Zoot suits riots

Topics: Zoot suit, Zoot Suit Riots, Mexican American Pages: 2 (716 words) Published: December 14, 2013

Based on the infamous 1942 “Sleepy Lagoon” murder mystery and the resulting “Zoot Suit Riots” in Los Angeles , playwright Luis  Valdez  weaves fact and fiction to depict the fate of 22 young Mexican Americans brought to trial for a murder they did not commit. The play has symbolic significance for Mexican Americans and tells about the riots during World War II. The Sleepy Lagoon Murder was one step in the fight for the rights and respect of Mexican American's. This riot involved young servicemen and civilians who clashed in the streets of the city with young Mexican Americans who wore the noticeable "Zoot Suit."  Although it was set in the 1940's the universal theme of "yellow journalism",  the role the press played for the soul purpose of making money ,  is placed nowadays.  The media spoke negatively about Mexican Americans in the play "Zoot Suits". Even though they used words like pachuchos and zoot suiter, people knew they were referring to Mexican Americans in a derogatory manner. Immediately after the Sleepy Lagoon case, some newspapers were referring to the young men as “Goons of the Sleepy Lagoon” .  We can tell that press in the play decided that this was the opportunity to bash Mexican Americans; they were constantly using derogatory terms. During the Zoot Suit Riots the press  wanted to make it seem as if the attackers were the victims and make it seem as if the zoot suiters were the enemy.  Luis Valdez shows us that some newspaper did not even want to suggest that the attacks were violent; they made it seem as if the sailors and marines were simply asking them for their suits.  Let's think how the role of " yellow journalism"  has been changed since 1940's. In one of the interviews Luis Vadez said: "The situation has changed and not changed in the United States. In some ways it's better, in some ways it's worse."   What is the "yellow journalism?".Journalism should be about getting the truth out. Usually the truth that a journalist is trying to...
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