A Week in the Life of Gustavo

"Seems to think that if he fails to write, la migra will find him."--OC Weekly More merriment available at ronmaydon@yahoo.com

sábado, setembro 13, 2003

Some comments on my Cruz Bustamante/MEChA piece from various websites. First comes from blogger, Howard Owens...

Good piece in the OCWeekly on MEChA and Bustamante. The article by Gustavo Arellano paints a sympathetic picture of MEChA but acknowledges that the inflammatory language of some of its literature creates an ongoing problem for any Latino politician associated with it.

BTW: MEChA supporters such as Antonio Villaraigosa who say things like this:

"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."

Are doing themselves and other Latino candidates a disservice. You don't need to be a racist or a scared white to find fault with MEChA doctrine. You just need to be a reasonable and intelligent person. So long as the Villaraigosa of the world can't see why people have legitimate concerns about MEChA, they'll never do anything to improve the situation for themselves and other Latino candidates. Which also seems to be the point of Arellano's article.

I like to think that my best pieces examine both sides of the issue, praising and bashing both, and ultimately coming to no conclusion other than to acknowledge the phenomenon. The only article I've ever been pleased with, my Latinos love Morrissey piece, had that dynamic--I gave various explanations, held none as the ultimate answer, then finally just let the readers accept the fact that many Latinos like Morrissey and that's that.

The following commentary is from Sneakeasy's Joint...

The cover story in the current OC Weekly is by Gustavo Arellano, and deals with how California, and National Conservatives are having a field day with Bustamonte's MEChA connection.

He begins:

"Cruz Bustamante, along with many other California Latino politicians, belonged to a Chicano student organization in college. And conservatives are livid.
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."

The accompanying cover illustration of "Cruz Montezuma" by Robert Pokorny is deliciously provocative and sure to get some Latinos and Democrats worked up into a lather. :-)

The full piece is called Fear of a Brown Planet.

No commentary necessary. Time to go see people pummel each other!