Cruelty as Citizenship: How Migrant Suffering Sustains White Democracy

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by Cristina Beltrán

University of Minnesota Press

10/13/2020, paperback

SKU: 9781517911928


Why are immigrants from Mexico and Latin America such an affectively charged population for political conservatives?

More than a decade before the election of Donald Trump, vitriolic and dehumanizing rhetoric against migrants was already part of the national conversation. Situating the contemporary debate on immigration within America's history of indigenous dispossession, chattel slavery, the Mexican-American War, and Jim Crow, Cristina Beltrán reveals white supremacy to be white democracy--a participatory practice of racial violence, domination, and exclusion that gave white citizens the right to both wield and exceed the law. Still, Beltrán sees cause for hope in growing movements for migrant and racial justice.

Forerunners is a thought-in-process series of breakthrough digital works. Written between fresh ideas and finished books, Forerunners draws on scholarly work initiated in notable blogs, social media, conference plenaries, journal articles, and the synergy of academic exchange. This is gray literature publishing: where intense thinking, change, and speculation take place in scholarship.

Part of the University of Minnesota Press "Forerunners: Ideas First" series - short books of thought-in-process scholarship, where intense analysis, questioning, and speculation take the lead


"Cristina Beltrán's analysis and exposition of historical and political contexts of racism and xenophobia through Cruelty as Citizenship: How Migrant Suffering Sustains White Democracy, is a compelling and necessary read."--Colors of Influence

"A devastating and critical read."--Zocalo Public Space

About the Author:

Cristina Beltrán is associate professor in New York University's Department of Social and Cultural Analysis. She is author of The Trouble with Unity: Latino Politics and the Creation of Identity.