Zoot Suit Riots of Los Angeles

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe

For several days in June 1943, uniformed members of the U.S. armed forces rioted throughout


Sailors, soldiers, and marines with wooden clubs during the Zoot

The L.A. Zoot Suit Riots of 1943 were a targeted attack on Mexican and nonwhite youths

Soldiers display pieces of the zoot suits they tore from Mexican American men during the Zoot Suit Riots in Los Angeles on June 9, 1943.

June 3, 1943
Contrary to popular opinion the “Tacuche” Zoot Suit did not start out in the Mexican community as rebellious acts against society. Friday’s brought an end to long hours toiling at menial jobs and what better way to start the weekend off than by getting cleaned up, stepping into a jazzy ensemble and hanging out with the Eses’. Chicano’s were classy dressers and going to a party or the club was a perfect stage to show off their slick machismo style. The Zoot Suit was the quintessential garment; high waist pants and boxy, roomy coats were flattering, as well as comfortable; the flowing look of the suit was unmistakably flashy on the dance floor giving the appearance of more substance; maybe even help getting some play from the chica’s.

Zoot Suit Riots, Zoot Suits, Los Angeles, Pachucos, Pachucas

However, the humble parents and elder familia weren’t quite as enamored by the ostentatious and flamboyant zoot suit considering them garish and bringing unwanted attention to the many anti-Mexican middle-class White Los Angelino’s. Soldiers and sailors resented zoot suiters due to the numerous yards of fabric it took to tailor them. Those who wore zoot suits were considered wasteful, unpatriotic and committing a criminal act in opposition to the code of rationing. The servicemen justified their racism as expressions of loyalty and allegiance to the war effort, judging the zoot-suited Chicano’s as un-American.

The unwarranted attacks against zoot suiters by servicemen, aided by the manipulation of media generated the impression the majority of crime was committed by zoot-suited gangsters. What originally began as a fashion statement evolved into symbols of defiance, resistance and violence. However what one must remember is the zoot suit wasn’t a Halloween costume, it was an expression of being hip, cool, suave and sophisticated; the zoot suit in and of itself was a form of politicizing independence and the homogenization of American and Mexican culture communicating freedom, confidence and self-determination.

Zoot Suiters Looking Cool


#LetOurVoicesEcho #SleepyLagoon #Incarceration #RacismThe “Sleepy Lagoon Murder” was the name Los Angeles newspapers used to describe the death of José Gallardo Díaz, who was discovered unconscious and dying on a road near a swimming hole (known as the Sleepy Lagoon) in Commerce, California, on the morning of August 2, 1942. Diaz was taken by ambulance to Los Angeles County General Hospital, where he died shortly afterward, without regaining consciousness. The hospital’s autopsy showed he was inebriated from a party the previous night and had a fracture at the base of his skull. This might have been caused by repeated falls or an automobile accident. The cause of his death remains a mystery to this day. However, Los Angeles Police were quick to arrest 17 Mexican-American youths as suspects. Despite insufficient evidence, the young men were held in prison, without bail, on charges of murder. The trial ended on January 13, 1943, under the supervision of Judge Charles W. Fricke. In 30 years on the bench, Judge Charles W. Fricke reputedly sentenced more criminals to death than any of his colleagues and presided over some of the flashiest cases in Los Angeles. Judge Fricke ruled he didn’t think the boys should have their hairstyle changed” since this would “make it difficult for prosecution witnesses to identify them.” It makes me wonder if having a hairstyle, with its association to the zoot suiter’s and lawlessness, was all it took to end up in jail for murder in 1943.

#LetOurVoicesEcho #Racism #SleepyLagoon #JoseDiaz1942

#LetOurVoicesEcho #Racism #SleepyLagoon 3

Mexican Americans arrested after Zoot Suit Riots, 1943

According to White people “They all look alike anyway”, so let’s go back to the beginning; “Mexican’s, who cares, so what”… Within a couple of weeks the Grand Jury was presented with statistics by the sheriff’s dept. According to the report; data gradually increased from a sympathetic angle and escalated to downright racial bias creating a parallel of Latino ancestors crossing the ice bridge from Asia to North America; in essence, drawing the conclusion Mexican’s were cousins to those dirty Japanese who attacked Pearl Harbor. “The Indian, from Alaska to Patagonia, is evidently Oriental in background – at least he shows many of the Oriental characteristics, especially so in his utter disregard for the value of life.”

It’s estimated between 300 and 400 people were arrested but police narrowed their investigation down to 40 members of the 38th Street group. Eighteen were able to retain private representations and acquitted, however, the other 22 defendants were forced to depend on a mere 7 attorney amongst them who weren’t allowed to confer with their clients. Talk about hitting the jackpot…

Nine of the defendants were convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to serve time in San Quentin Prison. The rest of the suspects were charged with lesser offenses and incarcerated in the Los Angeles County Jail. In October 1944, the state Court of Appeals unanimously decided the evidence was not sufficient to sustain a guilty verdict. It reversed the 12 defendants’ convictions in People v Zammora 66 Cal.App.2d 166. The appeals court also criticized the trial judge, Judge Fricke for his bias and mishandling of the case which is considered a precursor to the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943.

#LetOurVoicesEcho #Racism #SleepyLagoon

The Sleepy Lagoon Murder case was built on deliberate bad faith police manipulation; severely beating defendants into giving false confessions, irreparable misidentification by so-called witnesses and the balance of unethical suggestiveness from the prosecutor and sheriff’s dept.

When arrests have progressed through the judicial system to the point which the accused is actually brought to trial, the natural inclination is to believe the defendant committed the crime. Why else would they be on trial? So rather than the presumption-of-innocence, the 22 were tried on the presumption-of-guilt.

The premise of this sentence is zoot suiters are the ones who are supposed to be taught in this fight. It implies xenophobic mindset towards the Latinos because even if servicemen lost a battle overseas, the journalists would not describe it as “learn a lesson”.

#LetOurVoicesEcho #ZootSuitRiots 12

Pachucas being arrested during Zoot Suit Riots.

Migrant workers from Mexico were wanted when business was good but were expected to return to Mexico the moment the economy began to falter. The Mexican’s knew if they were willing to work harder, not challenge the political, social, or economic system they could survive in the U.S. although their standard of living would be less than that of the Whites.

The media characterized Mexican’s as simpleminded, gangster delinquents who openly defied US values and customs; the rational being “Mexican Americans had inherited their `naturally violent′ tendencies from the bloodthirsty Aztecs′ of Mexico who were said to have practiced human sacrifice centuries ago” and “would forever retain wild and violent tendencies no matter how much education or training he might receive. What the press neglected to inform the public was between 250,000 and 500,000 Hispanic Americans served in the Armed Forces comprising 2.3% to 4.7% of the Army.

The press having condoned the attacks ignored the fact most of the zoot suit defendants held down ordinary working class jobs and the servicemen who attacked them were deemed heroes both here and abroad. Racial profiling isn’t a new thing nor is the theory of; does it matter who goes to jail as long as we convict someone, anyone…

Interestingly enough, after Japan formally surrendered Sept. 2, 1945 and the US began the recuperation process “Large double breasted baggy suits with high waists, pleated trousers and wide brim hats returned to fashion just as they were in the 1930’s but now with a taste of the zoot in them as well.”

ZOOT SUIT WARS

Mexican-Americans Risked Their Lives Wearing Zoot Suits | History Of | Racked

The Zoot Suit Riots: A Race Issue

How Anti-Mexican Racism in L.A. Caused the Zoot Suit Riots | History

The Zoot Suit Riots

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Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)

White supremacy is not starched white pointed hoods and swastika armbands

By Rudy TwoMoon
Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe

I’m writing this so I have written testimony about what occurred here this morning. June 3, 2018 11:35 am.

The dogs go ballistic while I’m in the shower and I can tell they’re barking at the front and not the side door. They almost never bark at the front due to all the kids using the side. I open the bathroom door and peek outside the curtain… I can see through the front picture window and outside are 2 cops, strapped with fully auto rifles “crouch walking aka hunting” down my driveway. Wtf I think as I turn off the water and quickly wrap a towel around my waist… running out the bathroom, pounding issues from the side door. Through the kitchen and around the corner to the side door I see both cops aiming their rifles directly at my chest… I make a gesture like really dude, I’m standing here in a fucking towel dripping water while you point that shit at me… yelling through the door he demands to know if a boy named Eric is here? My daughter is in the kitchen freaking out… I yell downstairs to Liam my oldest, “is a boy named Eric down there because I have cops pointing their fucking guns at me, so if he’s down there, get his ass up here now!” “No he’s not… we haven’t seen him in 3 weeks”… I relay the message. Just then my youngest leaves the room and I hear Addey yell, go back to your room Kai, there’s armed cops outside. I tell, Kai go back to your room right now! (Kai goes to his room where he sees another armed cop looking through his window) Cops point their weapons down and asks if I’ll come out to talk. I give him that look again, ya know the, can’t you see I’m dripping wet in a fucking towel look. Grabbing my shoes I step out. Again with “have you seen Eric”… I’m like “no, but why are you at my house armed and pointing your weapons at me?” “We were told Eric stayed the night here.”

(The reason the cops came so strapped was because the neighbors have called the cops on us so much for absolutely nothing, we have what looks like a rap sheet a mile long… these neighbors have literally gone door to door demanding other neighbors call the cops on us daily exactly for something like this to occur, and all because we have my kids friends at the house. These kids do not do anything off the property nor are they loud. They don’t speed, bump music nor litter… the problem is a bunch of them have Black and Brown skin… Neighbors Ricky and Dottie have made an actual campaign of calling cops daily just to make us look bad. We have never done a single thing to these sick minded people, nothing.)

So anyway, the other cop is walking up and down the street sweeping her weapon like she’s under attack. Not only that but somehow the dumb bitch racks her rifle and loses all the rounds right in the street. She’s stumbling around picking ‘em up looking like a total idiot. (I haven’t a clue as to how that occurred due to them being in a clip)

Eventually, they leave as my wife Dr. Julie comes home… she’s livid of course and says fuck this we need to make a complaint. So off we go to the police station and guess who’s at the window. Yep, the guy who was just pointing his weapon at me, and he ain’t having any complaints bullshit. But he does ask if we mind if they search the house. “Um no, you may not enter my home” I reply. On his radio we hear “the suspect was seen at our address”… we bolt out of the station because all 3 kids are home with 2 other friends. I immediately call my daughter and tell her lock the doors and make sure no one leaves the house. Turns out the 2 kids had enough and were gonna split. Mind you, one of the kids were Korean and the other is Black… absolutely looking nothing like the redhead boy in question. We return and again and same 3 cops are there… fortunately they’re not all strapped like earlier. One cop goes to my very cool neighbor, shows him a pic of the redhead boy and proceeds to make a bold faced lie saying he committed an armed robbery. (He did not commit armed robbery, she said this in hope my very cool neighbor would freak out I guess. They leave again.)

(All this time my fuckhead neighbors are eating popcorn and totally enjoying the show… laughing, giggling and patting each other on the ass and sharing tug jobs all around.)

Turns out the boy got kicked out of his house 3 days ago. He may have or may not have stolen his stepdad’s firearms… (if so, why wait 3 fucking days to call the cops eh?)

They come back but this time have another patrol car from another township. They want to check the garage because the boy was seen leaving his backpack with the guns there… it wasn’t there of course.

So to make a long story even longer, these same neighbors have started rumors against us when my oldest was in 1st grade. She told all the parents we don’t feed Liam, make him get up on his own and even walk to the bus stop all alone…. funny because I was at the stop with him every fucking morning and picking him up every fucking evening. Also if you know me, you damn well know I have never ever used food as a weapon nor would I ever withhold any from a hungry person let alone my own son. This bitch has also started other rumors against us throughout the years. We have never once called the cops even when their dumb drunk asses were whooping it up past 3 am, nor when their Harley glasspack idiot friend stops by.

To try and make friends, I have gone to their house to try and help when their huge tree fell across their driveway… I also brought them beer and just left it with them. I didn’t stay; I just dropped off beer as a gift. What do we get in return? Lying, bullying, libelous KKK actions. My kids are terrified to do anyfuckingthing! They have filmed my kids as well as guests who come to our house, and all for what? I can’t for the fucking life of me figure out what the fuck anyone in this house has ever done to them. I still remember the 1st week we moved in. Julie and I took a walk around the neighborhood and tried to introduce ourselves. They didn’t want to shake hands and looked at us like we had a disease creeping along our faces. We are going to go to the deputy sheriff and see if we can put a stop to this. Not sure if it will help considering Ricky seems to burn crosses with all the other blue lives matter folks.

U.S. SUPREME COURT 4th AMENDMENT RIGHTS

The U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor ruled on May 29, 2018 police may not search the area around a private home area, or around a house, known as the curtilage which is part of the home itself and cannot be searched without a warrant even when police think they have seen stolen property on the premises; although the court has long ruled a vehicle can be searched without a warrant if an officer sees something in plain sight. However the Supreme Court ruled police officers must generally have warrants to enter a home’s driveway in search of stolen vehicles… The “curtilage” of a house or dwelling is the land immediately surrounding it, including any closely associated buildings and structures, but excluding any associated “open fields beyond”, and also excluding any closely associated buildings, structures, or divisions that contain the separate intimate activities.

1adam12 – 1adam12 – We got Negros and Mexicans – Send back-up
https://letourvoicesecho.wordpress.com/1adam12-1adam12/

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Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)