My Response to Lindsey’s Mendez v. Westminster Questions

  1. The Mendez v. Westminster case is often referred to as a “story of progress” because many people know it as the case that outlawed segregation in California schools and it was a precursor to Brown v. Board. Although it was progressive, it still did not outlaw segregation entirely, mainly language segregation. This is very important because even after the 10th grade class became known to the real facts to the case, they still had the Mexican Brown v board thought process
  2. Mendez v Westminster is painted as a stepping stone to Brown v. Board while overlooking a lot of the nuanced complexities that the Mendez case deals with. Mexican Americans were unique to the historical framework, rather than just fitting into the usual Civil Rights Black narrative
  3. We as social studies educators must learn that each ethnic group has had a unique experience, and therefore, its own unique discrimination and oppression. The Mexican American experience cannot be clumped together with other racial/ethnic groups. Each group has its own nuance and it is important for us as educators to decipher those and present those nuances to our students
  4. Educators need to bring in evidence that language discrimination was still legal, and that although it was progressive, it really was not a Mexican Brown v. Board. We have to bring in these different perspectives, but more importantly, make sure we have the facts straight before we teach a subject.

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