Always Running

A Never-Ending Battle? Tools Necessary to Combat the Injustice of Class Oppression

Sometimes, we pay even when there’s been no mistake, just for being who we are. I don’t mind paying for my mistakes. But it seems like we’re paying for everyone else’s mistakes too.

--Luis Rodriguez

Although injustices like racial oppression are present in everyday life, one often cannot fathom how such a large-scale offense can be solved through individual resistance alone. In the graphic memoir Always Running, Luis Rodriguez chronicles his methods of tackling societal oppression and racial prejudice, ranging from conformist resistance to transformative resistance. As Rodriguez becomes completely entrenched inside of a gang life replete with drugs, his mentor, Chente, inspires him to take a stand against the addiction of heroin culture through conformist resistance. Soon after, Rodriguez’s efforts mature into what Daniel Solórzano and Dolores Bernal describe as transformative resistance, as he turns toward targeting the oppression of minority Hispanics at Keppel High School. Because Luis grows up in an unforgiving Anglo-dominated world, he believes that the only power he has is in fulfilling his stereotype: the role of criminal or gang member.

Deeply conflicted by his commitments to the Lomas gang, Luis takes a step toward...

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