The Chicano Movement: Chicano Fight for Justice

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Racism on Trial: The Chicano Fight for Justice was written by Ian Haney López. The book effectively addresses the injustice that the Mexican American community faces daily from the world around us and how it can be improved. Lopez dissects the historical events of The Chicano Movement and two Criminal Prosecutions. Within these events he believes that “we” or “Americans” can learn the importance of being unaware and inactive. López’s target audience is people who believe that justice holds importance in any and all social, political, and economic relations, for example, the Chicano insurgents. His previous publications serve as a foundation on his beliefs through critical race theory. 

López addresses his three principal goals for his book: “to describe the evolution of a non-white racial identity among Mexicans in East Los Angeles during the Chicano movement years; to illustrate how racial thinking leads to and stems from legal violence; and finally to offer a general theory of race as common sense that helps us to fathom not only the rise of the Chicano movement but also current racial dynamics” (López 2). Mr. Lopez hypothesizes that racism is seen as common sense and that if people were more aware, that they could make a change. Racism is used in this text as an underlying issue in the United States. The unawareness of the issue is also an addressed conflict. 

The concepts are proven in the text through examples of how the government and its officials demonstrate this issue. Lopez uses police brutality and judicial discrimination to back his claims against his theory. An example of this could be “…Acosta pressed the claim that the Superior Court judges discriminated against Mexicans when nominating grand jurors” (López 37). The book makes connections to the course by approaching the Mexican American lifestyle and how they exist in society. In class we discussed how they were seen as outsiders. This concept further proves the ways in which they are discriminated against. Also, in class we discussed how they work hard only to receive the shorthand of the stick. America uses profit goals to minimize the Mexican community, by allowing them to work for U.S. corporations and receiving very little benefits. Daily American life does in fact include the principles of racism, from this prospective.Ian López provides several sources and materials throughout his book. 

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He uses the court cases and the Chicano movement to back his claims as well as quantitative data. The book provides several inserts from not only his own publications, but others as well. For example, when he discussed Oscar Acosta, he used an autobiography; and to discuss the populations statistics he used the U.S Census. Each element used in the text further provides proof of his thesis. Each piece of information closely connects to how racism exist and how it effects the Mexican Americans. The information is so closely connected there is not many other ways to present it. He also does not make any other ideas or perspectives known. He does not stray from his central ideas.The authors tone is serious and demands to be clarified while informing the audience of the issue in hand. His words were clear and nonthreatening. He set the perspective himself and although he has some opinionated comments, his book is mostly informative. In the book he includes a preface and an Epilogue. 

During the two he uses his opinions and beliefs as well as the purpose and intended audience. This helps to clarify his meanings and purposes. It sets the perspective; therefore, the audience does not have to. An example of the authors tone and clarity would be, “I do not mean to suggest that all action take place on the common sense level, for intentional racism still plays a large part in constructing the society we now live in.” (López 7) This sentence from the book helps to see that he is non-threating and is clear as it sets perspective. The book was very effective in its approach to introduce racial injustice to the Mexican American community. It is informative and direct. The authors structure is clear and easy to understand. With his help to make his perspective clear the book is easy to follow as he moves from each part. I agree with the author that many of the things discussed in the book is unknown information. The Chicano movement was something I learned while reading the book. Also, I learned about the walkouts that students participated in for their mistreatment. 

Racism on Trial: The Chicano Fight for justice benefits from its credible resources that the author chose to support his ideas. For example, he uses credible University reviews and official U.S census bureau. The sociological perspective that Racism on Trial: The Chicano Fight for Justice follows is a social conflict theory. It serves this approach by discussing the way that society sets apart from the Mexican American community. They are mistreated and discriminated against. The author argues that the racism that they face is revived daily in society, and that itself is a conflict. In my opinion López did a great job with informing his readers about the trials the Mexican-Americans went through. I sympathize with the Chicanos, although I do feel as if my opinion is bias because I am a part of this community. At the end of the book López states “we must recognize that we are still, and long will be, living in that distant past, the one in which race powerfully defines social and material relations in the United States” (López 250). I find this quote very true in today’s society. 

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