There are a great deal misrepresentations about Mexican-Americans and the Mexican culture, in many cases intentional done to historically suppress the Mexican-American community, specifically after the US annex half of Mexico (California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, etc).
Mexican Are New Immigrants who have not contribute to the US:
Mexicans had thriving communities and had developed great cultures before the US took over, California, Texas, Arizona and the other states. That influential cultures were absorbed and unfairly appropriated. One of those being the cowboy culture, boots, hats, colorful shirts, corridor-style country music, and the rodeos, are directly inherited and a copy of the Mexican vaquero culture. In addition, Mexican food, some of the best food in the world, influences American cuisine every day. Likewise, the beautiful Mexican architecture and art plastered all over America are also uniquely Mexican. Sadly, instead of properly acknowledging it as Mexican, people chose call it Spanish or Southwest style.
Unimaginable damage and emotional scars caused to the entire community is glossed over:
Before 1840, California, Nevada, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, about one-third of what is today’s United States, was Mexico. These lands were scarcely populated, but the Mexicans owned large ranches, small cattle ranches and grew crops of all types all over these lands. Mexico City was far away, and the ranchers and landowner felt ignored by the distant government. Some Mexican ranchers wished for independence. Americans moved west and started to settled on Mexican land. The Americans who settled were slave owners from the south and wanted to bring slavery to Mexico. Mexico had abolished slavery decades before and did not allow slave selling or trading. The settlers were upset with these rules and the disorganized Mexican government. Many Mexicans and the Americans living on the lands decided to unite and fight for the independence from Mexico. They were supported by the United States who had plans for westward expansion.
After the Mexican-American War, Arizona and all the other regions became part of the U.S. At first, the Mexicans, who fought alongside the American settlers, were happy to become part of America and free themselves from Mexico. The peace treaty of Guadalupe required that the Mexican landowners, big and small, would be allowed to keep ownership of their homes, lands, and ranches.
Greed however, got the best of some unscrupulous, powerful Anglo-Americans and they found legal and illegal loopholes to take lands and possessions away from the Mexicans who were now Americans. They appropriate the lands and property from their rightful Mexican owners, so they used the old strategy of creating fear; they spread rumors that Mexicans were plotting against America. This incited suspicion and hatred towards Mexicans. They were successful in manipulating the American opinion by way of scare tactics and natural human prejudice to reach their goals.
These actions were carefully orchestrated to manipulate the American people’s minds, by the few powerful perpetrators looking to benefit from these atrocities. Some of the people in charge of those new lands used techniques that conquering nations have used throughout history to subjugate and control conquered people. They embarked on an intentional effort to vilify and humiliate the conquered people. “Remember the Alamo,” was a fighting call used to united Anglo-Americans against Mexicans, to malign, repress, and destroy their reputation, thus make it acceptable to perform such atrocities…Think about it, this is happening today.
Pushed by the injustices, many Mexican ex-land owners and their kids became famous bandits or “bandidos,” like the mythical “Zorro,” and started to fight against this system of injustice. This, of course, was followed by harsh repression. Mexicans were forced to segregate, were not given equal rights, were treated almost like slaves, were only allowed to do labor and servile work, and were not allowed in schools. They were forced to become second-class citizens. This action has caused severe damage to the Mexicans who have lived in America for several generations, who have been imprinted with a second-class citizen mentality. This is the historical reason Mexicans are considered to be the servant class in America, even today.
In the end, the Americans who conquered the Mexican lands did what the Spaniards had done to Mexicans 300 years earlier; although with less brutality. The Spaniards were brutal conquerors. When they first arrived in Mexico, they recorded in their diaries how the Aztecs were highly civilized and had a well-organized government, education system, and were even more advanced than Europeans in some areas of science. They also found they had a pagan religion, which encouraged human sacrifice. Once the Aztecs were conquered, the Spaniards destroyed any vestiges of civilization the Aztecs ever had, killing and torturing anyone who made Aztec art, spoke the Aztec language, or even farmed using Aztec techniques. They were forced into slavery, forced to convert to Catholicism, or be tortured or burned. Using this brutal strategy for almost 300 years, Mexicans were forced to believe that the Aztec ancestors had no cultural value, they were savages and the only enlightenment came from Spain. By destroying the Aztec’s reputation they made it clear that the only source of pride should come from being Spanish.
Mexican-Americans come from a poor country with little culture:
Mexican-Americans come from highly cultured nation even before the Spanish conquistadors arrived. The Aztec empire was the largest and most powerful nation in the Americas and only the Inca, in South America, could rival it. The Aztecs built large, beautiful cities with great edifices and pyramids, organized commerce, had arts and sciences, and had formidable armies. Among the Spanish colonies, Mexico, then called “New Spain,” was the wealthiest colony on the continent. Today, Mexico is the richest Spanish-speaking nation in the hemisphere, and Mexico’s economy is amongst the fifteen largest in the world.