Carnal Knowledge: Racializing Hispano Bodies in the Courts

in Coyote Nation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780226532424
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226532523 | DOI:
Carnal Knowledge: Racializing Hispano Bodies in the Courts

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This chapter discusses the trials for sexual assault and the embodied racialization of Hispanos. The chapter introduces a broader discussion of elite Hispanos, who were a critical segment of New Mexico's racial order. Because of the presence and the political and economic power of elite Hispanos, Anglos were hesitant to label all Hispanos as dangerous and sexually violent, lest they offend powerful individuals and families. The chapter demonstrates the alterations that the presence of elite Hispanos demanded were critical factors in the exceptional nature of racialization and colonial order in New Mexico. The racialization of Hispanos—and to an extent Hispanas—was impeded by wealthy Hispanos whose presence and social prominence in New Mexico prevented the widespread condemnation of the supposed sexual voracity of Mexican-origin peoples. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the critical role of elite Hispanos in forcing Anglo attorneys to adopt new arguments regarding Hispano defendants, accusers, and witnesses.

Keywords: New Mexico; sexual assaults; racialization; Hispanos; sexual violence

Chapter.  12562 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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