This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1233
Hispanic Neo Nazi Voz Al Aztlan website
November 7, 2005
MIM: The domain registrant for the Voz de Aztlan website, and leader Hector Carreon, has taken up where the Palestine4ever website suicide bomber 'memorial website' (run by a spokeswoman for two Muslim children's 'charities'), left off by glorifying women suicide bombers with a photo gallery which emphasizes their maternal and humanitarian sides of the ' woman freedom fighters'.
The now Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaigrosa was a member of the Mecha student group at UCLA .http://www.lacity.org/mayor/\
"...La Voz has ties with MECha, the radical student group that supports open borders, amnesty for illegal aliens, and U.S. recognition of Spanish as an official national language. Like MECha, La Voz embraces the manifesto titled "El Plan de Aztlán," which is a blueprint for the establishment of a homeland for the "bronze race" in the former Spanish territories of the United States...."
MIM: According to William Mayer editor of Pipeline News:
"...Like the former Speaker of the Assembly, Antonio Villaraigosa, Cedillo and Bustamante were both members of college chapters of the semi-underground "Latino Power" group called MEChA - Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán.
If it were a white group, its members would be termed racial supremacists by the entrenched media.
And that characterization would be correct.
MEChA members [MEChastas] refer to California and the greater Southwest as Aztlán - a mythical Aztec empire - and their plans regarding it are grandiose. They argue that Aztlán was illegally taken from the Hispanic people - regardless of what the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo says – and that La Raza [literally The Race] must reclaim the territory, using force if necessary..." (see complete article below)
MIM:The website Voz de Aztlan is an American version of the Radio Islam website in Sweden which was dubbed: 'The mother of all anti Jew sites'. http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27731
According to 'Discover the Network:
"...La Voz de Aztlán (The Voice of Aztlán) is the Internet publication, or webzine, of the Nation of Aztlán, a secessionist organization based in Whittier, California. The organization's chief objective, as reflected in La Voz de Aztlán (henceforth, La Voz), is the formation of a country named Aztlán, which would be composed of present-day Mexico, parts of Oklahoma, and the entirety of Texas, New Mexico, California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. According to La Voz and the group that established it, "Aztlán" was the name of the Aztec homeland that supposedly existed in Mexico and the Southwestern United States prior to the Spanish conquest of 1519. The group now seeks to recapture this territory that it claims was "stolen" by white America. But in point of fact, the American Southwest was not stolen from Mexico. Following the Mexican-American War, the Mexican government legally ceded this territory to the United States in 1848. Nor has a place called "Aztlán" ever existed; it was the invention of radical Latino activists in the early 1970s.
La Voz, which launched its operations on January 1, 2000, is managed and edited by Hector Carreon, an engineer by training and a former member of the radical Brown Berets. Carreon is also the founder and current leader of the Nation of Aztlán. Other La Voz staff writers include Miroslava Flores and Ernesto Cienfuegos. The publication has earned a reputation for its virulent hatred of whites, Jews, the United States, and Israel. Its articles commonly make reference to "La Raza" ("The Race"), a broad term signifying those whose ancestry is indigenous to the area of Mexico (or "Aztlán"), so as to distinguish them from the aforementioned targets of their antipathy - whites in general (and Jews in particular)..."
MIM:The website Palestine4ever which glorified suicide bombers was run by Rosemary Lewis, aka Shadya Hantouli, who was a spokesperson for the children's 'charity' Palestine Childrens Relief Fund - The PCRF headed by Steve Sosebee. Hantouli was also the 'medical supplies coordinator for the PCWF - The Palestine Children's Welfare Fund. Not surprisingly the picture next to suicide bomber Wafaa Idris notes that she was nurse who worked with the Red Crescent. http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,640614,00.html
The page on the Voz de Aztlan is different in that it only contains women suicide bombers, one of whom "loved her children, ages 1 and 4, dearly."
Palestinian Women Martyrs
Against the Israeli Occupation
Wafa Idriss was a nurse with the Red Crescent, the Palestinian version of the Red Cross. On January 27, 2002, the 28 year-old nurse walked into a shopping district on Jerusalem's Jaffa Road and detonated a bomb killing herself, an Israeli and injuring 150 others. Red Crescent Society officials said that Idriss had been on the front line of clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli troops, tending to the wounded. About two weeks before her suicide operation, they said, she cradled a 15-year-old boy, Samir Kosbeh, who was hit in the head by a bullet fired by the Israelis soldiers. The clash took place just outside the West Bank headquarters of the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. The boy lapsed into a coma for a week, then died, two days before Idriss detonated her bomb. Wafa Idriss lived at the Amari Refugee Camp near Ramallah.
January 27, 2002
The second suicide bombing operation by a Palestinian woman freedom fighter occurred on February 27, 2002. Dareen Abu Aysheh, 21-year-old, detonated a bomb at the Israeli Maccabim roadblock in West Ramallah (West Bank), wounding four Israelis. She was a student at Al-Najah University in Nablus, and came from the village of Beit Wazan, in the West Bank. She left a videotape, which was broadcast by the Arab satellite channel ANN, saying she "wanted to be the second woman – after Wafa Idriss – to carry out a martyr operation and take revenge for the blood of the martyrs and the desecration of the sanctity of Al-Aqsa mosque". Dareen highlighted the crucial role of Palestinian women in the resistance. "Let Sharon the coward know that every Palestinian woman will give birth to an army of martyrs, and her role will not only be confined to weeping over a son, brother or husband instead, she will become a martyr herself."
Dareen Abu Aysheh
February 27, 2002
March 29, 2002
Ayat Akhras at 18 years old, has been the youngest Palestinian woman martyr. On March 29, 2002 she detonated a bomb inside a supermarket in the Kyriat Hayovel area of Jerusalem killing two Israelis and injuring 28 others. The day before she detonated the bomb at the supermarket, Ayat Akhras sat with her fiance and talked about graduating from high school and getting married in the summer. She was engaged to Shali Abu Laban, and came from the Dehaisha Refugee Camp, near Bethlehem.
April 12, 2002
On April 12, 2002, Andaleeb Takafka, a 20-year-old girl from Bethlehem, detonated a belt full of explosives at a Jerusalem bus stop, killing 6 Israelis, and injuring 104. In in an interview prior to her suicide mission, Andaleeb Takafka said "when you want to carry out such an attack, whether you are a man or a woman, you don't think about the explosive belt or about your body being ripped into pieces. We are suffering. We are dying while we are still alive." Andaleeb Takafka was from Bethlehem.
May 19, 2003
Nineteen-year-old Hiba Daraghmeh detonated a belt filled with explosives that was strapped to her waist killing herself and three Israelis and injuring 93 others outside the Amakim Shopping Mall in Afula in northern Israel. The shy 19-year-old student of English literature never spoke to men and avoided drinking coffee or tea at the cafeteria of Al Quds Open University in her home town of Tubas in the West Bank. All of her friends were women. Even her cousin, Murad Daraghmeh, 20, also a student at Al Quds, said "I never saw her face. I never talked to her. I never shook hands with her." The first time the world saw her young face unveiled was in an Islamic Jihad poster released after her death.
Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat
October 4, 2003
On October 4, 2003, Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat, a 29 year old attorney from Jenin detonated a bomb in a restaurant in Haifa, Israel killing herself, 19 Israelis and injuring 50 others. Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat wrapped her waist with explosives and fought her way past a security guard at a restaurant. Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat was a single woman whose younger brother Fadi, a 25-year-old, and older cousin, 34-year-old Salah had been killed by Israeli forces in the raid on Jenin in June of 2003. Her family said she did not tell anyone where she was going and they assumed she was on her way to the law office in Jenin where she worked.
Reem Salih al-Rayasha
January 14, 2004
On the morning of January 14, 2004, a freedom fighter of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a 21 year old mother of two children, detonated a bomb at the Erez border check point between Israel and the Gaza Strip killing four Israeli soldiers. The female Palestinian martyr, Reem Salih al-Rayasha of Gaza City, was a university student with two children, ages 1 and 4 whom she loved dearly. She made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom and independence of the Palestinian people.
Zeinab Abu Salem
September 22, 2004
Zeinab Abu Salem is the eighth Palestinian woman martyr to carry out a suicide bombing mission in an effort to liberate Palestine. Abu Salem, age 18, blew herself up near a hitch-hiking post in Jerusalem killing two Israeli border police and wounding 17 others. The blast tore through the mainly Jewish district of French Hill in Arab East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move not recognised internationally. Relatives of Zeinab Abu Salem had little time to absorb the shock. They rushed to empty the family home in the Palestinian refugee camp of Askar near the West Bank city of Nablus, expecting Israeli bulldozers to soon come to demolish it. "I don't know what's happening," said Abu Salem's 12-year-old brother Tarek, in disbelief that his sister had died. "I don't know where she is. She isn't at home." Family members said they had known nothing of Abu Salem's plans for the attack. Her father Ali, recovering from surgery to open clogged arteries, collapsed and was taken to hospital after learning of his daughter's death. Relatives said Abu Salem had just passed high school graduation exams and had spoken of entering university. Minutes later, Abu Salem's mother also passed out and was rushed to a local hospital. "Oppression is everywhere," said her uncle Mustafa Shinawi, 55. "Every Palestinian finds his own suitable way to protest the Israeli oppression."
LA VOZ DE AZTLAN
URL : http://www.aztlan.net/
* Internet publication of the Nation of Aztlán, a secessionist organization based in Whittier, California * Has ties with MECha, the radical student group that supports open borders, amnesty for illegal aliens, and U.S. recognition of Spanish as an official national language * Supports open borders * "It almost seems that police forces operate like military occupation forces in minority communities. Those who actually control the police appear to have hired 'occupation administrators' as the Nazis did with the 'Judenrat' in Germany." * "Even today, naive Latinas who join the U.S. Armed Forces are being brutalized and raped by racist Jews and white military personnel." * "God has cursed the Jews from time immemorial and they have been the curse of mankind since the beginning of written history."
La Voz de Aztlán (The Voice of Aztlán) is the Internet publication, or webzine, of the Nation of Aztlán, a secessionist organization based in Whittier, California. The organization's chief objective, as reflected in La Voz de Aztlán (henceforth, La Voz), is the formation of a country named Aztlán, which would be composed of present-day Mexico, parts of Oklahoma, and the entirety of Texas, New Mexico, California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. According to La Voz and the group that established it, "Aztlán" was the name of the Aztec homeland that supposedly existed in Mexico and the Southwestern United States prior to the Spanish conquest of 1519. The group now seeks to recapture this territory that it claims was "stolen" by white America. But in point of fact, the American Southwest was not stolen from Mexico. Following the Mexican-American War, the Mexican government legally ceded this territory to the United States in 1848. Nor has a place called "Aztlán" ever existed; it was the invention of radical Latino activists in the early 1970s.
La Voz, which launched its operations on January 1, 2000, is managed and edited by Hector Carreon, an engineer by training and a former member of the radical Brown Berets. Carreon is also the founder and current leader of the Nation of Aztlán. Other La Voz staff writers include Miroslava Flores and Ernesto Cienfuegos. The publication has earned a reputation for its virulent hatred of whites, Jews, the United States, and Israel. Its articles commonly make reference to "La Raza" ("The Race"), a broad term signifying those whose ancestry is indigenous to the area of Mexico (or "Aztlán"), so as to distinguish them from the aforementioned targets of their antipathy - whites in general (and Jews in particular).
La Voz has ties with MECha, the radical student group that supports open borders, amnesty for illegal aliens, and U.S. recognition of Spanish as an official national language. Like MECha, La Voz embraces the manifesto titled "El Plan de Aztlán," which is a blueprint for the establishment of a homeland for the "bronze race" in the former Spanish territories of the United States. To facilitate the realization of this goal, La Voz advocates a massive influx of "bronze race" members into the U.S. - not to assimilate into American society but rather to set up their own separate enclaves and incrementally drive Europeans out of the region. On its web site, La Voz once posted an excerpt from a February 7, 1997 speech by Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who said that "the United States should return to Mexico huge chunks of that country's territories it acquired more than a century ago."
Denouncing what it calls "the hypocrisy of U.S. immigration policy," La Voz contends that the Statue of Liberty's famous inscription ("Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free . . .") is merely a hackneyed cliché "not meant for immigrants of color." In La Voz's estimation, the United States is a bigoted land that seeks to prevent, for racist reasons, Mexican immigrants from coming across its borders. Pronouncing judgment against "the white industrial and agricultural complex [that] is addicted to cheap immigrant labor," La Voz asserts that "[t]he economies of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas would collapse if immigrants would stop working for one week." The publication further laments that certain U.S. government measures to stem the tide of illegal immigration have resulted in the deaths (by drowning, disease, and dehydration) of a number of illegal border-crossers. Moreover, it condemns groups like the Minuteman Project - a nonviolent, volunteer, grassroots effort initiated by private American citizens seeking to help the undermanned Border Patrol reduce illegal immigration into the United States - for allegedly "hunting" what La Voz calls "harmless Mexican migrants seeking work in the United States."
"Eventually," says La Voz, "La Raza will overcome all these injustices. At that time we may be able to built [sic] our own 'Monument to the Mexican Immigrant' as was done [with the Statue of Liberty] in New York Harbor for the Europeans. Perhaps a huge Aztec Pyramid with a statue on the top would be in order. The monument could be built in Los Angeles which has the greatest number of Mexicans next to Mexico City."
La Voz takes a particularly dim view of the U.S. criminal-justice system, which it casts as racist and discriminatory against minorities. "[L]aw enforcement," says La Voz, "is out of control throughout the country. . . . Police officers have become evil monsters of the worst kind . . . beating, torturing, robbing and killing [American] citizens. . . . There is one commonality to the worst of these crimes. It appears that the most aggrieved victims of the police are people of color! . . . It almost seems that police forces operate like military occupation forces in minority communities. Those who actually control the police appear to have hired 'occupation administrators' as the Nazis did with the 'Judenrat' in Germany. They have hired and trained 'Kapos' to police minority communities and to keep these citizens in their place."
La Voz laments that "[t]he incarceration rate of La Raza in the southwest U.S., and specially [sic] the incarceration of Raza youths, is also having the effect of destroying the family structure of our communities. In many cases, children are being left fatherless in the critical stage of their development." But La Voz makes no mention of the fact that the governors of Arizona and New Mexico - two of the states most heavily affected by illegal immigration - recently declared a state of emergency because of the high crime levels that illegals have brought to those states; that in Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide target illegal aliens, as do up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants; that at least 60 percent of the members of southern California's brutal 20,000-member 18th Street Gang are illegal; that the leadership of the Columbia Lil' Cycos gang, which uses murder and racketeering to control the Los Angeles drug market, was approximately 60 percent illegal in 2002; and that a September 2005 Center for Immigration Studies report found that "[o]f the 94 foreign-born terrorists who operated in the United States [between the early 1990s and 2004], . . . about two-thirds (59) committed immigration fraud prior to or in conjunction with taking part in terrorist activity." None of this matters at all to La Voz, which holds that Latinos are targeted by a racist justice system and herded without cause into U.S. prisons.
La Voz sees American racism wherever it looks. It condemns, for instance, "the wretched and unequal treatment that historically has been meted out against the Mexican-American soldier, marine, airman and sailor. The discrimination against Mexican-Americans in the U.S. Armed Forces is in many ways worst [sic] than that experienced in civilian life." Expanding upon this theme, La Voz charges that "the USA military has pillaged and raped the American Indians and the Mexicans in the [S]outhwest in the same way they are now doing to the Iraqis. Even today, naive Latinas who join the U.S. Armed Forces are being brutalized and raped by racist Jews and white military personnel. . . . Another 'dirty secret' of the Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz run Pentagon is the shameful 'raping' of women of color in the U.S. military that has reached 'epidemic proportions.' There are hundreds of Mexican-American and other enlisted women in the U.S. military whose lives have been totally shattered by a military they thought would never betray them. Their lives are now in total shambles after the Pentagon threw them out and blame [sic] them for the brutal rapes that took place while they were in uniform."
In La Voz's view, not even natural disasters are immune to the influence of American racism. When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in September 2005, for instance, La Voz ran a series of articles supporting Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's assertion that the catastrophic flooding of certain black neighborhoods was caused, in large measure, by a white plot to eliminate black people. "Minister Louis Farrakhan says New Orleans levees may have been breached on purpose," read the title of one article. Said the piece, "The spiritual leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, has come forward to say that the levees in New Orleans may have been 'blown up' to save White areas at the expense of Black neighborhoods. During a tour of Charlotte, North Carolina . . . , Minister Farrakhan said, 'I heard from a very reliable source who saw a 25 foot deep crater under the levee breach. It may have been blown up to destroy the black part of town and keep the white part dry.'" Asserting that "[t]he Black population in America is still not free regardless of the pretensions of Washington D. C. and media propaganda," La Voz made its position clear: "We believe Minister Louis Farrakhan when he says that the New Orleans levees were breached on purpose."
In addition to its anti-American hatred, another hallmark of La Voz is crude, unvarnished anti-Semitism, routinely drawing negative inferences about Jews and Israel. For instance, a December 29, 2003 opinion piece noted the "synchronicity" surrounding the Feb 1, 2003 explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia, where "7 astronauts, one a Zionist Israeli, came raining down over the town of Palestine in Texas, the home state of President George Bush." "Was the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster . . . the 'mother of all omens'?" asked La Voz rhetorically. "Was it a powerful synchronicity pointing to a major future catastrophe about to fall on the USA, Israel or possibly the entire globe? . . . For the first time there was an Israeli military person on board a USA space shuttle mission conducting military-related research and experiments. That person was the Zionist Israeli Air Force Colonel Ilan Ramon. . . . As the Columbia entered the earth's atmosphere it began to disintegrate and by a great coincidence the bulk of the debris, including body parts belonging to the Israeli colonel as well as biologically contaminated junk, fell on the town of Palestine, Texas. . . . What did this synchronicity or omen portent [sic]? Did it signify that the USA's continued connection with and military aid to the Zionist State of Israel will ultimately bring destruction of the nation as the Columbia was destroyed? . . . . God has cursed the Jews from time immemorial and they have been the curse of mankind since the beginning of written history."
Given its contempt for Israel, it is not surprising that La Voz sides decisively with Palestinian militants regarding the conflict in the Middle East. Expressing a sense of kinship with the Palestinians, La Voz says, "There are great similarities between the political and economic condition of the Palestinians in occupied Palestine and that of La Raza in the southwest United States. . . . The primary one of course is the fact that both La Raza and the Palestinians have been displaced by invaders that have utilized military means to conquer and occupy our territories. . . . Another of the most glaring similarities is the incarceration policies of youths by the dominant culture. Presently, the survival of the Palestinian people is being threaten [sic] by the selective incarceration of the bravest, strongest and most productive members of the group. Like in the southwest . . . , the number of 'incarceration centers' built by the Israeli government in occupied territories to imprison targeted youths is growing at an alarming rate."
The La Voz website features a lengthy tribute to eight female Palestinian suicide bombers who killed many innocent Jewish civilians. Here are the honorific words with which La Voz describes what one of these women, Reem Salih al-Rayasha, did with the final moments of her life: "On the morning of January 14, 2004, a freedom fighter of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a 21 year old mother of two children, detonated a bomb at the Erez border check point between Israel and the Gaza Strip, killing four Israeli soldiers. The female Palestinian martyr, Reem Salih al-Rayasha of Gaza City, was a university student with two children, ages 1 and 4 whom she loved dearly. She made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom and independence of the Palestinian people." Just as La Voz supports suicide bombings, it beatifies the father of Palestinian terrorism, the late Yasser Arafat, characterizing him as an "extraordinary courageous leader."
Notwithstanding the many suicide bombings for which such organizations as Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad have proudly taken credit, La Voz has accused Israeli agents themselves of detonating some of the bombs that kill Israeli civilians - and then blaming Palestinians for those deadly deeds. Says a July 2004 La Voz piece, "Killing and terrorizing its own citizens to justify government policies in the eyes of its own people and in the eyes of international public opinion is a very common practice by Likud Party operatives, the MOSSAD and the Israeli security service called the Shin Bet. This is not the first time that these government agents have carried out terrorist attacks against their own people which they than blame on the Palestinians. These vile and evil acts perpetuate the notion of 'Jews as victims' and justifies [sic] the continued slaughter and massacre of Palestinians by the Israeli army."
Expressing its solidarity with Palestinian militants, the La Voz website features a petition, addressed to President George W. Bush, demanding an end to U.S. aid for Israel. The petition reads, in part, "We, the undersigned, are appalled by the human rights abuses against Palestinians by the Israeli government, the continued military occupation and colonization of Palestinian territory by Israeli armed forces and settlers, the forcible eviction of the inhabitants from, and the demolition of, Palestinians homes, towns, and cities. . . . We find it reprehensible that U.S. tax dollars, in the form of U.S. military aid to Israel, are being used to fund Israel's oppressive policy towards the Palestinians. . . . We demand the immediate cessation of all U.S. military aid to Israel until Israel honors United Nations authority and abides by the rules of international law."
La Voz is wholly intolerant of Latinos who hold views that conflict with its own. It casts the vilest of aspersions upon those who do not walk in lockstep ideologically; those who do not share its anti-white, anti-American hatred; and those who do not consider themselves victims of an oppressive American culture. To La Voz, such Latinos are loathsome traitors to their "race." One such individual is Linda Chavez-Gersten, President George W. Bush's original nominee for Secretary of Labor and an outspoken opponent of racial and ethnic preferences for minorities. "It is no secret," wrote La Voz on January 3, 2001, "that La Raza despises Linda Chavez-Gersten! No woman, other than perhaps Gloria Matta Tuchman, generates so much disgust in our community than [sic] this extraordinary malinchista [traitor]. Like the brutish Jewish female Kapos at Auschwitz who received special favors for sleeping with their Nazi masters, Mrs. Chavez-Gersten will now be unleashed [as Labor Secretary] to squash any legitimate calls for better working conditions for our hard working Latino labor force." (Chavez-Gersten eventually withdrew her nomination.)
"As La Raza," continued La Voz, "we can expect nothing but betrayal from Linda Chavez-Gersten! Her entire history in public life has been one of treason against the ethnic group she professes to belong [sic]. She was chosen by powerful bigots to head a group called US English that pushed to dismantle Spanish/English bilingual programs in public education and to eliminate bilingual ballots and voting instructions. She was vehemently anti-affirmative action while a Ronald Reagan appointee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and has opposed civil rights for ethnic and racial minorities at every turn during her career. As Labor Secretary she will move steadfastly to relegate Latinos as working slaves for corporate America and the large agricultural and industrial conglomerates and at the same time she will work to maintain the economic privileges of whites."
To convey the idea that Chavez-Gersten was selfishly aligning herself with the (white) enemy of her people, La Voz likened her to black "'Uncle Toms' like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas" and "'House Niggers' like UC Regent Ward Connerly" - a reference to a pair of prominent black conservatives who openly oppose racial preferences. "The appointment of token 'Uncle Toms' and 'Aunt Jemimas' like Colin Powell and Congoleeza [sic] Rice," said La Voz on another occasion, "is just a ruse to give the impression that there is real opportunity for Blacks." La Voz has referred to Chavez-Gersten as a "coconut" (brown on the outside, white on the inside) and disparaged her for having said: "George Washington is my hero. The fact that my father's family was off in New Mexico and their allegiance was, at that time, to Spain, not to England and they didn't fight in the Revolutionary War, should not in any way diminish the fact that George Washington is my forefather."
In the post-9/11 era, La Voz has been unyielding in its excoriation of U.S. policies and American society generally. For example, immediately after September 11 La Voz did not denounce the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon but rather condemned the "round'em up" and "string'em up" mentality with which Americans and their political leaders were allegedly reacting. Moreover, the publication blamed the United States itself for having provoked the attacks, in large measure through its close alliance with Israel. "Make no mistake about it," said La Voz, ". . . what you have witnessed on television and the Internet concerning the destruction of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is actually a total failure of our U.S. foreign policy. . . . Why does the world hate us so? We must look into our own policies towards other cultures, religions, and national groups for an answer. . . . There is no doubt that our foreign policy in the Middle East has contributed to the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Is not our support of Zionism too high a price to pay? Why are we supporting an Israeli apartheid policy that has made all of Islam our mortal enemy?"
Repudiating in advance any government effort to derail future terrorist plots, La Voz wrote: "As minorities in the U.S. seeking an equitable voice, let us braise [sic] ourselves for a wave of repression against our civil rights unprecedented in contemporary history [sic]."
As a logical extension of its view that the United States is a land of iniquity, La Voz impugned Americans' allegedly "racist attitudes against the Arab peoples," depicting those attitudes as the manifestations "of national policy and of what we are learning through curriculums in schools systems throughout the country and through the mainstream media. The Arabs and Muslims have been demonized [through] years of mental programming through biased education and media propaganda." Claiming that American racism had not declined at all in recent decades, La Voz said, "This kind of [anti-Arab] mentality is the same as when us Mexicans are called 'spics,' 'beaners,' and 'wetbacks' and Black Americans are called 'niggers,' 'koons,' or 'mayates.' The kind of hateful racial frenzy being presently agitated against American Muslims and Arabs is no different than the one that was whipped up against Mexicans in 1930 Texas and against Blacks in the post-slavery South that culminated in lynches and in 'stringing them up.'"
La Voz laments the "demonization of Islam" by "perverse racists," "religious bigots with a well defined political and economic agenda," "Anglocentric xenophobes," "right wing Fundamentalist Christians," and "International Zionists" who, according to La Voz, "have launched a well funded global campaign to destroy the legacy of Islam and its contributions to world culture." "Leading the effort to demonize Islam are, of course, the International Zionists," adds La Voz. "Because of their immense influence and control of the mainstream media and the curricula of public and private education in the USA and other countries, these Zionists have had a major impact on the attitudes of non-Muslim youths towards Islam."
La Voz derides Americans' current angst over threats of additional Islamist terrorism, ascribing their concerns to the effectiveness of a deceitful government propaganda campaign aimed at stirring up widespread fear so as to gain popular support for American military incursions and empire-building ventures across the globe. In the final analysis, La Voz considers present fears of terrorism to be founded in an admixture of ignorance and bigotry - much as it views, in retrospect, Americans' fears of Communism during the Cold War era. Says La Voz:
"Many of you are too young to remember the incredible 'fear' that was part and parcel of American life in the middle 1950's, which generated a building frenzy of 'nuclear bomb shelters' under every home. The 'fear' was instigated by not only the military-industrial complex but also by a host of corporations and businesses that made fabulous fortunes capitalizing on the 'fear' of countless gullible Americans. Back then the 'boogie man' was [Soviet President] Nikita Khrushchev and Russian Communism, and today it's Osama bin Laden and Islamic Fundamentalism. It turned out that the U.S.S.R was only a 'paper tiger.' Today's new boogie man has so far only been a picture of a bearded Saudi . . . This new 'Terrorism War' smells a little too much like the old 'Cold War' and it looks like it is being pushed by the very same elements that have in the past benefited from the lucrative arms industry and by the politicians that they are able to purchase. . . . Everyone here benefits from the perpetuation of 'wars.' If there are none, they will create some. . . . This military-industrial complex works closely with the Zionist dominated media and specially [sic] with Israel and their Israeli Defense Forces. It is a historical fact that these elements often create a 'crisis' on purpose in order to justify not only their existence but also to scare the American public thus allowing them to create the 'environment' in which they can profit immensely and at the same time 'crush' any criticisms concerning their evil machinations."
In the Iraq War, La Voz unequivocally supports America's terrorist enemies. Consider its view of the infamous 2004 video showing the decapitation of American contractor Nicholas Berg by Iraqi terrorists. According to La Voz, the video was filmed not by the killers but by U.S. authorities, for propaganda purposes, at the Abu Ghraib prison: "The principal purpose of the fraudulent video was to defray world attention from the heinous sexual abuses and torture of Iraqi POWs and rape of Iraqi women detainees at the same prison where the Berg decapitation video was filmed. A secondary purpose was to 'frame' Al queda [sic] and especially one of their leaders by the name of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."
Aztlan Internet Services
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La Voz de Aztlan
The voice of Aztlan publishes news, commentaries, opinions, editorials, news research, news analyses and scholarly writings on La Raza or Mexicans or other Latinos.
Voz Aztlan, Meaning word Aztlan, Mexico, Latino, Chicano, Hispanic, Mexican, La Raza news, Aztlan, Latino news analysis, Latino La Raza politics, latin culture, latino culture, los angeles, east los angeles, southern california, new party, liberation, se
Data as of:
|MIM: William Mayer editor of Pipeline News wrote this article about Mecha (the student group of Voz Aztlan), and how hispanic politicians are associated with the group. It is significant that the new Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, was the director of the UCLA chapter of Mecha. He was also a board member of the ACLU.|
LULAC Orange County District #1
League of United Latin American Citizens
PO Box 4173, Santa Ana, CA 92702
Press Release -- For Immediate Release
Contact: Zeke Hernandez, District Director
714-835-9585 / firstname.lastname@example.org
LULAC Orange County Defends California Lt. Governor
Cruz Bustamante and MECHA Student Organizations
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Orange County
District #1 is appalled that conservative talk radio hosts and Tom
McClintock have targeted California Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante for
his campus student activities while a student at California State
University at Fresno in the 1970s.
Recent polls have shown that Lt. Governor Bustamante is the leader
among the Big Five of the gubernatorial candidates which includes
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom McClintock, Peter Ueberroth, and Arianna
Huffington on Question #2 of the California Recall Election to be
held October 7, 2003.
Conservative Senator Tom McClintock has called on Lt. Governor
Bustamante to denounce the student organization MECHA because it
advocates the creation of a separate homeland.
Zeke Hernandez, LULAC Orange County District #1 Director states,
"I find it ironic that Senator McClintock is going this way and that
way, trying to "two-step" his way to Sacramento. Step #1: He calls
on Lt. Governor Bustamante to denounce MECHA because it supports the
concept of a homeland for Native-Americans; Step #2: McClintock seeks
the support of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association because
they in fact have a homeland for Native Americans and status as
LULAC stands in defense of the many Latino students who have studied
in high school, achieved high academic standards and have received
their educational degrees from the colleges and universities in
California and in our country."
"These MECHA students today are at the helm of many corporations,
own businesses themselves, and are also teaching at these same
institutions of learning and other prestigious educational centers.
They are among the policy makers, office holders, public employees,
homeowners, parents, and the average working man and woman who is
contributing every single day in today's society, " stressed
Hernandez continued, "LULAC is proud of the leadership skills that
Cruz Bustamante learned as a young student and his tenacious personal
efforts to obtain his college degree. He has excelled in his public
life as a State Assemblymember, Assembly Speaker, and currently as
LULAC's 2003 National Woman of the Year and Placentia LULAC member
Margie Aguirre states, "MECHA is on the same level of any student
organization or club or fraternity or sorority as any other campus
approved student group. Any discrimination towards students who are
members or former members of this group should be deterred. If MECHA
is singled out amongst the various groups based on its cultural or
ideological foundation than all members of all student groups will
equally suffer the same discrimination based on their own particular
Greek symbolism or gender symbolism or African American or Asian or
whatever historical reason why they exist."
Aguirre emphasized, "MECHA stands for equal access of all
Latinos/Chicanos to a higher education and for better jobs. The fact
that Cruz Bustamante is an outstanding leader in California attests
to MECHA's positive support for positions of leadership for the underrepresented. Lt. Gov. Bustamante, should he be
his campaign would be on a list of the few who have been in
such a noteworthy capacity to serve the people of the great state
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the oldest
(founded in 1929) and largest Latino civil rights organization in
the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, public policy influence, health, and
civil rights of Latinos through community-based programs and projects with more
than 700 LULAC local councils nationwide. LULAC Orange County
District #1 includes councils in Santa Ana, Placentia, Stanton,
Garden Grove, Orange County, Anaheim, and Westminster in California.
Elected Officials Defend MECHA
Fri, 05 Sep 2003 19:11:38 -0000
Politicians defend Chicano student group
- Bustamante's link with MEChA is 'nothing to be
ashamed of,' says one.
By CHELSEA J. CARTER - The Associated Press
Friday, September 5, 2003 - Orange County Register
In 1975, a young Cruz Bustamante joined a student group at
Fresno State College that advocated bold moves to empower
Nearly 30 years later, with Bustamante a candidate for governor,
he has come under fire from critics who say the organization
agitated for a separate Chicano homeland in the United States.
State Sen. Tom McClintock, a conservative Republican rival,
recently likened the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan, also
known as MEChA, to the Ku Klux Klan.
"It's like saying, 'Oh, I was a moderate member of the Klan,'"
McClintock said last month. "It's incumbent on Cruz Bustamante
to clearly and completely renounce the organization and its
tactics and its views."
Bustamante, 50, has refused to back away from his past.
"The students who are MEChA today are just like the students
when I was there," he said. "Pretty much, they are trying to
get an education. Most of the friends I went to school with are
now either graduates from college or raising families."
Unlike other radical groups of the 1960s, such as the Black
Panthers and the American Indian Movement, MEChA was never
associated with violence. It supported Cesar Chavez and the
farmworkers' movement, and its founding members received
support from then-presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.
"Right before he was assassinated, he sat down with Chicano
students who walked out of classes," said Susan Green, a
Mexican-American studies professor and MEChA faculty adviser
at California State University, Chico.
But the group also had a revolutionary spirit, embodied in one
of its 1960s slogans, "For the race, everything. For those
outside the race, nothing."
Critics, including immigration officials, have pointed to
language in MEChA documents that calls for the liberation of
the Southwest. The plan - written at the National Chicano
Youth Conference in 1969, a month before MEChA was created -
calls for Mexican-Americans to reclaim or liberate Aztlan,
the mythical lands of their birth.
MEChA members say it is an ideological rather than a literal
"When we use the term 'liberation,' we are talking about the
liberation of one's mind," said Edward Gomez, a former member
who is now a faculty adviser for MEChA at San Bernardino Valley
Tom Rivera, an associate professor at California State
University, San Bernardino and MEChA faculty adviser since
1970, said the language was a reflection of the times.
"I see this as lofty language. It was not meant to be taken
literally," he said.
Today, MEChA has about 300 student clubs nationwide and is known
more for trying to help poor Hispanics get a college education
than for radical politics. Using the motto "Unity creates power,"
the group promotes tutoring, community outreach and political
In recent days, many of California's leading Hispanic elected
officials have acknowledged their membership in MEChA or voiced
support for the group.
"Most of us attended a meeting or more. Nearly everybody was
involved with it some way," said Los Angeles City Councilman
Antonio Villa raigosa, a former state Assembly speaker who
was a member of MEChA from 1972 to 1975 at the University of
California, Los Angeles.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., said she was never a member
but supported the organization. "I can understand why nobody
is stepping away," she said. "There's nothing to be ashamed of.
To do that would be to deny MEChA is doing a good job."
Fear of a Brown Planet
- Cruz Bustamante, along with many other California
Latino politicians, belonged to a Chicano student
organization in college. And conservatives are livid.
by Gustavo Arellano - OC Weekly,
Orange County, CA
September 5-11, 2003
In the Aug. 22 Orange County Register, longtime local Republican
gadfly Art Pedroza Jr. used the better part of a 655-word guest
editorial to argue from stereotypes that Cruz Bustamante would be
very, very bad for Latino Californians.
Bustamante, remember, is our lieutenant governor, a Democrat and
one of 135 gubernatorial candidates in the Oct. 7 recall election.
He is also, if you believe Pedroza's take on Latinos, a dangerous
man. Bustamante's proposal to raise taxes on cars valued at more
than $20,000 "hurts Latino families, which tend to be large, as
they need minivans and SUVs more than the rest of the California
public," Pedroza wrote. Latinos "will be more enticed by the
machismo and fame of Arnold Schwarzenegger" and turned off by
the appearance of "the pudgy and unimpressive Bustamante" —a
particularly ironic prediction, given Pedroza's roly-poly
physique. Latinos will identify with Schwarzenegger because "he
continues to have an accent as thick as his muscles"; meanwhile,
Bustamante will lose respect among Latinos when it is revealed
that he "actually had to take Spanish lessons in order for him
to more fully pander to Latino voters."
Pedroza saved his most forceful swipe for the end: "Bustamante
is known best for his indecision, his affiliation with labor
unions and Indian gambling tribes, and his loyalty to MEChA,
a college student organization that advocates the recovery of
the U.S. Southwest by Chicanos."
"I was trying to dig Cruz a deep hole and throw him in it with
that last comment," Pedroza told me with unmistakable
satisfaction. "And I did."
As the recall nears, Republicans are whittling down their anti-
Bustamante talking points: he's a Democrat, he's fat and
mustachioed, and he was once a member of MEChA. Opposite
Pedroza's attack, the Register's readers page that same day
featured a letter by Westminster resident Marvin Tuomala.
"I want the Register to investigate and report on the alleged
connection of Lt. Gov. Bustamante to Movimiento Estudiantil
Chicano de Aztlan, or MEChA," Tuomala wrote. "It is time to
expose him for the imposter that he is."
Bustamante joined MEChA—a Chicano college student organization
notable for ethnic pride and activism—while a student at Fresno
State in the 1970s. Until now, such an association was an
obsession only of fringe conservative groups. During the 1990s,
they warned anyone who would listen that former MEChA members—
some of them, like Bustamante, now elected officials—were
"rabid reconquistas" working to return California to Mexican
rule by any means necessary.
Now the major media want in on the game. It's not just Fox News
asserting on Aug. 28 that "Bustamante's membership in MEChA is
certainly more relevant than Arnold Schwarzenegger's father being
a Nazi." It's also KTTV-TV 11 running an Aug. 27 newscast
purportedly "exposing" Bustamante's membership in MEChA. Local
conservative radio broadcasters John and Ken on KFI-AM and Larry
Elder on KABC-AM no longer hold a monopoly on castigating
Bustamante as a Mechista, as members of MEChA refer to
themselves. Now there's KLSX-FM entertainment reporter Sam
Rubin, whose Aug. 28 program featured callers demanding that
Rubin speak out on Bustamante's connection with what one caller
identified as "the brown Klan." While guest-hosting for a talk
show on San Diego radio station KOGO-AM, Republican gubernatorial
candidate Tom McClintock claimed Bustamante belonged to "a radical
and racist organization," and that membership in MEChA is like
saying "you're a member of the Klan." Register editorial writer
Steven Greenhut weighed in with an Aug. 30 contribution for the
libertarian website LewRockwell.com (www.lewrockwell.com) that
"there is incredible hypocrisy in the way Bustamante gets a free
pass on his past association with [MEChA}, and the way Republicans
get treated for their past associations." In an Aug. 20 editorial,
the respected financial paper Investor's Business Daily warned
against Bustamante's candidacy because of "his links to the
radical group MEChA, the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan…
Members of MEChA are committed, according to their group's
constitution, to the `liberation' of Aztlan—whatever that
What is MEChA? And why are Republicans betting it's their H-bomb
in the coming governor's race?
In 1969, the student and ethnic-pride movements of the 1960s had
enraptured young Mexican Americans, who now proudly labeled
themselves as Chicanos and left their hometowns in search of the
activist life. Some traveled to California's Central Valley and
joined the United Farm Workers to organize migrant laborers.
Others protested against the Vietnam War because the draft
disproportionately selected Chicanos. Regardless of specific
cause, nearly everyone in the nascent movimiento agreed on the
necessity of an overarching vision. In the spring of 1969, about
1,000 Chicanos from across the country attended the National
Chicano Youth Liberation Conference in Denver for that purpose.
A month later, a larger conference took place at UC Santa Barbara.
>From these conferences emerged two documents—El Plan Espiritual
de Aztlán and El Plan de Santa Barbara. Together amounting to a
sort of Port Huron Statement for the Chicano movement, el Plan
Espiritual explicitly laid out a call for Chicano empowerment:
"In the spirit of a new people that is conscious not only of its
proud historical heritage but also of the brutal `gringo' invasion
of our territories, we [emphasis in the original], the Chicano
inhabitants and civilizers of the northern land of Aztlán from
whence came our forefathers, reclaiming the land of their birth
and consecrating the determination of our people of the sun,
declare [emphasis in the original] that the call of our blood
is our power, our responsibility, and our inevitable destiny."
The Plan de Santa Barbara contained similar rhetoric, and both
documents went on to delineate what conference attendees thought
important to rally the marginalized Chicano masses toward a
better life: control of political and economic institutions, a
love of one's raza (literally "race," but here taken to mean
cultural heritage), even the formation of a national political
party "since the two-party system is the same animal with two
heads that feed from the same trough."
The national party, La Raza Unida Party, fizzled out after a
couple of victories in Texas during the early 1970s, but the
other result of the Denver and Santa Barbara conferences was
the formation of MEChA.
There had been other Chicano student organizations during the
late 1960s—UMAS (United Mexican American Students) and MAYO
(Mexican American Youth Organization) among them—but the
explicitly activist message of the plans and the need for a
common group led to the rise of MEChA. Almost all existing
Chicano student associations eventually transformed into MEChA
chapters, still running on hundreds of college and high school
campuses across the United States. There's no overarching
central body, however—no MEChA national headquarters, no budget,
no supreme leader. The Plans called for each MEChA club to be
an autonomous group that interacts with other factions only in
monthly regional and yearly national conferences. It is, in
essence, the very model of self-governing local control that
Republicans dream about.
Since MEChA was set up as a student organization, its clubs
tended to concentrate on recruiting Chicano students to higher
education and asking for Chicano Studies programs at universities,
rather than implementing the economic or political visions of
the plans. This isn't surprising: the Plan de Santa Barbara made
sure to state that education was the primary goal of all Chicanos:
"Chicanos recognize the central importance of institutions of
higher learning to modern progress, in this case, to the
development of our community. But we go further: we believe
that higher education must contribute to the formation of a
complete person who truly values life and freedom."
"MEChA walks in concert with the same goals of any other student
academic organization—good citizenship, values, and promotion of
scholarship," says Paul Apodaca, professor of sociology at Chapman
University and advisor to the college's MEChA chapter since
1995. "Our goal is to strengthen colleges in their effectiveness
to create global citizens by increasing the number of Chicanos
on campus. We see students arrive at Chapman from high schools
that never sent a student to college. We use the collective of
MEChA to promote the students in their desire to better their
lives and communities."
He uses me as an example. I had been apprehensive about joining
MEChA when I attended Chapman University in the 1990s. I had
heard about the obsession with protests, the vitriolic speeches
bashing everyone who wasn't brown, the infamous MEChA clap that
ends every meeting by having members clap in unison,
progressively faster, until someone shouts out "ˇQué viva
la raza!" (Long live the raza!)
But then I actually attended a meeting. I encountered some
extremist rhetoric—but it was aimed at increasing Latino
enrollment on our minority-deficient campus. It was about
mentoring high school students and about creating a support
network for those of us who were the first in our families to
graduate from high school, let alone college. And it wasn't
just Latinos involved in this radical clique. We had African
Americans, Asians, gabachos, even a Kazakh student named Amir
who proudly wore his MEChA shirt emblazoned with the MEChA logo,
an eagle gripping a stick of dynamite. We cared about bettering
the world, and MEChA allowed us to do something about it.
We protested Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas when he
appeared on campus; we supported striking janitors and held
events for all the major Mexican holidays. Mostly, we spent our
free time recruiting high school students to Chapman and tutoring
Chapman administrators loved our dedication, holding us up as
models of what others could aspire to. My fellow Mechistas went
on to work for nonprofit organizations, scored consultant
positions with the Democratic Party, became bankers, turned
into psychologists, made it in Hollywood, interned at the Cato
Institute, were hired by Chapman to recruit students—and this
Mechista went on to graduate summa cum laude from UCLA. Not a
single Mechista dropped out.
The academic portion of MEChA is always lost, however, in
mainstream media depictions of the organization. To most
non-Latinos at colleges and beyond, MEChA is that noisy Mexican
club that protests every grievance imaginable and stages
disruptive classroom walkouts, always waving the Mexican flag.
"UC Irvine wraps the MEChicans with love and affection to
protect them from the rough and tumble world of racists and
bigots," went a typical criticism of MEChA, this one in the
June issue of the UC Irvine conservative newsletter The Irvine
Review. "In honor of Cinco de Mayo, the Sigma Pi fraternity
threw a `Drinko for Cinco' party and held a few events that
made light of the Mexican culture. This was so offensive that
MEChA complained and UC Irvine rushed to rescue the powerless
MEChicans. Of course, it mattered little to MEChA that there
were a bunch of raging drunk Chicanos walking around campus
housing after their little fiestas, doing much more harm to
the Mexican culture in general than a few white kids could
ever do dressing up in sarapés [sic] and drinking crappy Corona
beer with that stupid lime wedged on top."
Apodaca doesn't deny that MEChA agitates, but stresses that
the confrontation of racism or exploitation is of secondary
importance to educating students. "MEChA is not a political
organization," he said. "We never endorse political candidates.
But MEChA does take up causes that match its goals of empowering
students and letting others know of injustices. The politics
of the times creates MEChA's actions, not the other way
around. . . . We don't promote an agenda—we promote the student.
And MEChA has put more Chicanos through college than any other
Even Art Pedroza Jr. gave MEChA a chance during his time at
UCLA. "I tried attending a meeting once, but I immediately heard
the whisperings that I didn't look very Latino," he told me.
"I was put off immediately." He says "belonging to MEChA isn't
particularly negative. What MEChA has done the most is support
Chicanos as they go to college. To me, it's a fraternity more
than anything else."
Nevertheless, think tanks like the California Coalition for
Immigration Reform (CCIR, authors of Proposition 187), the
Hoover Institute and the American Enterprise Institute have
ranted against MEChA in policy papers for years, warning that
its spread signifies nothing less than a conspiracy aimed at
destroying the United States. Most of the attacks focus on
the language of the plans and the name of MEChA itself.
The "A" in MEChA stands for "Aztlán," the mythical birthplace
of the Aztecs that supposedly existed in the Southwestern
United States. During the 1960s, Chicanos took up the Aztlán
legend as a spiritual solidarity point. The writers of the
Plan de Aztlán incorporated the origin myth into the document,
albeit in a rather militaristic tone:
"We are free and sovereign to determine those tasks which are
justly called for by our house, our land, the sweat of our brows,
and by our hearts. Aztlán belongs to those who plant the seeds,
water the fields, and gather the crops and not to the foreign
Europeans. We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the
"Brotherhood unites us, and love for our brothers makes us a
people whose time has come and who struggle against the
foreigner `gabacho' who exploits our riches and destroys our
culture. With our heart in our hands and our hands in the soil,
we declare the independence of our mestizo nation. We are a
bronze people with a bronze culture. Before the world, before
all of North America, before all our brothers in the bronze
continent, we are a nation, we are a union of free pueblos,
we are Aztlán [emphasis in the original]."
"Substitute `Aryan' for `mestizo' and `white' for `bronze,'"
wrote syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin on Aug. 20. "Not
much difference between the nutty philosophy of Bustamante's
MEChA and Papa Schwarzenegger's evil Nazi Party."
Almost all the attacks against Bustamante and other former
MEChA members operate under the assumption that Mechistas
faithfully follow such inflammatory guidelines. But Apodaca
points out that such language was never meant to be taken
"The language reflects the period in which MEChA was created,"
he said. "The repudiation of `gabacho' and `European' in the
statements is a call for rejecting dominance and intolerance
by mainstream society. These statements were never against
whites or American society any more than anti-Nazi statements
are anti-German. They're not talking about white people,
they're talking about gringoism—the oppression of the era
against Chicanos and Mexicans."
Even Pedroza agrees with Apodaca on this. "I knew this Cuban
student at UCLA during the 1970s—rich, full-on Republican type,"
he said. "I remember vividly this guy trying to join a fraternity.
They ended up leaving him passed out drunk in the middle of a
road one night far away. They had no intentions of letting him
into the frat. If you wanted to get into a club, for many
Latinos, MEChA was it.
"The stuff talked about in the documents are legitimate
grievances that are out there held by Chicanos," Pedroza
continues. "They're family stories.
"But rhetoric about brown pride and love for Chicanismo drives
people crazy," he adds. "If Bustamante and other politicians
don't repudiate language like that, they'll hurt their
When asked about his involvement with MEChA during the 1970s
at Fresno State at an Aug. 28 press conference, Bustamante
was unapologetic. "The students who are in MEChA today are just
like the students when I was there: pretty much they are trying
to get an education," Bustamante said. "The actuality of what
takes place in these organizations is to provide student
But in a 1999 interview, Bustamante tried to distance himself
from being seen as too revolutionary during his stay at Fresno
State. "I wasn't the most radical Mechista," he told a Latino
wire service. "At the same time, there were a lot of Vietnam
veteranos attending school. They were like big brothers, and
they taught me a lot."
"If he has any intentions of winning, he has to deal directly
with MEChA and be upfront. He can't have it both ways,"
Pedroza said. "The great unknown in this election is the
middle—and the middle doesn't like hearing things like
Pedroza is right, which is why the MEChA card easily jumped
from the far-right fringe to the mainstream. Take the case of
Los Angeles city council member Antonio Villaraigosa. Most
pundits figured the former Assembly speaker was certain to
become Los Angeles' first Latino mayor in over a century during
the 2001 mayoral race. Villaraigosa had secured the backing of
various unions, progressive activists, Westside millionaires
and other community leaders, and was favored by a majority-
Latino city aching for one of its own to assume the mayor's
But to the surprise of many, Villaraigosa lost. A host of
reasons factored in the result—a vicious campaign by Jim Hahn
supporters associating Villaraigosa with a former crack dealer
and the overwhelming African American support for Hahn were two
crucial aspects. But perhaps just as critical was the media's
focus on Villaraigosa's MEChA past. The media followed the lead
of anti-immigrant activist Hal Netkin, who devoted an entire
website (www.mayorno.com) to depicting Villaraigosa as
anti-American and even conducted an automated voter campaign
to thousands of Valley residents telling voters of
Villaraigosa's MEChA past.
"Those guys did an all-out attack against me," said Villaraigosa,
who headed the UCLA MEChA chapter during the 1970s. "They tried
to take out a giant ad in the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles
Daily News painting me as a rabid Chicano activist, and then
sued both papers when each refused to run it. They would show
up at mayoral debates and say that I was the leader of the
reconquista while passing out info about MEChA and Aztlán. It
But it worked. The 2001 election results showed that
Villaraigosa lost thanks to an unlikely coalition of
conservative white San Fernando Valley voters and otherwise-
liberal African Americans voters. The only other time such a
coalition occurred was in 1994, when each constituency
overwhelmingly voted for Prop. 187. Not coincidentally,
this is also the last time MEChA received such prominent
coverage in the press.
Villaraigosa isn't the only politician to suffer from the
MEChA paintbrush. Former Santa Ana school board member Nativo
Lopez was reviled by his opponents because of his close MEChA
ties, and similar accusations now plague Arizona freshman
congressman Raúl Grijalva. Now, it's Bustamante's turn.
"It's reprehensible what they're doing to Bustamante and
other Latino candidates," Villaraigosa said. "I think these
people that attempt to portray Latino candidates as out of
the mainstream are doing so for the purpose of injecting race
or ethnicity in a campaign where it's clearly not relevant."
Apodaca says accusing Latinos of subversive leanings because
of their MEChA links is like Herbert Hoover's supporters
speculating that 1928 Democratic presidential candidate Al
Smith, a Catholic, would take orders from the pope.
"Smith's Catholicism really functioned as anti-immigrant
rhetoric," he said. "Politics is all about the code talk.
Anti-MEChA statements are simple code for anti-Mexican
sentiments by resentful whites."
And resentment grows as Latinos, already the largest minority
group in the United States, gain increasing political clout.
Pedroza—the man who purposefully used the MEChA smear against
Bustamante because he knew it would turn Register readers
against the candidate—believes it's useless to think something
so effective will ever go away.
"Until these [Latino politicians] disavow the more disturbing
portions of MEChA, until they put the fire out, it's going to
keep on smoldering," Pedroza said. "And a bit of gas will set
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