Unspun Logo

Racist Politics

Posted by Rick · August 29th, 2003 · 1 Comment

Peter Sean Bradley, Esq., whose Lex Communis website I like to read because he appears to be much smarter than me (which doesn’t mean I agree with everything he writes!) and because he makes me think, writes today about an article he found on Cruz Bustamante, M.E.Ch.A and racist politics.

And I’ll make no bones about this: His “stealth Lib” friend is being hypocritical if his only reason for not taking Bustamante to task for at least implicitly supporting racist politics is that Bustamante is a Democrat.

Racist politics are racist politics. I know next-to-squat about M.E.Ch.A., except that my few encounters with them were unpleasant and what they espouse appears to me to support the idea that “might makes right.”

If that were the appropriate grounds for deciding how to treat groups of human beings who differ from the group to which one belongs, then M.E.Ch.A. would have no grounds for complaining about the abuse and injustices Chicanos have suffered (and continue to suffer). If “might makes right” then we just go ahead with our undeclared race wars, oppression is okay and once enough babies are born and indoctrinated into a world of hate, the new group takes over and goes about the business of oppression.

Personally, I find that attitude subhuman. Animals live by that code; human beings should not aspire to it.

I would never have thought I had a “litmus test” for any single issue, because I’ve never found that I fit well into any of the off-the-shelf political molds available. I guess I do, though, because anyone who finds that way of thinking acceptable loses my vote on that ground alone.

According to the Fox story—and since this is Fox, the comment has to be taken with a grain of salt—

Mechistas claim Aztlan is their homeland to be returned to Mexico and the group says white Americans who currently govern these areas must be removed from power. – FoxNews.com, “Bustamante Won’t Renounce Ties to Chicano Student Group,” August 28, 2003.

On the other hand (pass that salt!), according to San Diego State University’s M.E.Ch.A. Group, the philosophy states:

Philosophy of M.E.Ch.A
Each word in M.E.Ch.A. symbolizes something. MOVIMIENTO, means that the organization is dedicated to the movement to gain self-determination for their people. ESTUDIANTIL, identifies the organization as a student group for we are part of our Raza’s future. At the heart of the name is the word CHICANO. At first seen as negative, now is taken as a badge of pride. In adopting their new identity, the students committed themselves to return to the barrios, colonias, or campos and together, struggle against the forces that keep our people oppressed. Lastly, the students affirmed that they were from AZTLAN, the legendary birthplace of the Aztecs, which reputedly is today’s Southwest.

M.E.Ch.A. originated in the Southwest but quickly spread throughout the United States. M.E.Ch.A.’s primary role in the Chicano movement are:

To increase the number of Chicano students in higher education and to ensure that all necessary assistance is offered for successful completion.
To take part in the direction of the movement towards Chicano self-determination or control over one’s destiny.
To socialize and politicize Chicano students on their particular campus, to the ideals of the movement.
To establish close working relations in the barrios, assisting in all that has to be done to reach justice and equality for our people.
To educate and mobilize barrio youth towards self-determination and not self-destruction.
We are the community and for the community.

The M.E.Ch.A. group at the University of Oregon puts forth a philosophy that appears to be supportive of Chicano/a students and not necessarily antagonistic towards others.

On the other hand (hey! how many hands do I have here?!), the Oregonian chapter, at least, links to The Mexica Movement, which forcefully declares “Tierra y Libertad” (Land & Liberty).

Prepare to be confused.

Originally, I had quoted extensively from it and was prepared to do a blow-by-blow analysis. I subsequently decided it’s too confusing (for me) to make sense of it. On the one hand (here we go again!) it occasionally inserts comments about not advocating violence and not hating white Europeans and then, on the other hand (!), it does just what Fox News reported. Maybe we need some pepper to go with that salt. I encourage you to read The Secret and Forbidden History yourself.

Personally, I don’t think one can argue against the idea that early Nican Tlaca (using the term from The Secret and Forbidden History) suffered injustices. And many (perhaps even most, in varying degrees) still do. This is, however, a piece of human history. It is not limited to Nican Tlaca. It is not limited to Eskimos. It is not limited to early Africans who were enslaved by white (pink? pale? black?) slave traders. Nor is it limited to the Saxons when the Norman Conquest occurred in 1066 or any of the people overcome by the organized hordes of Attila the Hun in the Fifth Century. Nor…well, the list of atrocities committed by one group of humans against another is just too long.

Additionally, arguments that current groups of people are the descendants of the original occupiers of the land are also unclear at best and suspect at worst. Humans—and oddly enough, it’s not just “white, pale, pink Europeans”—have moved and migrated quite a bit over the millenia. No modern group can lay claim to reverse-spontaneous-combustion by their ancestors within a particular geographical area and show that they thereafter stayed put except for and in spite of the occasional forced deportation. As Sandra Lee Allen Henson has noted:

The time before the Incas is the province of archaeologists…because the pre-Andean civilizations left no written documents. – “Dead Bones Dancing: The Taki Onqoy, Archaism, and Crisis in Sixteenth Century Peru, A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of History, East Tennessee State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts in History,” (2002).

The same is true of other areas of the world, including all those presumed to be covered and claimed by Nican Tlaca.

When it comes down to it, it’s very difficult to get past what appears to be at a minimum the encouragement of hostilities between the “races.” (I really hate that word. The sooner we learn to see one another as part of the same species, the better off we will all be. “If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die?” [Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice,” Act III:1., unfortunately the next line is “And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”—but even this helps make the point: all humans are humans].)

And it is definitely true that the M.E.Ch.A. motto is “Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.” (“For the race, everything. For those outside the race, nothing.”)

At a time when the press is trying to paint an ugly, racist picture of the Schwarzenegger campaign, it’s inexcusable that Bustamante should get a free ride just because he’s a Democrat.

The more I watch, the better the Terminator looks…

Categories: Politics-In-General


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Luis // Apr 12, 2005 at 1:46 pm

    With all due respect to you and your knowledge let me clarify some things…

    I got involved in MEChA in 1998 in Tucson, AZ. Ever since, I have kept my ties (like Bustamante) with them because of what they do.

    Here’s some facts about MEChA:

    1. It was created in 1969, bringing together youth groups from around the nation under one name.

    2. The motto is not “Por la Raza todo, Fuera de la Raza Nada.” The motto is “La Union Hace la Fuerza” which translates to “Unity Makes the Strength.”

    There’s more, let me know if you are interesting in learning more.

Leave a Comment