Mexican Americans





Mexican Americans have been in this country longer than many groups of people. Although, they have been here longer, whites took thier land from them. Along with taking their land from them, they took took all the pride that the Mexicans Americans had. It seemed that way until they started fighting for their rights in the early nineteen hundreds. Treaties were made that gave land rights to them and speeches were made by political leaders deeming this countries actions unjust. However, the treaties were ignored and the speeches were ploys to gain votes. Many Mexican American leaders noticed that their people were mistreated and walked all over by the anglo government.
Some Mexican American leaders focused on police brutality. Some focused on the school systems. And even some on everything that affected them. Others like Caesar Chavez and Corky Gonzales focused on certain topics like farm workers and political parties.
Mexican Americans were determined to get what they wanted and did what they had to do to get it.
One leader named Caesar Chavez was probably, the most famous person in recent Mexican American history. When he spoke, he reached all types of people. He reached “Christian organizations, both Protestants and Catholics, radical student organizations, including the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS); and other civil rights groups.”
Chavez was a major leader in the Chicano movement that all started when he was nineteen years-old when he joined the NFLU (National Farm Labor Union). From then, he moved on to the CFO, where he moved up in rank quite easily which he eventually quit. After his nine year stint with the CFO, he then founded the union of the United Farm Workers in late 1962. An organization that fought for fare wages for farm workers. That organization of his was probably the most known Mexican American one around the country.
Since Chavez knew the the political field and the organizational field better than probably any other Mex. Amer. Leader, he knew how to get attetion. Unlike other philosophies such as Tijerina’s and the Brown Berets’, Chavez knew he had to get attention from a larger audience. He did many things to accomplish that. Such as fasting, starting strikes and joining rallies for minorites all around the country. One event he went to that benifited his goals a great deal was Martin Luther King’s march through Washington D.C. The whole country saw that he was not just for Mexican Americans, but for anyone who was going through a struggle like his people were. Even white middle-class people soon became aware of the problems that Chavez put forth.
Caesar Chavez, however, was not for everybody. He had strong point of view on illegal immigrants. He didn’t fight for them, nor would he ever. He thought jobs were being taken away and that they they drove the pay of legal workers down. He only wanted to deal with the problems that were going on for Americans. However, his stand on illegal immigration, drove away many Mexican Americans who opposed his view. And it was not only Mexican Americans who disagreed with him, other groups did as well. At the same time, people must have respected how he never changed his point of view and defended it whenever it was challenged.
One leader in the Chicano movement, who favored illegal immigrants, was Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales. He was a former prize fighter who later worked in the Viva Kennedy administration. He founded the Crusade For Justice who’s purpose was to steer young chicanos to political action. The Crusade For Justice attracted tons of Mexican American youths and made Corky Gonzales a “crowd favorite” at rallies and marches. His appeal to the youth could have been credited to his past as a boxer and semi-millitant tactics.
Corky was more than a Jon Lennon to Mex. Amer. kids, he also founded the La Raza Unida Party. That was an attempt to create a political other than the Democrats and Republicans. Chicanos felt they needed a leader in the political field that represented them and what they stood for. That in it self attracted Mex. Amer. youths and older ones from all over the southwest. La Raza Unida was in many cases the last chance for older Mex. Americans to get their voice