In the 1940s, a “wave of youthful rebellion” took place, displeasing older generations. One example of this was the growing popularity of swinging jazz music among younger people. Older Mexican-Americans viewed jazz as a “sign of slipping morality” and considered the music as a loss of tradition. As Eduardo Obregón Pagán, a historian from the University of Arizona, suggests “Jazz was like rock and roll in the 1950’s, rebellious and new.” Critics thought that jazz and swing encouraged sexual promiscuity and drinking among younger people. The theaters and nightclubs where this music was played also tended to not follow racial segregation laws. Jazz was viewed as a socialite risk because a great deal of people thought it was poorly influencing younger generations.
The zoot suit, popularized by pachucos in the 1940’s, was a bold and colorful take on the typical business suit. The completed zoot suit style was ornamented with colors, belts, spectacular caps, and other dazzling accessories. The most visible symbol of this cultural revolt by young people was their enthusiasm for a radical, exaggerated version of the traditional business suit known as the “zoot suit.” Unfortunately, numerous of the white residents of L.A. would associate anyone wearing a zoot suit with dangerous gangs and poor slums within the Hispanic community. Powerful groups of people within the city saw the behaviors of zoot suit groups as suspicious or even threatening to society. They’d view zoot suiters as juvenile delinquents, and the stress during WWII caused people to violently lash out against them.