Fact: A Racist is
by Nancy Ahern
September 10, 2003
The Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) is not
truly a racist organization. Nor is it truly tied to a plan
to cede most of the US Southwest back to the Chicano peoples
for the formation of the Nation of Aztlan, also known as El
Plan de Aztlan.
Did you know that?
I didn't, but I read a position paper written by an anonymous
somebody at Azteca.net
which claims that there is no real racism in MECHa. No. It
is merely misunderstood. The organization is the victim
of myths and lies.
There are some interesting points this person makes. Points
he labels as "facts." After first attempting to disassociate
MEChA from "El Plan de Aztlan", the author goes on to link
MEChA firmly to it with this statement:
El Plan de Aztlan is an historical document of the Chicano
movement, as such MEChA would not renounce the collective
history of our peoples Civil Rights struggle by denouncing
what is inarguably the true history of the southwest.
Inarguably true? "History" at any given time, presented by
any given person, is never "inarguable", because it is always
presented from a point of view, and spun to an ideological
Want more? The person whose opinion was so precious to him
that he would not offer it under his full name went on to
discuss some "facts."
The facts are that the southwest was invaded upon by Anglos
under the white supremacist banner of "Manifest Destiny" in
1836 and 1846.
It would be nice for "facts" to be purely factual and devoid
of emotionalism and spin. For example, while "Manifest Destiny"
most certainly excluded Native Americans and those not purely
descended from Europeans (blacks, and those Hispanics who
were descended from a mix of Spanish, French and indigenous
Central American tribes), it had several roots from which
it had sprung. Check out what History
Guy has to say:
Manifest Destiny did not necessarily call for violent
expansion. In both 1835 and 1845, the United States offered
to purchase California from Mexico, for $5 million and $25
million, respectively. The Mexican government refused the
opportunity to sell half of its country to Mexico's most dangerous
Not all American westward migration was unwelcome.
In the 1820's and 1830's, Mexico, newly independent from Spain,
needed settlers in the under-populated northern parts of the
country. An invitation was issued for people who would take
an oath of allegiance to Mexico and convert to Catholicism,
the state religion. Thousands of Americans took up the offer
and moved, often with slaves, to the Mexican province of Texas.
Soon however, many of the new "Texicans" or "Texians" were
unhappy with the way the government in Mexico City tried to
run the province. In 1835, Texas revolted, and after several
bloody battles, the Mexican President, Santa Anna, was forced
to sign the Treaty of Velasco in 1836.
Yes, the US was seeking to expand its borders, but belligerence
occurred on both sides of the issue.
The anonymous editorialist continues with more "facts:"
The invasion was so brutal that Irish-American soldiers
deserted in droves and formed the St. Patrick’s brigade and
fought against U.S. forces in defense of the Mexican peasantry
(anyone ever wonder why there are so many redheads in Northern
There is some fact mixed in with the emotion here. It has
less to do with the actual brutality (since brutalities were
noted on both sides, and is part and parcel of any armed conflict)
and more to do with the way Irish-Americans were treated within
their own ranks, and the sympathetic bonds this set up:
Again from historyguy.com:
One interesting aspect of the war involves the fate
of U.S. Army deserters of Irish origin who joined the Mexican
Army as the Batallón San Patricio (Saint Patrick's Battalion).
This group of Catholic Irish immigrants rebelled at the abusive
treatment by Protestant, American-born officers and at the
treatment of the Catholic Mexican population by the U.S. Army.
At this time in American history, Catholics were an ill-treated
minority, and the Irish were an unwanted ethnic group in the
United States. In September, 1847, the U.S. Army hanged sixteen
surviving members of the San Patricios as traitors. To this
day, they are considered heroes in Mexico.
Another "fact" for our entertainment: In fact, the red
stripe on the pants of the dress blues of the US Marine Corps.
symbolizes the blood of the Mexican peasantry that was spilled
by US aggression… to always remind the Corp. of what it did
to the Mexican civilian population in 1846- 48.
Here is the fact concerning the so-called "Blood
Known as the Scarlet Trouser Stripe (Blood stripe)
- The red stripe was first seen on Marine uniforms in 1796.
It was used off and on until uniform regulations made it standard
on all NCO and Officer uniforms in 1859. It is rumored that
the stripe represents the blood shed by Marines at the Battle
of Chapaultepec in the war with Mexico in 1846.
Our friend sums up his stance on El Plan de Aztlan:
People’s ideologies may change, but we would not denounce
El Plan de Aztlan, just like many in the African-American
community would not denounce the legacy of the Black Panthers
or Malcolm X in the current African-American struggles for
Human and Civil rights in the U.S. today.
MEChA refers to the liberation of Aztlan as the liberation
of our people from oppressions and ignorance
Rac*ism: Discrimination or prejudice based on race.
Dis*crim*i*nate: 2. To make distinctions on the basis
of class or category without regard to individual merit; show
preference or prejudice.
Hispanics, as with blacks, tribal people, women, the poor,
and even Irish-Catholics have suffered at the hands of the
unprincipled, the greedy, and the opportunistic. So have whites,
Protestants, Chinese, Christians, Africans, Polish ... pretty
much any "group" that cares to discriminate and call attention
to itself as a demographic group. People are subject
to tyranny. It does not serve us well to continue to discriminate
among ourselves, to identify ourselves by a "blood stripe"
of our own, and to seed hatred in the name of tribal pride.
2003 Tocqevillian Magazine