Author Archives: Brenadn D O

Bracero Primary Sources


The Bracero experience was very much both a build-up off of, as well as had contributed to, the exploitation and disregard in the Mexican labor force. Recounting his experience, Juan Loza elaborates on the known disparities of having been humiliated in ways of being stripped from your clothing and scoured with various disinfectants before the contracting process of the Bracero would even begin. The argument being, to prevent germs from contaminating the Mexican-American border, though, this action was granted with very little regard to how “liquid and powder disinfection” could affect the health of the Bracero workers. 

The Bracero program was intended to supply work to contracted-out workers from Mexico, however, with derogatory notions of the Mexican population established, many of the worker farms had a clear pay discrepancy against them. The work was tasking and demanded a lot without giving much in return. The Bracero were often worked 24 hours, 7 days a week, as with Loza’s experience, and if they were able to find themselves a day off, many would also find themselves turned away from dining establishments, calling for “whites only.” 

Ngai discussed this process of exploiting the Bracero program as the (further) development of the hierarchal racial order we see today, essentially constituting “imported colonialism.” This establishment of the Mexican worker position underneath the white field master brings a stark resemblance to the slave master’s power control. While the Bracero were paid contractors, Ngai argues a point to which I agree, that the arrangements of the migratory agricultural  labor force was done so with the intent to establish a cycle of supply and demand, fed by the “social segregation and isolation of Mexicans.” The agribusiness was one where a large workforce was necessary, though it would, in the end, be costly. By the organization of the Bracero program, we began to see a flood of laborers who would work for lesser pay. This then established a dominant control by the Euro-American overseers, of both the fields and the programs, eventually race. 

research annotations

Mae M. Ngai, “The Architecture of Race in American Immigration Law: A Reexamination of the Immigration Act of 1924,” The Journal of American History 86, no. 1 (June 1999): 67,

A Reexamination of the Immigration Act of dives into the structure of the immigration act itself, showing quota maxes for specific races during any immigration. This quota system was instilled to essentially reserve a sense of nationalism within the American people. Racial “quotas were to be allotted to countries in the same proportion that the American people traced their origins to those countries,” essentially forming a colonial mindset within the immigration process, maintaining a balance of “what is American.” This determined eligibility for citizenship leads to further racial biases and discrepancies, most highly against far Eastern nations, pushing notions of conformism in return for immigration.

“The Bridge: Critical Theory: Critical Race Theory,” accessed February 23, 2020,

This article breaks down some of the aspects of the critical race theory into the structurality, the critique, and intersectionality. The critical race theory is a held notion of communal principals which determine racial in-groups and out-groups. This categorization of people apart from others by descriptions and culture is defined as people “being race-d,” rather than the constructions we reside within. This article offers more solid insight into the theory behind this, as well as explains how it can be applied to other aspects of life such as variance in gender or sexual identities within different races. By further understanding the structurality of this ideology, I can offer the “reasoning” behind many conformist notions within immigration methods.


For this post, I read a Wikipedia article written on economic discrimination. This highlighted animosity in the workforce and how this has been derived from colonial attitudes as “economic discrimination is usually performed by whatever groups are held to be “in power” at the time.” And how this “power” often leads to discrimination in worker’s pay which directly affects the livelihood of there own and family’s lives. This also dives into the structure being placed in the hiring process, creating an even stronger power imbalance by not even allowing one to have the opportunity. While I thought this was all said well, and with the credited sources, I do believe during some places the text got a little tangled, almost in an attempt to use too many “academic” in places where a more colloquial form of language would portray the information in a much better light. This whole idea, however, is exactly what appears in the immigration process. Colonial attitudes are so intensely rooted in aspects of the idealized white  “American ”culture that discrimination is still holding strong in aspects of peoples’ lives that are essential for living, which opens up a whole other discussion of human and racial morality.


For my research paper, I want to explore the systems instilled and upheld in which come together to form what we perceive as modern-day American society, regarding the Critical Race Theory. To narrow this down, of course, this’ll view the development of these structures within colonial Latin America, specifically digging into how the economy can be seen as a contributor to the development of modern -race as well as racial discrepancies. The (CRT) Critical Race Theory examines the inner workings of societies and cultures to identify what exactly gives yields to imbalances of power, law and racial equality. I want to use this to map out the development of white supremacy as not just a power structure born of malice, but also as a tool to limit and place havoc upon the peoples native to colonial lands.

Research Annotations

McCook, Stewart. The World Was My Garden. 1935.

The World Was My Garden allows us insight into the growth and expansion of the US agriculture research infrastructure and one of the largest collections of localized plants. It highlights the development of agriculture and the study of herbivory on these colonized lands to then bring this tropical botany back to the U.S. This then did allow for growth in the job industry, bringing the solution to previous agricultural issues and the installation of USDA led regulations in disease legislation. Stuart McCook is a professor with a focus on the environmental history of tropical plants, allowing for a very insightful interpretation of this information. He allows a mature academic read of the then-new revolutionizing academia of plant sciences, while also opening up the conversation of imperialism for capital.

Navarro-Rivera, Pablo. The Imperial Enterprise and Educational Policies in Colonial Puerto Rico.

Associate Professor Pablo Navarro Rivera provides an elaboration of the hegemonies and re-structurization of Puerto Rican culture in the exchange back and forth as colony of Spain and territory of the U.S. With Puerto Rico being succumbed by the colonization of Spain, once the undertaking of the region came under the handle of the U.S, education began to be seen as the “new way” of conquering. This colonizing attitude towards education became the reasoning behind many Puerto Ricans being sent off to American educational facilities. In a sense of conformist logic, the U.S felt that if Puerto Ricans were able to more closely identify with Americans that it would be more reasonable for this expansion into a territory. This sponsored the idea of allowing a select few the opportunity to Study in America with a grant scholarship, to learn how to act “civilized,” in an almost military fashion. This ideology remains very nationalistic as in regards to the U.S government, people of Puerto Rico, among others, consist of those who are “uncivilized.” In these actions of “re-education”, the U.S formed governance over Puerto Rico in land, culture, and identity.

primary source – we must act!

In an analysis of John M.Thurston’s We Must Act! I feel as if I can immediately tie this to a modern-day issue we unfortunately still find ourselves with. Thurston goes on to explain the issue of the Spanish forcing Cubans into concentration camps in order to draw out the guerrilla forces within the countryside. The Spanish soldier had not been receiving pay and this was a reactionary consequence. This gruesome claim an economy holds on our individuality really is baffling to think about, that we’d kill for profit, though not hard to believe. Today we still find thousands of immigrants, children and adults alike, herded into cages and camp, often only given the bare necessities on occasion. We constantly see news spears of how the incoming peoples seeking refuge are in fact terrible drug dealers or trying to steal U.S jobs when much like the situation of Cubans being stripped of their liberties, these people are given a false persona. They are attached to an image that brings with it fear and heartbreak to many but strikes fire in the eyes of those who are too driven protecting their assets of land and money to experience “the hopeless anguish in their despairing eyes.” (Thurston 63) As every day we live able to fight the system, is another they are deprived of.
I also can find a comparison in the way there is a hesitance at this time of whether or not to commit to U.S intervention and Angela Davis’ proposed philosophy of the feminist dilemma. Davis sees this notion of controversy as to when there are two parties, one with the ability to help the other, but tasked with the responsibility of deciding whether to do so or not. Intervening could help in the immediate stance, though may also lead to future consequences of unintentional imperialism. This is then compared to the other option of not imposing oneself as imperialistic, though having to stand by and watch the dismay of a people when you can knowingly offer the solution. This indecisiveness of the U.S to interview or not, and how so is essentially this same sentiment of whether or not to pass critical judgment on foreign affairs. Thurston offers that “Such a recognition on our part would have enabled the Cuban patriots to have achieved independence for themselves” securing independence of Cuba “without the cost or loss of blood or treasure to the people of the united states” (Thurston 64) I think that many a time we want to immediately act of our first impulsive decision when offering aid, though we must also acknowledge the fact the there can be consequences, not necessarily to us, but the people we extend our hand to when not thinking about cultural relation before we act.


When asked to think of a “manly-man,” most lend their thoughts to the image of a buff robust figure, fearless in an act of danger. This notion of what a man is is also frequently portrayed across media platforms on the daily. Though, in originality, the topic of manliness often draws from machismo, the capsulation of what it means for one to be ‘manly’. The principles of machismo trace their roots from Spanish and Portuguese descent, a more in-depth ideology of the word macho, or to be manly.
My Wikipedia article takes a focus on the concepts of both Machismo and Caballerosidad, two notions of what masculinity means in a cultural sense in Latin America. This article does do a good job of shifting its focus to and from a variety of different cultures all of which have been participants or contributors to the ideals of this social structure. Machismo takes ground in Chile, Puerto Rico, and Cuba, among others. Within these, there is no direct bias or leading frame, though, in regards to influences, this page does take a slight lean towards the idea of Catholicism being a main contributor. However, this religion is known to be that of the Spanish who had taken over control of many of these areas, so while these statements may seem to call for disputed neutrality, looking further into the history behind it we can see that there is justification to the claim. The concept of masculinity developing subsets of male relation, such as homosociality, during times of copper mining is interesting and does stem off of the same topic. However, in mention of what distracts from the main topic at hand, I would say this segment could stand alone in a different Wikipedia article, focusing more on the social structures births from these concepts.
The information backing this article appears to be fairly reliable and stands its ground when links are tested for appropriateness, though on the same mentioned section of Masculinity In Context discussing social relations; ie: homosociality, we do find a lack of citations in the count. While this section does provide a citation, there aren’t as many as there could be to make this a truly reliable information source. And while there is no plagiarism that I found after running the article through a web-checker, in certain areas, specifically machismo in the Puerto Rican/American culture, the tone isn’t exactly up to par either. Wikipedia asks those creating edits to uphold themselves to specific standards in language, a more formal academic reading. This section contains a lot of colloquial language, which is good in the sense that many may find this easier to mentally digest, though for the sheer appearance of an article to portray itself as “an easy read” does demote itself to being less of a reliable source than one that does not. When writing larger segments as such splitting it up into many smaller paragraphs of the subject may lead to a more academic read as you can put a more filtered focus on each other details individually.
Seeing how this is as much of a tradition as well as part of many cultures, there can always be more added to the theory it progressively developed into the modern era. Segments talk about masculinity and the influence it has on being a man, as well as the negative influences it can inspire but are not tied to. However, there isn’t really a mention of positive influences other that the roots of machismo and caballerosidad, in chivalry and respect. While the talk page o this site is empty of any conversation, I would like to see a discussion about this modernized sense of chivalry and how it has evolved.

Rodó and Bolívar

In Simon Bolívar’s piece, we see a thank you to Patrick Campbell for the many sentiments of Colombia. In this, we experience a glimpse of what can be seen as American spirituality in action, Imperialism.
The fact that the “reorganization of Colombia in accordance with the institutions proven by Europe in her wisdom and experience” (Bolívar,1) is not opposed shows us a sense of admiration and respect for the systems set in place. However, per what we find in Rodó, in certain aspects, “admiration and conviction are passive models of imitation, the main part of our imitative nature is our belief”, (Rodó, 32) in this sense, we imitate what we believe to be superior or prestigious, in other words, European notions or the embodiments that America is itself.
Looking at this theme of imperialism, as well as using “As He Himself Puts It,” we can see how wording like this is essentially verbal imperialism, as “to launch an effective argument you need to write the arguments of others.” (they say, 1) And by going so much as to the extent of viewing another nation as not superior, but worthy of having your devotion, is to take this and place it in action, thus succumbing to the reigns of European imperialistic trends.

MLK Day of Service

For Monday’s MK day of service, I participated sat in on a justice dialogue happening in Wishart hall, featuring members of the school board, police chief, and community members.

The focus of the discussion of o racial inequalities in and on all school grade levels. This varied from bullying in hate speech and discriminations to discussing the socio-economic disadvantages students face going to school and getting access to the necessary resources for a proper education.

Much of this also focused on how we have made groud, but there is also much further to go in what we must do, and how we must create a better world for our youth because they really are our future. We can influence this even by leading ourselves as rolemodels. The board member went on to talk about how their integration of diversity does not just create a better learning environment but also fosters the growth of role models in the classroom and learning environment. Students being able to relate to their teacher and tutors. On a life level as well as an experience level.

“They say” Blog post

The “They say” piece walks through the best way to bring about a proper historical context. A point argued was to utilize the argument of the other side in your favor, but to always keep an active goal in this conscious perspective.

Strong briefly discusses two of the supposed great humanistic needs: spiritual Christianity and civil liberty. He then proceeds to explain how this is why the Anglo-Saxon is respected, because of this civil liberty “granted” to the white man. He also so much as to portray other races as having to conform to the anglo-norm in order to preserve their integrity in any amount of competition.

Part of “They Say” was proper sourcing. “The Anglo-Saxon…” was framed to only allow the point of view of Anglo-superiority where “Wild People in Wild Lands,” for the better part, breaks down into an explanation behind the racial superiority complex. Pike shows how racial stereotypes are utilized to create that distinct power distinction discussed in Strongs argument. This shines a light on the predatory tendencies of the European mindset, as there is the notion of imperialism ingrained in the idea of anything that is different, deeming it exotic. Pike discussed this is sex, many times those with the European mindset see those of other races as sexually “exotic”. We also see this in the linguistic sense titling other races as “brute beasts,” creating a historical bias