What Was the Chicano Movement?
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Published: Fri, 02 Jun 2017
To some of us the Chicano Movement was a period of time where historians describe as a civil rights movement. Although the Chicano Movement has open many opportunities for different cultures and ethnicity to be acknowledged, it ‘s a fight that well always be remembered in history. What made is era between 1960s to1970s so special, is that it opens many public viewers on the Spanish community and all the obstacles that Mexican-Americans had to encountered. This gives Americans a chance to understand other peoples’ cultures. Society has portray America as the land of the free, but looking back at the past many different ethnicities and different skin color people had to go from end to end encountering numerous suffering and pain in order to have the freedom they do today. Taking into consideration that some people today still take the Chicano Movement in vein, failing to understand it’s impact.
Although at the heat of the battle many Mexican-Americans gave up hope and faith in their community. In spite of this, there is still some Latinos left that was willing to fight until the end. A man that believes in what is justified and moral; and that man is Cesar Chavez. The Chicano Movement inCalifornia started in the 1960s when Cesar Chavez led the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. He organized the farm workers in the central valley of California. Chavez’s main strategy for the farm worker was to focus most his ideas into the strikes, boycotts, and committing himself not use violence, and the importance of having faith and praying to achieve his goal. Not only was Cesar Chavez a big influence to the Mexican community, other organizations such M.E.cH.A, and New Raza Left had a major impact too. M.E.cH.A, (Movimento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) is an organization that search for and help students from high school and colleges understand the importance of Mexican-Americans culture. On the other hand, the New Raza Left was an organization that helps the Latinos community. The purpose of this organization is to close the issues in California to the anti-immigration Proposition 187, as well ass the anti-affirmative action Proposition 209, and the anti-bilingual education Proposition 227. Importantly this organization has help fought against colleges and universities that refused to educated the mistreating of different ethnic such as; Mexican-Americans, Asian-Americans and African-Americans. In the spirit of the Chicano Movement it help colleges and universities to have an open mind on a higher level of education that led to the foundation of the Chicano studies.
During the 1960s until now many Mexican Americans has fought their heart out to have the right to be treated as an equal, not gather than or less than any human being. Part of the Chicano Movement was to create a mixture of educational goals, cutbacks on school dropout rate, improving educational achievement, and creating a bilingual-bicultural program. While the civil rights movement was reaching across the nation and over hearingMartin Luther king non-violent protest, other ethnicity groups saw a chance to stand up and doing something for their community. Which led into aLos Angeles high school blowout in 1968. At the students walkout protest in Lincoln High School and Roosevelt the Los Angeles police officers brutally attacking several students for blocking a fire exit. During this big blow out young Mexican-Americans got to witness their peers fighting for a change. They also got to experience how the Latinos community was not respected and treated as second-rate citizens. On an interview, Rosales stated, “remembers that farm workers were thought of as ignorant, lazy, stupid, and dirty. In another segment, a second interviewee recalls that being Mexican was a burden”(Chicano; History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement). The Chicano movement has indeed affected and help changed California to what it is today, it was every cultural as well a following movement helping to create a new global cultural of different individuality.
The time has come for the American people to learn about the civil/human rights struggle that minorities had to face. What is now consider a mistake in the past, is knowledge to the future that will help young students open their eyes to greater understanding of different ethnicities. Without the Chicano Movement, young Mexican-American would not understand the value of their freedom. Whereas, in today’s world many of us are free to live among any different nationalities. The reason we have this freedom, is because of all the hard works that our ancestors had to go through in order for this generation to not suffer the same pain they went through. In today’s education it is more rounded, meaning that in school, professors/teachers have to teach about the past history, like different cultures, religions races and etc. However, back in the 1960s many students did not get the education students have today.
In a chronicle “Art Fights the Power” written by Sam Martian talks about a young boy (Malaquis Montoya) that also fought through the civil rights movement and was also a big part in the Chicano Movement. Like the rest of the Latinos community, struggling to live in the society of racism and discrimination. Although life was rough for Montoya he soon later get into University of Berkeley and become s professor at Davis.
The government was finally beginning to recognize the problems that were being brought into the mainstream of society. People that were not of Mexican descent were shown what was happening in other social and economic groups. Local organizations gained strength and many started to campaign together in an attempt to raise public awareness. Education was at the top of this organization’s priority list. People actively involved in the movement saw the need for a change in the system that for so long satisfied a narrow-minded society. There are several events that initially sparked the kindling of the Chicano Movement. The huge outcry by lower-middle class Mexican citizens was publicized more as people began to take action. These actions were not always legal or morally justified, but they did show the power behind the movement. The public saw many acts of violence against policemen and white businessmen. These acts were often the only thing seen by the general public, due in part to the press. There was much more to the movement than just this, however.
Education for Mexican-Americans, or Chicanos, was something that was fought long and hard for. Years of oppression and social inequality were ingredients for an unpleasant time of protest, and violence, and incriminating actions. For many years, Chicanos in California and the Southwest had to deal with segregation, police brutality, and unlawful convictions. The children were thought of as future laborers so they weren’t taught with the same standards as other children. There was an ongoing struggle with Chicanos all over the country along with the African-Americans who felt cheated in similar ways to gain the civil rights that the Anglos had. These actions were eventually brought to the attention of The Supreme Court and overturned and set new standards for the events to come.
The 1960’s were a time of movement and struggle for the Chicanos in the United States. Chicano students felt that they were being deprived their education and that it was becoming a big problem. This had been the first time that they had actually begun making actions since there were some in college, and they realized that what was being done was unfair. High school students had begun to talk and begun to plan their walkouts. They had many reasons to
Many schools that were predominantly made up of Mexican Americans, as well as African American were funded less than the Anglo schools of other areas. In Texas in 1970, Mexican American schools only received 3/5 of the Federal appropriations that Euro American schools were receiving. “In Bexar County, a poor ‘Chicano district,’ with five times less property value than the Euro American district, received less state aid per pupil than its wealthier Euro American neighbor.” (Acuna, 413) The Chicanos realized that without educational equality, access to higher education was impossible. So once again, as in other instances, the people took it to the courts. This time there was more than one case involved in gaining progress. In 1968, the first case was Serrano v. Priest where John Serrano Jr. sued the California state treasurer on the grounds that his son received an inferior education in East Los Angeles because of the of the local property taxes financed the local schools. The argument was that the poor districts did not receive as much funds as the wealthier ones and in turn, the students were given the unequal treatment. He was trying to prove that money equaled education. As a result of Serrano taking his case to the Supreme Court, the court ruled in favor of Serrano stating that California’s school districts violated the state Constitution’s equal protection clause by denying equal access to education. In a similar case, San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez, filed in 1968, the Supreme Court found that the U.S. Constitution did not include equal education as a fundamental right.
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