Texas Almanac, 1949-1950 Page: 93
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toreign stock population colonies that the
traveler finds throughout Texas. Mention is
made of the more notable of these in the
articles on Counties and Cities of Texas in
another part of this volume.
Three Large Population Groups.
On a combination of racial and national
bases the population of Texas may be divided
into three major classifications. (1) The
Anglo-Celtic-American, including all European
national groups, of whom there are about
5,000,000 by the estimates of 1948. (2) The
Mexican and *Mexican-descended (Latin-
American or Spanish-speaking) group of
whom there are about 1,100,000. (3) The
Negro group of whom there were 924,391 by
the census of 1940, estimated at about 1,100,-
000 in 1948.
The term, Anglo-American is used loosely
to include not only the predominant national
and racial strains from the British Isles but
from all of Continental Europe. The story of
its development has been told in the fore-
going general account of the growth of the
population of Texas. For it was the west-
ward march of the Anglo-American population
that determined the destiny of Texas by
switching it from Latin-American to Anglo-
American sphere of political and cultural in-
fluence. Also, it was this march that in
finality took the land from "'poor Lo." the
aborigine Indian whose population within the
resent confines of Texas is entirely unknown
but sometimes estimated at 20.000 to 30.000 at
the time of the coming of the white man.
This group with about 71 per cent of the
total population is 95 per cent dominant in
political and cultural influence In the state
The Mexican-descent (or Latin-American or
Spanish-speaking) population of Texas was
last enumerated separately in the census of
1930 when it was 683,681 of whom 266.046
In the census of 1940 they were reclassified
as native white and foreign-born white. The
Mexican-born population had declined to
159.266. During the 1930-1940 decade, char-
acterized by economic depression and labor
surpluses, there had been a steady repatria-
tion of the Mexican citizenship population.
While there are no exact data on the Mexi-
can, or Spanish-speaking population of Texas
today. It was estimated at more than a mil-
lion late in 1948 by Dr. Lyle Saunders. direc-
tor of the Socio-Economlc Survey of the
Spanish-speaking people of Texas. (See para-
graphs following.) No census has been made,
but t ,s known that the demand for agricul-
tural and unskilled industrial labor during
the war and postwar period brought a flood
of immigration into the state from Mexico.
This has taken place though the Mexican
Government has refused to give Texas a
quota for seasonal labor migration because of
aThe term, Mexican, is used here to designate
citizens of Mexico living in Texas, and also both
foreign-born and native-born United States citi-
zens of Mexican descent. They are Spanish-
speaking, and bilingual Sganish-Erlsh-seaking.
people. In recent years objection has been raised
calling this group "Mexicans" on the grounds
that a majnority of them are United Stites citi-
zens. a great proportion of whom are native-born.
As a substitute designation, the terms "Latin
American" and -'S nish-speaking" are sometimes
applied. In The Texas Almanac, however, the
simpler term, 'Mexican," is used without infer-
ence as to citizenship, and in the same popular
sense that the terms "German" and "Swedish"
are applied to the citizens of the generations-old
German and Sw-dish extraction communities of
alleged discrimination by Anglo-American
Texans against Mexicans. Hence a large
proportion of immigrants of recent years have
been of illegal status, known as "'Wetbacks"
in parlance of the border, on the assumption
that they swim the Rio Grande at unguarded
Mexican population of Texas is densest
along the Rio Grande and in the San Antonio
area, progressively thinning out in Central.
East and North Texas. El Paso. Del Rio.
Eage Pass, Laredo and some other border
cities are preponderantly of Mexican-descent
There is a large seasonal migration north-
ward as laborers follow the cotton-picking and
other harvest seasons. There has been a
progressive northward movement of perma-
nent Mexican population, however. The
Mexican population of Dallas, Fort Worth
and other North Texas cities has increased
rapidly in recent years.
The Mexican population of Texas was clas-
sified racially as foreign- and native-born
white in the census of 1940, but as "Mexican"
under "other races" in the census of 1930.
(In each Instance the classification used by
the Bureau of the Census was by agreement
with Mexican government authorities.) Ac-
tually, the Mexican population of Texas
ranges from pure white to pure Indian.
Racial Discrimination Charges.
The charge made by the Mexican Govern-
ment of racial discrimination by Anglo-Amer-
ican Texans against the Mexican-descent
population has raised a troublesome Issue of
international implications. Undoubtedly, there
is a measure of unjust and cruel discrimina-
tion, some of which Is intentional and some
of which Is from thoughtlessness.
A small part of it Is historic In origin,
going back to the Texas Revolution and the
Mexican War. This is of lessening Impor-
tance. Part of it is due to language differ-
ence which always encourages racial antag-
onism. In even greater degree. It is caused
by difference in economic level. A consider-
able portion of the so-called Mexican popula-
tion of Texas is of high educational and cul-
tural attainment, and economic and social
status. (There are Mexicans who are Texans
by virtue ot more generations of Texas nativ-
ity than any Anglo-American Texan can
claim.) Yet it is a fact that the Mexican
immigration, especially In recent years, has
been largely from the lowest Income brackets
of Mexico. the unskilled farm laborers. Dis-
crimination because of difference of economic
ability to maintain individual personal ap-
pearance, which is too prevalent with man-
kind everywhere, is easily mistaken for racial
discrimination where race. language and eco-
nomic differences parallel.
Part of the charge of discrimination grows
out of differential in wages paid by some
agricultural, construction and other employ-
ers. Thee is some unfair labor exploitation.
On the other hand. there is substance n the
contention of some employers that many
Mexicans suffer a handicap because of lan-
guage difference and lack of training in
handling modern tools and machinery.
All of these situations add up to a condi-
tion that is conducive to misunderstanding.
Whatever may be the substance of the gen-
eral charge of racial discrimination, it is a
fact that a large majority of Anglo-American
Texans are sincerely desirous of eliminating
the causes of it.
Several agencies are actively at work. The
Good Neighbor Commission is a state agency
maintained as a contribution of the State of
Texas to better understanding. (See index
for reference to personnel.) During 1948 and
1949 there has been under way the Socio-
Economic Survey of the Spanish-speaking
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Texas Almanac, 1949-1950, book, 1949; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117167/m1/95/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.