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In spite of cracks in the socio-economic integration of the American people, a lot of the political elite in America prefer to hide their heads in the sand. As the most polarized places among individuals in the US, race, and culture continue to top the list. The civil rights campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s exposed the differences between races and the different parties that made up American society. Although most of the civil rights movements have disappeared, continued inequality, discrimination, and division among the American people have resuscitated and given new lifelines to the civil society movements such as the Chicano Movement and brought forth new social and activist movements such as the Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) movement. By defining the past and the future, Chicano movement and other civil rights movements present the epicenter of identity and integration for most of the minority and segregated groups in the US.
In their articles, both Mike Leyba and Salvador Guerrero document the issues that led to the formation of the Chicano Movement. Chief among the reasons outlined include discrimination and segregation of Americans of Mexican origin, or as they referred to themselves, Chicanos. The Chicano movement can, therefore, be credited with defining the identity of the Mexican-American. Incidentally, these reasons were the same ones used in the formation of the initiator movement, the African-American Civil Rights Movement which earned Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. his prominence (Lopez 213). While these were the issues that gave birth to the Civil Rights Movements and continue to spur action among the members, the dynamic nature of the American people has created new problems that demand the Social movements to invent new ways to address the issues.
In addition to the old items that made the backbone American Social Movements, new issues are filling the plate with a long list of matters that the Chicano and other Social Movements demand addressing. Admittedly, Visas, healthcare, police misconduct, and housing are some of the inequalities that have persisted over the years (Escobar 1490). However, issues of immigration, representation in the political and corporate arenas, and wealth distribution are some of the modern problems that illuminate the deteriorated situation where the segregation of the Chicanos persists (Leyba n.p.). Whereas the proven method of demonstrations still works like a charm, the various social movements need to introduce new ways to sensitize the affected parties.
Information defines different aspects of power. Sensitization and constant supply of information regarding the progress of the struggle are the best strategies for addressing the various issues. Demonstrations and mass actions commanded attention from the press during the civil movements heydays and presented means of conveying information and sensitization for the social movements in the fifties and sixties. Despite the continued effectiveness of demonstrations, new awareness means are required in the digital age for the social movements to continue being relevant. Social media pages and websites have seen successful campaigns by the various modern social movements, such as the LGBT movement, that agitate for equal rights and legalization of same-sex marriages. The Chicano movement can only remain relevant if it adopts the new methods of reaching out and educating its current and prospective members of their rights and the plausible course of action (Guerrero n.p.). Examination and discussion of the system among the members of the Chicano movement through social media and other platforms quickly clear the pathway to be followed.
Review of the system identifies the areas that need fixing. For any civil movement to succeed, examination of the system is the determining factor. Analyzing the system reveals whether working within the system or radical reinvention is the best way to proceed and address the identified goals and objectives. The African-American Civil Rights Movement pushed for the radical reinvention of the system in ensuring equal rights for the African-American and consequential termination of the segregation system. Achieving the desired goals and objectives demand more than working within the system. The discrimination of the LGBT community will only cease if there is a compelling reinvention of the system. Working within the system presents some scenario where top and government officials, such as the President, can erase the progress made over a period of years through few actions thus annulling any gains that had been achieved. In achieving success in solving issues such as wealth distribution, immigration, healthcare and housing, the modern Chicano movement will require an efficient and radical reinvention of the system since the current system has failed. Evidently, reinvention is needed for civil movements such as the LGBT and Chicano movements to achieve the goal of adequate representation. The current system cannot be trusted.
In conclusion, it is clear that race and culture are the most divisive aspects of the American people. Discrimination has remained as the backbone of this division. While old discriminatory aspects such as healthcare, visas, and housing continue to dodge the Chicano community, new aspects such as representation, immigration problems and equal distribution of wealth are the new challenges that have resuscitated the Chicano movements. Fair representation and equal legal rights are the reasons that propel the LGBT movement. Efficient disbursement of information through social media platforms coupled with various mass actions is the way forward to ensure the success of the various identified goals. For the objectives to be achieved, a radical reinvention of the system is urgently required.
Escobar, Edward J. "The dialectics of repression: The Los Angeles police department and the Chicano movement, 1968-1971." The Journal of American History 79.4 (1993): 1483-1514.
Guerrero, Salvador. "The Chicano Movement — Alive and Evolving." Borderzine, 2011, http://borderzine.com/2011/01/the-chicano-movement-alive-and-evolving/.
Leyba, Mike. "Why We Need a New Chicano Movement." Huffpost, 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-leyba/why-we-need-a-new-chicano_b_8056616.html.
Lopez, Ian F. Haney. "Protest, repression, and race: Legal violence and the Chicano movement." University of Pennsylvania Law Review (2001): 205-244.
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