Minority Reports: The Emergence of Pan-Hispanic Politics, 1945-1980
This dissertation examines the efforts of activists, elected officials, and bureaucrats to make Hispanic identity into a meaningful tool in postwar U.S. politics. Opposing radical nationalism as well as assimilation, Mexican American and Puerto Rican leaders sought to convince all "Spanish-speaking Americans"--irrespective of nationality, immigration status, or language ability--to see themselves as a single, nationwide ethnic group. They gained support from liberals reinventing their creed amid the New Deal coalition's collapse. They also found allies in conservative Republicans, who perceived a chance to exploit anti-black sentiment among Latino Democrats. Bipartisan interest in these voters produced a consensus that "Hispanics" deserved government recognition as a distinct national minority group, with their own presidential advisors, a unique place in federal statistics, and parity in the civil service. There were limits, however, to pan-Hispanic politics. Mexican American and Puerto Rican congressmen who attempted to unify grassroots political activists found they would not subordinate their distinct national identities to pan-ethnic solidarity. Furthermore, even as Hispanics came to be recognized as "America's second largest minority," presidents remained more concerned with the Electoral College than with ethnic fairness. Their favoritism toward certain segments of this population exposed and exacerbated national origin rivalries, challenging leaders who sought to mobilize the country's "Latino Vote." This electorate's failure to realize its vast potential--its status as a "sleeping giant" of politics--became itself a key component of Hispanic identity, which activists would deploy in an effort to achieve the political power that long eluded them.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Listening to Rural Hispanic Immigrants in the Midwest: A Community-Based Participatory Assessment of Major Barriers to Health Care Access and Use Cristancho, Sergio; Garces, D. Marcela; Peters, Karen E.; Mueller, Benjamin, C. (2008-05)
Benevolent Secularism: The Emergence and Evolution of the Religious Politics of Democracy in Ireland, Senegal, and the Philippines Buckley, David Timothy (Georgetown University, 2013)What explains the emergence and endurance of what Alfred Stepan has termed the "twin tolerations" between religion and democracy? This question is of broad comparative importance, from religiously vibrant democracies in ...