Storytelling in Zoot Suit Riots The zoot suit riot is a story covering issues of human rights and discrimination with the support of the some government officials. The zoot suit riots present a platform to discuss the various stories developed in the process in order to hide the magnitude of the events. The segregation and discrimination of individuals based on their race was the prevalent theme in the riot. The violation of the rights of the citizens especially of Mexican descent was a common practice supported by both the judiciary and the administration. The differences, in the administration, and media use helped in the development of the counter story, to hide the real occurrence.
In order to evaluate the problem of the story, it is vital to state the different approaches used in the hiding of the truth. The events covered in the story line include the Zoot suit riot, sleepy lagoon and the road to Delano. Throughout the events occurring in the episodes, the media develop a counter story to change the whole truth of the violence. The contribution of the various races in the society was overlooked by the action of betrayal (Peiss 76). Mexicans were involved in the World War II, and some of them received medals due to their bravery, but compared to the medals offered to the white males, they were not respected in the society. The population of the Mexicans increased in Los Angeles because they were escaping the persecution witnessed in other states, in America.
The formation of groups facilitated the development of counter story. These gangs were not violent, but media influence the behavior of the administration towards the gang. Media depicted Mexicans and Chicanos as a violent group leading to unnecessary arrests and violation of their rights. The need for identification led to the development of the Zoot suits, but the counter story created an implied meaning that the suit was associated with a gang or groups of gang (Peiss 45). The result of the fallacy of generalization is the rounding off of the Mexican in an operation conducted by sailors, supported by the police. The sailors attacked the Mexicans indiscriminately with a crude battle cry. The judiciary did not protect the rights of the Mexicans with Judge Arthur Guerin dismissing the groups by stating that they were disturbing peace.
Throughout the process, media created stories with a message of hate towards the Mexican community. They were blamed for any occurrence including robbery. Without the support of the navy in the enacting of the rights of the affected, it was impossible for the police to help the affected because some of them enjoyed the violations. Media developed stories to cover up for the social ills conducted by the sailors and military personnel. The media’s story line was used to reduce the impact of information sharing on violation of the rights of the Mexicans. During the riots, other groups suffered the same fate by being beaten up, or discriminated. The failure of the administration to deal with errant judges, police and continuous publication of wrong information facilitated the violation of human rights (Patterson 134). The two stories presented in the Zoot Suit riot are about discrimination and rights violation, but the justification used is by branding the affected as thugs or gangs. The existing gangs were not violent, but media depicted them as violent.
Patterson, John. The Bill of Rights: Politics, Religion, and the Quest for Justice. New York: iUniverse, 2004.
Peiss, Kathy. Zoot Suit: The Enigmatic Career of an Extreme Style. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.