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From: A Native Of Midland…And America
I was born in Midland, and lived there 3 different times—leaving for the last time at the age of 12 in 1966. My parents later went back for a 4th time.
My father was a petroleum engineer who was sent back to Midland during booms.
I simply don't remember ever running into Hispanic people in Midland during the times I lived there. I do remember the Mexican migrants coming through to pick cotton when I lived in Winters, Texas (a few years before going back to Midland for the last time in 1963). I think that they were part of the Bracero program. They were pretty pitiful and the Anglo families did what they could to make sure that when the migrant kids came to school—they had enough to eat. (This was a little before that free lunch program came about)
Once, my mother hired a maid in Midland. The maid was black. I believe that if there had been a significant number of Hispanics in Midland at the time, my mother would have hired one of them as she was accustomed to Hispanics from having grown up in San Antonio.
As young as I was at the time, I knew that the black people were not treated well in Midland. There really weren't many of them either. I wonder what being overrun by illegals has done to black Midlanders today.
Quite frankly, I don't see how Bush, Jr. got much exposure to Hispanics in Midland. I don't think there were enough of them to account for any significant interactions. Ditto for Houston. Oil took my daddy there during my High School days. I don't remember knowing any in the overwhelmingly white suburbs of Houston.
My daddy was out on oil wells for 30 days at a time. From what I remember, the roughnecks were all white boys—the Scots-Irish version (which is why I doubt that part in the story which talks about Hispanics being in the Bush oil fields back then.) [Texas Town, Now Divided, Forged Bush's Stand on Immigration, By Jim Rutenberg, New York Times, June 24, 2007]
In fact, when we were living in Winters, Texas, the Bank President and owner of the local Firestone Store got bent out of shape because the independent oil company my father worked for bid up wages and hired away a white man from the Firestone Store. The Bank President and store owner seemed to believe that the man was chattel. They visited my daddy's boss who told them to get the hell out of his office.
I think that you are on to something about the Mexican oligarchs being the primary influence of Bush's affinity for Hispanics—because it sure wasn't that he went to elementary school with them. They weren't in the white elementary schools in Midland—and I seriously doubt they were in that fancy school he went to in Houston.
My parents always talked about the social divide between the oil company employees (like Daddy) and the owners (whom I later found out were Yankees—which partly accounts for my father's lifelong aversion to them). The owner class treated the people like my father (despite his education and professionalism) like they were trash. I guess some of them liked Mexican aristocrats better than their fellow Americans.