Mexican American Youth

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The Chicano power movement of the 1960's is characterized by Carlos Munoz, jr. as a movement led by the decedents of Mexican Americans who pressed for assimilation. These young people, mostly students, became tired of listening to school rhetoric that stressed patriotism when they were being discriminated against outside the classroom. Unlike their parents, the young people of the Chicano movement did not want to assimilate into mainstream America and lose their identity, they wanted to establish an identity of their own and fight for the civil rights of their people. The Chicano movement was a drastic change from past generations of Mexican American activists. The new Chicano movement was much more vocal of their discontent and led very public demonstrations. The older generation of activists disliked protests and wanted merely to get along with the mainstream society. The older generation of Mexican American activists wanted to associate themselves with their Anglo background of Spanish decent. The Chicano movement on the other hand, wanted to identify more with their indigenous heritage of Native Americans. This difference divided the older and younger generations of Mexican Americans. The older generation of Mexican Americans saw the U.S., according to Munoz, as democratic, where you need only to work hard and participate in politics to get ahead in society. The younger generation of Chicano Power protesters pointed out that the American Dream that the older generation of activists preached could not be achieved by Mexican Americans no matter how hard they tried, and therefore needed to take more drastic measures to gain equality. Many activists began to shun their alleged white ethnic background and the assimilation's ideas. A play, written by Ysidro Ramón Macias called The Ultimate Pendejada criticized the assimilation idea and stressed a Chicano identity which focused more on the indigenous and African roots of Mexican heritage. The Chicano power...
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