"¡Mi Raza Primero!" (My People First!): Nationalism, Identity, and Insurgency in the Chicano Movement in Los Angeles, 1966-1978
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Deftly combining personal recollection and interviews of movement participants with an array of archival, newspaper, and secondary sources, Chávez provides an absorbing account of the events that constituted the Los Angeles-based Chicano movement. At the same time he offers insights into the emergence and the fate of the movement elsewhere. He presents a critical analysis of the concept of Chicano nationalism, an idea shared by all leaders of the insurgency, and places it within a larger global and comparative framework. Examining such variables as gender, class, age, and power relationships, this book offers a sophisticated consideration of how ethnic nationalism and identity functioned in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s.
announced the Daily News, “at the increasing reports of violent attacks on members of minority groups and brutality against persons held for trial.”63 Still another infamous incident was the so-called “Bloody Christmas” episode in 1951. Though in some ways just another example of police brutality, the attention it garnered made it diVerent. The case started out as a routine arrest on Christmas Eve 1951 of six men, Danny Rodela, Elias Rodela, Jack Wilson, William Wilson, Manuel Hernández, and
that a pastor in the poor neighborhoods of East Harlem in New York City and Jersey City, New Jersey. In October 1965 he relocated to Los Angeles at the request of the local Episcopal bishop who encouraged him, as well as others, “to try to reach out and work with all sorts of diVerent groups and kids, drug addicts, people that had been troubled with the law.”10 The challenge excited Luce, who shared the bishop’s conviction that “the support of indigenous organizations of the people themselves
“The events of the last few months,” announced a leaXet, “have clearly shown us that it is useless to place any trust in the present political system.” Now the issues, besides police brutality, included Immigration and Naturalization Service deportations of undocumented Mexican workers; the Vietnam War; attempts by California State College at Los Angeles oYcials to remove Chicano student groups from the campus and to reduce funding for Educational Opportunity Programs (EOPs); and Governor Ronald
threat to Richard Alatorre’s campaign in the 48th Assembly District to the point where he is about to receive outside help. This Sunday, Alatorre, a so-called Chicano who claims to be Italian, will be paraded through the barrio by one of his multimillionaire patrones, Senator Muskie. Muskie refused to comment on the protest, but the LRUP’s tactics evidently succeeded because the Democrats cancelled the last of their three scheduled engagements.31 Despite all the energy that LRUP spent on the
among the Mexican working class in this country.”50 CASA now launched a major campaign on behalf of aYrmative action in order to enhance its visibility and gain more members. It targeted the Bakke decision, which it believed clearly deWned “the ideology of the imperialists, their tactics, and politics and the role of its ideology in education and in maintaining the national oppression and exploitation of oppressed nationalities.”51 In 1975, Allan Bakke, a thirty-four-year-old aerospace engineer,