The Zoot-Suit Riots - Essay Example

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The Zoot-Suit riots are one of the strangest of riots I have ever come across, may it be in reality or in books and newspapers. They are remarkable event in that they defy simple classification. They were not, in any conventional sense of the word, "riots." …
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The Zoot-Suit Riots
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Download file to see previous pages No one was killed, no one sustained massive injuries, property damage was slight, and no major or minor judicial decisions stemmed from the riots. There was no pattern to arrests; convictions were few and highly discretionary. There were no political manifestos or heroes originating from the riots (Mazon 1). But it did cause damage to those involved.
By the beginning of 1943, America was deeply engaged with the Second World War. In Los Angeles, the city had already been emptied of its residents of Japanese ancestry. Young Latinos, unlike their elders, were not content to stay within their barrios, but were spilling into downtown dance halls, movie houses, pool halls and clubs. As young men are prone to do, many young Latino males distinguished themselves with distinctive hairdos and apparel. They wore drapes which resembled the zoot suits worn in Harlem. It was designed to be comfortable to dance in, and some believed that it was sometimes used as a signal that the wearer belonged to a club or gang. Most Anglos called the outfit a zoot suit and assumed that only hoodlums wore them. Long before the riots, Mexicans and Mexican Americans were the victims, and often the authors of many other descriptive names. Now, due to the drapes, the term 'Zoot Suiters' was attributed to this riot. However, the Mexican American teenagers called themselves pachucos.
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