“There will be No Change”: Debunking the Illusion

Recent political developments in Mexico and the United States have killed any illusion that political change is possible through the electoral process. Bluntly, “there will be no change” and conditions will become much worse.

The disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa normalistas killed any moral authority that the Mexican state had that an alternative political party would make a difference. Almost simultaneously the Republican sweep ended the illusion of free elections, showing the collusion of elected officials and even the Supreme Court justices with Corporate America.

The crises ended the illusion that everyone had an equal vote, exposing the mechanisms of social control. This is important because the illusion creates a conformity and compliance with the laws and mores of society. Social control is the political processes that regulates individual and group and gives the state moral authority.

In Mexico there is no illusion among the masses that they can bring about political and social change through elections. Nevertheless, some had faith that the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) would end corruption. After all the PRD won the presidential elections of 2006 and 2012 but was robbed.

Political parties excite people, give people hope that they can win peacefully without a revolution.

The PRD was founded in Mexico City on May 5, 1989 by Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas along with other leftist leaders. It coalesced all of the left-wing parties as well as the progressive sector of the then ruling party el Partido Revolucionario Institucionalsuch, PRI. I remember at the time commenting, much to the chagrin of my Mexican comrades that the Left had been wiped out.

However, at the time there was hope. The organizers were convinced that they could unite the voters into a major political party and become an electoral force. The PRD did win important elections such as the Mexico City mayor’s office.

In the United States, the illusion of inclusion is much more engrained and varies from race to race and class to class. Minorities are latecomers to the process, but they are increasingly inculcated with the illusion of inclusion. Their political presence has increased as the number of Latino voters has become statistically more significant.

Mexican Americans are the oldest and most numerous of the Latino groups. Since at least the 1950s, they have had the illusion that they were becoming political players, and would share in in economic its economic bounties.

In the 1950s, Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans were the two largest Latino groups. In the Southwest anthropologists began referring to Mexican Americans as the sleeping giant. The term symbolized their potential to organize and demand equal opportunity. This became a popular phrase during the 1960s and the 1970s.

The sixties had brought new meaning to the illusion. In 1969, Raza Unida leader Jose Angel Gutierrez wrote, “The sleeping giant awakes.” In 1968 the ELA Student Walkouts and those in Texas laid a context for the future.

During the 1970s, the population grew as did electoral victories. This excited the base and encouraged regional Chicano organizations to take on national aspirations. Chicano leaders became national,  and they started the chant of “Hispanic Power”. In 1980, Raul Izaguirre, the head of the National Council of the Raza, announced the Age of the Hispanic. Its popularity grew to the point that the word Mexican became an endangered species. Soon the chant changed to “We’re Number 1.”

The 2010 Census counted 50.5 million “Hispanics” in the United States, making up 16.3% of the total population. (35 million were of Mexican origin). This population accounted for most of the nation’s growth—56 percent– from 2000 to 2010.

The popular illusion was that we could screw our way to power. However, fundamental changes were taking place in both countries. For instance, once Mexican Americans became middle class they had less babies. The poor multiplied and economic opportunity shrank. The price of higher education prevented universal access, and recruitment patterns shifted to bring in students with Pell grants or those attending magnet or charter schools.

In the 1980s, I used to ask my students if they are Bulldogs, Rough Riders, Tigers etc. Today most are from magnet or charter schools. The final implosion will come as the tuition rises and the federal government eliminates or drastically cuts back the size and amount of grants in aid. Then a crisis in confidence similar to that in Mexico will occur.

Meanwhile, it is significant that Iguala’s mayor, José Luis Abarca Velázquez and the Governor of Guerrero, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, are both members of the PRD, although it is evident that they also have ties with the government of Enrique Peña Nieto. Mexico is “a society already divided by social class, skin color, linguistic differences, clothing styles, the size of one’s bank account, zip codes, and a host of other frivolous matters has found new ways of demarcating distinct types of Mexicans: “good” versus “bad”; those that receive justice versus those that do not; and those that can versus those that do not even deserve to try.

Ayotzinapa sends the message that nobody cares. “Mexico’s political parties are only interested in representing and advancing their own interests. The left has lost its identity in its efforts to reach power.”

Ayotzinapa reveals the deterioration of Mexico’s political and social spheres.

In a brilliant analysis visiting scholar Lorena Ojeda writes: http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2014/11/04/not-everyone-mourns-for-ayotzinapas-students/

“The missing normalistas are poor, indigenous or mestizo (mixed-race), and brown-skinned. Their hair is straight, they are not particularly tall, and they speak with the accents of the countryside. Simply put, they are Mexicans. But their surnames – Tizapa, Jacinto, Patolzin, Ascencio, Tlatempa, and Lauro, among others – are not among Mexico’s famous, and they are more likely to be found in the country’s seemingly infinite number of mass graves, as opposed to a social club or the halls of the stock market. The divide between Mexicans has become so great that some are not even moved by the heartrending pain experienced by the parents whose sons are missing.”

The case of Ayotzinapa is symbolic of all that is wrong with Mexico

The normalista students are the poorest of the poor. They cultivate fields and raise domestic animals to pay for their schooling and subsistence. The government withdrew its financial support when the students began protesting the disappearance of their 43 classmates with the intention of starving them out.

They are peasants, like their parents and their grandparents. The 540 students are the sons of poor farmers in the Mountain, Sierra and Costa Chica [Little Coast] regions of Guerrero. They are proud of their origin.”

Meanwhile, the buildings are adorned in painted red, with images of Stalin, Lucio Cabañas and Che Guevara. “We do not bury our fallen comrades. We sow them so freedom might flourish.”

There is no silver bullet. Damage to the moral authority of the state is irreparable. La lucha sigue and

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

– by Dr. Rodolfo Acuña

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La Mission Film Showing in Boyle Heights (11/21/14)

La Mission

La Mission

Posted in Aztlan, Boyle Heights, Chicana/o, Chicana/o Activism, Chicana/o Art, Chicana/o Cinema, Chicana/o Community, Chicana/o Film, Chicana/o History, Chicana/o Identity, Chicana/o Ideology, Chicana/o Politics, Chicana/o Power, Chicana/o Youth, Chicano Movement, Decolonization, Education, Family, Gentrification, History, Indigenous, Knowledge, Land, Language, Los Angeles, Lowrider, Movimiento, MuXer, Nepantla, Resistance, San Francisco, Social justice, Solidarity, Spirituality, Unity | Leave a comment

Marisa Ronstadt in Boyle Heights on December 13

Marisa Ronstadt

Marisa Ronstadt

Posted in Aztlan, Boyle Heights, Chicana/o, Chicana/o Activism, Chicana/o Art, Chicana/o Community, Chicana/o Identity, Chicana/o Music, Chicana/o Studies, Community, Education, Fundraiser, Indigenous, Knowledge, Language, Movimiento, MuXer, Social justice, Solidarity, Unity | Leave a comment

Noches Rasquache in Boyle Heights

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Posted in Boyle Heights, Chicana/o, Chicana/o Activism, Chicana/o Art, Chicana/o Books, Chicana/o Community, Chicana/o Healing, Chicana/o Identity, Chicana/o Ideology, Chicana/o Literature, Chicana/o Medicine, Chicana/o Music, Chicana/o Poetry, Chicana/o Politics, Chicana/o Power, Chicana/o Studies, Chicana/o Theatre, Chicana/o Underground, Chicana/o Youth, Community, Cultura, Decolonization, Education, Family, History, Indigenous, Knowledge, Land, Language, Los Angeles, Maize, Mexica, Mexican, Migrant, Movimiento, MuXer, Nahuatl, Nepantla, Palabra, Politics, Quotes, Resistance, Social justice, Solidarity, Spirituality, Student Empowerment, Unity | Leave a comment

Sonia Henriquez at UCLA (November 20th)

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Sonia Henriquez

Posted in Aztlan, Chicana/o, Chicana/o Activism, Chicana/o Community, Chicana/o History, Chicana/o Identity, Chicana/o Ideology, Chicana/o Power, Chicana/o Studies, Community, Decolonization, Education, History, Indigenous, Knowledge, Land, Language, Los Angeles, Maize, Maya, Mexica, Migrant, Movimiento, MuXer, Nepantla, Palabra, Resistance, Social justice, Solidarity, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Unity | Leave a comment

Community for Carlos Montes Petition Walk in Boyle Heights (11/15/14 and 11/16/14))

Petition Walk

Petition Walk

Posted in Aztlan, Boyle Heights, California, Chicana/o, Chicana/o Activism, Chicana/o Community, Chicana/o History, Chicana/o Identity, Chicana/o Ideology, Chicana/o Politics, Chicana/o Power, Chicana/o Studies, Chicana/o Youth, Chicano Movement, Community, Cultura, Decolonization, Education, History, Indigenous, Knowledge, Language, Los Angeles, Movimiento, MuXer, Palabra, Politics, Resistance, Social justice, Solidarity, Unity | Leave a comment

Santino J. Rivera Talks Indie Publishing & Book “Magic” at Cypress Park Library (11/19/14)

SANTINO J. RIVERA TALKS INDIE PUBLISHING & BOOK “MAGIC” 11/19 AT CYPRESS PARK LIBRARY, L.A.

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Author/Publisher and owner of Broken Sword Publications, Santino J. Rivera, returns to Cypress Park Library in Los Angeles on NOvember 19th for a reading and to discuss independent publishing. Rivera will discuss indie publishing and share his knowledge about creating books with the community. Free and open to the public!

Event date and time

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Noon – 1:15 p.m.
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Description

Rivera, author of Demon in the Mirror and AmeriKKKan Stories, and publisher/editor of Josh Divine’s Ducktown, ¡Ban This! and Lowriting: Shots, Rides & Stories from the Chicano Soul, returns to Cypress Park Library to share his wealth of knowledge about publishing and books with the community.

Have you ever wanted to publish a book but don’t know where to start? Does book publishing seem like magic? Well, wonder no more – you too can publish a book and Rivera will show you how it’s done!

Copies of all Rivera’s books will be on sale and available for signing!

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Place:

Cypress Park Library,  1150 Cypress Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90065
(323) 224-0039

Contact

Cypress Park Library: (323) 224-0039 or on the web at: http://www.lapl.org/branches/cypress-park and @CypressParkLAPL.
Posted in Aztlan, Chicana/o, Chicana/o Art, Chicana/o Books, Chicana/o Community, Chicana/o Identity, Chicana/o Ideology, Chicana/o Literature, Chicana/o Studies, Chicana/o Underground, Chicana/o Youth, Community, Cultura, Cypress Park, Education, Knowledge, Los Angeles, Lowrider, Movimiento, Palabra, Resistance | Leave a comment

Night of Guerrilla Xicana/o Lit & Resistance in Boyle Heights (11-19-14)

NIGHT OF GUERRILLA XICANA/O LIT & RESISTANCE 11/19 BOYLE HEIGHTS

Lowriting

Un Solo Sol presents Lowriting on 11/19 in Boyle Heights for an evening of Guerrilla Xicana/o Literature and Resistance to take place in Mariachi Plaza.

Event Location: Un Solo Sol/Marichi Plaza, 1818 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90033 Tel: (323) 269-8680

Time: November 19th from 5:30 – 9:00 P.M.

Description:

This event, which will feature several underground Xicana/o authors, will speak truth to power as we reclaim our self-determination and forge our voices in the literary world and beyond. In a time that either seeks to commercialize our voices or erase them altogether, we must make our own path and lift each other up!

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For this evening of resistance, there will be readings and performances from several indie authors, in addition to Danza, community activism, food and drink and lowriders from Con Stilo Car Club.

Books from several authors will be available for purchase and signing as will photographs and merchandise from Art Meza aka Chicano Soul.

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Scheduled to appear for an evening of Guerrilla Xicana/o Literary Resistance and are:

Danza Kalpulli Tlaltekuhtli
Iris de Anda – Author
Mike the Poet – Author
Robert Flores – Author
Art Meza – Photographer/ Author
Carlos Montes – Legendary Activist
Frank Lechuga – Author
David Cid – Activist
Santino Rivera – Author/Publisher
John Nelson – Author
Viva Flores – Author
Lawrence Gandara – Author
Mayra Rangel – Activist
Karina Oliva Alvarado – Author
Emilio Medina – Artist
Con Stilo Car Club

Posted in Aztlan, Boyle Heights, Chicana/o, Chicana/o Activism, Chicana/o Art, Chicana/o Books, Chicana/o Community, Chicana/o History, Chicana/o Identity, Chicana/o Ideology, Chicana/o Music, Chicana/o Poetry, Chicana/o Politics, Chicana/o Power, Chicana/o Studies, Chicana/o Theatre, Chicana/o Underground, Chicana/o Youth, Chicano Movement, Community, Cultura, Danza Mexica, Decolonization, Education, Indigenous, Knowledge, Language, Los Angeles, Mexica, Mexican, Movimiento, MuXer, Nepantla, Palabra, Resistance, Social justice, Solidarity, Unity | Leave a comment

Lowriting in Los Angeles (November 17-19)

Lowriting in Los Angeles

Lowriting in Los Angeles

Posted in Aztlan, Chicana/o, Chicana/o Activism, Chicana/o Art, Chicana/o Community, Chicana/o History, Chicana/o Identity, Chicana/o Ideology, Chicana/o Literature, Chicana/o Poetry, Chicana/o Power, Chicana/o Youth, Chicano Movement, Community, Education, History, Indigenous, Knowledge, Language, Los Angeles, Movimiento, MuXer, Nepantla, Palabra, Resistance, Social justice, Unity | Leave a comment

Precious Knowledge film showing at the Community for Carlos Montes Campaign Office (November 14 at 5:30pm)

Precious Knowledge

Precious Knowledge

Posted in AmeriKKKa, Arizona, Aztlan, California, Chicana/o, Chicana/o Activism, Chicana/o Books, Chicana/o Community, Chicana/o History, Chicana/o Identity, Chicana/o Ideology, Chicana/o Politics, Chicana/o Power, Chicana/o Studies, Chicana/o Underground, Chicana/o Youth, Chicano Movement, Community, Cultura, Decolonization, Education, Ethnic Studies, History, Indigenous, Knowledge, Language, Maize, Mexica, Mexican, Movimiento, MuXer, Nahuatl, Palabra, Politics, Racism, Resistance, Social justice, Solidarity, Spirituality, Unity | Leave a comment