This activism in the 1970s was not simply a reaction to the gap between the white and the Chicano culture of the 1950s, however, it was based on Chicano political activism that began in the 1930s and 40s, which in turn is based on a cycle of political activism that dates even further back. Historically, the Chicano population in the Southwest, that is Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, has had to struggle to be accepted as first-class citizens ever since Europeans first settled in those areas (Valdes, 2000). However, the political activism of the 1970s has been specifically linked to the activism that took place in the 1930s and 40s (McWilliams, 1973). Bert Corona, a Mexican-American labor and community activist, is one example. He worked for "social justice and first-class citizenship" (Garcia, 1993, p. 241) among Los Angeles longshoremen and waste material workers in the 1930s and 40s. He also worked as a representative of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in working with Mexican-American youth gangs and fighting discrimination in California.
Besides labor unrest in the immigrant and farm labor community, there were also the Sleepy Lagoon Murder trial and the Zoot Suit Riots of Los Angeles. In both instances, the Chicano population was used as a scapegoat for white fears of gang ac