Does Ethnocentrism Exist in America Today?

March 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Protesters at Mexico City’s Paseo de la Reforma

Ethnocentrism as it relates to our society today is still an issue and I can’t help but tie a film I saw last summer into my thoughts on the subject.

I presented a documentary feature film at San Jose Public Library: Hillview Branch during the Bay Area Latino Film Festival’s summer program. The film titled Crossing Arizona is a documentary about the very popular anti-immigration sentiment among several Arizonians in modern day.

Among those interviewed for the film were leaders from the Minuteman Project. The Minuteman Project is a group of militia oriented activists who have devoted their time to patrolling the Mexican – U.S. border.

“If we eliminate illegal immigration there would be no more drugs, no more crime, no more deaths. It’s beyond logical,” a Minuteman said while driving to his patrol site.

The group has been active since 2005 and throughout these years has drawn both negative and favorable publicity to their gun totting, anti-immigration patrol tactics.

Following his commentary, photos of a woman shot to death in the desert flashed the movie screen leaving viewers in shock.

The woman was pregnant.

I was left pretty bothered by the film’s contents. Minutemen are spitting on the very principle of life. Hope for a change that their ancestors had when making the journey to the U.S. – totally forgotten.

Not only are Minutemen textbook ethnocentrics, but they’re breeding generations of hate without consequence in Arizona. This mentality isn’t conducive to civil cohabitation.

Aside from the statements made by the Minuteman, the philosophies of the group are very much blinded by a sense of ownership over American soil. Their view of right and wrong is blurred, so much in fact that a complete abuse of human life is practiced.

They feel referent power over immigrants but not just any immigrants, Mexican immigrants who for the most part come to this country to work jobs that Americans don’t want to work.

Needless to say, I was sickened by the utter disregard for the fact that America is a melting pot and everyone, aside from Native American Indians, has history in immigrating here and Arizona use to be Mexican soil.

Besides all that though, this is a communication issue that still very much contributes to the way people form groups and ideologies. It gave me a lot to think about in terms of where our society is in regard to human rights.


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