Mysteriously, the United States Postal Service has issued a stamp honoring Chicano journalist Ruben Salazar. I say mysteriously because the powers-that-be don't usually honor people whose heads were blown off by rampaging police officers breaking up a peace demonstration.
Ruben Salazar was a Chicano journalist who broke into the Anglo mainstream with the Los Angeles Times in the 1960s. He wasn't just relegated to covering the barrio; the newspaper sent him to cover Vietnam. His reporting told stories the country didn't always want to hear. UC Santa Barbara professor Mario T. Garcia reports:
Salazar also pulled no punches in explaining Chicanos to Anglo Angelenos.
On August 29, 1970, 20-30,000 Chicanos turned out in East L.A. to protest the Vietnam War where young, drafted Latinos were dying disproportionately. My friend, Betita Martinez, tells of preparing to speak from the podium, looking up, and seeing hundreds of L.A.P.D. charging into the crowd. Tear gas and bullets followed the baton charges. The people scattered.
Ruben Salazar holed up in the back of a bar. Native Angeleno (Craig Hill) writing on a Los Angeles Times blog tells what happened next as folks in the community came to understand it.
I'm with Craig Hill -- a stamp and newspaper eulogies somehow don't seem quite adequate to remember either Salazar's accomplishments or his death. But I guess I should be glad he is remembered at all.
Racewire pointed me to this story. Betita told the story of the Chicano Moratorium at a reading from her new book, 500 Years of Chicana History.