Muñoz Martinez does not promise that her work can fix the present. Her final thought is this: 'At best, learning from crimes of the past will help inform current debate about immigration, policing, and national belonging.' At best. She makes no claims that history will necessarily repeat, or that it can be prevented from repeating. Instead, she writes to help Americans understand our present and share our past. History, she knows, weighs a lot more than myth. It’s harder to carry. No one should have to bear it alone.
Monica Muñoz Martinez’s The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas approaches Texas by focusing intently on the state’s 'dark and bloody ground,' ... One of Martinez’s most important contributions is to remind us that violence against nonwhites was not simply a matter of private citizens going out of control for private reasons ... What kind of state was to be built? Martinez’s primary subject is the way all of this played out on the Texas–Mexico border between white Texans and ethnic Mexicans. It is a story that should be more widely known, and Martinez tells it with great passion and precision. But, importantly, she links the experiences of Mexican-Americans to those of African-Americans, understanding that enforcing white racial supremacy, through violence and other means—disfranchisement and Jim Crow—goes to the very heart of the story of Texas ... The stories of violence and loss that the families in The Injustice Never Leaves You worked so valiantly to keep alive could be told in nonwhite communities throughout Texas. All of this is far away from lonesome cowboys on the range, living out a life of rugged individualism and fierce independence. Martinez’s book suggests why many white Texans prefer that the world accept the myth over the reality.
Monica Muñoz Martinez, has published The Injustice Never Leaves You, an account that explores the contested ground between history, memory, and reckoning ... The book finally stirs to life when the author shifts from describing incidents of violence to probing how they have been forgotten or, worse, absorbed into a triumphal story about the state’s supposed progress from savagery to civilization.