Hysteria is Stupid!

The great thing about history is that you can recognize idiocy. The stupidity of Mexican American Republicans leading the anti-refugee hysteria. Mexican American Congressional representatives voting to exclude Syrian refugees.

In Corridors of Migration I told about the hysteria against the Yaqui in 1903 because the Yaqui would not let American settlers into the Yaqui Valley. Throughout the conflict many Americans tried to use the Yaqui “menace” as an excuse for intervention. Newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times exaggerated tales of refugees fleeing from the “savage” Yaqui., painting portraits of “Americans” being victimized by Yaqui warriors near Hermosillo; gouging their blue eyes and cutting off their ears. The Yaqui was portrayed as “wild Indians” on the warpath. The only solution was for the United States was to save the Mexican people and give them democracy by taking the Yaqui Valley off their hands. For the meantime, the reconfigured elite besides concluded as many other elites had before them that the Yaqui was bad for business.

These pseudo Mexicans forget that in 1914 in Arizona the Magonista newspaper Regeneración and the LA Times reported on “A War of Races in Arizona.” According to the PLM newspaper, white scabs attacked nineteen Mexican workers in Ray, Arizona. Sheriff Brown died along with two Mexicans in the Canyon of the Devil near Ray. That night there was another confrontation and another Mexican was killed. Masses of whites descended into the Mexican barrio, and entered Mexican homes and committed atrocities. They went into hills looking for Mexicans. “The American working class is the most mentally retarded class”, wrote Regeneración, not knowing its interests as workers. The Los Angeles Times on Aug 20, 1914 also wrote “RACE WAR IN ARIZONA DEATH LIST IS SIXTEEN.” They had killed four Euroamericans and twelve Mexicans in the bloody riot. Deputy Sheriff Finn Brown and two American “horse thieves” were shot in a shoot out. The hunted Mexicans killed two Euroamericans in a clash between the runaway Mexicans and the posse: The Los Angeles Times reported,

Infuriated at the news of the death posse members, white residents of Ray invaded the Mexican section of town, driving the terror-stricken men, women and children of the section from their homes.

One American and seven Mexicans were killed when a number of the Mexican residents resisted the attack upon their homes. The others fled to the hills.

Reports said that many Americans were searching the hills near Ray tonight; bent upon killing every Mexican they meet.

Officers and citizens have been sworn in as deputies, were sent to patrol the entire section to prevent a spread of the race rioting, if possible. I could go on and on and cite the Repatriation of a million Mexicans during the 1930s. However, hysteria has no reason.Small minds, stupid people, cowards spread it.

Stupid people learn little from the past. An incensed Ricardo Flores Magon after the 1914 hysteria called the U.S. a nation of maranos (pigs). Today we must remember that a minority of Americans of all colors condemn the racist xenophobes.

— by Rodolfo F. Acuña

This entry was posted in AmeriKKKa, Arizona, Aztlan, Borderlands, Chicana/o, Chicana/o Activism, Chicana/o Community, Chicana/o History, Chicana/o Identity, Chicana/o Studies, Community, Cultura, Decolonization, Education, Hispanics/Latinos, History, Los Angeles, Mexican, Politics, Resistance. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *