Home > Free Essays > History > Racism in USA > Racial Segregation in Mendez vs. Westminster Case

Racial Segregation in Mendez vs. Westminster Case Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Sep 13th, 2020

“The Trial of the Century” is considered as an idiomatic phrase that is used to describe certain well-known court cases that took place in the 20th century. The trial between Gonzalo Mendez et al. vs. Westminster school district of Orange County et al. case of 1944 will be used to show how people were segregated without a justifiable reason. This trial was named as one of the most important as it results contributed to the elimination of racial segregation of Mexican students in schools.

The trial will also show the importance of following the law and the impact that can be created due to racial segregation as depicted from the case study. This paper will investigate one of the trials of the twentieth century and the ruling that was made by the presiding judge. The researcher will also give a personal experience and opinion based on the study presented in the paper.

The study is important since it will give a detailed information on racial segregation and its effects in schools.

Segregation is defined as the separation of people in their daily lives onto groups based on racial background. Additionally, it may also mean the act by which legal and natural people are separated on the basis of one of the detailed grounds devoid of an objective and reasonably acceptable. Segregation is different from discrimination where there is no reason behind the separation, while in segregation there is always the existence of a reason, though it may not be justifiable. People may be segregated from the groups where they live.

The activities mainly happen in our social structure without our knowledge (Bell 152).People exposed to segregation typically feel unwanted and humiliated. The feeling makes them have a low self-esteem which is easily destroyed. The consciousness of the effective is also affected which makes them have a little self-esteem (Jaspin 33).

First and major conflict in racial segregation

In parts on America where there are many multiracial communities the racial segregation fight was pioneered by Martin Luther King. Luther organized a boycott to the forefront of the civil rights movements that fostered peaceful protest. The black people who have the African origin were always discriminated. During that time, a white man would not seat with a black in a bus, the black students could not be served meal together with white students (Brooks 23). The fight was supported by both white and black people who were against the outdated laws (Bell 122).The demonstrations attracted the concern of President John F, Kennedy, who sent civil rights legislation in congress in 1963.

The second conflict was between the government and the developer planners, it was an established certainty among many white persons that the audience of blacks in a white residence would lower possession standards. The United States government launched a process to separate the country into racial groups that involved the form of low-interest mortgages. The mortgage was available to homes using the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Veteran’s Administration which is abbreviated as VA (Wailoo 163).

Black families were legitimately permissible to contact this credit, however, in practice, they did not have access to the mortgage. The rules for loans did not state “black families cannot have an access to the loans”; rather, they said people from “areas in decline” could not get the said loans (Brooks 55).

The UN policy disagreement on isolation advocates that the formation and development of classes and schools offering education in marginal languages should not be segregated, only of the assignment to such classes and schools is of a voluntary nature. This was the case in Mendez v. Westminster, where parents of several Mexican American students sued the school for racial segregation of the Mexican students.

People are segregated from others due to many reasons; among such reasons are sickness, race, first language, skin color, gender or religion. In that particular case, a little of every reason was present, however, particularly, the segregation was based on race and skin color and thus, it caused the dissonance in the society. As per the court decision, the given segregation violated the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees the rights of all citizens and protection of the law (MENDEZ et al. v. WESTMINISTER).

As the case shows, people may also be segregated based on their language, since it would not be possible to teach in a language that the students do not understand. A school may argue and give the allegation that the reason for putting some students in segregation is to prevent a spread of an epidemic. Alternatively, in other cases students may also be segregated due to their being handicapped or having a particular disability (Wailoo 173).

In the case study in the trial between Gonzalo Mended and Westminster District of Orange County the main reason for segregation was the children did not speak English language therefore they were called the eagle Saxon students. According to the school management, due to the students’ inability to speak English they needed a teacher who would use their local language to educate them. This would not have been done in the presence of the students who were able to communicate in English. In more pronounced segregation the races were kept separate from social facilities where people normally met.

Racial segregation on culture, social and political issues

Racial segregation is said to affect people from all social classes in schools, teachers and students may fail to associate well, as a result of segregating children may have a hard time familiarizing themselves with friends from other races. In the political arena, racial segregation is mostly witnessed by the candidates. Being a mixed race candidate, makes it difficult to qualify as the best candidate. This is largely due to the concept that other races are weak and cannot be given high profile seats (Wailoo 73).

The political contradiction is that the teacher agrees that the students are discriminated upon. However, they appreciate a weak argument on how and why the court should allow the school to segregate the student with a Mexican descent. The children are considered to be handicapped since they cannot communicate in English, which makes them segregated in their class. Segregation makes the students feel weak and incapable of working with other students.

School racial segregation creates implications for the educational outcomes of minority students; the academic advancements are limited where they cannot attend higher institutions of learning since those were only saved for the majority white students.

Poor students were found in low-achieving schools while students from wealthy white families were in affluent schools that are more achieving. This is attributed to the funds and high-quality teachers. High profile jobs are also meant for the whites, where people from other races are only found at the lowest employment level. This made their development be limited due to the made limits on their personal advancement (Brooks 25).


From the study conducted it is apparent that racial segregation was deeply rooted in major countries that had multiracial society. Such people were subjected to discrimination where they were not allowed to some facilities and level of education as opposed to the white who were allowed to go up the advancement ladder as they could without being questioned. Racial segregation is considered as a societal vice that was much in practice in early 20th century.

Many scholars wrote about the racial segregation and the adverse effect that it had on the people who were affected by the vices. These books fail to address how we can control and prevent the repetition of the same vices. The secondary sources which include journals also show that the racial segregation is not yet entirely uprooted from our community which is seen in the fact that in the jails and prisons most convicted person are the blacks. The association of black with evil continues to affect modern society since black persons are thought to have the ability to cause harm.

Works Cited

Bell, Jeannine. Hate Thy Neighbor: Move-in Violence and the Persistence of Racial Segregation in American Housing. New York: New York University Press, 2013. Print.

Brooks, Christopher. Open Wound: The Long View of Race in America. University of Illinois Press, 2009. Print.

Jaspin, Elliot. Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America. New York: Basic Books, 2007. Print.

. Web.

Wailoo, Keith. Katrina’s Imprint: Race and Vulnerability in America. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press, 2010. Print.

This essay on Racial Segregation in Mendez vs. Westminster Case was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

801 certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2020, September 13). Racial Segregation in Mendez vs. Westminster Case. https://ivypanda.com/essays/racial-segregation-in-mendez-vs-westminster-case/


IvyPanda. (2020, September 13). Racial Segregation in Mendez vs. Westminster Case. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/racial-segregation-in-mendez-vs-westminster-case/

Work Cited

"Racial Segregation in Mendez vs. Westminster Case." IvyPanda, 13 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/racial-segregation-in-mendez-vs-westminster-case/.

1. IvyPanda. "Racial Segregation in Mendez vs. Westminster Case." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/racial-segregation-in-mendez-vs-westminster-case/.


IvyPanda. "Racial Segregation in Mendez vs. Westminster Case." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/racial-segregation-in-mendez-vs-westminster-case/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Racial Segregation in Mendez vs. Westminster Case." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/racial-segregation-in-mendez-vs-westminster-case/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Racial Segregation in Mendez vs. Westminster Case'. 13 September.

Powered by CiteTotal, citation creator
More related papers