The White Scourge, By Neil Foley

Decent Essays

The White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture In The White Scourge, Neil Foley gives detailed facts about the construction and reconstruction of whiteness and the connection of this whiteness to power, mainly on cotton culture in central Texas. Foley 's book analyzes “whiteness” through detailed analysis of race, class, and gender. What was most intriguing about this book is its comparison of whiteness on various racial groups and classes, for and how each struggled in comparison to the other in order to thrive and exist with one another. In this book, Foley shows a racial system that continues to produce both poverty material wise and poverty of where you stand racially. It is also very interesting that the system exploits not only Mexicans and Blacks, but also the poor whites who competed with them for work. In "The Old South in the Southwest," a history of race and power in the beginnings of the Republic of Texas is provided to the reader, for example, “Indians and free blacks were denied the constitutional protections accorded to whites, while Mexicans occupied a nebulous, intermediate status between (nonwhite) Indian and (marginally white) Spanish” (Foley 19), showing that the white American’s were having trouble categorizing Mexicans race-wise. This was an important issue to resolve because in America, being able to have ownership of land meant power and thus meaning race determined who could and could not own property and establish

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