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de los Santos / Closing Remarks

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MS: You know my kids, didn’t grow up like me, they had a lot more, they were the middle kids,middle class groups that could move to whatever social group back then. But that's because several generations of us have gotten good educations. Its uh, you know you heard the president (Barack Obama) a couple of days ago using the word “nigger” to emphasize whats happening in our country still and he himself saying ‘there have been a lot of changes, but there's still a lot of work to do.” Really that's the case uh in our schools today. I still say as long as the accountability in Texas is the way that it is and it's that way across the country. Most of the schools and the NCOB federal program forces schools in the states to have accountability systems that we have. As long as we have that then people are going to do exactly as that system says. Because it depends on if you get a raise or not ,or whether you're just good or bad and that's it. You know I mean I went to a superintendents meeting a couple of weeks ago and the superintendent said “Man my kids did super well on the test’ and some of them ‘eh I didn’t do very well’. And the whole system is judged on that and as long as that's happening we're going to be reacting to it and short changing our kids. I:Mhmm Do you think you know we've talked about the civil rights uh movements, uh there's always figures that come up like Martin Luther King in the African American civil rights movement or you know Cesar Chavez and Jovita Idar for the Chicano movement. Do you think that today in 2015 there is a leader that is mobilizing minority communities. Or if that leader exists like it did back in the 60s and the 70s. MS: One leader perhaps.. Perhaps not, but I think that there are a lot of people out there now. Uh in those times was Gonzales was it you know as far as somebody that was really sticking his neck out and just saying ‘to the hell with the world this the way that that it needs to be for... for Chicanos. I: Mhmm MS:Um I think that today you have many more of us. And were on a scale from very conservative to very liberal. But I don't know there I mean you have the Castro brothers [Joaquin and Julian Castro] and we're all beginning to look at him and hoping that they develop at the national and they already mean they are already at the national level but we're hoping they develop and stay clean. Because believe me uh they are human beings and they will fall and there's just people just waiting for them to fall. And we have the president. I mean he has lasted 6 years. I didn’t vote for the president in the primary. I voted for Hillary and the reason I didn’t vote for the president because even though I thought he was a candidate. I really believed that he was going to be assassinated. In my heart I said there's no way a black man can be president for 4 years and not be assassinated we still have too many crazies out there. And I'm glad and I'm hoping probably by now they don't want to kill him anymore. It's like let him go.But I felt that way, that's the way our country is. So uh you still have in those times it was ripe for people to emerge like La Raza Unida party and Ramsey Muniz and even people from down here that would have never run for office. That ran under that La Raza Unida party and so on. I think it was ripe. I think today we look at it as we have many more Mexican Americans and blacks who have been accomplished uh the fight is not you know necessarily..although in the black community it has been recently because of police brutality and so on. Uh I don’t I don’t that I think the fight is being.. Is in boardrooms now instead of in the streets I think it's in. I think it's in uh the state capital or the national capital instead of the streets the way we used to have it. And I think it's a result of many more of us having become educated. Not because white majority wanted us to but they were forced to. Um laws, the laws were good because they forced those who didn't want good things to happen for us they forced. You know the the black kids going to the university of Alabama, the very first blacks in Mississippi going to the university with a governor stopping them coming in. Those guys were forced the United States government sent soldiers to those places in order to be able to get the local police from reacting to these black kids walking into a white university. They were forced. And now if you go to those universities they are probably half and half or you know large majorities uh black kids. Yes civil rights act of 1965. yes all of the court orders that came and forced us to do things for minorities. Yes our going out to schools through the court order in Tyler (Texas) and bringing to the attention to the superintendents that you need to do these things to equalize whether they like it or not. There's a court order that they need to do that. Yes you need to hire more Mexican American teachers uh and it broke those barriers.

Interview Interview with Miguel de los Santos
Subjects Education
Police and Law Enforcement › Police Brutality
Electoral Politics › Raza Unida Party
Law and Public Policy › Civil Rights Act of 1964
Class and Status › Upward Mobility
People › Chavez, Cesar
People › King, Martin Luther, Jr.
People › Gutierrez, Jose Angel
Quantitative Questions › Most Effective Leader
People › Obama, Barack
Tags Castro, Joaquin
Castro, Julian
Clinton, Hillary
Muniz, Ramsey
University of Alabama
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Interview date 2015-06-24
Interview source CRBB Summer 2015
Interviewees de los Santos, Miguel
Locations Edinburg, TX
Duration 00:06:16
Citation "Closing Remarks," from Miguel de los Santos oral history interview with ,  June 24, 2015, Edinburg, TX, Civil Rights in Black and Brown Interview Database,, accessed April 13, 2024