Martinez 1

Andrea Martinez

English 101

Professor Batty

27 February 2017

We Bleed The Same Blood

Los Angeles, otherwise known as, The City of Angels. This is known to be the city of

possibilities and adventures. For the Latino culture, East Los Angeles is where one can find

fascinating pieces of art. Whether it is someone selling gorgeous handcrafted rosaries or perhaps

a mariachi band playing intricate melodies on the street corner. Or maybe it could be the

abundance of beautiful murals all around the city. One specific mural that caught my attention

however was on a wall of a building. What grasped me in was the message that was plastered on

the wall. “We Are NOT A Minority!!” Another striking feature of this artwork was that each

word in the message was written with different types of fonts and colors. Blue was the frequently

used color; with a hint of red, yellow and white. In addition to the message, on the right hand

side of the mural the artist drew an older man pointing. The man was drawn with skin relatively

resembling cocoa powder and black wavy hair that seemed as if it was shoulder length.

Nonetheless, he was pointing. It was at that specific time that I had an epiphany. We aren’t a

minority. The Latino community shouldn’t be seen as a “minority”. Same ideology for the

African American community, the Asian community, the Indian community; regardless of the

color of your skin you shouldn’t be viewed as a “minority”. We should be viewed as people,

human beings. I suppose that’s what the artist intended the message to be. Although some may

argue that this mural is just graffiti painted by criminals, I argue that this is an exquisite piece of
Martinez 2

artwork that stands for way more than meets the eye because of its social and political stance and

its overall message.

During the 1970’s, due to the Chicano movement, most political artists incorporated old

inspirational heroes and indigenous Mexican-American individuals from the past into their

artwork to emphasize the strength of “la raza”. The Chicano muralist, Mario Torero, painted the

infamous Che Guevara in one of his many murals. Che Guevara is an Argentine Marxist

Revolutionist that used his communistic power and leadership to push “Guerrilla Warfare” in the

direction of Cuban liberation against communist Cuban dictator, Batista Zaldívar. The presence

of Che Guevara within this mural really conveys a strong social diplomatic character that speaks

to the social issue of the 70’s. The Chicano movement was all about civil rights towards the

Chicano community, and Guevara’s role of liberation transcends past the murals and into the

Chicano souls. It created this soulful fire against discrimination, equal rights and Chicano’s birth

rights. Not only does this mural depict the social issues of the 70’s but also the political aspects.

Political activism hit a high peak in the Chicano community. In the 70’s, the United

States had just finished with Cesar Chaves and his intensive movement towards equal treatment

and wages for Latino farm workers. Political scandals rose when Mexican-Americans argued that

U.S. soil was theirs to begin with due to the Treaty of Guadalupe; stating that preexisting land

would stay with the Mexican owner. Therefore it created a strong foundered structure for the

claim that land is granted to Chicanos, and it didn’t stop there. Mexican-American students

fought for equal access to education and political stance. Which meant less of a poor graduation

rates; only 25% of Chicano students would graduate in most universities, which was unfair to

students. They demanded for more enrollments of Mexican-American students and this was

established through student walkouts and boycotts against school boards. This type of political
Martinez 3

activism correlates to Mario Torero’s mural through his message, “We are not a minority”. In

each of these political fields we see that Chicano’s were seen as a minority and weren’t treated as

anything more than a foreigner. The statement, “We are not a minority”, combined with how the

artist painted Che Guevara as directly pointing at the audience, sets an assertive and firm slap to

the face of what those words mean. The artist did a fantastic job at making the depicter feel as if

the mural is imploring them to act more than just a minority.

Overall the mural was exquisite; I felt that I can relate to this artwork in various aspects.

As a Latina, the message “We are not a minority”, was an eye opener. There hasn’t been any real

change in the way Americans feel about us, the “minorities”. The best example I can give is

today’s political issues. The last two years African Americans have been targeted most by

policemen. In fact, 51% percent of the individuals killed in 2016 by policemen were black men,

according to statistics acquired by The Huffington Post. However, the real issue here was that

about 47% percent of these men had no probable cause to have even been shot. Many claim that

these were all hate crimes and some can’t help but agree. It’s still how it always has been, the

colored man vs. the white man. Hence why this message conveyed such a strong message, we

shouldn’t be treated as an outcast rather we all should be treated as human beings.

Naturally, this mural deserves more recognition than what I can offer. Also, the general

message Torero tries to depict in his artwork deserves more praise. We are not a minority, we’re

human. Regardless of skin tones everyone should be treated with respect and dignity. The mural

implores us to fight for what we believe in, to fight for our birth given rights. As Ella Fitzgerald

once wrote, “It's not about where you come from it’s about where you're going.”
Martinez 4

Works Cited

















Martinez 5















Martinez 6