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Southeast Case

Essay by   •  December 14, 2012  •  Essay  •  857 Words (4 Pages)  •  600 Views

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There were many phases of political organizing among the Latinos since World War II. During the Integration Period (1950-1964), there were several advocacy groups set up to help Hispanic veterans coming back to the US and to also help Hispanics to vote. Hispanic communities begun to be looked upon as significant votes and possible swing votes. During the 1960s, there were a few political office victories by Hispanics that began to open the doors for others to enter civic service. President Kennedy was the first president to realize the significance of the Hispanic vote and focused a tremendous amount of attention upon the Hispanics of the country, especially that of Mexican Americans (pg. 172). In New York, some Puerto Ricans were beginning to be voted in to city offices. With the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 there began a removal of much of the discrimination that existed prior.

The Radical Nationalist Period (1965-1974) saw strange bedfellows emerge. The Cubans formed relationships with the Republicans. Their goal in doing so was to return to Cuba free of Castro and Communism (pg. 175). With the ease of getting US visas, Cubans entered the country and with it, there was a surge of voting power. Mexican Americans in the South West, Puerto Ricans in New York, and Cubans in South Florida had enough numbers in those communities to draw attention of the "white" politicians. Each group was competitive, but found if they formed an alliance under the name of "Hispanic" or "Latino" that they would garner more power nationally. However, some radical groups left to align with other groups outside the Hispanic communities, with such groups like the African American Black Panthers. Some of these splinter groups, especially within the Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants used terror to get their voices heard. Whereas other splinter groups formed, but took on more peaceful means, but rejected both major political parties. More groups in the Mexican and Cuban communities formed to attempt to raise more voter turnouts among those groups using grass roots methods.

The Voting Rights Period (1975-1984) saw the flame out of the more extreme groups in favor of searching for voter equality (pg. 177). The Mexican Americans organized by filing more civil lawsuits, formed national coalitions and expanded the work to the poor communities by setting up voter registration drives. The Puerto Ricans in New York expanded their reach to the rust belt states and expanded to smaller communities and held their own voter registration drives. Puerto Ricans were also setting up alliances with black groups and were getting political power with victories by the use of combining their votes. Cubans were also organizing with the help of the federal government, thanks to the Reagan Administration for special projects that were also financed by the CIA. They were also doing a public image campaign to clean up the image of the Cuban Americans. Where the Puerto Ricans and Mexicans saw benefits with forming alliances with the black groups, Cubans

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