Zoot Suit Riots

SDsalsaguy

Administrator
Staff member
#21
Bob said:
My take on it was that sailors who came back from fighting in the pacific saw the zoot suits as an excessive use of rationed material (the cloth, of course) and decided that they would take matters into their own hands.

I am sure that there were a lot of issues (many of which have not been completely solved to this day) that went along with those attacks, but that was the reason put on the surface.
As you say, such issues are never that transparent and always more complex, but what you posit does make sense as a piece of the historical picture.
 
#22
Bob said:
I am sure that there were a lot of issues (many of which have not been completely solved to this day) that went along with those attacks, but that was the reason put on the surface.
:lol: a dim reason at that! ... that's the first time I heard that

I think it's extremely safe to say it was racial/cultural issues that spawned the violence.
 

Bob

New Member
#23
Yep I agree. The tensions were not caused by the zoot suits.

Another reason stated that the Latino's would not fight for the US in the war. When the truth is told, however, the Latino's had a disproportionately high number of men in the service.

I think it may be a positive sign though, that this is not common knowledge (referring to the nature of the riots).

Maybe we have gotten past that one little piece of intolerance. So far in fact, that we don't even remember what it was about. (It doesn't make what happened right, but maybe there is a bit of a silver lining anyway)
 
#26
Maybe we have gotten past that one little piece of intolerance. So far in fact, that we don't even remember what it was about. (It doesn't make what happened right, but maybe there is a bit of a silver lining anyway)
Amen. I'll drink to that. :cheers:

A bit belated, but welcome to dance forums! :p

ScorpionGuy
 
#27
WOW, Been dancing for close to 20 years and never heard of this. Never too old to learn. Now I have to go back and listen to the music again. Thanks for the story.
 

luh

Active Member
#28
pygmalion said:
Oh my goodness. I thought it was just a song. But apparently, in 1943, there were actual zoot suit riots -- American GI's versus zoot suit wearing swing dancers. Did anyone know about this? Looks like there was a real political component to the swing culture in the US in the 40's. Not just the innocent stuff we all know about, nor the "Swng Kids" stuff from Germany. Take a look. What do you think?

http://www.just-the-swing.com/doc/his/zoot-suit-riots.htm
yeah. There is also an article at wikipedia about it. It seemed more though a mexican thing. So it was more a racial thing. The really bad part about it is, that so many of the beaten up mexicans were imprisoned and not the sailors who bet them up.
luh
 
#29
Ain't racism just swell? :roll: :headwall:

When I started wearing my black w/ white pinstripes zoot suit that I had my mom tailor for me back ~1999, my Gran'ma (100% Italian who grew up in NY's Little Italy) commented that back in the day no one she knew would be caught dead in a zoot suit.
Zoot suits were an identity costume, and to some (like the Italiano community in NY) it was viewed as a gang identity.

I wear mine with the upmost pride of American history and as the ultimate identity costume of a swingster against mainstream media/music. 8)
Plus my chick digs me in a suit. :ladiesma: :wink:
 

luh

Active Member
#30
Diavo said:
Ain't racism just swell? :roll: :headwall:

When I started wearing my black w/ white pinstripes zoot suit that I had my mom tailor for me back ~1999, my Gran'ma (100% Italian who grew up in NY's Little Italy) commented that back in the day no one she knew would be caught dead in a zoot suit.
Zoot suits were an identity costume, and to some (like the Italiano community in NY) it was viewed as a gang identity.

I wear mine with the upmost pride of American history and as the ultimate identity costume of a swingster against mainstream media/music. 8)
Plus my chick digs me in a suit. :ladiesma: :wink:
it has to has some advantages.
luh
 
#31
Good for you, luh, for resurrecting this (and some other older threads that you have found interesting). This one was before my time here on df and I would have never found it.
 

luh

Active Member
#32
Swingolder said:
Good for you, luh, for resurrecting this (and some other older threads that you have found interesting). This one was before my time here on df and I would have never found it.
before mine too. It was pure luck, (searching for BBVD), but i'm glad that you like that.
luh
 

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