Between 1910 and 1920, an era of state-sanctioned racial violence descended upon the U.S.-Mexico border. Texas Rangers, local ranchers, and U.S. soldiers terrorized ethnic Mexican communities, under the guise of community policing. They enjoyed a culture of impunity, in which, despite state investigations, no one was ever prosecuted. This period left generations of Texans with a deep sense of injustice, and representations of this period in popular culture still celebrate police violence against ethnic Mexicans. Yet families fought back, demanding justice for atrocities against Mexican-American communities.
Guest Monica Martínez of Brown University joins us today to discuss what happened on the Texas border a hundred years ago. She also reveals the striking similarities of the period to the Trump administration’s November 2018 decision to send military troops to the border.