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In May of 1943, the FBI issued a nationwide search of draft dodgers which allowed them to find 638 fugitives who were trying to escape the draft. This left hundreds of servicemen were on the attack in Los Angeles for a particular group of people who were known as zoot-suiters, or Mexican-American people who were easily identified by their excessive forms of dress. The zoot-suiters were not only outcasts by their choice of dress, but also due to the fact they were recent immigrants who were pushed from their former home in Southern California to their new home in the urban areas of Los Angeles due to the Depression back in the late 1930s. These young Mexican-Americans were the new minority in town, and were deprived of jobs and resources which…show more content…
In traditional Mexican heritage backgrounds, “a boy of sixteen was ready to assume responsibilities of family and a life in the community.” (Savage, pg. 397) Whereas a boy of sixteen in an American heritage background, his adolescence was sought out to be prolonged. Not knowing which culture to side with, these zoot-suiters rebelled to both cultures, and one act of rebellion was their outrageous clothing which was a flag of dishonor. Zoot-suiter’s many acts of rebellion and their un-American views made it impossible for them to be socially constructed in the same way white teenagers. For the white society to hate the zoot-suiters even more, the “zoot-suit” came from the mid-thirties Negro fashions, where during that time Malcolm X began sporting the look. On top of the fact that these “zoot-suits” came from Negro culture, during the 1942 cloth rationing, the illegal suits still remained popular, which was a very “non-supporter, un-American” thing to do while our country was at war. These zoot-suiters were not doing much to help themselves stay out of trouble by consistently rebelling against the social norms, and their rebellions were un-patriotic which made white Americans despise them even
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