Sunday, May 10, 2015
My kids know more about the Zoot Suit Riots than they do about World War I.
The Zoot Suit Riots were the perfectly explainable, short-lived series of fights over the course of a week between young American servicemen and draft age young hispanics who were presenting an attitude of anything but military discipline during World War II.
American servicemen didn't appreciate what they considered to be draft dodgers who dressed up like they didn't know there was a war going on and the Zoot suiters didn't like American servicemen trying to wreck their good time.
It was 1943.
But we are short on a narrative of Hispanic oppression in America, so this has to get pressed into service.
In any event, this article on the AP US History test explains why the Zoot Suit Riots - a two week wonder in 1943 (for heaven's sake) - gets more attention than the Bataan Death March.