Tuesday, June 06, 2006

06/06/2006: On Chicanos and the Old Chicano Movement!
By Peta de Aztlan


Shared By Peter S. Lopez ~aka Peta de Aztlan
Sacramento, California, Divided States
Email: sacranative@yahoo.com

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A functional definition of ‘Chicano’ is an American of Mexican/Mestizo ancestry who identifies with the old Chicano Movement and chicanismo. He is caught up in the cultural clash between traditional Mexican culture and modern American life. He is of both cultures yet not all of either culture. He has never been fully accepted by White racist Amerika yet he not fully immersed in traditional Mexican culture.

In an existential way, the Chicano is the ’hyphen’ between Mexican and American in the term Mexican-American. He is born in the U.S.A., raised in a Mexican family yet lives within the context of the dominant White racist American society.

He is a descendant of the original indigenous natives of these lands called the Americas, his historical roots extend far back many thousands of years in the southwestern portion of the United States, sometimes referred to by Chicano elders as Aztlan, yet today he is of the ‘lost tribe’ called Chicanos. Chicanos are not recognized as a certified tribe by the United States. In fact, he was abandoned long ago by his original Mother Country and is now an alien in his own ancient lands.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo:

In a way, he is an abandonment neurotic suffering from borderline personality disorder after being abandoned by his Mother country of Mexico and left to take care of himself under a racist, hostile and foreign government after the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Recall: “On February 2, 1848 the Treaty was signed in Guadalupe Hidalgo, a city north of the capital where the Mexican government had fled as U.S. troops advanced. Its provisions called for Mexico to cede 55% of its territory (present-day Arizona, California, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado, Nevada and Utah) in exchange for fifteen million dollars in compensation for war-related damage to Mexican property.

Other provisions stipulated the Texas border at the Rio Grande (Article V), protection for the property and civil rights of Mexican nationals living within the new border (Articles VIII and IX), U.S. promise to police its side of the border (Article XI), and compulsory arbitration of future disputes between the two countries (Article XXI). When the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty in March, it deleted Article X guaranteeing the protection of Mexican land grants. Following the Senate's ratification of the treaty, U.S. troops left Mexico City.”

The Old Chicano Movement:

The old Chicano Movement grew out of the liberation struggles of the late 60’s and early 70’s with the UFW Grape Boycott, the Brown Berets, the Chicano Student L.A. blowouts, Corky’s Denver Crusade for Justice, the La Raza Unida Party in Crystal City, Texas and other social-ethnic movements of those times.

Alas, today it has all but died out and what vestiges remain is no longer a viable social movement as much as nostalgic memories in the minds of some Chicano elders. Many young Latino youth know little or nothing about Chicanismo. What happened?

The old Chicano Movement faded away because it was sidetracked by the false idea of a Chicano nation with its Chicano cultural nationalist ideology. It got lost in the outward appearances of cultural nationalism: the arts, murals and symbols of a people that do not by themselves create a true distinct nation with territorial integrity. Minus, some were co-opted by the System when they decided to ‘infiltrate and subvert’ then forgot the original vision. Sex, music and drugs, especially alcohol and other forms of social withdrawal, wiped others out. Despite any alleged COINTELPRO activities, in general we were our own worst enemies. Major mistakes were made by the accepted Chicano leadership that we are still paying for now.

Being raised in the United States, Chicanos were not considered real Mexicans and Chicanismo filled the gap and the intrinsic need for nationhood. We had a concept of ourselves as constituting a Chicano nation in the mythical Aztlan and this gave us a new sense of nationalist identity that we needed at the time. The Mexican government had no choice when it was literally under the gun and signed the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo or risk losing all of Mexico to the United States with its twisted red-white-blue banner of American Manifest Destiny.

Major Failures:

It is a truism that failure is the mother of success. The four major failures of the old Chicano Movement were:

1. It failed to build, sustain and maintain the machinery for a strong independent political party;

2. it failed to develop a coherent democratic-socialist ideology;

3. it failed to link up in strong working alliances with other social movements; and

4. it failed to take the ‘great leap forward’ into the worldwide socialist movement.

In general, it miserably failed to grow, expand and include all Latinos who did not even identity and consider themselves as Chicanos, especially Mexicans born in Mexico, but including all Latinos and indigenous peoples native to the Americas. It miserably failed but served a genuine purpose as it kept the idea of Chicanos and Chicanismo alive.

When the first generation of young Chicanos started using the term ‘Chicano’ in the 1960's many Mexican parents looked with disfavor on the term and it became a form of adolescent rebellion, but we kept calling ourselves ‘Chicanos’ and it caught on. It gave us a sense of identity and self-image that we had never known before. We were Chicanos, not Mexican-Americans and certaiinly not Hispanics!
We were Chicanos and we were in the Chicano Movement! Ya Basta!

Common Terms to Identify Ourselves:

Nowadays, we need to use common terms to identify ourselves as a unique complex people indigenous to the Americas, including Central America and South America. Thus, we can use the term ‘Latinos’ and use other terms, such as Chicanos or La Raza, for specific reasons depending on the context.

We sometimes use the term ‘La Raza Cosmica‘ or 'the Cosmic Race' in recognition of the complex diversity of our people with different colors, tongues and cultures.

Indeed, we can be white-skinned, blonde and blue-eyed and we can be black-skinned, kinky-haired and of African descent! La Raza Cosmica are truly a diverse cosmic people.

A Latino Liberation Movement:

We must come together as one people called Latinos and build up a Latino Liberation Movement inside the United States as we link up with the Third World for the total liberation for all people in general. We must mobilize as a species of life upon Mother Earth in solidarity with all oppressed peoples.

The concept of race is really a social construction, not a scientific one with separate DNA codes. Most people in the U.S.A. see the world in strictly black-and-white racial terms with a simplistic color code that does not reflect the multi-colored people who are Latinos. We must overcome all remnants of racism and think in terms of a new People’s Liberation Movement for all peoples regardless of race, not racialize what should be a collective anti-racist movement.

A real social movement move forwards, advocates its issues and absorbs others all along the way. It creates alliances, builds coalitions and forms mergers based upon a basic common agenda as its organizations, groups, and individuals work together on plans, projects and programs.

Thus, like an old general, the old Chicano Movement faded away, but the struggle for liberation ~ La Lucha para Liberacion’ ~ goes on with new challenges in a new millennium. ‘La Causa’ is still alive, inspired by past victories and newly energized by the recent reawakening of many Latinos because of the recent great marches and rallies for immigrant rights.

As Chicanos of La Raza Cosmica, as Latinos and as humane beings, we must reach out to all Latinos and all peoples regardless of race, ethnic group or tribe. We should all become bi-lingual in at least both English and Spanish and be willing to interpret for others to bridge the language barriers that separate Latinos. As we advance forward, we must raise our humane consciousness and join the worldwide democratic-socialist movement.

If you are afraid of using the term ‘socialism’ then Amerikan Fascism has already infected you. What do you propose as an alternative economic system? Corporate capitalism? Who do we colonize? Ourselves?!!! Wake up!!!

We now have liberated territories under socialist governments in Latin America in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile and other places are brewing with socialist aspirations. Nevertheless, the Amerikan Empire and its corporate capitalism still controls the world economy and threatens the stability of all economic orders. We are confronted with Amerikan Fascism on the domestic front and Yankee Imperialism abroad.

On Monday, May 15, 2006 = President Bush Addresses the Nation on Immigration Reform

“At the same time, we're launching the most technologically advanced border security initiative in American history. We will construct high-tech fences in urban corridors, and build new patrol roads and barriers in rural areas. We'll employ motion sensors, infrared cameras, and unmanned aerial vehicles to prevent illegal crossings. America has the best technology in the world, and we will ensure that the Border Patrol has the technology they need to do their job and secure our border.”

On Tuesday, May 16, 2006, Fuhrer Bush said, "The United States is not going to militarize the southern border."

On Thursday, May 18, 2006: Seeking to Control Borders, Bush Turns to Big Military Contractors:

“Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, three of the largest, are among the companies that said they would submit bids within two weeks for a multibillion-dollar federal contract to build what the administration calls a ‘virtual fence’ along the nation's land borders.

Using some of the same high-priced, high-tech tools these companies have already put to work in Iraq and Afghanistan — like unmanned aerial vehicles, ground surveillance satellites and motion-detection video equipment — the military contractors are zeroing in on the rivers, deserts, mountains and settled areas that separate Mexico and Canada from the United States.”

A long hot summer is coming. Global warming is getting worse. Society is polarizing. People are choosing sides. Amerikan Fascism is ‘in power and secure’.

We must give refuge to the refugees, sanctuary to aliens and uphold humane rights as a common agenda based upon our basic survival needs as human beings: food, clothing, shelter, medical care and quality education.

Today is Election Day ~ 6-06-06 ~ and Puppet-Fuhrer Bush repeated today that ‘we will not militarize our borders’, but he is a mass liar and fascist propagandist. Recall: Fuhrer Bush and the Oval Office Cabal got the U.S.A. in a losing war in Iraq based upon mass lies. The U.S.-Mexican border is being manned by military troops in combat gear and military-style border fences are going up!

Stay alert and stay alive! Venceremos!
Relevant Links:

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Borderline Personality Disorder

Acuna, Rodolf. Occupied America: A History of Chicanos. 3rd ed. Harper & Row, 1988

1995: THE CHICANO MOVEMENT IN HISTORY by Octavio I. Romano-V., Ph.D.

La Raza Unida Party: A Chicano Challenge to the U.S. Two-Party Dictatorship
By Armando Navarro

The Chicano Movement: More Nostalgia Than Reality: Date: Septiembre 17, 1995
By David E. Hayes-Bautista and Gregory Rodriguez

Chicano/a Latino/a Movimientos

Monday, March 27th, 2006: Between 500,000 to 2 Million Take to the Streets of L.A. To Demonstrate Against Anti-Immigrant Bill:

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006 = Walkout: The True Story of the Historic 1968 Chicano Student Walkout in East L.A.

Easter Sunday, April 16, 2006 = On the Spiritual Awakening of La Raza Cosmica:

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006: Over 1.5 Million March for Immigrant Rights in One of Largest Days of Protest in U.S. History

National Council of La Raza
Email: comments@nclr.org

Pew Hispanic Center

National Immigration Law Center

Internet Resources for Latin America


National Immigrant Solidarity Network
No Militarization of Borders! Support Immigrant Rights!
Webpage: http://www.ImmigrantSolidarity.org

US-Mexico Border Information:
Liberation Now! Blog

Humane-Rights-Agenda Blog

Reuters - Newsmaker debate: Iraq: Is the media telling the real story?
Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?

Updated= 10-04-2006