Thursday, November 15, 2007

Race Mixing and Latinos

From Vicki Ruiz, "From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth-Century America," (Oxford U. Press, 1998):

In writing about Chicano student and labor activism in the late 1960s, Ruiz points out a theme also present in Romano's book.

"Surprisingly personal decisions, such as dating, marriage, and sexuality, became movement concerns whether one identified with cultural nationalism or Marxism or some sort of combination or an in-between political space. The whole issue of interracial dating and marriage became hotly debated. In 1971, Velia Garcia Hancock argued against this mixing on political grounds. It was not a question of 'mingling of the bloods' given the nature of Mexican mestizaje, but rather that 'intermarriage results in a weakening of ties and declining sense of responsibility and committment to La Raza.' These types of wholesale generalizations did little to promote communication. Love cannot be legislated. Furthermore, did marriage within La Raza always guarantee commitment to community empowerment? Many chroniclers and fighters for social justice, including slain journalist Ruben Salazar and poet/scholar/activist Adaljiza Sosa Riddell, intermarried. Marta Cotera addressed this issue in her 1977 collection of esssays, The Chicana Feminist. 'You have to be mature enough to respect people's choices. Any individual who doesn't have freedom of choice cannot be liberated.'"

Ruiz doesn't elaborate on whether men or women had different views, as does Romano, but this could be an interesting research topic, if you're in the market for a paper idea!

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