Mexican Americans During World War II

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During World War II, there was an increase of Mexican immigration in the United States, which greatly increased the population. There were significant incidents of racism between Mexican Americans and Americans that affected the view on World War II. Mexican Americans were drafted into or volunteered for the U.S. army. Since there was an increase of immigration, Mexican Americans had more opportunities of getting jobs in the United States, especially in the west. World War II had many effects on Mexican Americans, and that changed the perspective of Mexican Americans nationally and worldwide. Opportunities and tensions from World War II caused Mexican Americans to be victims of racism in public, they were treated differently in the workplace, …show more content…

Mexican Americans typically moved to the west when they immigrated, because there was many occupation opportunities for them. During World War II, Mexican Americans dealt with discrimination and racism. One example of racism, would be the zoot-suit riots in 1943. These riots were between groups of young Mexican Americans, and American sailors and soldiers. The riots lasted for days, and the police did nothing to stop them. In fact, a police officer was quoted after a riot, “You can say that the cops had a 'hands-off ' policy during the riots. Well, we represented public opinion. Many of us were in the First World War, and we 're not going to pick on kids in the service”. There was quite a bit of controversy between how the riots started. Some believed it was racism that started the riots, however some believed it was caused by juvenile delinquents and white southerners. June 8, 1943, the major riots in LA ended, but they spread to other parts of the country. Including Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Harlem, where African Americans dressed in zoot suits became the …show more content…

In the war, Mexican Americans soldiers were segregated just like the African Americans. Even though they were serving just like any other soldier, they were still disrespected. It was estimated that anywhere from 13.9 percent to 18.6 percent of Mexican Americans joined the military during World War II. One example of segregation of soldiers during the war, is segregated bathrooms. A private first class in the Army Air Corps, Tabares, explains an incident he encountered at a train station, “... I had to go to the bathroom, and I went into the black one. And before I entered a guy was right there and said, ‘Where in the hell are you going?’ I said, ‘I have to go to the bathroom.’ He said, ‘You can 't go in there.’ I said, ‘Why? It says black. Where am I supposed to go?’ He said, ‘Up there.’ But that was white. I said, ‘Have you got one for brown?’ ‘Oh, don 't be so silly, get in there!’”. The segregation of soldiers during the war was uncalled for, they were all serving trying to protect the nation, they shouldn’t have had to worry about what bathroom they had to use, and where they had to be

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