The Portrayls of Latinos/Hispanics in the MediaBy Maria Perez Cortez
How do popular culture sources reflect and/or influence ideas about specific groups of Americans? How does popular culture reinforce and/or challenge stereotypes? What changes over time? What stays the same?
the history behind racist attitudes towards latinos in the united states
Manifest Destiny and the Mexican-American War displaced several Mexican landowners. In order to rationalize this sort of action, Latinos (regardless of their legal status in the United States) were viewed as inferior.
At the start of the California Gold Rush, an estimated 25,000 Mexicans arrived into the state. Most were experienced miners, making them more successful than others. A couple of white miners felt threatened by this and decided to intimidate the Mexicans with violence. As a result, around 163 Mexicans were lynched (in the state of California) between 1848 and 1860.
In 1955, California pass The Greaser Act. The purpose of this law was "to protect honest people from the excesses of vagabonds." The law described a vagabond as, "a person identified as a "Greaser" and, generally, all people of Spanish or Indian blood." Along with that, the law describes them as armed and dangerous people.
During the 1940s, images in newspapers and crime novels depicted young Mexican-American zoot suiters as criminals. The negative opinions towards zoot suits provoked a series of attacks towards young Mexican-American males in the Los Angeles area. At its' worse, an estimated 5,000 police officers and civilians went to downtown Los Angeles, and attacked Mexican-American zoot suiters and non-zoot suiters.