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Authors: Mexicans Were Also Lynched By Mobs, Law Officers

A recently released report documented America's legacy of lynchings of blacks, finding 700 more lynchings than previously known, for a total of 3,959. The report called the violence a "legacy of racial terror" against African Americans. Authors of an op-ed published in Friday's New York Times reminded that Mexicans too were subject to such terrorism. Native Americans, Italians, Chinese also were targeted. But "particularly Mexicans," were frequent targets of lynch mobs, stated Rowan University professor William Carrigan and Clive Webb, a Sussex University professor. The professors have documented 547 mob murders of Mexicans in "Forgotten Dead: Mob Violence Against Mexicans in the United States, 1848-1928."But they state that thousands more occurred. In a difference from lynchings of blacks, "local authorities and deputized citizens played particularly conspicuous roles in mob violence against Mexicans," the authors state. One example, the roundup by Texas Rangers and ranchers of nearly two dozen men who were marched to a bluff and executed in what is known to Mexican Americans as Hora de Sangre (Hour of Blood). Carrigan and Rowan tie the violence to the current political climate: "In today's charged debate over immigration policy and the growth of the Latino population, the history of anti-Mexican violence reminds us of the costs and consequences of hate."


-- Suzanne Gamboa