Historian Alan Knight states that, “modern Mexico is a racial mix” and goes on to outline several examples from Mexico’s history to support one of the main claims of his essay. Identify one of the examples found in Knight’s essay and comment on its importance to the main themes of the essay overall. How would you summarize Knight’s views on the Mexican Revolution´s impact on the concepts of race and race relations in postrevolutionary Mexico? ths week’s question for discussion
Weekly Discussion Board Response
The weekly discussion board response serves as a forum for students to participate and discuss assigned readings with classmates and the professor. This weekly assignment is broken down into 2 parts: (1) your response and (2) commenting on two other posts. The class has been organized to include the same amount of readings as a class that would meet in person. Each student is required to write a response about the Tuesday reading by Thursday – no later than 6:00 PM EST (I am including eastern standard time because several students are taking the class while outside of the country).
Students are expected to write responses that are three paragraphs in length and demonstrate a strong understanding of the themes, events, and people contained in the readings. In addition, each student must pick two other student posts and comment on their response for the week. Comments should be constructive, thoughtful and focused. The purpose of the each student’s comment response is to promote dialogue between students that would typically occur in a classroom setting. Comments should be one paragraph.
Weekly Response Paper
Students are responsible for writing a response paper at the end of each week. The paper’s topic will draw from the readings assigned for that week. The paper’s question (or set of questions) will build off the weekly discussion response. The purpose of the weekly response paper is for students to demonstrate that they have completed the assigned readings and can critically apply the material to larger questions of history and political economy. The paper should follow the basic format of: introduction, body, conclusion, and footnotes that follow the Chicago-style format (do not cite in the body of the text). All papers should contain the student’s own, individual voice that is supported with evidence and facts drawn from the assigned readings. Other secondary sources used to complement or strengthen your argument are acceptable, however Wikipedia entries and blog posts are not acceptable as sources.
It was very interesting to see the different race relations and concepts Alan Knight touches upon in his essay. One major claim that he points upon is the mestizo concept that coincides with Indian racism. Within this concept, he uses first hand references that have witnessed this racism and have also offered diagnostics on this idea as well.
As Knight explores two individual groups and their history, the racist history is built as he delves into their past. When Knight describes essentially how mestizo came to be, it was like how Americans were born after the American Revolution. The mestizos were neither Indian nor European but purely Mexican. To those who were naming themselves a mestizo, you were representing your nation. Overtime, the assimilation of mestizo and Indian came to be. The concept of this assimilation was to “dissolve the Indian element in the mestizo element. “(Luis Cabrera, 85) But the problem with this is that later in his writing, Knight discusses perfect races with the idea of reverse racism and the Indians and mestizos are the primes subjects! How, if people want to integrate two groups of races into one main race, can you later call them perfect, pure, and powerful? It’s the opposite of what those trying to achieve national recognition and power are trying to do.
In the book “Racism, Revolution, and Indigenismo: Mexico, 1910-1940” by Alan Knight, he states many examples to support his claim “that “race” and racial theories played a part in revolutionary Mexico (p71),” more specifically, after the armed revolution of 1910-1920. One of these examples stated is about the Chinese moving to Mexico. Just like any minority in a country filled with a certain majority, the Chinese people, though not too many of them, were tormented by the people and by the law, “the Chinese were repeatedly intimidated, attacked, robbed, and murdered (p96).” They were often looked down as something disgusting and “corrupting the organism of our race (p96),” even though almost 40% of the Mexican demographics were that of a different race (Week 2 Powerpoint, Slide 9). However, the Chinese, although considered an epidemic by the majority, contributed to the ever growing Mexico.
The Chinese started out as cheap laborers, much like the current United States with Mexican immigrants coming in past the border, but they ended up becoming very successful (p96). They also helped stimulate the economy. For example, they were involved in an economic competition with the middle class in Mexico (p97). In specific areas like the Northwest region, the Chinese were successful businessman, trader, and vendors (p96). Their success was also due to the team up with a well known U.S mining company which gradually annihilated all Mexican competition (p96). This success caused so much hatred among the Mexican people.
The revolutionary times in Mexico can be considered dark times for minorities, so much so that authorities wish to deny its existence. Though it was unplanned, there are still some positive aspects that can be drawn out from it. Mexican society became more unified than broken into a caste system (p98). In addition, massive labor migrations, both national and international, along with rapid urbanization, have helped to serve and breakdown the old regions of refugees and acquaint Indian groups with wage labor (p98). This demonstrated how these migrations were more helpful than the government efforts to reform society which did have have much success.