I want to start my paper explaining where the word “Chicano” derived from. “ Chicano is derived from an old Aztec word meaning rebel and…the Spaniards used the word Chicano to refer to the Aztecs who never gave up the battle”. ( Mariscal, George. Brown-Eyed Children Of The Sun. pg. 27”). This topic of Chicano Activists relates to Chicano History class because from 1966 to 1974 Mexicans experienced a big transformation. There were a lot of militant protest politics. The youth was a major part of the movement, they participated in a lot of events.
There were leadership formations, organizational development, political mobilizations, and the best part I think were peoples participation. It was the very first time Mexicans experienced such dramatic change. For the first time Chicanos were starting to slowly get a voice and trying to be heard. In this Chicano History class we also talked about Rodolfo Gonzales also known as Corky Gonzales. He played an important role as a political activist as he was the one that led the first ever Chicano youth conference in March 1969.
The Brown Berets started as a group of high school students which also played a huge role because they did demonstrations, had massive walkouts ,and became a national organization. They fought for what they believed in. “The Chicano Movement was not simply a search for identity; or an outburst of collective anxiety. Rather, it was a full-fledged transformation of the way Mexican Americans thought, played politics, promoted their culture. Chicanos embarked on a struggle to make fundamental changes, because only fundamental changes could make them active participants in their lives. (Navarro, Armando. Mexicano Political Experience in Occupied Aztlan. Pg. 305). From November 1969 through August 1971 there was a movement called “Chicano Moratorium” where the anti-Vietnam War was organized by Chicano activists. Chicanos wanted Social Justice. There were demonstrations with over 1000 people coming together. What I liked about the Vietnam anti war movement was when The Gulf of Tonkin incident happened thousands of demonstrators protested against U.
S involvement in the Vietnam War. “Chicanismo, referred to a set of beliefs; in particular, a political practice . The emphasis of “Chicanismo” upon dignity, self worth, pride, uniqueness, and a feeling of cultural rebirth made it attractive to many Mexicans” ( Quinones Gomez, Juan. Chicano Politics Reality & Promise 1940-1990 Pg. 104). I like how Chicanos took that word and are proud of it. There is nothing wrong with being poor, working people, and come from Indian decent. We were a group of young Chicano revolutionaries from the barrios of the Southwest fighting for the self-determination of our people. We organized in our barrios, published the newspaper La Cause, ran a free clinic and fought against police brutality as well as against the U. S war in Vietnam. ” (Montes, Carlos. “Young Chicano Revolutionaries” February 1, 2003). I respect the Brown Berets because they fight for good causes like Educational, Social, Spiritual, Economical, and Political. They had a big part in the anti- Vietnam war too.
They were good organizers and knew how to be heard. The thing that caught my eye was when marchers were at Laguna Park having picnics with their families and listening to those on stage. A “disturbance call” was made that said beer was stolen from a liquor store, let me add it was denied by the store owner. It was the police wanting to break up the demonstrations. They threw tear gas to get people out, angered youth fought back with whatever they could get a hold of but that just led to more violence and police brutality.
The sad part is 3 Chicanos died that day including Ruben Salazar a reporter from Los Angeles Times. This just shows how racist police were back then and still are to this day. Works Cited 1. Mariscal, George. Brown-Eyed Children Of The Sun. University Of New Mexico Press, 2005 2. Navarro, Armando. Mexicano Political Experience in Occupied Aztlan. AltaMira Press, 2005 3. Quinones Gomez, Juan. Chicano Politics Reality & Promise 1940-1990. University of New Mexico Press, 1990 4. Montes, Carlos. “Young Chicano Revolutionaries” February 1, 2003