Nationalism in Minority Politics
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Political Science 61 / Chicano/Latino Studies 64 October 25, 2007 Exam Essay (67 percent of grade) Clear thesis early in essay Evidence from the reading and from lectures to substantiate the thesis Outline – optional, but encouraged Identifications (33 percent of grade) Identification—Example Indian Civil Rights Act 1968 legislation that explicitly made some but not all Bill of Rights guarantees applicable to Native Americans on reservations. Specifically, This it provided for free speech, assembly, speedy trial, and equal protection of the laws. legislation reflects the dual nature of Native American status in the United States that is a legacy of their origin as sovereign nations (and, hence, not directly covered by the U.S. constitution). Nationalism—(Rhetorical) Counter Position to Pluralism Pluralism – Primary goal of civil rights movement Equal protection of the laws Right to compete for national political and economic opportunities as equals Nationalism takes alternative approach Separate ethnic/racial population from American institutions to create group-based institutions In some cases, separate form United States – “separatism” Nationalism—Definition Devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation Aspirations for national independence in a country under foreign domination American Heritage Dictionary Note that definition assumes that separate institutions lead to political separatism Nationalism Never the Norm Majority populations often ascribe nationalist beliefs to minorities (and fear them) In reality, only intermittent appearances More regularly appears among: Native Americans Puerto Ricans (for Puerto Rico) Black support for assertion that blacks “should have their own separate nation” 1968 – 7% 1993 – 14% Source: Smith, We Have No Leaders, pp. 80-81 Little Support 2: Mexican American Concern With U.S. or Mexican Politics Source: Rodolfo de la Garza, et al., Latino Voices: Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban Perspectives on American Politics, pp. 103 and 179. Nationalism, Nevertheless, Important Offers a (rhetorical) resource of minority leaders Explains distance among some in minority communities from U.S. political institutions Majorities will continue to ascribe nationalist beliefs to explain low levels of minority empowerment Calculated ignorance (preponderance of evidence always shows little support) Blame the victim If incorporative mechanisms fail and the United States does not live up to its aspirations In the past, this has been more rhetorical, at least by leaders Good Luck on the Midterm!
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