Chapter 30: The Turbulent Sixties, 1960-1969 (#3) Johnson Escalates the Vietnam War

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Ethnic Nationalism

  • Native Americans – decried the callous use of their identity as football mascots

  • Puerto Ricans – demanded their history be included in school and college texts

  • Polish, Italian, and Czech groups – insisted on respect for their nationalities

    • Ethnic Heritage Studies Act of 1972 – now gave what one sponsor of the measure called “official recognition to ethnicity as a positive constructive force in our society today”

  • Mexican Americans – César Chávez – organized the poorly paid grape pickers and lettuce workers in California into the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA)

    • national boycott of grapes – led to a series of hard-fought victories over the growers

    • 5-year struggle resulted in a union victory – but at an enormous cost

  • helped spark an outburst of ethnic consciousness among Mexican Americans

    • leaders campaigned for bilingual programs and improved educational opportunities

    • call themselves Chicanos – take pride in their cultural heritage

  • Women’s Liberation

    • women soon realized that they could only achieve respect and equality by mounting their own protest

      • still relegated to stereotyped occupations such as nursing and teaching

      • few female lawyers and even fewer women doctors

        • gender roles – portrayed on television commercials continued to call for the husband to be the breadwinner and the wife to be the homemaker

    • Betty Friedan – began the effort to raise women’s consciousness with her book The Feminine Mystique

      • attacked the prevailing view that women were completely contented with their housekeeping and child-rearing tasks, claiming that housewives had no self-esteem and no sense of identity

    • 1964 – Civil Rights Act – helped women attack economic inequality head-on by making it illegal to discriminate in employment on the basis of sex

      • filed suit for equal wages, demanded that companies provide day care for their infants and preschool children, and entered politics to lobby against laws that – in the guise of protection of a weaker sex – were unfair to women

        • advocates began to attack laws banning abortion and waged a campaign to toughen the enforcement of rape laws

    • National Organization for Women (NOW) – founded by Betty Friedan in 1966 – challenged by those with more extreme views

      • many women were repelled by the harsh rhetoric of the extremists and expressed satisfaction with their lives

        • most women supported the effort to achieve equal status with men

    • 1972 – Congress responded by voting to send the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) – to the state legislatures for ratification

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