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New report in the United States by Southern Poverty Law Center indicate that poor Latino immigrants still face hostile environment when filling for low-wage jobs in the south of the US. According to the report, “500 low-income Latinos across the South — including legal residents, undocumented immigrants and U.S. citizens — the report concludes that Latinos are frequent victims of theft, workplace discrimination, sexual abuse and violence”. Discrimination of Latinos involves horrific abuses of basic human rights, for example, undocumented childbirths and discrimination at the workplace. “For instance, six Latino immigrants were killed during a robbery of their homes in Tifton, Georgia by African Americans who suggested they were easy targets”.
The existence of these cycles of abuses poses a state of civil rights crisis in the U.S., where there is an underclass of people without right to justice, which undermines the nation’s immigration policies. “Discrimination against Latino community has come in both structural and attitudinal varieties,” and this is supported by. This paper therefore establishes grounds to believe that the Latinos are discriminated against in the United States.
California Civil Rights Lawyer attests to the fact that Latinos, among other minority groups in America, are discriminated against and “as one of the perceived symbols of that discrimination, the U.S.-Mexico-Border Fence, nears completion, only increasing the need for more civil rights lawyers to protect the civil rights of the Hispanics, Latinos and Mexican-Americans”. The recent state of affairs in the United States concerning job losses poses yet another danger, increased discrimination of the Latinos and other minority groups. Even though American boosts of cultural diversity that makes the nation a great place to live in, the economic meltdown catapulted by increasing unemployment rates would mean that those with meager resources are likely to face a poor hardship standard of living. Another concern is that, at this time of hardship, the minority groups (Latinos) will be subjects of discrimination instead of all citizens pulling together to avert the consequences of the economic hardship.
African-Americans trail the Latinos in terms of employment opportunities in America. Whereas the African-Americans broke into the highest office in the American land and look forward to president Obama for inspiration, the Latinos still wallow in ardent discrimination at the workplace and in day-to-day life. The Latinos brings in a rich culture in America and in spite of this, segregation is still rife as Latinos can only afford to live in regions dominated by their race but away from other minority groups like the African-Americans and Caucasians. According to Gibson, (2009), “There are many causes of discrimination, all of which are idiotic, but the less interaction different cultures have, and the more likely it is there will be discrimination by those who do not relate to each other.”
Latinos and Media Dominance. According to Mastro and Behm-Morawitz as quoted by Dana et al., the U.S. population census conducted in 2000 revealed that 12.5% of the Latinos constitute ethnic minority, only 3-4% of the Latinos feature on prime-time television despite television population stabilizing in the last five decades. They only feature in comedies, crime acts, as law administrators, and as sexual objects. In the aforementioned roles, the Latinos appear as humankind with less intelligence, poor speech patterns, lazy, and as aggressive individuals. Dana et al., notes that, “among all Latino characters depicted, only about 11% are seen in high-status jobs, with Latinos more likely to be portrayed in service roles than any other racial/ethnic group on television”.
The research domains seek to establish that civilization lead to a number of disgruntled race-based effects for the minority groups. This ranges from perceived Whites’ judgment of guilt to hostility against Latinos. Gaertner and Dovidio as quoted by Dana et al. observe that,
Although these findings do much to highlight the meaningful role that media play in provoking conspicuous displays of racism, they fail to consider the more discreet discriminatory responses that are also likely to occur given the strong emphasis on fairness and racial equality in contemporary U.S. society.
Media discrimination against Latinos can be explained within the contexts of aversive racism and the theory of social identity. In the contemporary forms of racism, exhaustive empirical evidence supports the framework of aversive racism. This evaluation is a White’s characterization of ethnic minorities by endorsing the egalitarian values coupled with Whites’ failure to acknowledge their negative attitudes towards the minority groups in America. According to Dovidio et al., “Whites recognize that Blacks are as American as Whites on the civic dimension, associations of Latinos with illegal status in the United States lead to different types of bias toward Latino Americans than toward Black Americans”.
Even though egalitarian disposition results from the high stake of social norms that are in opposition to racial/ethnic discrimination on both moral and social contexts, racial discrimination is persistent due to different values and ideologies between minority and majority groups. In addition, cognitive frameworks give superiority and emergence of racial stereotypes and avenues for social identities that are motivated by intergroup relationships. The theories of aversive racism and social identities “promote greater awareness of the different types of intergroup outcomes that can be anticipated from the important role that character race/ethnicity and the particular manner in which characters are depicted each play in predicting viewer’s responses to media”. From this concept, it then follows that watching television storylines, character evaluation is sufficient to offer partiality, and as preferred rejoinder to a particular group in favor of in-groups (Whites) and opposed to out-groups (Latinos).
Political Engagement of Latinos. There are myriad forms of racial abuse against the Latinos in the U.S. and as has already been mentioned, abuse occurs in the media. Another form of abuse occurs in the political engagement that is influenced by origin of immigrants, language fluency, gender, and status. Racial identity is also another constituent that affects the political engagement of the Latinos in America. According to “Latinos who racially self-identify as ‘black’ are less likely to trust government than are other Latinos, and Latinos who racially self-identify as ‘some other race’ have lower levels of political efficacy and are less likely to participate in politics.”
Black Latinos have different attitude towards the political set-up of the nation as compared to other Latinos. However, this attitude is in line with the African-Americans’ views. “Latino group consciousness leads to greater perceptions of commonality with African Americans”. This statement hypothesizes on the likelihood of forming political coalitions amongst the minority groups with similar political values. Latinos and African-Americans political coalitions are therefore eminent. However, this may face another hurdle as Straus observes that, “Compton’s blacks used access to employment in education as a means to uplift while denying another group that same opportunity”.
Consequently, an ambiguous racial construct has repercussions in the political engagement. In this regard, Latinos who link themselves to other races are neither effective nor engage in active political campaigns. In the investigation of Latinos’ political dynamics, there is a concrete relationship between intergroup identities and political engagements. A good number of Americans identify with or support the notion that there exist rigid racial groupings and peculiar racial identifiers. “Thus, the data is supportive of the predictions about Latinos eventually occupying a unique position in the U.S. racial structure,”.
The Latinos hold long-term political significance in the United States. This is because demographic trends give an indication that their population is increasing. In addition, Latinos have a diverse charisma in the politics of the land and this hint at their potential to influence the future political landscape. This future political realignment will take shape when the Latinos become active in politics, thus, it would be important to study the factors that influence and nurture their level of participation. Hence, the interpretation of racial and ethnic intergroup connects with political consequences. As such, the development of political influences of the Latinos will still lag unless there is an understanding of social and political connotations that identify and inform judgments of political behaviors.
The entire essay is a demonstration of vast racial discrimination in the United States against the Latinos. Discrimination is evidenced in media practice, legal perspectives, in education history, and in politics among other areas of common interests. In the political arena, the research unveils the significance of political interests of the Latinos, which together with African-Americans, constitute 25% of the American population. Fighting discrimination against the Latinos will take relentless efforts to eradicate the bad social and psychological mindset of the entire population. This will eliminate dominance of the Whites against minority groups. There is racial discrimination amongst the minority groups and racial discrimination between the in-groups and the out-groups. Nonetheless, same factors constitute to the general understanding of issues affecting racial discrimination. In sum, this essay agrees that indeed, racial discrimination against the Latinos is a reality in the United States.