"Go Back to Mexico" in Historical Context

I got a chuckle out of this today.

From Blue Nation Review:

Consider the states you associate most with anti-Latino sentiment.

You might first think of Arizona, of Maricopa County in particular, where Sheriff Joe Arpaio was accused and found guilty of racially profiling Latinos.

Or perhaps you might think of Texas, the state where, according to conservatives, Mexicans are diluting American culture by refusing to learn English and turning San Antonio into a Mexican metropolis.

California might also enter your mind – Latinos are now the majority there, a fact that, when it was reported, royally freaked out conservatives. It’s as if they know that minorities are typically mistreated or something.

The point is, the anti-Latino word bank of your typical xenophobe will likely include: “border, undocumented, alien, illegal, fence,” etc. So it makes sense that the states most associated with anti-Latino sentiment would be Border States.

But these states have something else in common too. They all used to be Mexico.

Mexico in 1822-1824:


5 thoughts on “"Go Back to Mexico" in Historical Context

  1. A clever manipulation of the timeline since Mexico was actually a Spanish province until 1821.

    It all depends on when you start the clock on these things. The territory in question was technically “Mexican” for a grand total of 27 years, and had few “Mexicans” in it.

    Today's anti-colonalists reject such timelines and artificial borders, and possession is 9/10 of the law in reality and anti-colonialism as well. The land in question is now American, populated by Americans, whose right to self-determination as America and Americans cannot be questioned.

    The rest is crap.

    Even as an academic curiosity, the successor regimes' claim to the lands is question is only as strong as Spain's was before Mexico became an independent empire in 1821 and after overthrowing the empire to become a republic in 1824. Spain's original claim would of course be considered illegitimate under anti-colonialist theory, including any borders it may have proclaimed in the first place.

    So it all depends on when you start the clock.

    As for Texas, its people declared their own independent republic from its colonial master Mexico in 1836. The map from “Blue Nation Review” does not reflect this political-historical fact.

    I really hate this history-by-hand grenade crap, Dr. Fea. The unapologetically left-wing “Blue Nation Review” article and map that included Texas spread far more fog than light in this matter. Its readers are more ignorant for the experience.

    Pardon our Wiki:


    “The first shot of the Texas Revolution was fired at the Battle of Gonzales on October 2, 1835, This marked the beginning of the revolution. Over the next three months, the Texan colonists drove all Mexican army troops out of the province. In January 1836, Mexican president and general Antonio López de Santa Anna led Mexican troops into Texas to put down the rebellion…”


  2. How is it a distortion when the bottom line is the area was not US territory and it was seized by causing a war designed to allow the US to claim the region? The Spanish did not invite Americans to settle in Texas and had a plan to settle Spaniards in the province in the early 1800s but had no money to do so so the plan was abandoned. Multiple attempts by Anglo-Americans to seize Texas took place during the last two decades of Spanish rule, but next to none were allowed in Texas other than a few.

    Regardless of Spanish or Mexican rule, or the number of Hispanic settlers in the region, the fact remains that the lands were seized by military force. This of course would end up in igniting the divide over slavery which led directly to the American Civil War.

    Following the American seizure of the region, the systemic removal of Hispanic land ownership, tradition, and culture began as the overt racism of the Americans began to exert itself. That is why it is so laughable when white Americans complain about Spanish speaking residents of the region. Some of those residents have had families in the region longer than any white American has in any part of the US. Do we even need to go into the Native American situation?

    You just cannot teach American History without covering the incredible racism that is so deeply embedded in it.


  3. A clever manipulation of the timeline since Mexico was actually a Spanish province until 1821.

    The “Mexican” people weren't very interested in living in Texas themselves, which is why Spain invited [white] Europeans to come settle the relatively empty land in the early 1800s.


    It all depends on when you start the clock on these things. The territory in question was technically “Mexican” for a grand total of 27 years, and had few “Mexicans” in it.


  4. I find that students are surprised when they learn that the American Southwest was taken from Mexico in the Mexican War and that Texas revolted against Mexican rule in part due to slavery. It gives them some perspective on the idiocy of “dialing 1 for English” and the bilingualism of the region.

    Teaching World Regional Geography puts these things into a global perspective and reveals the sheer laziness and ignorance of those who display their racism by wanting a wall built and only one language.


  5. Well, you are a historian and I'm not. (I'm not even intellectual enough to write “an historian”, lol.) However, there's an argument I'd like to bring to your attention from “American Nations” that the area on both sides of the US-Mexico border in the Southwestern states represent essentially a single community where, until a few decades ago, what we now call Latinos moved back and forth freely and family ties extended without much regard for both national and state borders. The argument has been made by a number of liberal blogs lately that making the border more secure has increased the number of undocumented Mexicans in the US because many of them dare not go back to Mexico for fear of being unable to re-enter the US. Do you have any thoughts on that?


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