NPR's discussion of the historical path to statehood and the roots of the controversy over DC statehood features an interview with Paul Frymer, professor of politics and CSDP faculty associate. In Simmering Disputes Over Statehood Are About Politics And Race. They Always Have Been, Frymer comments extensively about the history of race as the preeminent consideration in debates over statehood of Arizona and New Mexico.
Paul Frymer is also the author of Building an American Empire: The Era of Territorial and Political Expansion (Princeton University Press 2017).
The conversation in Congress was, 'Was the state white? Was there a majority white population? Was there a large enough white population that spoke English?' All of these types of terminology were applied to what was largely an indigenous and formerly Mexican population.