Black-Brown Relations and Stereotypes

By Tatcho Mindiola; Yolanda Flores Niemann et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 5
Areas of Agreement

We can get along with anybody. We have a long history of having
to get along with everybody.

FIFTY-THREE-YEAR-OLD BLACK MALE

Of course we can get along. All we have to do is put our differ-
ences aside and work on things that are common to both groups.
What we have in common far outweighs our differences and we
need to realize this and start moving forward together.

THIRTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD HISPANIC FEMALE

As in all social relationships, there are issues that provoke disagreement and issues on which there is consensus. Conflict can be so severe that it prevents relationships from continuing or even forming. Fortunately, this is not the situation for Hispanics and African Americans in Houston.

There are many similarities between Hispanics and African Americans that can and do serve as a basis not only for consensus but also for cooperation and coalition building. Mexican Americans and African Americans became residents in the United States through force. Both groups are physically and culturally different from Anglo-Americans. Both groups have experienced and continue to experience discrimination in all spheres of American life: education, employment, income, housing, health care, and life chances. Both groups have large numbers of poor people in their communities, and both groups have a history of struggling to gain parity and justice in the United States. In sum, African Americans and Hispanics are subordinate minority groups who share common views on a variety of subjects. Agreement does not necessarily mean consensus on all facets of an issue, nor does it mean agreement when the opinions of African Americans and Hispanics are investigated at a different level of analysis, such as the state or national level. What

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