Anti-Mexican American violence in 1943

This video says about itself:

The Zoot Suit Riots

3 June 2017

Today in 1943, hundreds of white Naval soldiers drove down to the historic Mexican-American neighborhood of East Los Angeles to attack Chicano pachucos. During WWII, Chicanos wore flamboyant and fabric heavy outfits that, in addition to blatant racism, created a convenient excuse to target young Mexicans. The day of the riots soldiers stripped pachucos in zoot suits naked, burning their clothes and attacking them with clubs.

2 thoughts on “Anti-Mexican American violence in 1943

  1. Pingback: Donald Trump appeals to the extreme right | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. On June 22, 1943, violent clashes took place in Detroit, Michigan, as a result of racist agitation by the Ku Klux Klan and other fascistic groups, whose activities had been tacitly endorsed by the police and government authorities. Within the space of three days, 32 people were killed and over 400 were injured. The vast majority of them were African-American workers and youth.

    The violence in Detroit followed pogromist rampages at the beginning of June in Los Angeles, California. US military personnel and right-wing groups attacked Mexican-American young people and workers. Some individuals were targeted because they wore “Zoot Suits,” on the absurd pretext that the amount of fabric required to manufacture them was impacting upon the American war effort.

    The June 22 attacks in Detroit followed protracted racist agitation by the Ku Klux Klan, and other fascistic tendencies. They sought to divert widespread anger among workers over a deepening social crisis into attacks on African-American workers who had moved to the north in search of employment. A feature of the Detroit riots, and attacks over the previous months, were false claims by right-wing organisations that African-Americans were sexually assaulting white women.

    When African-American workers and youth fought back against the attacks, and the unrest threatened to unleash a broader political crisis, the US administration of President Franklin Roosevelt dispatched 6,000 federal troops, along with national guardsmen and inter-state police reinforcements. They imposed a curfew and virtual martial law, and were responsible for the majority of black deaths and injuries.

    The Socialist Workers Party (SWP), then the American section of the world Trotskyist movement, stated that the riots were a result of the attempts of the US ruling elite to divide the working class. The SWP warned that the deployment of federal troops was a test-case for the suppression of growing opposition to social inequality and the war. A June 26 editorial in the SWP’s paper, T he Militant, called for the working class to “come to the defense of the Negro people.”

    It stated: “The Ku Klux Klan and similar groups have long been active in Michigan and their members have worked hand in glove with the superintendent personnel of the auto barons to incite white workers against black.” It warned that the “inevitable consequence of this racial antagonism will be to divide the working masses; to sap the strength of organized labor; and to weaken the unions.” The editorial concluding by declaring, “‘Solidarity forever!’ between white workers and colored must be the watchword of the hour.”


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