Mexican-American/Chicano(a) identity and the fight for equality

BY:David Trujillo| May 21, 2024
Mexican-American/Chicano(a) identity and the fight for equality


This piece is a contribution to the Pre-Convention Discussion for our 32nd National Convention. During Pre-Convention Discussion, all aspects of the party’s program, strategy, and tactics are up for consideration and debate. The ideas presented here are those of the author or authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Communist Party USA, its membership, or their elected leadership bodies. — Editors

Mexican-Americans/Chicano(a) are not separate from the working class. We are an important and integral part of the working class. There should be no doubt about this. In Los Angeles and across the country, demographics indicate that Mexican-Americans/Chicano(a) are influential because of our numbers and activism. For example, roughly 37.4 million people of Mexican origin in the U.S. represented nearly 60% of the nation’s Latino population in 2022. Mainland Puerto Ricans are the next largest group, at 5.9%, which does not include another roughly 3.2 million Puerto Ricans who live on the island (Source: Pew Research.)

The Mexican-American/Chicano(a) community has matured over the decades, despite all the setbacks we endured. We can review one aspect of this maturity. Let’s look at the projected overall California Latino voting trends.

According to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), at least 4.8  million Latinos in California will cast their ballots this November, an increase of 6.1% from 2020 and 44.0% from 2016. The Latino share of all California voters in 2024 is expected to be 28.4%. Which mirrors the Latino share in 2020 and is a 22.4% increase from 2016.

Lorenzo Torres wrote in Short History of Chicano Workers (1972) about national oppression and capitalist exploitation. This pamphlet gives a detailed description of Mexican/Chicano history, including Mexicano workers who, like many Mexican-American/Chicana/os have been organizing for many years. Lorenzo also makes it clear that this requires organization and struggle, which is once again our responsibility as workers. This is as relevant today for the Mexican-American/Chicana/os as it was in 1972.

At the 24th National Convention of the Communist Party USA (1998), the wording in the Resolution on Chicano/Mexican-American Equality clearly states what the role of our party should be. Our Party has a unique role to play in relation to the fight for equality of the Mexican-American/Chicana/o communities. Our program and assessments, our working-class base, our history and present record in the fight for equality and against racism, and our understanding of the basic needs for multiracial working-class unity, bring a special contribution to this struggle.

As Ismael Parra stated, “Our theoretical responses must be to build on what has already been analyzed and developed by earlier comrades and insert it into the party’s consciousness.”


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