History Faculty Publications and Presentations
“The Most Turbulent and Most Traumatic Years in Recent Mexican-American History”: Police Violence and the Civil Rights Struggle in 1970s Texas
This study builds upon a flurry of scholarship focused on racist (primarily mob) violence against Mexican Americans—indeed, persons of Mexican descent broadly—in the American Southwest since 1848. Some scholars have examined the history of mob violence, particularly lynching, against persons of Mexican descent from 1848 to 1928 in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. Although these southwestern states [End Page 34] had their share of such violence, historians William D. Carrigan and Clive Webb concluded that Texas was singular: Anglo Texans “were almost universally regarded as possessing the greatest animosity toward Mexicans.” Others have focused on mob and police violence. They have addressed in detail the massacre of ethnic Mexicans in the lower Rio Grande Valley in 1915 by mobs and Texas Rangers. In chronicling this massacre, they have provided an important service: identifying the centrality of police violence in Mexican American history. Until this essay, however, scholars have not addressed comprehensively racist violence or local police violence against Mexican Americans in the Southwest generally or in Texas particularly in the period since the Great Depression.
Campney, Brent M. S. "“The Most Turbulent and Most Traumatic Years in Recent Mexican-American History”: Police Violence and the Civil Rights Struggle in 1970s Texas." Southwestern Historical Quarterly 122, no. 1 (2018): 33-57. doi:10.1353/swh.2018.0050.
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Original published version available at https://doi.org/10.1353/swh.2018.0050