Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945

By George J. Sánchez | Go to book overview

PART TWO

DIVIDED LOYALTIES

Our task is to break up these groups or settlements, to assimilate and amalgamate these people as part of our American race, and to implant in their children, so far as can be done, the Anglo-Saxon conception of righteousness, law and order, and popular government.

—Ellwood P. Cubberley, Stanford University, on
immigrant education, 1909 1

You learn everything that the gringos teach you, but don't believe half of it.

—Advice from a Mexican grandfather to his grandson
attending school in the United States 2

We have seen frequently that natives or mestizos in rural districts in Mexico have not much notion of their nationality or their country. They know their town and the region in which it is situated, and this is a "little country" for them. People of this type, as immigrants in the United States, learn immediately what their mother country means, and they think of it and speak with love of it. Indeed, it can be said that there is hardly an immigrant home where the Mexican flag is not found in a place of honor, as well as pictures of national Mexican heroes. Love of country sometimes goes so far that little altars are made for flag or hero, or both, giving patriotism thus a religious quality.

—Mexican anthropologist Manuel Gamio, 1928 3

Mexican education in the United States ... seeks to reserve for the patria those thousands and thousands of children who either came here at an early age or were born here, the ultimate goal of which is to one day, when the conditions of our country improve, reincorporate them as factors in real progress; for, they will carry with them the advantage of having two languages and the experience of two social mediums which have marked differences which, once compared and culling from them, could produce a level of superior life.

—Editorial in La Opinión, June 21, 1930 4

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