Mexican-American communities and others from the United States are joining forces to support the Uvalde community in Texas. This includes student walkoutsMore than 200 schools participated in the first wave a renewed education initiative on May 26. national movementFor rational gun control measures that are led by survivors and their families from previous mass shootings in Parkland (Florida) and elsewhere.
The terrible slaughter in UvaldeTwo teachers and 19 students were killed trying to protect them. This should also serve as a reminder of the oppressive ways that children of color have been treated. Robb Elementary School’s children are OurChildren are the future of our families and our future. nuestro pueblo.
It is important to consider the historical context of Uvalde and its implications. Uvalde is roughly halfway between San Antonio (Texas) and the U.S. Mexico border. More than 80 percent are residents of Uvalde. school district and city of Uvalde is classified as “Hispanic” according to census data.
Uvalde is like much of Texas. It is a rural and primarily working-class city of overwhelmingly Mexican descent. Uvalde is thus also a border community in the broadest sense — geographically, demographically, socially, culturally and historically — with deep roots in bothMexico and the U.S. and with manyFamilies of mixed immigration status. Many of these contexts have been obscured or ignored by dominant narratives in commercial media, such as the dilution of Uvalde’s distinctive character by categorizing its population as generically “Hispanic” or Latino/a, and by mispronouncing its name.
Uvalde and Border Militarization and Police
The convergent failuresThese children are being rescued by federal, state and local authorities. This is a reflection of deeper systemic issues that relate to the unjust policing of schools in Texas and elsewhere in the U.S. They also highlight the urgent need for organically connectStruggles and demands to abolish mass incarceration and detention of immigrants, and for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)The Border Patrol, with calls for an end to racist policing and the criminalization of migrants.
Efforts to glorify the belated but supposedly decisive intervention at the culminating moments of the Uvalde massacre of the Border Patrol’s Tactical Unit (BORTAC) can ironically serve to underline this unit’s lack of transparency and accountability. This includes the expansion of BORTAC’s original mission focused on “SWAT-style raids on organized gangs smuggling immigrants or drugs across the US border” to deployments in Portland, Oregon, and potentially to Albuquerque, Chicago and New York. This was a key dimension of the Trump administration’s unsuccessful plans to repress mass protests during the summer of the George Floyd uprisings in 2020.
BORTAC was also deployed internationallyTo Iraq and Afghanistan, as also to several other countries Latin AmericanCountries, as part of a broader vision that seeks to position the Border Patrol as a “marine corps of the US federal law enforcement community.” All of this seeks to build on its standing, together with ICE (both within the Department of Homeland security), as the largest police forceIn the country, and one the largest in the world. Uvalde, the border region, and their surrounding areas, are often considered occupied territory from this perspective. This is the same view that was used on the day Robb Elementary School massacre. This is reinforced by the Border Patrol’s generalized, recurrent impunity in more than 200 deathsSince 2010Multiple cases of deaths in custodyChildren and youth from migrant families.
Uvalde thus represents broader patterns as a community that’s ostentatiously policed and divided by the Border Patrol. It is located at the border of the heavily militarized U.S. Mexico border region. Texas itself is indelibly marked, however, by white supremacy’s legacy of Indigenous dispossession and African slavery and the invasion and conquest of Mexican territory. These are the driving forces behind the deep and lingering inequalities that are evident at Robb Elementary School and other similar schools throughout Uvalde.
The Robb Elementary School massacre, which was reminiscent of the El Paso massacre in Texas in 2019, and other convergent crimes driven by racism and white supremacy such as the recent mass shooting at Innsbruck, Texas, infuriated our senses of vulnerability. BuffaloNew York,. Cases such as these highlight the persistent effects of the targeting of our communities by the human rights crimes of the Trump administration and its apologists, and more recently by the Biden administration’s own abuses and inconsistencies.
Many of us involved in the fight for immigrant justice know that the border is not just an imaginary line. It is becoming increasingly clear that the border is far more than this imaginary line. divisive wallThis is what separates the U.S. and Mexico, Latin America, and the Global South. We have learned that the U.S. has become increasingly repressive in its immigration policies. the borderIs an open woundThis runs through every community in which we are present, as immigrant communities. It also bleeds into the countries and places of origin for our migrant sisters and brothers.
This landscape is clearly reflected in the intertwined neocolonial legaciesConquest and racial cultural and linguistic subordination of Mexican-born people. These are the traces which continue to permeate Uvalde’s soil, air, and border region through the racialized management of land, labor, resources, and other factors. It is also evident from this context that it is the border itselfWith all its trappings imaginaries, which generatesThe intricate machineriesa structural violence inherent in U.S. immigration policies and its regional or global counterparts.
This includes the recurrent history racial violence directed against Mexican-American communities throughout Texas. There have been hundreds of lynchings that have been reconstructed and reconstructed by scholars like Marcia Muñoz MartínezThe Refusing to ForgetAs well as project William D. Carrigan, Clive WebbAnd Nicholas Villanueva, among others. This suppressed history includes 11 reports of cases of this nature in and around Uvalde during 19th and 20th centuries.
The identity of the Uvalde killerA youth of Mexican origin or descent has been seized upon, as have 80 percent of the students of this school district. by others to reaffirm our supposedly inherent, “alien dangerousness.” But we should know by now that the deadly violence unleashed in Uvalde is, in fact, deeply characteristic of the U.S. — just like the guns from the U.S.To feed drug violence, they have flooded into Mexico.
Uvalde and community-based struggles for educational equality
But Uvalde stands for much more than supposed “Latino-on-Latino” violence, or the suffering of ostensibly passive victims. Robb Elementary School, which has a history of equality in Uvalde public schools, is one place to start a richer, more accurate story.
A quick glanceIt reveals what too few of us have forgotten about the central, historic role of Mexican communities like Uvalde, in complex, challenging battles against the statewide system for racial segregation.
These are the types of systemic practices which led the Uvalde school district to manipulate student assignment policies so that Robb Elementary could be maintained as a segregated “Mexican school” from the time it was established in 1954, ironically the same year as the Supreme Court’s landmark decision holding that measures of this kind were unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education.
This kind of segregation was customaryAs elsewhere in the southwest, Texas has seen both Black and Brown students affected. only finally dismantledBecause of community-based strugglesTargeted litigation is combined in places such as Uvalde.
In Uvalde this included activism, initially through a Mexican veterans’ branch of the American Legion, and then led by local youthThrough the Mexican American Youth Organization, the focus was on redressing unjust circumstances in Uvalde schools. This core was the foundation of the group that would become known as La Raza Unida Party (LRUP),One of the most important driving factors in the national Chicano freedom movement of 1970s.
Uvalde lies only 40 miles from Crystal City (also known as Cristal), which was the first Texas community to elect an LRUP majority to its school board. It is not surprising that 500 students in Uvalde led a life of learning. walkoutFrom the local schools that started on April 14, 1970. It was named the longest boycott of its kindThis was a crucial period in Chicano activism. The Uvalde movement was inspired by the East Los Angeles, California student walkouts. April 1968The community-based boycott of New York City’s public schools in February 1964,This was the basis for desegregation.
Organizer Genoveva Morales became renowned in Uvalde as a key leader of the Mexican community’s struggle against segregation and for equal educational opportunities and was the lead plaintiff on behalf of her son RobertoIn what became a landmark court case known as Morales v. ShannonIn 1975, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. The ruling reversed a lower court decision, and found that the Uvalde schools had to be fully desegregated, based in part on the maintenance of Robb Elementary as a separate and unequal “Mexican school.”
Federal judges have been serving for almost 40 years supervised and monitored implementationUvalde school district, which was ordered to take court-ordered measures including desegregation of bilingual education, affirmative action and affirmative actions to ensure the hiring of and promotion of teachers that are representative of the community. A third form of symbolic reparations was offered in 2014 when a junior high school was named in Uvalde in Morales’ honor.
Will Robb’s status as a “Mexican school” be remembered, as well as its 1970 walkout, when it is razed and replaced by a new building, as is apparently planned? Although they’re no longer formally segregated, the Uvalde public schools today continue to reflect the vestiges of historical discriminationRobb Elementary students who are of Mexican origin and descent make up about 90 percent of its students.
According to school district data, more than 81 percent of the students at this school are eligible for a free or reduced cost lunch, while students’ test scores and overall academic progress last year were far below the state average. 2020-21 school year more than 67 percent of the district’s students were considered to be at risk of dropping out. Many sources identify the victim as a student who was bullied for his speech impediment. He eventually became frustrated and died. dropped outOr was expelled.
These are the kinds of inequities in Uvalde’s schools that led to the 1970 walkout. The national student walkout, which was held on October 7, has brought things full circle. May 26Solidarity with Uvalde’s students. In the 1970s, Uvalde students stood up for us. It is now that we can stand up for them.