Racist Attacks on Mexican Immigrants: Another Sign of White Racism

Democracy Now reports on a story of anti-Mexican violence that is part of the growing violence we are seeing in this “liberty and justice” country against immigrants of color. This is likely one more predictable result of the increasingly xenophobic and racist verbal attacks on Latino immigrants we have seen over the last few years–much of it coming from extremist members of Congress and the media, as well as private vigilante-type groups.

The headline on the story runs as this:

“Friend of Mexican Immigrant Beaten to Death in Pennsylvania Gives Eyewitness Account of Attack”

And the account of the white attack on an immigrant is thus:

Luis Ramirez, a twenty-five-year-old Mexican immigrant, was beaten to death last week by a group of teenagers in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. He was walking home last Saturday night when six white high school students brutally beat him while yelling racial slurs. Despite eyewitness testimony, no charges have been filed. . . . Ramirez came to the United States six years ago. He was the father of two children.

A Mexican American friend of the man attacked was interviewed on the phone by Democracy Now and reported that this anti-Mexican attack stuff was not new:

But there are times when there are racial slurs. I mean, with my husband, I’ve been with him four years, and like, I’m telling you, there are many times that I’ve heard people scream racial slurs to him. You know, like I was pregnant with my son, and they told me, “What’s that in your belly? Another person I’m going to have to pay for? Another Mexican on welfare?” Like stuff like that. It’s disgusting.

Once again, we see the ways in which the old white racial frame negatively views Americans of color, and indeed accents negative images, emotions, and epithets for groups such as new Mexican immigrants. Right out of old anti-Mexican parts of that conventional racial frame, the racist slurs being yelled in these several cases become motivation for the violence.

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