This paper analyzes racist discourse resulting from and related to California's Proposition 187. Contrary to the views of politicians and economists, I maintain that 187 is indeed a racist measure designed to prevent the entry of people of color, mostly Latinos, into California. Analyses of racist discourse should be contextualized within issues of power, cultural difference, space, culture, and nationalism. After outlining theories of racism, I use Teun van Dijk's work on racist discourse to analyze some of the discursive strategies employed in relation to Proposition 187. The next section discusses the discourse of resistance in Tucson, Arizona and California. Some attention is given to the symbolic violence against Latinos. I argue that discourse cannot be separated from the material world in which it is practiced.
Keywords: Racism, discourse, ethnicity, resistance, power, difference
How to Cite: García R., (1996) “"Well I've Reason to Believe, We All Have Been Deceived": Proposition 187, Racist Discourse, and Resistance”, Arizona Anthropologist 12.