MEChA is pissing me off again.

Fox News sums it up:

A Latino group at Glendale Community College in Arizona wants the administration to forbid a professor there from ever expressing his opinions on university Web pages because he sent out an e-mail saying the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, or MEChA, is racist, reports the Arizona Republic.

MEChA also wants Walter Kehowski to apologize publicly for stating in an e-mail that the group fosters racism by praising racial separatism. He was alluding to a recent Dia de la Raza event on campus.

“We believe in the First Amendment … in this case, the e-mails and Web page are clearly against the district mission of diversity and has disrupted our campus with the hostility that it promotes,” the group said in a letter to the Maricopa County Community College District.

Gee, why don’t we talk about the campus disruption and hostility of MEChA’s (whose motto reads: “Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada” [For the race, everything. For those outside the race, nothing.]) violent, racist, and tyrannical bylaws, which I have covered in other blog entries, but which consist partially of things like:


“. . .a people whose time has come and who struggles 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.”

Try substituting the word “nigger” for “gabacho”, and the word “white” for “mestizo” and you’ll start to get the picture.

MEChA wants the university to forbid – to forbid – this professor from speaking his opinion on the university-owned servers. Would they endorse prohibiting pro-MEChA speech, as well? Would they forbid any discussion of any kind regarding race, culture, language, ethnicity, or sexual orientation? Both for and against?

They state they believe in the First Amendment. Obviously not, since their request directly contradicts it in both spirit and letter. What they mean is, they support the First Amendment as long as the message is leftist or politically correct. Conservatives and others with differing opinions need not apply.

MEChA also states that the professor’s opinion is clearly in violation of the district’s diversity mission.

Is it? If they silence him, leaving only their side of the argument visible, does that constitute more diversity? Or less?

And actually, the professor is correct that MEChA’s promotion of separatism fosters racism. If this separation were being promoted by whites, you know what the reaction would be. Remember the civil rights movement, the real one, back in the 50′s where they fought to end segregation? MEChA wants to bring segregation back. Only this time it’s okay, because it isn’t whitey doing it.

Nauseating.

63 Responses to “MEChA: No Dissenters Allowed”
  1. Augusto says:

    Why is this group presented as a “Latino” group? It’s not.

    It’s mainly for Chicanos, maybe a few Mexican immigrants, but I think the vast majority of the members are Chicanos. And most Latinos are not Chicanos, I wish the news articles would be clear about this.

  2. Gary says:

    Augusto,
    If you have the time, could you clear it up for us here? Go ahead “stamp me stupid”.

  3. Deoxy says:

    “Chicano”, I would assume, is the PC flavor of the month for “Hispanic American”, or something like that – it can be used to mean something a little more specific (a Hispanic American that is part of the Hispanic American culture).

    “Mexicans” are people actually FROM Mexico, and “Latinos” are “hispanic” only by skin color. This would include Cuban, Puerto Rican, and South American.

    Of course, I’m just an evil white person, so that might not be exactly correct, but I think it gets the idea across. Personally, I think the whole hyphenated-American thing needs to die as quickly as possible. And before you say that’s just because I’m white, there are Irish-American and German-American groups with grievances (the German ones in particular are much more recent and relevant – fallout from WWII – some of the original prejudicees (or whatever that word is) are actually still ALIVE), too.

  4. anderson says:

    Also, why does such a blatantly racist program get public funding? Would a white separatist organization on campus get funding?

  5. samuelv says:

    I think Augusto means that “Chicano” means of Mexican ancestery, while “Latino” is a broader term referring also to those with ancestery in other Spanish-speaking countries.

  6. Augusto says:

    Deoxy;

    Actually, you got it all wrong. Let me explain what I mean:

    > “Chicano”, I would assume, is the PC flavor of the month for “Hispanic American”, or something like that – it can be used to mean something a little more specific (a Hispanic American that is part of the Hispanic American culture).

    Chicano is used for “Mexican American”, that’s the formal defintion. In my mind, it’s more of a second generation Mexican American as I have never met a Mexican immigrant who calls himself a Chicano.

    The Mecha Nutgroup, is mostly for Chicanos. Not for Hispanics, you won’t see many people from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central or South America there.

    My point was that this Mecha fringe group is usually referred to as a Latino or Hispanic group, which is wrong. That’s like saying a German interest group is a “white group”. Most Hispanics could care less or even know what the hell “Azatlan is”, so this group doesn’t represent Hispanics. For all I know, these guys probably resent those of us who called ourselves Hispanics (Hispanic – relating from Spain, Mecha people hate to acknowledge their Spanish heritage).

    > “Mexicans” are people actually FROM Mexico, and “Latinos” are “hispanic” only by skin color. This would include Cuban, Puerto Rican, and South American.

    Mexicans are Hispanics, I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. But since this group is interested in the return of land to Mexico, why not mention that and not include all of Latin America when people talk about it?

    Anyways, the point was that this is not a Latino or Hispanic group, a better description would be Chicano or Mexican. Might sound like nitpicking, but it means a lot.

  7. Augusto says:

    > samuelv

    Exactly, thanks. You explained it better than I did, in fewer words.

    I forgot to add, Hispanic has *nothing* to do with skin color.

  8. David says:

    I think the distinction here is that the term “Chicano” is a militant term coined in the ’60s and referred specifically to Mexican-Americans who were political activists. The term is largely out of favor today.

  9. pk says:

    “With our heart in our hands and our hands in the soil, we declare the independence of our mestizo nation.”

    Yikes. “Blood and soil” rhetoric is not dead after all.

  10. Anne Haight says:

    I’ve never been able to find any Hispanic sources who agree on the meaning and use of the terms “hispanic”, “chicano”, “latino”, etc. They seem to argue about it more than us white folks do.

    I get a different answer no matter who I talk to, so I’ve decided I don’t give a shit.

  11. Augusto says:

    That’s fine, although if you go by dictionary definitions it’s pretty simple. Can we just call this group a “radical Mexican separatist nut group”? Or just the “radical Mecha” group?

    It’s just not fair to lump all Hispanics in the country with dreams of a Mestizo nation.

    BTW, interesting that mecha literallly stands for the dynamite fuse, wonder if that’s on purpose. hummm …

  12. Anne Haight says:

    Oh, I realize this is primarily a Mexican phenomenon, and I certainly wouldn’t claim otherwise. I wouldn’t even claim that most Mexicans endorse it, since I encounter plenty of Mexican immigrants and 2nd generation Mexican-Americans who thing MEChA is a bunch of wackos, too.

    But the fact that people like Cruz Bustamente (recent contender for Gray Davis’ governorship of California, and who was previously the Lt. Governor) won’t expressly disavow their association with MEChA (and groups like them), is somewhat disturbing.

  13. Hovig says:

    Augusto:

    Thanks for your sensible explanations. After reading your comments, I searched the web and found this article from Sep 10 1997, by a former University of Houston student, Hector A Chavana, who is listed as a campus MEChA organizer.

    He says Aztecs used both “Mexica” and “Xicano” to refer to themselves. By implication, the term Chicano seems to mean “nationalist who identifies with the ancient Aztec race,” or, as you so clearly put it, a politically radical Mexican nationalist.

    http://www.stp.uh.edu/vol63/12/OpEd3/1291097/1291097.html

    (Looking at some other places on the web, it seems “xicano” is actually the Aztec term for human being in general, but I can’t verify this).

  14. Augusto says:

    Cruz Bustamante is a complete idiot.

    I did get a lot of laughs at him promoting himself as an immigrant, when in fact he’s not! He was born in the US , maybe even his parents, and he had the balls to suggest he was the immigrant candidate, when the actual and real immigrant was the Scharzenneger.

    And I won’t forget Gray Davis’ speech at a lunch for Hispanic business owners, where he said illegal immigrants were necessary to cook and clean for the rest of us.

    Anyways, back on topic :-) I’m not surprised one bit by this from Mecha, although I’m not familiar personally with this group. In my Universitiy in Florida, I never heard of them. Nor did I ever hear from them when I used to tutor migrant farm workers. These guys are just fringe lunatics probably mostly in Texas and California, that are 2nd+ generation immigrants looking for something to whine about.

    One interesting anecdote. I once went to a talk by the actor Edward James Olmos. He gave the talk to a group of Mexican migrant worker studends I was tutoring to (volunteer). He asked them to raise their hand if they were proud of their “Aztec” heritage. A big group of them raised their hand. Then he asked them to raise their hand if they were proud of their “white European Spanish heritage” almost nobody raised their hand.

    He then gave a talk about how it’s wrong to only identify with the indegenous part of their heritage, and not that of their white ancestors. It was a very impressive talk, I wish more people got to hear it one day.

  15. ronnie schreiber says:

    If Xicano means “human being” it would follow the same pattern as with the aboriginal tribes of North America. The Lakota word for describing themselves also translates as human being (modern day Lakotas prefer that to Souix, which I believe is from the tribal language of one of their enemy tribes and means something like snake. The northern woodlands tribes like the Oddawa, Ojibwa and Menominee called themselves “anishnabeq” which also means human being.

    What’s interesting about this is that calling your own tribe humans or people implies that outsiders are not considered quite as human.

    My guess is that the natives considered themselves superior to the Europeans. Of course this kind of racism is acceptable to the PC crowd.

  16. Totoro says:

    It always makes me laugh that “Chicano” activists like to imagine themselves descended from the “Aztecs.” The Aztecs were imperialist conquerors who liked to sacrifice their captives by ripping their hearts out. Maybe the Chicanos are descendants of the conquered groups.

    Due to pressure groups in Texas, this part of Mexican history has been deleted from world history textbooks because it is not politically correct. But it happened anyway.

  17. JamesT says:

    As an odd sidenote I ahve met several people from the upper classes of Peru and Columbia who take great offense at being labled “hispanic” or “latino.” They consider themselves, for lack of a better term, white European decendants. They really disliked being grouped with Central Americans and Mexicans, and the Spannish speaking peoples of the Carribeian (except for Cuba.) I don’t know if this is a common view or a minority view.

    Oh, Ronnie, I think, if I remember correctly “souix” is a contraction of several French words meaning “Little Rattlesnakes” which is what, I think, the Hurons referred to the Lakota as. The French translated it out from Huron, and it was eventually shortened to souix.

  18. MarkJ says:

    Augusto said: “It’s just not fair to lump all Hispanics in the country with dreams of a Mestizo nation.”

    That is true, but it would be very interesting to know what percentage of latinos in America secretly, deep in their hearts, would like to the the USA or a part of it become essentially a latino nation. A place where latinos are the great majority, where spanish is the language that is commonly spoken and used in all commercial and governmental communication, where latino customs and latino holidays rule the day. A place where English-speaking whites are a small minority or non-existent. Basically, another Mexico, except with the economic advantages of the USA.

    I’d bet you that if it were possible to find out what latinos really thought, and not just what they’d tell a pollster, that it would be a considerable percentage.

    And why not? Don’t most people of all cultures want to live in a place where their culture and people are dominant?

  19. Augusto says:

    MarkJ;

    > That is true, but it would be very interesting to know what percentage of latinos in America secretly, deep in their hearts, would like to the the USA or a part of it become essentially a latino nation.

    Probably the same percentage of KKKers who want a white only nation I would guess.

    > Basically, another Mexico, except with the economic advantages of the USA.

    Another Mexico? Here we go again. Why would I want my adopted country to be like a 3rd world hell hole. Specially, why would a central American, a Puerto Rican or a Cuban (and others) want the nation to be like Mexico. That’s a really weird statement. You do know that there’s a lot of us who have never set foot nor have relatives from Mexico, right?

    > I’d bet you that if it were possible to find out what latinos really thought, and not just what they’d tell a pollster, that it would be a considerable percentage.

    Ah, we have a mind reader of the proportions of Professor Charlese Xavier. No, I doubt what you are saying would be true, since I have never heard it from personal experience. Actually, one thing you’ll hear from many immigrants is that we don’t want this country to turn into the hellholes we ran away from.

    And why not? Don’t most people of all cultures want to live in a place where their culture and people are dominant?

    > And why not? Don’t most people of all cultures want to live in a place where their culture and people are dominant?

    Yes and no, some people like to keep some things from their culture and not all. Like language for example, but why would I want everybody to speak spanish? It gives me an advantage, I don’t want everybody to know I’m talking about them. :-) (just kidding).

  20. Brian says:

    Yes, Chicano is a term reserved for Mexican-Americans.

    The whole idea of “Hispanic” as a “race” is just stupid anyway. Same thing with Latino.

    Hispanic is NOT a race anywhere except in the United States, where it has been used to refer to ANYBODY of Spanish heritage regardless of whether or not theyre as white as a ghost or dark as coal. It’s a stupid, stupid designation. People are the race they are: Mixed, White, or Black.

    Not only that but who GETS to be “Hispanic” (and thus an oppressed minority group) is quite arbitrary. By many definitions even Spaniards get “Hispanic designation.” I am half Portuguese, but don’t get victim status (not that I want it, of course!) What’s the difference? Also, Brazilians don’t get to be “Hispanic” either.

    This country needs to stop balkanizing itself. Sheesh!

  21. Anne Haight says:

    > People are the race they are: Mixed, White, or
    > Black.

    How about: people are the race they are — human. Speaking from a strictly scientific perspective, there is only one race among humans.

    Black, white and mixed? Huh? How white do you have to be to be white? How dark do you have to be to be black? Who decides?

    The whole concept is really kinda dumb.

  22. Reginleif the Valkyrie says:

    Ronnie wrote: What’s interesting about this is that calling your own tribe humans or people implies that outsiders are not considered quite as human. My guess is that the natives considered themselves superior to the Europeans. Of course this kind of racism is acceptable to the PC crowd.”

    No doubt. But a tribe or ethnicity referring to itself with the name for “human” is very old and very widespread. This old Straight Dope column…

    http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_162.html (HTML coding prohibited on this blog?)

    …points out that two names for Germany were derived that way: Deutschland comes from a supposed Indo-European root Indo-European root *teuta-, meaning “people.” _Allemagne_ (as the French call Germany) comes from the tribal name Alemanni, which literally means “all [us] men, all us folks.”

    Conversely, the practice of giving an derogatory name to one’s neighbors is also as old as the hills, and quite widespread. In addition to the name “Sioux” for the Lakota, there’s the Polish _niemecki_ and the related Russian _nyemetz_ (“mute, unable to speak properly”) for Germans, and of course the Greek-derived “barbarian” (because his or her speech sounds like nothing but “ba-ba-ba”).

  23. Augusto says:

    > Also, Brazilians don’t get to be “Hispanic” either.

    I think Brazilians consider themselves Latins.

    Yes, in our countries of origin there is no Hispanic/Latino checkbox, surprise surprise it’s just like here [] white [] black [] mestizo [] asian, etc.

    > As an odd sidenote I ahve met several people from the upper classes of Peru and Columbia who take great offense at being labled “hispanic” or “latino.” They consider themselves, for lack of a better term, white European decendants. They really disliked being grouped with Central Americans and Mexicans, and the Spannish speaking peoples of the Carribeian (except for Cuba.) I don’t know if this is a common view or a minority view.

    It’s common in some countries more than others. Argentina is very famous for being the king at this, it’s sort of like the France of Latin America. However, they identify themsleves a lot with Italians, and you’ll see a lot of Italian last names there.

    I’ve heard some Cubans saying they’re not Latinos, but Spanish descendants.

    It’s just all a bunch of non-sense, but as you can see the group of immigrants from Latin America is a very diverse bunch that doesn’t all come from Mexico as some sound like they believe.

  24. Anne Haight says:

    I’m not presently able to verify that “xicano” is, in fact, a legitimate Aztec word, or what it means.

    But the Aztec language is called Nahuatl (nah-HWAT-ul), and is still spoken today. The “x” would be pronounced something like a “sh” or “ch” sound in English, which you can see results in a word similar to “chicano” when spoken.

    Several websites allege that the words “Mexico” and “Mexican” are related (“me xican”), which could well be true.

    One of these days I’m going to learn to speak Nahuatl. It’s an interesting language.

  25. Right on the Left Beach says:

    Malodeous MEChA

    Anne Haigh is right on target about why MEChA stinks. Via the Instapundit. I have posted several times about the evil of this group, here, here and here. This kind of thing comes up over and over. If a white

  26. Low Earth Orbit says:

    Help! Help! I want to oppress!

    Oh, Teddy boy, here’s what an “attempt to stifle dissent” actually looks like [[“source(Instantman):http://www.instapundit.com/archives/012698.php, source, source]: A Latino group at…

  27. pedro cardenas says:

    What’s with all the confusion about MECHA? MECHA is as much as ‘spokeperson’ of the latino/hispanic/whatever community as Al Sharpton is to the black community. That is to say, not very much representive of the ‘group’, if such a term can be used. (Does anybody consider the KKK representive of the majority of white folks?)

    As for the chicano/latino/hispanic/etc. deal, why bother? I don’t. I was born here and no I don’t want the US to be more like Mexico, my parent’s native country? Why would I? Don’t be silly.
    I like my country just as it is. :)

  28. Mark Konrad says:

    There was a pretty comprehensive discussion of this story at

    http://www.vanguardnewsnetwork.com

    on one of the ‘Reader Mail’ pages

    http://www.vanguardnewsnetwork.com/letters.htm

    maybe a week ago or so. They provided Professor Kehowski’s web page and eMail addresses, as well as the eMail addresses of the community college admins.

  29. Inoperable Terran says:

    Por La Raza Todo. Fuera de La Raza Nada

    Glenn also pointed out this interesting bit about MEChA crushing dissent. I’m sorry, this isn’t racism, how?…

  30. Gabriel Gonzalez says:

    A few remarks:

    “La Raza” is a term used to designate peoples of Latin America, regardless of race. I’ve always assumed it came from “El Día de la Raza”, which is the term used throughout Latin America to designate Columbus Day. The Spanish refer to Columbus Day as El Dia de la Hispanidad. Latin Americans, not thinking of themselves as “Hispanics”, preferred the term Raza, which was – and still is in Latin America – intended to refer to people of all races who are ethnically Latin American. It was not intended to imply racial supremacy (or even exclusion), at least at the outset, but obviously groups – such as Mecha – can use it that way. When Argentines (mostly European) or Guatemalans (mostly Native American) use the term La Raza, they are referring to Latin Americans generally and certainly do not mean to exclude one another.

    Chicano: Derived from Me(xicano). “Mexico” was the term the Aztecs used to describe the region around Mexico City. It was pronounced “Meshico” – the “x” in the Spanish of Cortes’ time was pronounced as “sh”.

    Latino: As currently used, this term is pretty much a political construct, of U.S. origin, at least in the way it is employed politically today to group together people of Latin American background from diverse parts of Latin America. In Mexico, “Latino” is sometimes heard a bit more these days in the sense of “latinoamericano”, but I don’t recall hearing it much 20 to 25 years ago, at least in Mexico. It is marginally more descriptive than the term “Asian”, used to refer to both the Japanese and the Vietnamese, for example.

    Mecha: I think groups like Mecha may have served their purpose in an earlier time. There were a lot of racial/ethnic identity groups in the sixties and seventies that expressed some over-the-top views, but served a unifying ethnic pride purpose in their day. But I think that there is nothing wrong per se with identity groups to the extent that they express ethnic pride, rather than racial supremacy or exclusion: that applies to Irish American groups, Italian American groups, Mexican American groups, Jewish groups, etc. Indeed, “Native Americans” continue to identify and organize along such principles, and frankly “Native American” is a term with very weak ethnic, racial or cultural content. (I might also mention that, in a very literal sense, the largest group of Native Americans today is the population of Mexico.) When I was a child growing up in Los Angeles, I remember people referring to me as “Spanish”, which seemed odd. People would say “Them Spanish like to stick together!”, and I guess we did.

    I won’t go into Mecha’s whole “Aztlan” reconquering-the-Southwest bit, other than to say that it is based on a number of fallacies and ironies. First, the Spanish only began to occupy the Southwest in numbers in the late Eighteenth/ Early Nineteenth Century: With respect to Father Sierra’s conquest, in the late 18th century. Mexico had barely declared independence (1810) before the Mexican American War (1846). The idea that the U.S. Southwest is somehow enduringly Mexican is ridiculous. Further, the actual indigenous population – Apache, Navajo, Cherokee, Chumash, etc. – would, I assume, object. Basically, a present-day leftist political group claiming to descend from the Aztecs is laying claim to the lands now occupied by Americans and originally occupied by Native Americans having nothing to do with the Aztecs or Mexicans based on the bloody conquest of conquistadores and Catholic missionaries.

  31. Mike says:

    A friend of mine lived in Argentina for a few years and told me it was the white’est place on earth outside of Iceland.

  32. Low-Tech Redneck says:

    Though I don’t think these kooks are any more representative of thier respective ethnic groups than the KKK is for me, but I have to wonder along with Mark J, how many “normal” immigrants are complacent with the activities of groups like this in the hopes that they will cause enough trouble and race bitterness that “whitey” will pack up and concece the southermost states to them.

  33. Brendan's blog says:

    MEChA strikes again

    I haven’t don’t much political blogging in recent weeks — hey, some things are more important, like football! :)

  34. Augusto says:

    >Though I don’t think these kooks are any more representative of thier respective ethnic groups than the KKK is for me, but I have to wonder along with Mark J, how many “normal” immigrants are complacent with the activities of groups like this in the hopes that they will cause enough trouble and race bitterness that “whitey” will pack up and concece the southermost states to them.

    Why do you have to “wonder” that, the immigrants of today are not subversive turn coats ready to instigate some type of revolt against “whitey”. That you have to wonder that is curious.

    As a matter of fact, most of the naturalized citizens I know, are even more “patriotic” in the traditional sense than many native born citizens.

    “Whitey” … I’ve never heard this term used by anybody who recently came from Latin America as an immigrant, have you?

  35. The Pooka says:

    “‘Blood and soil’ rhetoric is not dead after all.”

    Right on, pk. “With our heart in our hands and our hands in the soil…” – and our heads up our neo-Falangist asses. Cara al sol, dudes.

  36. Miguel says:

    Wow! As a Mexican living in Mexico I found all of this thread superb!. Just to give a bit more perspective: Mecha (meaning the fuse of a bomb, right) is not known in Mexico at all. I can bet anything that 99% of Mexicans have never heard of those wacos. It’s not like the KKK, a nutty minority, but very well known for whatever reasons. Mecha in Mexico is non-existent in the sense that practicaly nobody has heard about those nuts. And believe me that most people down here if acquainted with their program would consider it a bunch of trash.

  37. Shelly says:

    I think it is gringo/gringa not whitey

  38. Donnah says:

    Very informative thread. Thanks, y’all.

  39. Anthony O'Donnell says:

    Great thread. Some opinions of my own: no one whose primary language is Spanish should be offended by “Hispanic.” “Latino” is perfectly good short shorthand for all major the non-Anglo countries and their inhabitants, since not all speak Spanish (e.g., Brazil, Haiti).

    Argentina is not the whitest place outside of Iceland. Sure, there are lots of people of northern European ancestry, but there’s also a lot of (perhaps more) southern European blood, and plenty of indigenous blood mixed in.

    Some regions are paler or duskier than others. The northwest is more heavily indigenous, the south has a lot of germans and welsh (though there’s been a lot of dilution as folks move around). The west (Cuyo) is more old Spanish and mestizo. The center of Buenos Aires is heavily white (northern and southern European), but the heavily populated periphery has a lot of mestizo influence. Buenos Aires in general has a tremendous Italian component (it’s famous slang, Lunfardo, has a strong Italian element). It’s also had a lot of immigration from northern Spain (Gallicia).

  40. Anthony O'Donnell says:

    One other thing: MECHa is most definitely intended to mean a fuse, as of a bomb. It’s like the KKK having an organization called “KLUB” –Klansmen Lynching Uppity Blacks– or something. It is an endorsement of violent subversion, if somewhat more histrionic than otherwise.

  41. Anne Haight says:

    I wasn’t aware that the word “mecha” meant something — fuse of a bomb, eh? Very illuminating, thank you. The organization’s insignia is an eagle holding a machete and a stick of dynamite, so I suppose that makes sense.

    And I guess “whitey” isn’t the right word. Gringo, then? Whitey is more of a “blacks talking about whites” term, and not a radical Mexican-American word.

  42. Rich Rostrom says:

    MEChA is not comparable to the modern KKK. It’s far more dangerous. The Klan doesn’t have active chapters at dozens of major universities, or have Web pages hosted on college servers, or get student activity funds from college administrations. Google on “MEChA USC”, “MEChA Stanford”, “MEChA UCLA”, “MEChA Texas”, “MEChA Colorado”, “MEChA Cornell”, “MEChA Brown”, “MEChA Michigan”… They hold an officially-recognized position as the representatives of Mexican-Americans at these colleges. Every year thousands of Mexican-American students come to such colleges and are bombarded with MEChA’s radicalizing propaganda – with the college’s blessing!

  43. Augusto says:

    > And I guess “whitey” isn’t the right word. Gringo, then? Whitey is more of a “blacks talking about whites” term, and not a radical Mexican-American word.

    I don’t know. Gringo is a common term that is used for US citizens, since “Americano” is too generic (after all, Latin Americans are Americans).

    I’ve seen English dictionaries say that the term is often used in a derogatory way, but don’t explain why. In popular culture, I don’t think it’s used in a derogatory way. The only context of that is the famous “GRINGO GO HOME” that was so common in central america.

    In Panama, even US citizens called themselves gringos (and “zonians” to say they were from the canal zone).

    So I don’t know if it’s accurate to equate this term with the one you mentioned.

  44. Augusto says:

    > MEChA is not comparable to the modern KKK. It’s far more dangerous. The Klan doesn’t have active chapters at dozens of major universities, or have Web pages hosted on college servers, or get student activity funds from college administrations.

    I disagree. While I loathe their “official” ideology, most MEChA members seem to ignore it or not know much about it. If they did, you would see some types of acts of terrorism in their name, or to expect their members to be violent. After all, their goal is so radical, you would expect them to have acted on it in a violent way.

    Then again, I’m not familiar with them at all. This seems like a group originated in more radical times, that is just a hang out place for 2nd generation Chicano college students trying to get in touch with their cultural roots. They’d be better off speaking Spanish properly and travelling to 3rd wold countries once in a while, instead of hanging out with such a group.

    The KKK, as small a membership as it has, is still associated with violence and ocacional acts of terrorism. So there’s no comparison there at all.

  45. Anonymous says:

    I think Brazilians consider themselves Latins.

    The Italians are the TRUE “Latins”, and I guess you can call Spain and Portugal “Latin” countries but there is a difference between Latin and LatinO. So yeah, Brazilians and all South American countries are technically “Latin” because of their Southern European roots, but are NOT Hispanic fo purposes of American census. Read this article….it goes into the subject:

    http://www.brazzil.com/2003/html/news/articles/oct03/p112oct03.htm

    Quote: “The US Census does not list Brazilians as part of their breakdown of South Americans of “Hispanic” or “Latino”.

  46. Anthony O'Donnell says:

    Some agreement and disagreement with Augusto. “Gringo” isn’t really derogatory, though it’s not generally meant to be friendly. It’s a way of expressing the “otherness” of someone in a way that excludes them from present company, but it carries no taint of inferiority. “Gabacho” is pejorative, though I’m not sure exactly how Mexicans and MexAmericans use it. I suppose it’s at about the same level as “whitey” though it’s not racial in its fundamental meaning (coarse, provincial, given to solecisms). I guess it’s similar to “gringo” in that it focuses on strangeness and poor use of language rather than physical characteristics.

    “Yanqui” is a more universal term for Americans and can be as derogatory as “gringo,” which is to say not very. In Argentina “gringo” is used for people of European origin, especially Italians and Spanish (go figure: “gringo” most likely comes from “griego”=Greek. Then again, people of Argentina’s numerous Syrian-Lebanese element are refered to as “turcos”-Turks.) People from the USA are “yanquis.”

    As far as how derogatory “yanqui” or “gringo” can be made, I think back to a conversation I had with a native of Manchester about inhabitants of Liverpool. I asked the Mancunian whether “scouse” was offensive to Liverpudlians. He said, “Yes, if you say it like ‘Scouse bastid!”

    I think Augusto is right about MEChA not being as bad as the KKK. After all, how many lynchings can be attributed to MEChA? I’m also highly sympathetic to Augusto’s statement that:

    “They’d be better off speaking Spanish properly and travelling to 3rd wold countries once in a while, instead of hanging out with such a group.”

    Indeed. Too many college students of bilingual background are given more attention to their ethnic self-esteem (a total waste of time) and end up poorly educated people who speak two languages badly.

    But I think Rich Rostrom is onto something too. While the Klan might be an inappropriate comparison (one I didn’t mean to draw in my earlier post, by the way), MEChA spreads a very bad message, one that encourages disaffection and bigotry. Rich puts this better than I have:

    “Every year thousands of Mexican-American students come to such colleges and are bombarded with MEChA’s radicalizing propaganda – with the college’s blessing!”

    Just another case of self-hating college professors and administrators encouraging contempt for the country that affords them the nice life that they lead. But of course it’s not self-hate, really, it’s hate of the fellow Americans that you feel superior too. When Walt Kelly said in his famous Pogo cartoon strip that “We have seen the enemy, and it is us,” he wasn’t really talking about himself.

    I appreciate Gabriel Gonzalez’ post explaining the fallacy of the whole Azatlán concept. Along with exposing all that nonsense, it might be a good idea to attack MEChA for associating itself with the brutal imperialist project of the Aztecs, hoisting them on their own politically correct petard.

    This reminds me of a conversation I had at a party of the Latin American Student Organization where I went to college. The party was held in observance of the quincentenary of Columbus’ arrival in the “New World.” During the conversation a guy from Central America directed comments to me about how “you Europeans” did this and that. The guy was racially mestizo (mostly white, some indian) and had a Spanish surname. “Don’t look at me,” I replied. “If there’s any shame, it’s yours. My family came from Europe in 1967. It was your Spanish ancestors that committed the atrocities you’re talking about.”

    Now, where did he learn to blame the likes of (lilywhite) me? Again, Rich Rostrom has a point.

  47. David Gillies says:

    Anthony, ‘gabacho’ in its Texas/Mexico usage is extremely derogatory. ‘Gringo’ is not mildly derogatory, at about the same level as calling someone a ‘Mex’, but more at the level of ‘wetback’. It implies ‘interloper’, ‘carpetbagger’, ‘alien’. Gabacho has the same level of offensiveness as, for example, ‘beaner’, ‘spic’ or ‘greaser’ i.e. a racial epithet that would get an ‘Anglo’ organisation into a very great deal of trouble in a very short space of time.

  48. xipe-totec says:

    Thanks for the commentary. It will make for good study material at our MEXA study group at MSU. FYI one of our discussion threads was Mexica imperialism and how that led to thousands of Tlaxcalan and other allies for the Spaniards in the 1520′s.

  49. sensiblyirate says:

    i just had to laugh at:
    “Fox News sums it up”

  50. Phil says:

    I had a childhood friend from Mexico, who told me that the term “gringo” came from a misinterpretation of a song that American soldiers were observed singing, which included the lyrics “green grows the grass”. Has anyone else heard this explanation?

    ***

    Latino identity can be a byzantine confluence of ethnicities .

    My father is (Bolivian-Mexican)-American, and rather light skinned. His father is from a prominent Bolivian family of mostly Basque ethnicity, while his mother is a Mexican redhead. Her siblings varied from dark brown skin with black hair, to light-skinned redheads. It’s not uncommon in Latino families to have siblings who hardly look related (I’ll return to this, on a more personal note).

    My mother is (Mexican-German)-American, and fairly light skinned as well. Her father was a very dark man of Mexican heritage, but too hirsuite to be primarily indigenous, while her mother was 1/2 Mexican and 1/2 German.

    I have light skin and dark brown, but clearly not black, wavy hair. What’s interesting is, despite the fact that both of my parents are light-skinned, my brother is almost as dark as my maternal grandfather was, and has lank black hair. Because of my light skin, and lack of a Spanish surname, most people assume I’m Italian, or sometimes even Jewish. My brother is a different story, though he looks more like a member of a North American tribe than an Aztec or other Mexican Indian.

    Looking at my family alone, it’s pretty clear that Hispanic-Latino-Chicano-whatever is not a “race”.

    Although both my parents were born in the US, they had different relationships to the Spanish language. My father has been billingual his whole life, with no hint of an accent in either language. My mother knows very little spanish, which she mostly picked up from her extended family. Her mother had a Texas twang, and her father had a hint of a barrio drawl (for lack of a better term: it’s distinct from the accent of someone raised in a spanish-speaking country). Neither my brother, nor I really speak spanish, though we both pronounce the language beautifully, and with little effort. This is possibly a consequence of hearing our father speak spanish to various people around San Antonio, where we grew up.

    I’ve never had much use for MEChA, which seems like a lame attempt to ape African-American solidarity strategies. As someone else mentioned, “Aztlan” and other Chicano-related groups are loaded with opportunists. Out of curiosity, I’ve attended meetings of some of these groups, and it’s a riot to watch as lighter-skinned Latinos frequently set the agenda for organizations that traffic so heavily in Aztec/native imagery! I guess it’s unfair to criticize this too much, as the sad fact remains that lighter-skinned Latinos often come from more affluent backgrounds. Consequently, they attend better schools, and are more prepared for leadership/organizational roles. It’s similar to the situation with Marcos, a white (or at least light mestizo) man leading an indigenous rights movement in Chiapas. I guess some things never change.

  51. Classical Values says:

    Latest “slant” on the news….

    Censorship in Philadelphia? In the name of “brotherly love?” A local cheese steak business is being squashed in the name of political correctness, because it is named “Chink’s.” (Apparently that was the nickname of the establishment’s Jewish founder.) …

  52. fabb says:

    I don’t like the way american people use the words “latin” and “latino”…

    I know that a lot of people from spanish speaking countries of america are defined as “latins” or “latinos” in United states…

    THIS IS COMPLETLY FALSE !!
    Latins/latinos are not defined by south and central american origins but with the fact of being speaking a language coming from Latin.

    Latins are firslty the French, Italians, Spanish, Portugueses, Romanians… After them you could include also the former colonies of these countries, that is to say the spanish, portuguese and french speaking countries in the rest of the world, espacially in south america, central America and Quebec and in some african countries.

    In Italian or Spanish, “latino” just means “latin”. “latinos” means the latins… NOT ONLY THE SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICANS… !!!

    Us, in Latin Europe we are fed up to see that our designation is used to define only the people who speak spanish in America !!

    The worse thing is that most people in US give a negative conotation of that word, thinking that it relates to poor and underdevelopped countries, to uneducated people. Others give a “tropical” conotation of the word “latin”, thinking that to be latin you should have dark hair, dark skin, dancing tropical rythms, etc…
    IT IS A COMPLETE MISUNDERSTANDING OF WHAT LATIN/LATINO MEANS ….
    Some people in US also consider that to be latin you have to be of a race that is not white !!

    If would be the same if in Europe we used the word “anglo-saxon” to describe only the Jamaican or Nigerians, and we would not consider the english or americans as “anglo”…

  53. Phil says:

    Fabb, I understand what you are getting at, but I think you are making too big of a deal out of the American-English idiomatic usage of the word “latino”. While many Americans do have blanket stereotypical views of Latin American cultures, there is no sense in which Americans use the term “latino” to refer to Latin-derived cultures in general. In the rare instances when I’ve heard the term “latins” used by Americans to refer to contemporary peoples, it’s typically had more Mediterranean connotations.

    So basically, the more recent adoption of the Spanish word “latino”, in its modern American-English usage, has a specific reference to Latin American culture. “Latin”, when referring to contemporary people, has retained its proper reference to all cultures speaking latin-derived languages.

    As my previous post attests, I’m in total agreement with you that any racial connotations to “latino” or “latin” are absurd. from the names of languages, so it doesn’t make any sense to use these words to refer to ethnic or racial groups. Eevn given the American idiomatic usage of “latinos” to refer to Latin Americans, it is ridiculous to suggest that Latin America is racially homogenous. Unfortunately, many Americans use words like “latino/a”, and “hispanic” to refer primarily to the Mexican mestizo migrant workers, immigrants, and their descendants that make up the largest and fastest growing part of the latino/hispanic population in the USA.

    Likewise, “latin rhythms” have little relation to traditional French or Italian music. What are referred to, in contemporary English, as “latin rhythms”, are amalgams of Native-American, African, and Iberian musical influences. So, yeah, these are inexact expressions, but I don’t think they affect most people’s idea of the Latin language, or of the languages derived from it.

  54. Alexandra says:

    As a MEChA member, it saddens me to read all these opinions that portray MEChA as a racist group it isn’t. The MECha organizations I know in southern california are open to ALL groups, regardless of race. It would hence be illogical to accuse us of racism. As an organization we also fight for workers rights and humans rights, not making a distinction of race, creed, ethnicity, etc. The statement of “For la raza, everything and outside la raza, nothing” appears in a historical document to our organization, El Plan de Santa Barbara. It has been long concluded that it is solely a historical document, and a revosed MEChA philosophy has been created. WE DO NOT ABIDE BY THAT STATEMENT!! It is obviously apparent that none who have posted their comments in opposition to MEChA present an ‘educated’ opinion.

  55. Hubert M. Odom says:

    The term “Gabacho” originated in Spain in the Pyranees Mountains region where Spain bordered France and the two cultures mingled. Gabacho was applied derogatorily by nationalistic Spaniards to those other less nationalistic Spaniards who were considered to be more French than Spanish.

    From that original use, the term gabacho really is universally misused by Mexicans and Mexican-Americans when applied to United States citizens of light skin within the United States, unless it was applied to other Mexicans and Mexican Americans of light skin who have acted more like Americans than Mexicans.

    Similarly, the term “gringo”, as someone before has pointed out, originally was applied by the Spanish to foreignors in Spain whose native languages “sounded like Greek” or Griego to the Spanish. From this origin it is extremely rude and inappropriate to call an American of any colored skin a gringo within the person’s homeland of the United States.

    Such linguistic logic did not come into play in the the development of the Mexican version of Spanish. This is to be expected when a nation of people takes a simple word such as “pinchi”, meaning originally in Spanish a scullion, or a kitchen helper, and evolved that word into a Mexican version ranging from the heaviest applications of our “F” word to something mildly describing worthless.

    Another Spanish word greatly evolved by the Mexicans is “chingar” meaning originally in Spanish “to tipple”, or take a drink of some alcoholic beverage, which came to mean to the Mexicans an all purpose, and ubiquitous, word ranging from all of the darkest meanings of our “F” word to a simple condition of feeling mildly out of sorts.

    As it happened in the 1960′s that American Blacks, whose ancesters all came from West Africa, mistakenly adapted many of the cultural aspects of East Africans, the Viva La Raza drum beaters in the United States have incorrectly interpreted the Aztlan origin myth, by locating the original homeland of the Aztecs in the Southwest of the United States. BAD WRONG!

    Aztec mythology described the origin point of the Aztec tribe to be “in the Land of the Blue Herons”. Now it’s true a few blue herons move along the river systems of the American Southwest . . . but damn few!

    The true Land of the Blue Herons was always known to be in the very wet and tropical area that is the modern Mexican State of Nayarit, which is indeed quite a ways from the American Southwest. There are now, and have always been, a humongous amount of blue herons living in Nayarit, which always has had the right climate and geography for these birds to thrive in great numbers.

    When a drum beater cause is fabricated from scratch, the fabricators should get the facts for their dogma straight instead of creating fiction to support their racist dream.

    Submitted by Hugh Odom
    December 9, 2004

  56. guera says:

    i think that allof you should really think before you speak…or should i say write. n-e how… MECHA is not racist all of you just decided to take it the wrong way. Also when you write things like “all chicanos/all mexicans/all hispanics etc” you should remember that there is no way that everyone can have the same opinion about something or that we can all be the same way. i am a Mexican american, i’m proud of my heritage. i call myself hispanic, latina, chicana, mexican american, american…there are many things used to desctibe a person like me and not based on color. most people think i’m white because i’m very light skinned…in fact i’m lighter than many white people, i have bluish green eyes and blond hair. most people are surprized when they hera me speak spanish. i speak perfect spanish and english. i come to say that we are all racist in a certain way but mecha is not a racist club.i have felt descriminated by the white people in many ocacions. i can tell that people treat me better than my cousin simply because i look white and she looks mexican. if u were in my place u would understand.i had this one teacher who at first liked me because i guess she thought i was white. she would get mad at me when i’d talk to my friend in spanish but not at the other people when they spoke english. that class was AP HISTORY and there were only 2 mexicans, me and this one guy and we were the only two who happened to get a D…a D! what kind of bullshit is that? I know she was being racist because i noticed the way she changed w/ me once she knew i wasnt white. so since she was racist does that mean ALL WHITE PEOPLE ARE RACIST? no! not everyone is the same. at our school we have white people in the club, mexicans, cubans, puerto ricans, blacks, asian…everything! except for russians… germans…and hindus(indians and others) but thats because they decide not to join if they wanted to they could. You are the racist ones by putting up comments like these above. i’m proud of my aztec origin as well as european.

  57. melymoya says:

    i’m w/ guera on this one. i’m white and am in the mecha club becausei know that no one is purely of one race. there fore i/m a little of evrything and so is evryone else. you guys should be ashamed of yourselves

  58. Anne Haight says:

    guera’s IP address: 24.23.19.56
    melymoya’s IP address: 24.23.19.56

    And yes, they posted 6 minutes apart.

    BOOM!

    You’re banned. :)

    Guess what? It makes you look Extra Retarded™ when you have to make fake posts to be your own fan club.

  59. WatsonManson says:

    I think that most of you are not informed about MEChA. Its purpose is to promote the welfare of the community in general and education. It does not exclude anyone. Furthermore, it is mainly a local organization so not all MEChA’s are exactly the same. Finally the motto is “la Union hace la fuerza” not “por la raza todo…”

  60. Anne Haight says:

    WatsonManson,

    You may say that as often and as loudly as you like. But I go by what I see MEChA doing and saying in the real world, not what they (or others) claim they are actually about.

    The only place I look to for information about what MEChA is and does is MEChA itself.

  61. sonali says:

    to guerra, I am a white chilean-american and know la mecha to be racist against anglo-americans and other caucasion races. By seperating themselves into groups like la mecha, la raza, you are displaying self-loathe and trying to create a race issue. Instead of seperating yourself, why not try integration. By the way, why does la mecha glorify illegal immigration? Why do you eat up all the flattery you receive from vicente fox. You don’t see Chile and many other multiracial latin american nations encouraging their people to immigrate illegally to other nations. Chile has been through way worse economic crisis than mexico, but instead of acting out of fear, the natives of chile as well as the spaniard settlers got together to make the country greater. NOw, chile is the richest nation in latin america. Most chilean students in america, come here on allready paid tuitions. I know many chilean friends of mine who described the stupidity and radical nature of la mecha. The illegals here choose to whine about oppression as a reason for not being able to succeed. Unlike groups like la mecha, the students in chile question and protest the government in an intellectual and civilized manner. Noone in Chile, whether native indian or european whines about the past nor do they make racial issues. Why doesnt la mecha stop trying to create conspiracies and educate chicanos in speaking proper spanish and ways in which they can help their mother country and its citizens. Why do you encourage them to believe that whatever mexican officials say is true. Why dont you question why mexico encourages its poor and uneducated to come here for work-why? Mexico doesnt want to take care of those citizens because of the fact that they are poor and uneducated. Also, mexico makes quite a bit on remittances. So someone said they were proud to be of aztec heritage…The aztecs sided with spanish criminal conquistadors so they could eliminate and conquer other indian tribes. It is always easy for the uneducated to be brainwashed.

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