Saturday, April 29, 2006
Coming Soon To A Street Near You?
Still think it's a fringe ideology? This is only one of the many signs from the recent nationwide demonstrations promoting reconquista or a reconquering of the American Southwest by Mexico. Ostensibly demonstrating for what they call "immigrant rights", protesters exhibit a strong, widespread underlying attitude of Yankee-go-home. Organizers, downplaing the notion of reconquista, urged demonstrators to display American flags. Nativo Lopez, president of the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) in Los Angeles was infuriated when a reporter asked him about it. "I can't believe you're bothering me with such a minuscule, fringe element that has no resonance with this populous," he said.
Other groups such as La Voz de Aztlan, a Whittier, California based news service advocates a separatist state and criticizes Jews and "gringos". The Mexica Movement wants to "reconstruct" the United States as an "indigenous" nation called Anahuac. Professor Charles Truxillo of the University of New Mexico is calling for a sovereign Hispanic nation called Republica del Norte encompassing Northern Mexico, Baja California, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan or MEChA declares in its founding document, El Plan de Aztlan, "the independence of our mestizo nation". They also decry the "brutal gringo invasion" and say that land "rightfully ours will be fought for and defended".
In case you still believe these are fringe groups, consider that MEChA has included among its membership such Hispanic notables as Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamente. Federico Rangel, a University of Colorado graduate student and MEChA officer, says that "Aztlan isn't what people say it is, like the reconquista. It's a spiritual homeland to Chicanos".
Aztlan is the mythical place of origin of the Aztec people. The word is originally from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs and is a combination of [Az]tlatl, meaning "heron", and [tlan]tli, meaning "place of". Since it was the "place of the heron" and would therefore have to be near ocean waters, most experts place the location of Aztlan somewhere in Northwest Mexico. The adoption of Aztlan by Chicanos is a relatively recent development. Interestingly, because of the white plumage of the heron the connotative meaning of Aztlan is "Place of Whiteness".
The foregoing was cobbled together from various news articles and websites, in particular www.mexica.net. The "fringe" elements have been exposed and have issued a challenge. The only thing left to decide is how fringe they are and if your dog should be in the fight.