Leal 1

Ezequiel Leal
Discrimination in America
Ezequiel Leal was born on the 25th of May 1923 in the United States of America. His
father and mother were from Mexico. They went to the U.S. searching for economic
opportunities and stayed so they can give Ezequiel a better life. However, as time passed white
U.S. citizens’ discrimination towards Mexicans grew. Unfortunately for Ezequiel and his parents
they were no exception. Where ever they went if there was a white American they would be
giving looks of disgust and even hate.
When Ezequiel began school he was scared to leave his parent’s side. Luckily for him
there were lots of kids that were almost like him. He was a shy kid and almost never talked.
Whenever he would speak in class he would speak Spanish. This angered the teachers who
would tell him, and any other student, to only speak English or nothing at all. It was obvious that
these public schools for immigrant children were under budgeted and undereducated. Ezequiel
learned what he could because he wanted his parent’s hard work to mean something. He even
tried to become more social. It wasn’t until middle school when he actually made a friend. His
name was Juan. They met one day while Ezequiel was reading a book and Juan accidently kicked
a soccer ball towards him. Juan asked him to join them in a game and from then on they were
good friends. They would go to the park where Juan would try to hit on some white girls and
Ezequiel would just watch as he got rejected. This often led to some white kids telling them to go
back to where they came from. Causing Juan to get angry and try to start a fight, which Ezequiel
managed to stop him. He would tell him that it’s not worth it because if any police were to see

Leal 2

them, they would automatically go after them. Ezequiel would tell him that the best thing to do is
to ignore them.
His parents struggled a lot to put food on the table especially since they ended up having
two more kids. In 1939 World War 2 had begun and fear rose with it. Many feared being taken to
war, but it wasn’t until 1941 when the U.S. joined. Ezequiel and his friend were drafted.
However, they weren’t the only ones. A huge amount of the Chicano population went to war to
fight for the U.S. hoping to win respect and civil liberties. During one of the earliest battles
Ezequiel saw the death of many Chicano soldiers that unfortunately included his friend, Juan.
During the continuing battles he risked his live countless times to save his fellow comrades not
caring if they were the same men who discriminated against them. He proved himself on the
battlefield and received a medal of honor.
He arrived home happy to see his family. However, he realized that nothing had changed
even after the fact that many Chicanos put their lives on the line for this country. White people
were still as discriminatory and even demanded for the deportation of Mexicans. This caused him
lots of anger, to realize that the sacrifices of all those men included that of his friends were
forgotten so quickly. He couldn’t take it anymore. He organized as many Chicanos, including
veterans, to come together and fight for their rights. To stop this insane amount of discrimination
that started before he was born and continued after he died.
Poem 1
Years and years of immigration,
Years and years of discrimination,

Leal 3

Years and years of fighting,
Years and years and still no change.
Poem 2
We fought in the war
To gain equal respect yet
Here we are the same
Poem 3
Chicanos,
United we stand
As we fight for our land
We don’t hate
Even on those who discriminate
In a nation that is politically torn
We receive daily scorns
Poem 4
The U.S. took part of their land
With many people still within

Leal 4

Who tried to take a stand
But all they could do is protect their kin
Soldiers they became
To earn their rights
Not for the fame
Not for the fight
For a better life
In what used to be theirs
For their children and their wives
Because it’s only fair
Poem 5
Born black or white
Born here or there
Born gay or straight
We were all children once
With hopes and dreams
Breathing the same air

Leal 5

Drinking the same water
So how did it come to be
That wherever we go
We always seem to see
Men, women, and children
Being looked down upon
By other men
By other women
By other children
Just because in their eyes
They are the inferior beans

Leal 6

Write Up
The time period I chose isn’t really that specific. It takes place a little before World War 2
and slightly during. The reason I chose it is because I wanted to talk about some of the struggles
that Mexican migrant workers and their families went through. The discrimination they faced
daily by the white majority. To me it is important to talk about discrimination because although it
isn’t seen as much, or not as obvious, discrimination is still happening. This also is helpful to me
because it ties to what I am learning from one of my classes.
It just seemed very interesting to see that the U.S. could get a lot of land from Mexico,
with people still living in there, and make them feel as if they don’t belong. Trying to make them
forget about their own culture, if they stayed. Having schools that were under budgeted and with
low academic standards. Aside from that children weren’t even allowed to speak Spanish at
school. It was looked down upon and deemed punishable. All that was just a way to discriminate
on a whole culture and its people.
One of the things I found most interesting and most unfortunate was the fact that many
Chicanos joined the war for the purpose getting respect for their people. They believed it would
give them rights and possibly end discrimination. They suffered the highest number of losses and
gained the most medals of honors. All this and they were still discriminated against. They were
the ones sent on the front lines. Once home they realized nothing changed. The only change was
in their numbers. All the veteran benefits that should have been given to all those who returned
from war were given, but rarely any to the minorities. This is why I chose to write about this time
period because not many know about what went on before the war. Not many talk about the fact
that immigrants and the sons of immigrants also put their lives on the line.

Leal 7

I wanted to show that during this time period there were many struggles especially with
the ones that dealt with war. Many families struggled, worrying if they would ever see their
loved ones again. Worrying if they weren’t going to miss out on any big event in the lives of
those they loved. Many young men who even proposed and got married before the war. Sadly for
the minorities they had one more worry. The worry that if they come back will they still be
discriminated and what about their families could they be discriminated against while they’re
gone.
I tried to give a few facts about Chicanos before and during World War 2 in order to make
the alternative biography more believable. I used a date to give the character a young age during
the war to give the reader some empathy. I gave the main character a friend that died also as a
way to give the readers emotions but I also gave them a goal that they tried to reach to make
discrimination noticeable. I tried to fit in discrimination over and over to try to make it clear that
the thesis has to do it. The reason I used poetry was to make it more emotional. I not only used
war a type of battleground with the result of emphasizing discrimination. I’m not very good at
writing poems, but what I have started to like about them is they use less words to give big
messages. Mine aren’t much of metaphors or imageries they focus mostly on what my meaning
is. I use rhymes to help the message become catchier and even appeal to more people’s
preference when it comes to literature. I used two different types of writing formats to extend the
number of people who read it. By having more types, different people will read which ever suits
them. When there are more of one type of literature with the same meaning and different facts
they are most likely to spread and therefore extend its influence.