Racism against the "braceros"


The KKK...The braceros suffered all types of abuses not only from racist extremists but by the average American. This excerpts from a report made in by the Mexican Consul show the racist climate in Texas during the years of the "Bracero Program."

O'Donnell, Texas
I arrived in this town on the 26th of November. The Sunday before, the 22nd of this same month some kind of riot took place. A group of fellow countrymen protested a sign in the window of the only restaurant in town, named the Recreation Center, which denied entrance to Mexicans. With the assistance of the local deputy sheriff and of Mr. Pedro Tijerina, the despicable sign that justifiably offended the nationals, was removed and ended the riot without having anybody injured or arrested...

Lamesa, Texas
This town is located in a farming region dominated by cotton fields. The population is about 4,000 residents. The main industries are the cotton gins and our men, the braceros, the ones that give life to this place. It seems like a lie, but besides the fact stated before, this is where there is more segregation against our people. There are about eight coffee shops and small restaurants. While some have offensive signs and others don't, they all deny food service to our fellow countryman...

Big Springs, Texas
As in other places, some restaurants in this town have signs to prohibit the entrance of Mexicans...

Midland, Texas
In this town, the food establishments don't deny service to Mexicans, but when they are sold food they are only allowed to eat it in the back of the kitchen...

Pecos, Texas
In this town, the acts of segregation are more noticeable in the theaters where Mexicans are only allowed in the upper sections designated for black people...

We heard complains in Sneider, Morton, Tahoka, Lubbock, and Amarillo. It is the same clamor everywhere, because discrimination is a daily routine. For example, in Morton, a police officer beat a fellow countryman and his wife because they refused to sit in the section for blacks in the local theater...

From a report by Raul Michel, Mexican General Consul in the State of Texas, December 9, 1942, El Paso, Texas, to the Foreign Ministry of Mexico.


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