichotomy of black and white helped maintain and perpetuate racism through an explicit social code that bypassed the law. Less than hundred a years later, many Mexican-American were content with being labeled as white, but just as African-Americans they understood that the doctrine of separate but equal was a false …show more content…
These lawyers included: Carlos Cadena, who was the primary drafter of the brief and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Texas Law School. Gus Garcia from Laredo, Texas graduated from the University of Texas and would become a professor after the Hernandez case. And John Herrera, who was a prominent member of the League of United Latin American Citizens (otherwise known as LULAC). Once in front of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the group argued that Hernandez’s case was based on racial discrimination because the jury did not have a single one of Hernandez’s peers (Mexican-Americans), who actually comprised of 14+% of Jackson County’s demographic. Generally, in the early twentieth century, Texas courts excluded Mexican-American and African Americans from participating or serving in the criminal justice system that comprised of law enforcement and the courts. Hernandez’s defense relied on the rule of Norris v. Alabama, “which held that proof of an absence of African-Americans on juries in criminal cases over many years established a prima facie case of racial discrimination in composition of juries, raising a rebuttable presumption of unconstitutional discrimination.” Consequently, the Texas Appeal Court denied Hernandez and asserted the original decision. The

Related Documents