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Welcoming Mexican-Americans and Fighting Separatism
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Cole Kinder

Feb 08, 2024

Mexican-Americans are integral to the U.S. and part of the wider American culture. However, many Mexican-Americans and non-Mexican Americans continue to push the idea that Mexican-Americans are Mexican first before American. This not only creates division, but in the unique case of Mexico, it also leads to an environment where Mexican revanchism is embraced.

Background:


The U.S.A. and Mexico have been allies and enemies.


After Mexico pushed against federalism in 1835, many Mexican states rebelled and declared independence, leading to warfare. 


In Coahuila y Tejas (Texas), the region of Texas fought Mexico earning independence from the region in 1836 as the Republic of Texas, and parts of the Republic of the Rio Grande (1840) later combined to become Texas. Many of the Texan rebels were English-speaking (Anglo) Americans, encouraged to immigrate to grow the Mexican economy. By 1845, Texas agreed to annexation by the U.S.A.


Disputes on the border led to the Mexican-American War in 1846.


Amid this war, the immigrant Anglo-Americans declared independence in Alta California as the California Republic before joining the U.S.A. The war came to an end, with the Mexican Cession (1848) and Gadsden Purchase (1853) birthing the modern U.S. Southwest. 


Mexicans remaining in the U.S. were promised citizenship and retained property rights, but these promises were often ignored. Mexican Americans continued to experience discrimination and even segregation across the U.S. until the 1960s, despite large-scale assimilation efforts by Mexican-Americans.


Following the conflict, Mexico was frequently antagonistic. During World War I, Mexico plotted to kill Anglos and retake the U.S. Southwest. The 1960s then brought a working-class third-worldism approach to both Mexican and Mexican-American consciousness. 


Mexican-Americans created many organizations tied to labor and civil rights movements, often calling for “self-determination” within the Southwest, birthing the idea of Aztlán (Nahua origins being from the U.S. Southwest), with disparaging terms against the U.S. and Anglos. 

Mexico became a leading non-aligned country, often with close ties to Cuba and occasionally the USSR. 


With immigration as a burgeoning major political topic, Mexican-Americans became advocates for more immigration regardless of legality, often believing that Mexicans have an inherent right to the Southwest. Hints of Reconquista or the idea of the U.S. Southwest returning to Mexico became embraced by radical Mexican-American organizations and still are, while the majority in Mexico believes the U.S. Southwest belongs rightfully to Mexico.


Mexican-Americans present a unique ethnic group due to their embrace of Mexican culture and Spanish language, as well as the adverse racism against Mexicans within the U.S.


Many Mexican-American organizations, Chicano Studies courses and other institutions continue to promote the ideas of Mexican separatism, often dipped in socialist promotion. While they may not explicitly claim they are for political or military Reconquista, they often embrace the idea of the U.S. Southwest becoming culturally Mexican. Take Chicano Park in San Diego, which uses a U.S. map with Southwestern states in red titled Aztlán, with a slogan labeled "La Tierra Mia" ("Our Land") as its logo and has murals of many anti-American people like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. When asked for justification, many state it is for their stance against American imperialism and call Chicano Park a liberated zone for La Raza (The [Hispanic] race). A liberated zone from what exactly, the U.S. or Anglos?


These organizations also push for bilingualism and dual-lingualism to make Spanish on equal footing to English, and they often push against any plans that increase U.S. National Security, especially when immigration or the border is concerned. Protests against U.S. implementation of immigration laws or the status quo often see thousands of Mexican-Americans flying Mexican flags. When people come to your country illegally, flying their country's flag and changing your language, it looks bad.


This leads to worrying realities for the future of the U.S. For one, it is a fact that many Mexican-Americans identify as Mexican first and often disparage those who speak English among family and friends or embrace other American cultures


This is prevalent in sports where Mexican-Americans increasingly support and play for Mexico while harassing U.S. players and fans, especially Mexican-American U.S. players and fans. This goes against the expectation in the U.S. that you put America first and embrace your ancestry next within the U.S. culture. No one says you cannot support Mexico, merely just after the U.S., as the U.S. National Teams represent the whole country, Mexican-Americans included.


Many Americans have begun to notice this trend and are concerned about immigration, often calling it an “invasion,” especially since assimilation efforts are not embraced and thus many groups have become less assimilated leading to regions that do not look or sound like the U.S.


Additionally, Mexico has not helped the situation. Mexico has over 53 consulates and an embassy in the U.S. that often interferes in U.S. affairs, especially the census and immigration. Mexico’s leaders consider Mexican-Americans as part of Mexico’s population, trying to formulate policies among them that put Mexico first, such as President Obrador’s recent calls for Mexican-Americans to always vote against Republicans. 


Much of Mexico has become controlled by cartels with massive corruption and violencewhich contribute to over 100,000 U.S. deaths annually. Furthermore, mainland China allegedly uses Mexican cartels to import fentanyl to the U.S. Cartel members justify their crimes as hurting Anglos. Cartels have also infiltrated many American communities spreading corruption and violence, and are critical in the human trafficking and illegal migration across the border. This is why many people allude to Mexico being at war with the U.S. because many of the Mexican officials are allied with the cartels who are endangering and invading the U.S.


But, these realities can largely be attributed to the U.S. as well. Growing racism against Mexican-Americans has created a hostile environment whereby many Mexican-Americans do not feel they can be accepted as “real Americans.” Many Mexican-Americans also feel they are not valued in U.S. society as many lower-paying service jobs are occupied by Mexican-Americans in service to “Anglos.” 


Geopolitically, the U.S. continually intervenes in Mexico’s affairs, and various economic agreements pushed by the U.S. have contributed to the desperation of many Mexicans to join cartels and immigrate illegally.


Plus, the U.S. consumption of drugs funds the cartels, and the lack of gun regulation enforcement has given the cartels their vast military power through purchases in the U.S., leading many Mexicans to blame the U.S. for Mexico’s cartel violence.


For these reasons, former director of the Harvard Center for International Affairs, Samuel P. Huntington, warned about the future of a Mexican takeover of the U.S. Southwest due to the realities of how Mexican-first Mexican-Americans and their organizations are.


If certain trends continue, the U.S. likely will see a Southwest where a majority are loyal to the country that borders it first with a popular historical claim. Hence, the reasons for increased hatred against Mexicans by various sectors of the U.S. population who fear being “replaced” and “invaded.” Yet, this type of rhetoric only increases the chances of Mexican-Americans identifying with Mexico first and only increases tensions between Hispanics and non-Hispanics.


Thus, the U.S. needs to do its best to decrease tensions and increase a welcoming atmosphere, while Mexican-Americans who are loyal to the U.S. first should speak out more against the organizations that represent them, because if they do not, then many Americans will just assume Mexican-Americans support Mexican separatism. 


Key Facts and Statistics:

  1. Mexico is the 10th most populous nation.
  2. Mexico is the largest importer to the U.S.
  3. Mexican-Americans will soon become the largest ethnicity in the U.S.
  4. U.S. largest competitors use Mexico and ethnic tensions to weaken the U.S.
  5. Mexican-born immigrants are 63% of the U.S. agricultural workforce.

 

3 Point Plan:

  1. Mexican-Americans need to speak out against Mexican separatism in their organizations and communities. This does not mean getting rid of Mexican culture, rather it means properly identifying Mexican-American culture within U.S. identity, and identifying with the U.S. first.
  2. The U.S. must re-engage the Spanish-speaking world as a member by reframing U.S. identity due to the realities that the U.S. contains much of the former Spanish Empire and Mexico. The U.S. is also the second largest Spanish-speaking nation, the center of Latin America with Miami being the capital and undeniably part of the Hispanic world via Puerto Rico.
  3. The U.S. must prove to ostracized Mexican-Americans that they are embraced and integral to the identity of the U.S. No longer should Mexican food, culture or the Spanish language be deemed as foreign when it is native to the Southwest.

 

Why Is This Initiative Important?

 

Hispanic-Non-Hispanic relations are supposed to surpass White-Black race relations as the key component to American unity, but unlike any Non-Hispanic ethnic group, the largest Hispanic ethnic group does have claims to the U.S. and is extremely populous in an important region containing the two most populous states. Therefore, the U.S. must get ahead of the foreign propaganda campaign and domestic hatred that will seek out Mexican-Americans and the Southwest as Mexican-first. If not, the U.S. will likely suffer separatism.

 

The opinions expressed in this piece are those of the individual author.

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