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THE COMMUNIST
256
workers to develop their interests tion and fascism. to defeat the tory
in unity with those of industrial bloc in Congress and throughout the
workers. country.
Only persistent and orgaD,ized ef
We refer the reader to the section of
forts of all labor and progressive forces
the "Review of the Month: elsewhere ill
can break the stranglehold of mo this issue. in which Comrade BitlC1man dis
CUIRS the present economic situation iIIId
nopoly capital. This means one
the need for a thorough program of IlICMI
uni'ted democratic front against reac-
security.-The Editorl.
A Speech
"
of International Significance-
Social and National Security'
A Program for a United Democratic Front
BY EARL BROWDER
General Secretary, Communist Party, U.S.A.
Price 5 cents
THE MEXICAN QUESTION IN THE
SOUTHWEST
BY EMMA TENAYUCA and HOMER BROOKS
State Chairman and State Secretary, Communist Party, Texas
HISTOIUCAL BACKGJI.OUND tion that followed the Civil War. last
ing until a relatively late period in the
T
HE war of the United States with
Southwest, saw the importation of
Mexico. in 1846. following the an
thousands of Mexican workers into
Texas, Ca!ifornia, Colorado and Ari
ftuest of the territory which now makes
zona. (To a lesser degree this was true
states of California, New
of New Mexico, for geographical rea
Colorado and part
sons. Deserts and mountains border
Utah and Nevada. From the his
ing Mexico prevented free interrela
point.of view the forcible in
tion with old Mexico; at the same
tion of these areas in the
time this border region has not made
',ted States was progressive, in mat
for the development of large-scale
opened up for development these
capitalist fanning.) Railroad compa
'toties which until then had stag
nies alone were responsible for a great
.under the inefficient. tyrannical,
number of those imported. It is safe
control of Mexico.
to say that most of the railroads of
predominant influence of the
these five states were built by Mexican
in the Southwest. particularly
labor.
;a,lifornia, New Mexico, Arizona,
With the development of capitalist
do and Texas. can be seen in
fanning in these states. and particu
of such cities as Los An
larly in California and Texas, Mexico
Fe. San Antonio. San
was again a source of cheap labor.
and San Francisco.
Early figures on the number of Mexi
acquisition of these lands
cans immigrating into' the United
t into the Union a population
States are not available, since until al
-y Spanish and later Mexican,
relatively late period entrance into thel
customs, language. traditions
United States was comparatively sim
. culture were essentially different
those of the rest of the country.
ple. Complete figures as to the num
the border area of the Southwest
ber of Mexicans in the United State:
Mexicans have always constituted are today not available, since unti
ljority, both before and after the Mexicans living here were no
classified separately.
expansion and indusrrializa- However, between 1925 and 192
257
'r
of Texas. resulted in the can
the
ico, Arizona,
semi-feudal
names

with Mexico.
The Communist, March 1939, Volume 18, Number 3
159
i58 THE COMMUNIST
the heaviest immigration from Mexico However, there is no sharp distinc
took place. In the course of these five tion between these two groups, either
years, 185,738 Mexicans entered the in their social conditions or in their
United States, as follows: ' treatment at the hands of the Anglo
American bourgeoisie. Assimilation
'ga5 ", .. " ..... , ... , "" 50.60
among those groups which were here
'986 , ". . .. , , , , , " $8,017
before the conquest of these territories
:: :.: ' ::.. ' ::::::::. ::::::: by the United States has been slow,
19a9 ..... , .. , .. ,."",........ 59.51 and the Spanish language remains to
day the language of both groups.
Source: The World AI'IIIIInac, 1957.
The distinction has been sharpened
The 1930 census showed 1,500,000 somewhat in New Mexico, since a
Mexicans residing in the United lack of direct contact with Mexico led
States. Of these, all but 150,000 were the majority of Mexicans to regard
found to be living in the states of themselves as Spanish-Americans or
California, Texas, New Mexico, Colo. Latin Americans, and consequently
rado and Arizona. However, these fig. to regard Spain rather than Mexico u
ures include only the foreign-born the mother country. However, this cJ.iI.
and first generation Mexicans. 'They tinction is being done away with IIlOIll
exclude the large Spanish-speaking and more by the social conditions 1IJ)o
population of New which, der which the Mexicans or Spanish
according to H. T. Manuel of the Americans are suffering. which aa
University of Texas, numbers over breaking down barriers and leading to
250,000, or approximately l).alf the unification. The pro-Mexico senti
state population. These figures also ment among the people in New
exclude Mexicans of the third, fourth Mexico was seen when the Spanish
and fifth generations and those de speaking population rallied to 1Up
scendants of the early Spanishcolonists pon Mexico during the recent oil eJt
of any of the other four states. There propriations and even raised funds to
fore, we can readily state that the be sent to Mexico.
Mexican population of the Southwest Those Spanish-speaking people of
numbers approximately 1,000,000. Texas whose ancestors were in the
Thus. we can see that the present state prior to its annexation from.
Mexican population in the Southwest Mexico today regard themselves u
is made up of two groups: descendants Mexicans. We can thus state that the
of those living in the territory at the Spanish-speaking population of the
time of annexation, and immigrant Southwest, both the American-born
Mexicans and lint or second genera and the foreign-born, are one people.

Jlio
"
5;


tion native-born drawn from the im The Mexican population of the 0
poverished peasantry of Northern Southwest it closely bound together by
Mexico to work as super-exploited historical, political and cultural ties.
wage workers in railroad and building The treatment meted out to the '3!,
construction and in highly developed Mexicans as a whole has from
(capitalist) agriculture in the border earliest days of the sovereignty of the"
area. United States been that of a con-
THE MEXICAN QUESTION IN THE SOUTHWEST
quered people. From the very begin American worken. The vast majority
ning they were robbed of their land, of the Southwest are today found do
a process that has continued even up ing only the most menial work, the
to the present time. In 1916, immedi bulk. of them having been excluded
ately following the abonive De la from skilled crafts. In the cities, al
)losa movement in the Texas lower though Mexicans are found in the
Grande Valley for an auton garment industry and laundries and
omous Mexican regime, Texas Rang as laboren in building construction,
en. in cooperation with land specu the overwhelming majority are also
laton. came into small Mexican seasonal agricultural worken. This is
villages in the border country, mas true of the Mexicana in all states ex
saaed hundreds of unarmed, peace cept the Spanish-Americans of New
ful Mexican villagers and seized their Mexico, where instead of being agri
1aDdL Sometimes the seizures were cultural worken, the majority are
accompanied by the formality of sign small farmers, tenants or share-crop
ing bills of sale-at the point of a gun. pen.
So that. where, until 1916, vinually In Texas, in the' area of Corpus
all of the land was the prapeny of Christi, few if any Mexicans are
Mexicans, today almOSt none of it is found working in the extensive oil
Mexican-owned. In many cases fann field discovered there several yean ago.
who were well-to-do land ownen Corpus Christi, we may add, .is one of
raday barely eke out a living em the cities that lles within the belt
, pIoyed as irregular wage workers at where the Mexicans fonn the major
. joe to 7SC a day on the very lands they ity of the population. An example
owned. This land-grabbing has of the kind of industry that Mexicans
continued under one guise or another are not excluded from is the pecan
dIroughout the Southwest. In New industry in San Antonio, which until
Mexico fewer than one-half of the recently employed IlI,OOO Mexican
or Spanish-American farm workers, with wages averaging two to
retain any of their ancestral lands. three dollars a week.
Near-starvation faces thousands of
,,"not PIlESENT SOCIAL STATVS OF THE Mexican agricultural workers who
MEXICAN PEOPLE must live part of the year in the cities
and try to get work on W.P.A. A spe
-: With the penetration of Anglo cial clause in the relief appropriation
into these states. the Mexi act of 1937, which excludes foreign
.... 0lIl have been practically segregated born worken who have not taken out
into colonies. Thit is particularly true citizenship papen, resulted in dismis
of Colorado. Disease, low wages, dis sals of thousands from W.P.A. In EI
Q'imination and lack. of educational PlUG. for example, 600 out of 1,800
facilities are typical of these com on W.P.A.. were so dismissed.
'JP.UDities. The reaction of most of the Mexi
Mexican labor imported into the can W.P.A. workers to these dismissals
UDited States has unifonnly received could not lead to acquiring citizenship
19wer wages than those paid Anglo- papers du- to language, cost, and
17*
260 THE COMMUNIST THE MEXICAN QUESTION IN THE SOUTHWEST
161
other burdensome obstacles. Their re
sentment was expressed by demand
ing the opportunity to work on all
jobs, regardless of citizenship, a de
mand which by virtue of their his
torical rights in this territory is un
challengeable.
Discrimination against the Mexican
people can also be seen in regard to
relief appropriations. The Relief
Commission of Los Angeles presents
a special budget for Mexicans, claim
ing that diet and .living expenses are
lower among the Mexicans than
among other sections of the popula
tion. Since the Mexicans live in'
houses without electricity or natural
gas, they are subject to smaller relief
portions in every state in the South
west.
The conditions of the Mexican agri
cultural workers can be compared
only to those of the Negro sharecrop
pers in the South. According to the
United Cannery, Agricultural, Pack
ing and Allied Workers of America,
the average wage of the Mexican beet
work.er in Colorado is from $100 to
$200 per year. The-average wage of the
Texas cotton picker is considerably
less; in 1938 it ranged from MC to 75c
per 100 lbs, In those places where the
U.C.A.P.A.W.A. carried on struggles,
the prices were raised.
In New Mexico, where the Mexi
cans or Spanish-Americans have been
engaged in small farming, fully one
half of the farmers have lost their
land. Individuals such as John T.
Raskob and large corporations have
taken over ownership, and sharecrop
ping is rapidly taking the place of
small independent farming. Another
factor which threatens the existence
of the farmers of New Mexico and the
agricultural workers of the SouthWC!!l;
has been the large migration of
American farmers from the dust
The crisis has intensified the
petition for jobs; a fact that is res
ing .more and more in disp'
Mexican workers in the cities. f,.
example, the Sun-Tex canneries
Texas, located in a city with an ov,
whelming majority of Mexicans, .
onl y Anglo-American workers.
The Mexicans are not only
to wage differentials and discrimiDll
tion, but a view of their politi
status in the five states referred
reveals conditions in many ways
parable to the political status of
Negro people in the South. Denial
voting rights to the foreign
means disfranchisement of nearly
the adult Mexican population.
ondly, the semi-migratory character.",
the work of most of the Mexiq
workers disfranchises in
many of those who
Finally, in Texas the poll tax
franchises many of those who w,
otherwise be able to vote. Thus,
to one or another of the three cal
in San Antonio, a city of 250"
nearly half of whom are Mexi
only 8,000 Mexicans were
vote in 1938.
This disfranchisement has resul
in nearly complete Anglo-AmeTI'
domination politically in most of
communities where the Mexican
pie are a majority. In only two
three counties in Texas do the M,
cans hold the decisive elective
tions. (In New Mexico the situ:'
is otherwise, since there the maj
are Spanish-American, non-mi
and no poll tax is in force.) The
000 Mexicans in Texas have only
tatives ira the State Legisla
of representation in local or
politics and low economic stand
have resulted in poor health
itions and lack of educational
"ties. An example of this is Texas,
the death rate among Mexicans
clecided1y higher than among
:Jo.Americans, and even higher
the rate among Negroes. The
'iug statistics well illustrate this
De/lthsJln

155
g8
86
67
17 58.5
y, the relative difference in
death and illiteracy rates is
since the statistics refer to
averages which include con
lie Anglo-American and some
populations in all of the coun
having a heavy Mexican popula
Health conditions amor.g the
are evidently worse than
any other section of the popu.
in the Southwest, or even in
UDitedStates. San Antonio has the
infant mortality rate of any
city in the United States. It like
has a higher rate of deaths from
than any other city in
country.
unequal treatment that the
people suffer is manifested in
phases of life. The practice of ex
Mexicans from hotels and
ts is prevalent in all these
Jtales. A few years ago an interna
incident took place in Victoria,
when an official delegation of
students from Mexico was excluded
from a restaurant. Signs bar Mexicans
from dance halls in Los Angeles. In
Colorado small town restaurants dis
play signs: "White Trade Only."
Segregation of Mexican children in
small town public schools in Texas
is a common practice. Several years
ago a group of Mexican tax-payers in
San Antonio, by threatening to with.
hold the payment of school taxes,
successfully fought this issue. A few
months ago Dr. Juan Del Rio, a resi
dent of San Marcos, had to bring suit
against the school board of that city to
win the right of his children to attend
the school established for Anglo
American children.
The suppression of the Spanish
language, of the native culture of the
Mexicans, is one of the reasons for
the high rate of illiteracy. The most
important reason is, of course, the
semi-migratory life of the '2gTicultural
worker, which forces the children out
of school at an early age, and makes
school attendance irregular for many.
The social conditioIlS of the Mexi
cans can well be summed up by the
following statistics based on the cen
sw of
PERCENTAGE OF IUITIIlACY
NUll Mexico 4rizo1l4 ColoT/ldo
.5 .8
Mexicana 56-4
Native white.. 77
18.5 1IlI.0
Negroes . 59
Source: The WOTld Alma1l4C, 1957
To summarize, the Mexican people
of the Southwest have a common his
torical background and are bound by
a common culture, language and com
munal life. It should be noted, how
ever, that the Mexican communities
165
THE MEXICAN QUESTION IN THE SOUTHWEST
161 THE COMMUNIST
exist side by side with Anglo-Ameri
can communities within a territory
where the populated districts are sepa
rated by large but thinly populated
mountainous and arid regions..
Should the conclusion, therefore, be
drawn that the Mexican people in the
Southwest constitute a nation-or that
they form a segment of the Mexican
nation (South of the Rio Grande)?
Our view is no. Historically the
Mexican people in the Southwest have
evolved in a series of bordering,
though separated, communities, their
economic'life inextricably connecting
them, not only with one another, but
with the Anglo-American population
in each of these separated Mexican
communities. Therefore, their- eco
nomic (and hence, their political) in
terests are welded to those of the
Anglo-American people of the South
west.
We must accordingly regard the
Mexican people in the Southwest as
part of the American nation, who,
however, have not been so accepted
heretofore by the American bour
geoisie; the latter has continued to
hinder the process of national unifica
tion of the American people by treat
ing the Mexican and Spanish.Ameri
cans as a conquered people.
Comrade Stalin's classic definition
of a nation states: "A nation is a his
torically evolved, stable community of
language, territory, economic life and
psychological make-up I1UInifested in
a community of culture." We see,
therefore, that the Mexicans in the
United States lack two of the impor
tant characteristics of a nation, name
Joseph Stalin. Marxism and the National
and Colonial Question, p. 8. International
Publishers, New York.
ly, territorial and economic
munity.
THE SIMILAlllTY BETWEEN MEXICAJ!I
ANE NEGRO CONDITIONS
The status of the Mexican people
as an oppressed national group may
be compared in a number of aspccu'
with that of the Negro people in the,
South today. The policy of a wage.
differential, based upon the
exploitation of the Negroes, has beeJl.
carried over from the South and
plied to the Mexican population of
the Southwest. The treatment ac:
corded the Mexicans is also a c
over to the United States of W:
Street's imperialistic exploitation
Latin America.
The degree of oppression can
be compared to that suffered by ,the.
Negro people. Every effort of tbe
Mexican people to organize has
met by repression, as in the case of tbe
lettuce strikers in California; or by
tempting repression, as in the else of
the San Antonio pecan workers. The
threat of deportation has been an im.
portant weapon used by the reaction;
ary forces to break strikes and. keep
the workers from organizing.
Likewise, we might compare the
social forms of discrimination of the
Mexicans, previously cited, with thOllC
of the Negro people.
SOCIAL AND POUTICAL DEMANDS
IN RECENT STRUGGLES
During the first series of demon
strations among the unemployed in
San Antonio, the Border Patrolmen
were used against the Mexicans.
were herded before the United States
Immigration office and threatened
suCCCSlfully. but has also taken up
the struggle against all kinds of dis
crimination and for W.P.A. jobs.
Thus. Liga Obrera and the U.C.A.
The demand for the right to organ
,_ into unions without interference
the immigration authorities was
Jmmediately raised. As a result of the
by the Mexicans around this
iIIue, the Border Patrolmen of San
.oniohave not been used again as
atrik.e-breaking agency.
Upon the formation of locals of the
".CA.P.A.W.A. in the Rio Grande
Valley in Texas, the Mexican worken
the demand for schools con
in Spanish. At the Brownsville
exas) district convention of the
.C.A.P.A.W.A., a resolution calling
lhe establishment of schools to be
,ueted.both in English and Spanish
alltoWDS where Mexicans were a
pty was unanimously adopted.
.It. year ago the announcement by
Workers Alliance of San Antonio
a campaign to combat illiteracy
150 Mexicans who registered
... classes. However, the Mexicans
:1fOiJ1d only attend classes providing
.JIIcy. were taught in Spanish, a demand
.,.which the W.P.A. acceded.
<tThe tendency of the Mexican peo
phitoward solidarity was clearly mani
fared during the pecan strike in San
a year ago. Scores of small
""kan merchants signed petitions
of Mayor Quin the right
.strikers peacefully to picket the
ories without interference from
police.
recent struggles of the Mexi
in New Mexico are significant.
Obrera, an organization of small
has not only fought evictions
P.A.W.A. unions in Texas and Colo
rado have not only taken up the eco
nomic demands of the workers. but
have entered the struggle for social,
cultural and political demands.
WHAT PATII TO FOLLOW
Until now the various struggles of
the Mexican people in the Southwest
have been limited in the main to
isolated instances enjoying only par
tial or purely local support. Strike
struggles by the Mexican worken in
all Southwestern states; struggles to
hold the land in New Mexico; large
demonstrations against discrimination
in relief in most centers pf Mexican
population. particularly .in San An
tonio; and, finally. occasional srrug
gles by various middle<1ass organiza
tions. especially the League of United
Latin American Citizens (L.U.L.A.C.)
against discrimination and segrega
tion. is the record of recent years.
The struggles of the last few years
signalize the awakening of the Mexi
cans and Spanish-Americans in the
Southwest. The task now is to build
the democratic front among the Me"i
can masses through unifying them on
the basis of specific needs and in sup
port of the social and economic mea
sures of the New Deal.
A significant beginning in this di
rection is the forthcoming First Con
gress of the Mexican and Spanish
American people. to be held in Albu
querque, New Mexico. on March
24-26. The preparations for the Con
gress are a direct outgrowth of the
mass struggles in San Antonio and
THE MEXICAN QUESTION IN THE SOUTHWEST 16
5 THE COMMUNIST
164
New Mexico. It is sponsored by labor,
fraternal and religious organizations
among the Mexican people, as well as
by Anglo-American political, arid
community leaden in Southwestern
states.
The desire of the Mexican people
for unification is indicated, not only
by the present preparations for this
Coagress, but also by two conferences
held recently in Texas, initiated inde
pendently of the Congress movement
but which now have joined in its
sponsorship. We refer here to the
Dallas national conference of the
Camara de Trabajadores Mexicanos
of the United StateS, a national group
of loosely federated worken' clubs.
and the Port Arthur State Conference
of Mexican Societies, initiated by a
number of Mexican fraternal societies
with consular support. '
In California, a thoroughly repre
sentative State Congress of the Mexi
can people has been held in prepara
tion for the national gathering. Simi
lar steps are under way in New
Mexico. Colorado and Arizona.
Upon what is this movement for
Mexican unification based? What are
its main objectives?
It is a people's movement, uniting
the interests of large and important
sections of the population, over two
million strong, who, in alliance with
the country's democratic forces, in the
Southwest and nationally, can free
themselves from the special oppression
and discrimination in all its phases
that have existed for almost a century.
The struggle is directed:
I. Against economic discrimina
tion-extra low wages; expropriation
uf small land holders; discrimination
in the right to work in all trades and
crafts, particularly skilled trades; <lilt,
crimination agPinst professional
white collar workers; discriminatiqq'
in relief and right to employment .'
W.P.A.
I. For educational anti cultunl
equality-equal educational facilitiQ
for the Mexican population; no diI;
crimination against children of
can parentage; a special system 0(.'
schooling to meet the needs of the DU:
gratory families; the study of the SpIQ'.
ish language and the use of Spanisll .. :
well as English in the public schoo" >'
and universities in communities
Mexicans are a majority; the
of equal status to the Spanish r
guage, as has been done in
Mexico and in those counties
states where the Mexican people fonIJ)
a large pan of the total
3. Against social
laws making illegal the various
of Jim-Crowism, segregation in
quarters, schools, parks. hotels. rct-;,
tau rants, etc. This struggle must bt/1,
linked with that of the Negro people:"
4. Against political repression.
struggle for the right to vote is divided"ij;
into two phases:
(a) The majority of the
are American-born. The problem is. .:.
therefore. one of enforcing their ci1i'1
zenship right. This means demandi..
that all legal and extra-legal rcsU'ic.!:
tions to the free exercise of the ballot
be removed. These include residen<;e
qualifications, difficult for semi-migra. ,.
tory workers to meet; and in Texaa.
the elimination of the poll tax.
(b) Those who are foreign bom' ,
must join with all of the immigrant)
groups in the United States to secUJle
the democratization of the federal
regulations pertaining to length
.,cost, and language conditions re
.uired for citizenship; the aim being
to simplify the process whereby all
intend to remain permanent resi
dents of the United States-and this
mudes nearly all of the Mexicans
aad who express a desire for natural
,bation. can become citizens.
In some states, as in Texas, it may
become feasible to restore, at least
til federal requirements for becom
iJIg citizens become less onerous. the
provisions in the Texas state constitu
which, until IgU, granted voting
:!ights to all Mexicans and other for
born, citizens and non-citizens,
lproviding they met residence require
tiIIents and declared their desire for
,,' American citizenship.
'E 10 this general movement the lead
iDg role will undoubtedly be played
..., the proletarian base of the Mexi
caD population, its overwhelming ma
jority. This is already evident from
tJIe impetus given the movement for
rights by the large strike
Jtruggles in Texas, California and
The surest guarantee for
diefull and successful development of
Ihe people's movement will be in fur
ther trade union organization among
dle Mexican workers; in the first
place, in the U.C.A.P.A.W.A., affili
with the C.I.O.
The special status due to historic condi
t:iooa that the Mexican people occupied prior
the migration of Anglo-Americans into
die Southwestern states call be seen from the
following two facton: First, only six months'
Wsidence but not citizenship was the require
pat for voting among Mexicans in Taas
Util after 19111, when the state constitution
.. amended. Secondly, the Spanish language
... from the earliest days. been an official
lInguage alongside of English in New Mexico.
lfcIwevu, thiJ does not mea n tha t the Mexi
,CII1I durioJ this time were not SUbject to
diKriminauon, Jim-Crowism and unequal
wap.
It would. of course, be the greatest
mistake to give a purely labor aspect
to this broad people's movement. But
to be most effective, this movement
must bring about the closest relation
ship with the labor and democratic
forces in the Anglo-American popula
tion of the Southwest.
That the Anglo-Americans will re
spond to any initiative taken by Mexi
can people in seeking a closer relation
ship and mutual benefits is evident
from such examples as that in Colo
rado, where the Mexican beet workers
(U.C.A.P.A.W.A.) have an agreement
with the Anglo-American farmers for
joint action against the beet-sugar
interests that exploit them both.
In San Antonio, last year's strike of
11,000 pecan workers could not have
been successful without the important
suppon it received from national and
state councils of the C.1.0. and from
progressive Anglo-American political
leaders, such as Maury Maverick, in
defense of civil rights. In the Texas
Rio Grande Valley. unity between the
small Anglo-American farmers and
the Mexican agricultural workers will
be the key to improving the condi
tions of both.
STEIULE PATHS
One of the oldest organizations
among the Mexican people is the
League of United Latin American
Citizens (L.U.L.A.C.) with branches
in most of the Southwestern states.
In the past, its viewpoint was colored
by the outlook of petty-bourgeois na
tive-born, who seek escape from the
general oppression that has been the
lot of the Mexican people as a whole.
It meant an attempt to achieve Amer
icanization, while barring the still un
266 THE COMMUNIST
naturalized foreign-born from memo
bership.
It resulted in the glorification of the
English language and Anglo-American
culture to the extent of prohibiting
Spanish within the local societies.
And, finally, it ignored the need for
labor organization among the masses
of super-exploited workers. This pro
gram of the L.U.L.A.C. resulted al.
most from the beginning in its isola
tion from the Mexican masses, who
felt that it would lead them nowhere
except to a possible split between the
native and foreign-born. The extreme
to which this policy led the L.U.L.A.C.
was shown in Colorado a few years
ago, when, at the height of the de
pression, a Republican governor pro
posed. to deport 50,000 Mexican
workers who were on relief, and the
L.U.LA.C. in Denver endorsed this
proposal.
Recently, this splitting policy of the
L.U.L.A.C. has undergone significant
changes. An amendment to its con
stitution recognizes Mexico as the
cultural motherland. In several cities
in Texas and in New Mexico, the
L.U.L.A.C. has entered into coopera
tive relationship with other Mexican
groups, including labor organizations.
In Texas they have led successful
struggles against segregation in public
schools, parks, etc., not only in behalf
of American citizens, but of all Mexi
cans. With this change in the orienta
tion of the L.U.L.A.C., which is wel
comed by all friends of the people's
unification, it can be confidently ex
pected that this important organiza
tion of the Mexican middle class will
play an increasing role in the general
movement for Mexican rights..
Among the proposed. solutions to
the Mexican question is the idea of
repatriation. By this proposal, ~
1,000,000 Mexican and SpanishAmero
ican people in the Southwest can be
transported to Mexico. It is easy to
see that this plan is fantastic. if only
because, as we have shown, the 1,000.
000 people under consideration .ue
bound to the American soil by his
torical roots, cultural peculiaritia,
due to intermingling through several
generations with the Anglo-American
people in the Southwest, and by pJ'Clo
ent economic and social ties. No. the
solution to the problem of the Mexi
cans and Spanish Americans lies in the
Southwest and not in Mexico.
There are those, even among liberal'
Anglo-Americans, who hold that
either repatriation or some other
means of exodus-at least from the
larger cities-is an economic necessity.
on the assumption that (as, for ex
ample, in San Antonio) "there is such
a large proportion of unskilled com
mon labor that the problem of their
reemployment can never be. solved."
To these people we must say that the
solution lies:
1. In removing the barriers to em
ployment of Mexicans in all categories
of skilled, white collar and profes
sional work.
2. In facilitating the cultural de
velopment of the Mexican people,
which will help eliminate the condi
tions responsible for their status as
unskilled workers.
The attitude of the American bour
geoisie to the Mexican question in the
Southwest is not uniform. That sec
tion which derives super-profits from
the exploitation. of Mexican wage
labor is content with the status quo.
Another section is anxious now that
THE MEXICAN QUESTION IN THE SOUTHWEST
167
capitalist expansion and construction
in the Southwest have passed their
peak to get rid of the relief burden
ofthe unemployed masses, by deporta
~ to Mexico, a la Hitler. A third
Iection still clings to the former pro
.pam of the L.U.L.A.C.-Americaniza
lion by assimilation.
It is only recently, with the growth
of the labor movement among the
Mexican people, that a correct pro
gram has developed, calling for aboli
tion of all restrictions-economic, po
litical and cultural-and for due
JeCOgDition of the historic rights of
..the Mexican people in this territory.
THE SlGNIFICANCE OF TIlE MEXICAN
JUGHTS MOVEMENT
"No people oppressing other people
can be free," wrote Engelsv in 1874.
The correctness of Engels' statement
iavalidated in the low wages, and gen
erally low social status of the majority
of the Anglo-American workers who
6ve in the areas where the Mexican
people form a large portion of the
. population, The status of the Mexi
can people in those areas has, further,
tended to make them easy prey to cor
rupt and reactionary political ma
chines-a consequence that affects the
,vital interests of the Anglo-American
population in the Southwest.
The rise of the Mexican people's
movement is therefore of crucial im
portance to the general democratic
. and progressive movement of the
Anglo-American people in the South
west, which is already developing
UDder the leadership of such men as
Maury Maverick in Texas and Olson
in Califomia.
"olAaIat, 1874. No. 6g.
',,
It is likewise significant in relation
to the movement for Negro rights in
the South. For, the special exploita
tion of the Mexican people in the
,
Southwest is, in many respects, simply
i
a continuation of the special exploita
. ~
tion and oppression to which the Ne
gro people in the South have been
subjected. A blow against the op
pression of one will be a blow for the
freedom of both.
Internationally, the Mexican and
Spanish-American people's movement
in the United States has an important
bearing on the relationship between
the United States and Latin-America,
especially Mexico. Unless the "Good
Neighbor" policy begins at home, with
respect to the treatment of the Mexi
can people, it will be difficult to con
vince Latin American of the sincerity
of this policy.
It is interesting to note that a fas
cist publication in Mexico City, Nove
dades, a vehicle for Nazi influence,
and therefore an opponent of the ef
forts made at Lima to organize the
Western Hemisphere against fascist
penetration, seized upon the fate of
the 2,000,000 Mexicans in the South
west-whose condition it described as
being worse than that of the Jews in
Germany-as an argument: (1) against
the Mexican people concerning them
selves with Jewish persecutions in
Germany; (2) for a struggle against
the "Jewish-dominated capitalists" of
the United States, who "hold the
Mexican population of the Southwest
in bondage." The winning of the peo
ple in the Southwest for an anti-Ias
cist peace policy and for continental
solidarity of the Western Hemisphere,
therefore, means winning them to a
realization of the need for granting
168 THE COMMUNIST
recognition to the historical rights of cam in the border states in order to,
the Mexican people in the Southwest. further their aims in Mexico itself. ;.('
Due to their proximity to Mexico,
The Mexican people's movement in
it is important to the democratic peo
the Southwest will constitute ODe
ple's front movement in that country
more important and powerful lint in
that the Mexican people of the United
the growing movement for the "
States be organized, united and
cratic front in the United States. "
brought j.nlO progressive alignment
achievement of its objectives will be"
with the democratic forces of the
United States, as a barrier to the ef
a decisive step forward toward the
forts of the Nazi-financed Mexican national unification of the
fascists to win a base among the Mexi- people.

"Only through the medium of an alliance oJ peoples conducting a
selfsacrificing struggle for the cause oJ peace is it possible to frustrate
the criminal plans of the instigators of war. A defense cordon of
armed peoples who have joined their forces with the great Soviet
will doom fascism to impotence and hasten on its defeat and
Its inevitable ruin."-Manifesto of the Executive Committee of the
Communist International, Nov. 7, 1958.
CLASS FORCES IN CALIFORNIA
AGRICULTURE
BY HARRISON GEORGE
wineries and other processing enter
"".WE CONCLUDED the previous arti
e: ele- with the officially stated prises. as well as wholesale distribu
purpose of the "Pro-Rate Law" which tion agencies, and the banks which fi
was put into effect during the Merriam nance the whole set-up. Thus, the fac
..., regimein California. This law restricts tory farm might well engage in a game
agricultural production indirectly by of freeze-our with the small family
mtricting marketing, and making free farms and "lose money" on its farm
marketing by farmers punishable un operations, while making excellent
derstate law as "a misdemeanor." profits on processing, distributing and
financing.
CI..AJlU FOR THE Pllo-llATE LAW
Another argument for the Pro-Rate
To get small farmers to accept the Law is the simple one of "regulation"
Pro-Rate Law, the time-worn theory of the "flow of products to market."
was propagated that limiting the sup- This is an appealing argument. But
;;; ply would increase the price. without this is not the purpose of the Pro
ttgard to the total purchasing power Rate Law-which is restriction. And
,Wdn the market. This theory also left while the federal A.A.A. gives definite
OUt of the reckoning that, since the and known compensation payments
full crop must be raised, though not for restrictions, the Pro-Rate gives
marketed, the cost of raising the "sur- nothing, except the mentioned promise
plus," held off the market must be that restricted supply may return
included in the total production cost, higher prices.
thus narrowing the profit margin on The "discussion" of a program on
the marketed crop to the point of dis- any product is dominated by proces
appearance. sors, big growers and-bankers.
This prospective loss is a reality to Thus, although there is nothing in
the family-sized farm, whose unit the law about price-fixing or prices,
cost is higher than that of the big the small farmer is told that he must
"taaory farm." Such "factory farms" vote for the price offered as an in
aR owned or operated by the same tegral part of voting for the program,
C3pitalists who operate canneries, And, though the price be ruinous to
is the second and concluding sec. him, the whole battery of propagand.
.daD- of Comrade George's article, the first ists from big growers, processors and
,=- of appeared in the February bankers are put to work on hastily
-TIa. Editors.
.'" 16g

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