The influx of Mexican immigrants in 1900s prompted American society to readjust its socio-economic structure to accommodate the New Mexican community. However, the readjustment significantly resulted in massive negative outcomes as Americans promoted Americanization in every sector of socio-cultural and economic spheres. During the 1900s immigration transition, America was dominated by ultimate prejudice, discrimination and marginalization of races not only towards the Mexican but other people of color present in America. For instance, the educational structure provided in America significantly discriminated the vulnerable immigrants due to the white supremacy ideology that spread in the country, which made the native white Americans feel above others (Valencia, 412). Nevertheless, the Mexican populace who immigrated to America also adequately tuned the American's mind towards the negative perception of the peasantry as the lager Mexican population were peasant farmers that communally owned land before the despotic and autocratic president Porfirio Diaz's administration. During the time for massive Mexican immigration to America that occupied mainly the agricultural and mine industries as their predominant skills and knowledge acquired in Mexico dictated. Therefore, the investigation focuses on the critical evaluation of multimodal dynamics that facilitated the increase of educational stratification for Mexican Americans in early 1900.
The negative stratification of education in America increased due to the philosophy of Americanisation that forced all immigrant to adopt the new American culture and education system from learning the foreign language, eating foreign food to acquiring Americanized names. The Americanization promoted cultural supremacy and marginalization of the immigrant community as many Americans including the children and even the government gave priority and multilateral opportunities to the dominant Native Americans at the expense of others (Valencia, 389). As affirmed by Rodolfo Acuna, the increased influence of Spanish threated the American culture, hence the introduction of Americanization philosophy that was used to determine real Americans, despite its complexity, forced many children to strive to adopt the American culture to avoid being marginalized (Acuna 179). The racial discrimination in the society made schools and school boards to extremely marginalize the immigrants' communities that propelled acute divisions in the learning institutions. For instance, many schools in Chicago and Texas only accepted and admitted the white student while alienating the Mexican learners as they were deemed inferior to the native white so it was important to mix them. The constant social discrimination within the communities made many schools either to separate white classes from Mexican classes or to admit only while learners in the learning facilities. Therefore, the inferiority complex that dominated the 1900's American society deterred Mexican Americans from attaining equal education with the Native White Americans
Adamantly the job specification occupied by the early Mexican immigrant promoted the increased educational stratification. Many Americans viewed the Mexicans as mere farmers and low wage workers of mines and railways that did not require complex and high-quality education compared to the Native White Americans. The negative attitude towards the job specification of Mexican America prompted many schools to provide only basic education such as house chores, agricultural education such as farming and mining for the Mexicans. Since the Mexicans were considered as physically strong, docile and taciturn, their educational structure also was geared towards maximum exploitation of the physical ability. Despite the plea for equality, the socio-economic role that the Mexican community played in the country substantially contributed to increased stratification of the education to ensure continuity of the existence of cheap labour that the Mexican immigrant provided. For example, since Native Americans dominated the industrial and commercial sectors operating large profitable businesses encouraged the schools to provide complex education such as mathematics, sciences, and technology, unlike the Mexican Americans who were sometimes separated to study Agriculture and mining to either work on the plantations, ranches or mines. Therefore, job specification in America prompted increased educational stratification for Mexican Americans.
Moreover, gender inequality that propelled the introduction of gender role in America significantly caused division between the education qualities provided in schools. As gender stereotype increased in America deeming women as inferior to men, the Mexican American girls extremely got affected. The young Mexican girls were only expected to learn how to cook and clean as the gender role dictated while the male counterparts were taught mining, manual labour, and growing of crops (Valencia, 390). No individual role was ever mixed the same to the races. As Native American girls learn standardized subjects, the Mexican girls were being wasted in schools that only prepared them for inferior communal duties like maids. The progressive gender discrimination prevented girls from developing into beneficial and successful women in the community. The gender role that consequently contributed to the discrimination of women in society encouraged massive segregation in America. Nevertheless, despite the deplorable prejudice that the children and students were subjected to, no government official bothered to eradicate or critic the system. Also, the cognitive ability of the Mexicans was greatly criticized leading to serious segregation in schools. For instance, many Americans argued that the Mexicans had an inferior cognitive ability which deterred them from understanding concepts in school. The IQ test that dictated that intellectual performance was biological barred Mexicans the capability of learning in some American schools (Acuna 179). The argument that made many schools separate their facility to limit interaction between Native Americans and Mexican Americans significantly discouraged many learners to attend schools.
Consequently, the massive educational segregation in America negatively impacted Mexican Americans as it demoralized many individuals from attending schools while those that attended got low grades. The constant discrimination, prejudice, and marginalization established a harsh environment that deterred many students from learning. For instance, many California districts schools stratified several first grades to limit interaction among students, which resulted in great failure among Mexican American learners who were given either unqualified, incompetent or uncommitted teachers. Many students also dropped out in the 1920s that saw only 4% of the learners graduating each year compared to an average of 25% admission (Valencia, 420). The educational stratification denied may children chance for a successful life with consequently demoralized parents. It also led to an increase in the level of poverty among the Mexicans who could not attain professional employment with adequate remuneration.
In conclusion, the increased immigration of Mexicans to America in the early 1900s led to an abrupt readjustment of the socio-economic and political positions of the country that affected many sectors like education. The education system experienced massive segregation and stratification which separated the Native Americans from Mexican America. Moreover, the educational discrimination caused by Americanization philosophy, gender inequality, white supremacy and low job group among Mexicans propelled the stratification leading to poor performance. Also, the marginalization extremely affected the immigrant population negatively causing poverty and suffering and sometimes suicide. Therefore, despite the frequency of socio-cultural and economic discrimination, it violated the human rights provision.
Acuna, R.F. Occupied America: A History of Chicanos. Eighth edition. New York, NY: Pearson. 2015.
Valencia Richard. The Mexican American Struggle for Equal Educational Opportunity in Mendez v. Westminster: Helping to Pave the Way for Brown v. Board of Education. Teachers College Record. Volume 107, Number 3, March 2005, pp. 389-423
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