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Riots of 1943 - They targeted anyone wearing the...

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Riots of 1943 Intolerance for ethnic diversity, race mixing, and concern for rising crime rates sparked some of the century's most violent race riots. In 1943 alone, violent clashes broke out in over a dozen cities including Los Angeles , New York, Detroit, Michigan , Mobile, Alabama, and Beaumont, Texas . In one instance, white citizens in a Detroit neighborhood organized a protest over the construction of a public housing development. The public display led to fights between white and black residents and ultimately resulted in a city-wide riot which left 34 people dead and over $2 million worth of property, largely in black neighborhoods, destroyed. In Los Angeles, groups of white sailors, soldiers, police officers, and civilian men from all over the West Coast responded to a press-instigated outcry against the "zoot-suiter menace." Mobs seeking to punish those perceived as delinquent, violent, disrespectful, and un-American patrolled downtown L.A., many wielding bats and crowbars
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Unformatted text preview: . They targeted anyone wearing the conspicuous zoot suit , an audacious outfit favored by young, urban, Mexican-American and black men during the 1940s. During the riots , which raged for a full week, hundreds of young people—predominantly Mexican-American, African-American, and Filipino-American—were stripped of their clothing and beaten. Only after state and federal authorities stepped in did the violence cease. 12 World War II as a Watershed But even if the benefits of wartime mobilization did not create a level playing field for all Americans, the nation and its people were transformed. Wartime mobilization—and all the many opportunities and obstacles that came with it—affected the very way people viewed themselves and the society within which they lived. These changes would help set into motion a post-war era of radical social, cultural, and economic changes never before imagined...
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