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

domingo, setembro 21, 2003

Some more mentions of my work. This one comes from JPMiller.net (whoever the hell he is) and concerns my MEChA cover story...

OC Weekly’s cover story this week, Fear of a Brown Planet, a piece by Gustavo Arellano, looks at the beginnings of the criticism of California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante for his 1970s membership in the Chicano student organization Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan or MEChA. Arellano does a fine job of reviewing Bustamante’s past affiliation with MEChA as well as the origins of the current controversy. However, he does neglect to document the white supremicist origins of the criticism of MEChA.

Bustamante is only the latest victim of this particular racist canard. He’s not likely to be the last. As long as it works, as the 2001 LA Mayoral election showed, it will continue to be used.

In the past, Democrats have played blatantly racist politics - I’m thinking here of campaigns like Dennis Kucinich’s 1974 campaign for Congress (he lost) - but, by and large, we’ve learned our lesson and have recognized the error of our ways. Today, Republicans put us to shame in their effective use of racial politics.

The curious thing about relying on racial politics is how easily it can backfire. Because it can just as easily energize the very group you are seeking to oppress, it is a politics of last resort. When you know you can’t win on the issues, your base is a fragmented minority of the voting population, and you’ve abandoned your principles in the name of winning, you pander to the fears of your core voters.

A solid Bustamante victory could go a long way to ending this sorry phase of American politics.

I don't think I neglected to mention the white supremacist origins of MEChA bashing--I don't even think it's that simple. People have always hated MEChA the same reason they hated the NAACP and countless other ethnic organizations--it meant the minorities were getting together and scheming to improve their lives. Idiots like Glenn Spencer and Barbara Coe might have taken MEChA-bashing to a new level, but the hatred was already there.

Best development of the day--I finally found my Zurdok CDs! God has truly smiled on me. Let's just hope he doesn't laugh.