The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Class and Consensus

arranged confidential meetings with local officials and businessmen in
attempts to convince them of the importance of opening their doors to
Mexican American employees. These meetings were not recorded.
There is no official record of either their content or immediate impact.
But through the 196os and beyond, employment opportunities for
Mexican Americans did increase in city and county government as well
as in the private sector. Discrimination did not end, but efforts of ACSC
members appears to have tempered it to some degree.19 And while the
ACSC fought against the contradiction between the American promise
of democracy and the reality of discrimination, it too harbored its own
internal contradictions.
Unlike some of the other clubs and groups that emerged in the
post-World War II years, such as the American G.I. Forum, the ACSC
did not develop a separate auxiliary organization for women or chil-
dren. Rather, the club allowed entire families to join the main body of
the organization, even though only adults were allowed voting privi-
leges.20 Full membership did not always, however, immediately translate
into equal membership. The organization's early leadership was com-
posed entirely of men. Women were counted as full members and
enjoyed de jure voting rights, while simultaneously suffering de facto
exclusion from leadership positions. Mexican American women tradi-
tionally have had to struggle not only against racial discrimination in the
larger society but against gender discrimination within the Mexican
American community and its organizations.21 Hence, activities within the
club fell along traditional gender boundaries. By the 1970s, however,
women played a larger role in the organization and gained official lead-
ership positions within the group. At first these victories did not threat-
en established gender boundaries since early women officers served in
such female-gendered positions as club secretary or club treasurer. But
these steps opened the door to further advancement so that by the mid-
dle of the decade the club had its first, albeit only, female president.22
The American Citizens' Social Club's most enduring legacy resulted
from its role in helping to promote education for Mexican American
students. The ACSC's constitution included provisions for the creation
of a Public Education Committee that was to monitor relationships
" Solis to Quiroz, May 1, 1996, interview; Lopez to Quiroz, Feb. 9, 1995, interview; Charlie
Kidder to Anthony Quiroz, July 24, 1996, interview; George Santiago to Anthony Quiroz, May 1,
1996, interview; Ernest Guajardo to Anthony Quiroz, May 21, 1996, interview (tapes of all inter-
views are in author's possession).
0 Solis to Quiroz, May 1, 1996, interview.
21 Cynthia E. Orozco, "The Origins of the League of United Latin American Citizens," 11.
2Josie Gonzales to Anthony Quiroz, Feb. 23, 1995, interview (tapes in author's possession).

2002

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed July 29, 2015.