Chicanos Remember Journalist Ruben Salazar's Death This Anniversary

Artist:  Ernesto Yerena Montejano / Permission given by Brooklyn & Boyle's Abel Salas


Today marks the anniversary when Chicano Journalist Ruben Salazar died.   Rubén Salazar (March 3, 1928 – August 29, 1970) was a Mexican-American journalist killed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy during the National Chicano Moratorium March against the Vietnam War on August 29, 1970 in East Los Angeles, California. During the 1970s, his killing was often cited as a symbol of unjust treatment of Chicanos by law enforcement. Working as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Salazar was the first Mexican-American journalist from mainstream media to cover the Chicano community.

Rudolph Rudy Gonzales is the son of the legendary Corky Gonzales an I want to share with you his memory of Ruben Salazar.  Many of you may not know this but Rudy and Corky were with Ruben Salazar the day that he died:

I traveled with a contingent my father led from the Crusade for Justice of over 75 members. It was clear day as 25 - 50 thousand Chicanos and supporters prepared to march to Laguna Park in protest of the Vietnam War. The march would become the largest single protest by Chicanos in the history of the USA. I marched with my Dad Corky Gonzales who was scheduled to be one of the main speakers at the park. As the first Chicano leader and/or Civil/Human rights leader to come out against the war (one year before Martin Luther King Jr.), Corky was in the vanguard of the protest. Because of this I got to meet Ruben Salazar as he sought out my father during the march to take quick interview. He had kind eyes and interviewed my father with an honest intensity. When he marched off to interview other present Chicano leaders like Bert Corona, my father turned to me and my brother Joaquin and said with hope he (Ruben) is going to tell our truth!

That was the last day many Chicano leaders and activists saw Ruben Salazar alive.

That said, the next generation of Chicano activists are committed to taking the torch from our respected elders and carrying on and reviving what made us strong to begin with.  We will not back down despite death because our souls will come out of the graves and revive the much needed Chicano movement we see stirring from south Texas, to Denver, to L.A. and the rising Phoenix. 

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