Chicanos who are the descendent of Mexico, have a broad history in the era of Civil right. Prior to the war of 1848, some of the present states of USA were under the possession of Mexico. After the Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty, the war between Mexico and USA ended. With the mutual agreement, some of the land of Mexico was sold to USA. It was agreed that all the Mexicans living in these area would be given equal right as the citizens of America. These Mexicans were named Chicanos afterwards. Although according to the treaty they were supposed to be given equal rights, but that was not the situation. Chicanos faced the rejection from the Native Americans and were considered as inferior people. From 1960, to1970's Chicanos protested their civil rights to be same as other groups living in U.S.A.
In the mid of 1960, a party by the name of "Raza Unida" Party emerged due to the social intentional activity in the Chicanos community. It was a Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) which used the slogan" Raza Unida". The strategy, which was followed by the party, was to get the participation in the campaign, in writing platforms, to get leaders from Chicanos, and make them realize their importance, to develop an agenda, and to give a place to the Mexican Americans. Therefore, this party created a place or a forum where American-Mexicans express their ideas, and protested against the biased behavior of teachers and in other activities. Chicanos Movement used diverse strategies to attain their goals. The labor-based movement worked toward the improvement of economic condition of communities; the youth movement laid importance towards the cultural discrimination and the problems Chicanos people were facing in education (Moya, p88).
On the other hand, the Puerto Ricans one of another ignored minority also faced a difficult situation. Puerto Ricans mean "rich port". The people of Puerto Rica are known as Puerto Ricans. It is situated in the north of Caribbean Sea. Puerto Ricans were agricultural people. Due to its location, the land was a target area for the pirates. When the war between American and Spanish took place, the land was ceded to USA (Rodriguez, pg 9).
During the time of Civil rights era, migration took place due to many reasons like the world war, the advent of air travel and depression in the job market. The Puerto Ricans traveled to U.S.A in order to get a better job opportunity. The depression was not only in Puerto Rica, but it was a worldwide depression. Puerto Ricans were recruited in factories, industries and ship docks. According to Carmen, "For Puerto Rican migrants, labor contracts were an economic strategy" (Whalen, 54). Through this contract, the farmers took advantage in achieving "seasonal income" and a way to stay in States. USA welcomed the Puerto Ricans as they were considered as a source of cheap labor. Their increased demand resulted in the form of discrimination toward Puerto Ricans. The Puerto Ricans face the negative remarks and unacceptance from USA. This worsens their social condition. They were employed as low waged labors and when they started to demand equal rights, their successful struggle made them unaffordable as compared to the legal and illegal Latinos immigrants, who have even fewer demands and rights as compared to Puerto Ricans. Due to this condition, Puerto Ricans lost their jobs rights. National Committee in 1960 took steps to work for Puerto Ricans for getting employments for teachers and police officers and to start study programs for students.
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Some of the organizations, which took part in the independence movement, were Young Lords- PRRWO, MPI-PSP, El Comite-MINP, PRSU, and MLN. The time span covered by the Young Lords was very short; they targeted the "street youth" and worked as a catalyst for the movement and for the second generation. They worked to eradicate all the problems like hunger, poverty and housing to improve the social condition of Puerto Ricans.
They attained attention through "attention-grabbing strategies" for example they ablaze the garbage, arranged free breakfast program for children and moved the hospital equipments for needy patients (Lee). During 1960, many Puerto Ricans joined unions and democratic parties. Some lay stress on education and established "Aspira", to help the students to join colleges. They also demanded teaching Spanish language and history of Puerto Ricans in schools (Whalen, 231).
When we compare Both Chicanos and Puerto Rican, it is obvious that there was a difference of strategy among them. In 1960, the youth of Puerto Ricans demanded independence from USA which continued from 1960-1970. With the passage of time, this independence movement declined. Due to this colonial tie, they were differentiated from other minorities in USA. Whereas, Chicanos also demanded their rights, but the strategy they followed was that they "sought a cultural rather than separatist approach to differentiate their communities' (Schultz et al, pg 441). Chicanos adopted hyphenated identity so that they can face the discrimination from Americans, they called themselves Mexican -Americans, but on the other side Puerto Ricans face the discrimination by not following the hyphenated identity and they laid importance on their identity as Puerto Ricans only.
Thus, it is clear that Puerto Ricans faced difficulties due to their attitude, and they could have gained the importance as other minorities by following the strategy of minorities.
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