by Abaki Beck
Text: The Unintended Consequences of the Carceral State: Chicana/o Political Mobilization in Post–World War II America
Author: Edward J. Escobar
Quote to Highlight: “The expanded capabilities and aggressive practices of U.S. law enforcement after World War II shaped the rise of Chicana/o political mobilization… aggressive enforcement tactics, which turned into chronic police misconduct, emerged as a key political issue for the city's Mexican Americans.”
Quick Summary: How does police violence and the prison industrial complex impact communities of color? This article explores how one crucial aspect of the impacts of a carceral state is political mobilization - though it is not often analyzed through such a lens. Escobar argues that increased police brutality led to increased political action and organization after World War II and into the 1960s in Mexican American communities in LA. It describes specific incidents of LAPD violence against the Mexican community post-WW II - including the police murder of a 17 year old and the criminalization of young Mexican Americans wearing zoot suits - and community responses. The movements against police violence evolved from returning WWII veterans responding to community need to student activists and the growth of the Chicano movement; movements that shaped Mexican American political identity for decades to come. As communities of color across the U.S. continue to face and resist to state violence, this article provides important historical context to the long existing movements for justice.
File It Under: Police brutality, incarceration, Latinx communities, activism
Type of text: Academic text
Read it HERE
POC Online Classroom celebrates the intellectual tradition and knowledge production of marginalized communities. Rad Reading is a series that highlights texts to read, writers to support, and ideas to discuss. We post every Tuesday!