The United States is a nation made up of immigrants from the earliest days, with initial residents having crossed the bridge linking North America and Asia many years ago. It is the establishment of settlements initiated by the Europeans led by the Spanish and French that later turned out to be the United States. Latinos, in this case, have faced numerous struggles over the past decades.
Throughout U. S's history minority groups for instance, in this case, Latinos have significantly been segregated and discriminated, unlike Whites. It is evident that we still live in a world full of prejudice especially for the Latinos who are today the largest among minority groups. The current federal government ethnic and racial classification system categorizes Latinos as an ethnic group as well as getting a regular comparison with other racial minority groups such as the Blacks.
Latinos have faced as well as are still facing significant challenges relating to discrimination and prejudice. Latinos problems specifically stern from institutionalized inequality as well as injustices with racial profiling and police brutality standing out as the notable examples of challenges faced by the Latinos. The main reason behind Latinos discrimination and prejudice roots from how "race" gets socially constructed in the United States society. Latinos, in this case, continue to occupy a racialized status within the United States. This racialization of Latinos entails a process through which prevailing assumptions portray Latinos as racially "other" in connection to the dominant race that is the White society.
Latino's grouping as being under the racially other group is designed to place them in a junior section of the dominant group. In this case, the racialized other group that comprises of the Latinos have and continue to stay perceived as foreign and less than the dominant population of the Whites. Therefore, this subordination significantly serves as the necessary prerequisite that explains and justifies the exploitation and control of the racialized group.
Latinos also lack adequate presentation in the United States judicial institutions and law enforcement thus posing a significant obstacle for the Latinos for instance when it comes to having equal access to justice. Latinos have also stayed excluded from contributing to policymaking in the United States. Hence they get no opportunities and ability to add to any decisions that promote meaningful change regarding issues affecting their lives as a minority group. Another major challenge faced by the Latinos is that they have significantly remained disconnected from their own culture, history, and society that gets drawn from the notable exclusion of Latinos in the United States history books. This exclusion has reinforced a notion that they have no history and culture worthy of being recorded hence stripping them of any means to learn about their culture and history. It has also made Latinos feel that maintaining their culture, history, heritage, and language is counterproductive and futile.
Healthcare is of great importance for any given American Citizen and should be accessible to all despite their race, backgrounds, and places of origin. One of the significant obstacles that are still present today especially among racial minorities is the lack of access to proper healthcare. Latinos remain restricted to getting equal healthcare services and insurance whereby they often are excluded and face unfair treatment about receiving healthcare services, unlike the dominant group that comprises of the White society.
The issue of migration has sparked endless debates that have immensely affected the Latino community. For instance, in the past years, the majority of the Latinos have routinely been associated with illegal immigration to the United States even though most of them didn't even cross the border however the border crossed them(Chicano). It is a notion that has over time adversely affected the Latino community with a significant number of them getting deported to their home countries. Deportation is also evident in the present-day United States with the number of immigrants that get wrongly convicted of "illegal" immigration increasing gradually over the years.
Latino communities remain associated with negative stereotyping of their people also portrayed as a group comprising of gang members, drug cartels as well as committing heinous crimes a depiction that brings forth unending prejudice and discrimination. This stereotyping has enormously affected the Latinos in numerous ways with some leading to deportations as well as injustices against the Latino community in general.
Education is also another challenge faced by the Latinos in the United States. The white students, in this case, begin formalized schooling with appropriate economic and social resources, unlike the Latino group students who are ill-equipped with the necessary educational resources. This difference results in the disadvantaged state of the minority group that stems from the parents' socioeconomic status as well as the lack of proper knowledge of the United States education system. History has cases whereby the Latino students are punished for speaking Spanish in school and were forced to speak English despite the fact that they were not fluent in it. Prejudice is evident in school settings whereby the Latinos, for instance, have weak relationships with their teachers unlike the case for the whites who are always in favor of their White teachers. These students were isolated using their surnames without even considering whether the students are fluent in English or not. This segregation led to low number enrolment in schools as Latina parents feared that their children would not successfully overcome the challenges. It has also led to drop out cases by the Latino group students due to the heightened racial and color discrimination in United States institutions.
Cultural citizenship denotes the right to being different and also to belong in a participating democratic sense. Cultural citizenship claims that under any given democracy, social justice pleas for equity among all citizens despite any differences such as race, gender, religion, and class making certain individuals inferior to others. The concept of belonging relates to full membership to a particular group and also the ability to impact one's destiny by having an essential voice in fundamental decisions. Cultural citizenship for instance about Latinos asserts that even within inequality contexts people like the Latinos being a minority also have a right to retain their distinctive heritage. Citizenship is long known as a legal status as well as a relationship between the nation-state and an individual hence defining his or her membership in any given society. Minorities, for instance, Latinos face a struggle for inclusion. The 14th amendment discourses citizenship civil rights as well as the equivalent safety of laws. This amendment turns out to a proposal as a response to problems that relate to the ex-slaves after American civil war. Latinos, in this case, remained subject to discrimination based on their ethnicity. The fourteenth amendment was resolutely written to counteract an initial Supreme Court ruling denying constitutional and citizenship rights to the minority groups, for example, the slaves as well as their descendants.
The segregation, discrimination, and exclusion of the minority groups especially the Latinos was faced with criticism by human rights advocates who believe in equality for all human beings. The demeaned groups formed associations and joined together with human rights groups to advocate for justice for the Latinos and the other groups. Work unions were formed by different working groups to fight for fair pay and against being overworked. These advocacies started from as early as the late 1800s and early 1900s. Among the steps that were taken to end the oppression of the Latinos include the following.
LULAC which is an abbreviation for League of United Latin American Citizens was formed in 1929. LULAC, during its formation, was the most prominent group that fought for human rights and comprised mostly of Mexican Americans. Among the issues, it was advocating for was equality in education, employment, and human rights. It struggled to achieve equality for Latinos through talks with national and local leadership. The league focused on creating awareness about human rights and equality in all the fields it worked on. In its initial stages, it advocated supported the pre-school teaching of Mexican children. The pre-school program would provide knowledge to the Mexican children on the most common English words which would make the basics of communication. The league filed cases in court to challenge the discrimination of the Latinos in education, for example, the 1948 case of Minerva Delgado V. Bastrop Independent School (Lavadenz & Colon-Muniz, 2015). Due to challenges from other human rights groups, LULAC came to drop assimilation as a method of advocacy and embarked on more radical approaches such as protests to fight for the rights. Its efforts are still evident even in today's world because it played very significant roles towards achieving equality.
Some court cases were filed to fight for the education of Latino students and protect them from segregation that occurred in schools. A case in 1954 between Brown and Board of Education is an excellent example of the cases that were filed. In this case, Latinos were treated as white, but they were not integrated into schools that belonged to Anglo-Americans. They were taken to schools that belonged to African-Americans as a strategy of integration (Walker & DeLone, 2012). In the real sense, this strategy still segregated the Latinos and treated them as 'other whites,' and the segregationists were not yet ready to integrate them with the Anglos. There were, therefore, two sets of schools in existence, the Mexican and black, and the white schools making segregation and isolation remain an unresolved issue. Persistence of discrimination against Mexicans led to change of tactics by the Latino activists. They rejected being grouped as 'other whites' neither as blacks. They wanted to be recognized as a distinct group and wanted to be treated independently.
Federal Civil Rights Act was passed into law in 1964 to emphasize on education, health and general welfare of the Latinos. Promotion into law meant that anyone who acted against would face court charges. This Act/law provided that all sponsored education centers will abolish all discrimination which happens intentionally such as punishing students of Mexican origin (Cruz, 2015). The law dictated that all students should receive fair treatment, violation of which would lead to dire consequences in the courts of law. The bill also provided for a systematic education of the English language whereby schools were required to teach the language using the native language of the students which would, in turn, make understanding easier. This would, in turn, bring to an end the submersion method that was being used to teach the language. The submersion method subjected children to the new and foreign language without assistance on the basis or through use of native language. It was a forceful method that subjected the Mexican-American children to a hard time learning English.
From 1960 onwards, there were education reforms throughout the USA whereby the state made laws that all children should be allowed to access education regardless of their background information. Inability to be fluent in English has ruled out qualification for access to education (Behnken, 2016). In all the cases that were filed to advocate for the education of the Latin...
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