Race and Classification: The Case of Mexican America

By Ilona Katzew; Susan Deans-Smith | Go to book overview

Notes

Introduction

1. Pedro Alonso O'Crouley, A Description of The Kingdom of New Spain (1774), ed. and trans. Sean Galvin (San Francisco: John Howell, 1972), pp. 20-21. It is important to note, however, that there was no consensus as to whether the offspring of Spanish/Portuguese and black mixtures could return to a pure racial pole. See, for example, Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, The Spectacle of the Races. Scientists, Institutions, and the Race Question in Brazil, 1870-1930, translated by Leland Guyer (New York: Hill and Wang, 1993); and María Elena Martinez's essay in this volume, note 63.

2. Alfred P. Schultz, Race or Mongrel: A Brief History of the Rise and Fall of the Ancient Races of Earth: A Theory That the Fall of Nations Is Due to Intermarriage with Alien Stocks: A Demonstration That a Nation's Strength Is Due to Racial Purity: A Prophecy That America Will Sink to Early Decay unless Immigration Is Rigorously Restricted (Boston: L. C. Page & Company, 1908), pp. 148-51. Schultz's comments exemplify the continuing incorporation of cultural criteria in “scientific” constructions of race. In his analysis of Spain and the Spanish population, he remarks that: “Race impresses its characteristics on the religion that a people profess. The Catholicity of Gothic Spain was not the Catholicity of modern Spain. With the post-Gothic Spaniard, the Iberian-Gothic-Moorish-African mongrel, Catholicity degenerated into the crass fetishism which is the religion of modern Spain” (p. 147).

3. Vasconcelos served twice as Minister of Education, held the position of Rector of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City, and exerted a profound influence on Mexican culture by promoting education for the lower classes. He experienced his most productive years as an author during the 1930s, following an unsuccessful campaign for the presidency of Mexico in 1929. His book elaborated on the motto he created in 1921 for the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, which is featured in the university's coat of arms—“Por mi raza hablará el espíritu” (The

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