Chicano History

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Chicano history, culture and identity have contributed to the antithesis between internal diversity and cultural unity by creating barriers between Chicanos based on the differences in individuals’ experiences. Since the Spanish conquest of Mexico, there was a difference between Mexicans depending on what region of Mexico people lived in. Due to this, people from different parts experienced a similar, yet unique type of culture, which then led to what Chicanos believe they are and what they identify with. This caused Mexican Americans living in the United States to develop differences in ideas, identity and history which led to the difficulty in uniting in order to gain their civil rights. History has influenced the experiences and, therefore…show more content…
In addition, when the Spanish settled in Mexico, they created a hierarchical society according to the Regimen de Castas (Society of Castes) which determined what social standing they had based on their Spanish purity or whether they had some Indian blood in them. This lead to the establishment of prejudice where those who were considered of less Spanish descent suffered more discrimination. Even when the United States took possession over the Mexican land, the Spanish who had remained there tried to distinguish themselves from Mexicans and some Mexicans tried to emphasize that they were Spanish not Mexican, which was something that nobody wanted to be. During the Immigrant era, newspapers such as, La Opinion, discouraged Americanization and emphasized valuing their Mexican roots and not becoming traitors. However, when the Mexican American Era came Mexican Americans attempted to strive for equality and in the Chicano Era they “defended the interests of the Mexican worker.” Furthermore, the class standing of Chicanos in the United States contributed to the diversity and…show more content…
Some Chicanos eventually assimilated into American culture and rejected their Mexican roots and traditions. Depending on their location, culture might have been different in some parts as well. Penalosa mentions the significance that social class and regional location have on creating culture differently for each individual. He mentions that this is why there cannot be one type of Mexican American. Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales completely embraces the history , tradition and culture of Mexico and rejects conforming to American culture. He claims that he “will not be absorbed,” indicating that he is proud of where he comes from and will not change that. He is one example of Chicanos who will not blend into the melting pot and let go of his cultural identity. During the 1950s some Mexican Americans abandoned their culture and integrated American society in attempts to receive better treatment. Some organizations, such as LULAC, encouraged Chicanos to use this approach even if it meant eliminating their Mexicaness. Whether Mexican Americans decided to choose either completely Mexican or American or in between is what caused their unique experiences and difficulty for getting to agree and receiving civil rights and equality in American

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