From the era of terror, check this photo lens
Now the City of Angels does the ethnic cleanse, uh

from Rage Against the Machine – People of the Sun Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Refers to the Los Angeles riots in the 40’s. “Zoot suits” were primarily mexican american kids (some were fillipino as well) who openly defied the impliment of cloth limits by the U.S. to reserve more cloth for the war effort. These zoot suits were very large and baggy, so it took a lot of cloth to make. One night, sailors who’s ship had docked in the los angeles port went around the town and accosted some mexican girls. Because of this, a local group of zoot suits fought them and beat the sailors. The next night, hundreds of sailors flooded the streets of L.A looking for any mexican american or even hispanic kid and stripped them of their clothes, which is where the “troops strippin' zoots” lyric comes from. It was not just white sailors however, it was also african american sailors who took part in this, despite the racism geared towards them, many african americans had racism towards hispanics and asians. Even though the sailors were the ones beating all the hispanic and fillipino kids, the zoot suits were the ones being put in jail. It was a very corrupt time.

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