¡Raza Si! ¡Guerra No!: Chicano Protest and Patriotism during by Lorena Oropeza

By Lorena Oropeza

This incisive and skillfully written exam of Chicano antiwar mobilization demonstrates how the pivotal adventure of activism through the Viet Nam battle period performed itself out between Mexican american citizens. ¡Raza Sí! ¡Guerra No! presents an interesting portrait of Chicano protest and patriotism. On a deeper point, the booklet considers higher subject matters of yankee nationalism and citizenship and the position of minorities within the army provider, topics that stay pertinent this present day. Lorena Oropeza's exploration of the evolution, political trajectory, and eventual implosion of the Chicano crusade opposed to the struggle in Viet Nam incorporates a attention-grabbing meditation on Mexican american citizens' political and cultural orientations, loyalties, and feel of prestige and position in American society.

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Extra resources for ¡Raza Si! ¡Guerra No!: Chicano Protest and Patriotism during the Viet Nam War Era

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There was something about this fighting business that we ate up! Perhaps we welcomed the chance to show this nation that we were loyal, faithful and could be depended Figure 1. President Harry S. Truman awards the Congressional Medal of Honor to Silvestre Herrera. I. Forum to argue for equality for all Mexican Americans. Source: National Archives. ”78 Invariably, such unmuffled expressions of ethnic pride carried a political charge: Mexican-flavored patriotism became all-American patriotism as ethnic group members rested their hopes of being recognized as equals upon their military contributions to the war.

100 Similarly, in 1943 LULAC executive secretary Manuel C. ”101 Yet, even Mexican Americans also seemed to recognize that placing their appeal within an international context had limits. ” Notably, the barred man, one M. R. González, recited a theme that Chicano movement participants were to adopt a generation later in regard to Viet Nam: “I told the Sheriff that I would prefer to fight and die . . ”102 González put an unusual twist on the standard formula by indicating that both his patriotism and patience were finite.

73 In a similar topsy-turvy fashion, an unpresuming lane, unpaved and less than two blocks long, in the town of Silvis, Illinois, earned the sobriquet “Hero Street” during World War II because of the extraordinarily high participation rate of its residents in the armed forces. Settled during the 1930s by Mexican immigrant families who had migrated north to work on the railroad, the street’s twenty-five houses sent an amazing forty-five young men off to the war, six of whom never returned. 75 Certainly, many Mexican American veterans saw their service in that light.

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