Anti-Mexican Violence, Race, and the Myth of Color-Blindness




Blas, Jacob D.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Race and color-blindness have been examined in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies scholarship to explain the United States’ use of power through white supremacy to enact anti-Mexican violence. Anglo Americans have utilized laws, rhetorical strategies, and the manipulation of whiteness to yield fear and xenophobia, exacerbating negative stereotypes of Mexicans and Mexican Americans (e.g., “illegal,” gang members, drug dealers, rapists, criminals, dirty, diseased, mongrel). These attitudes continue to intensify under neoliberal, center, and right-wing U.S. politics and policing to characterize communities of color and immigrants as the “problem.” Neoliberal and liberal politics that use the concept of “color-blindness” do equal harm by erasing histories and ongoing experiences of white supremacy and colonial domination. The purpose of this study is to highlight how the formation of race, which is intrinsically tied to class and gender, is utilized as a mechanism for anti-Mexican violence in historical and contemporary contexts. I also intend to draw connections between this historical legacy and the contemporary period through a discussion about color-blindness and the dangers of white individualism. An examination of white supremacy, and its manifestation throughout U.S. institutions, is critical to understanding these issues because it allows us to critique the systems of power that continue to dominate the bodies of people of color. Racial hierarchies will continue to be reinforced if whiteness dominates U.S. society, academia, and the political apparatus. If we continue to ignore this history and the ongoing subjection, anti-Mexican violence – a critical facet of nation building – will continue unchallenged.


LCSH Subject Headings