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Raza Press, Media, and Popular Expression



Journal of the Raza Press and Media Association

Spring 2011

• La Verdad • La Calles y La Torcida • Voz del Pueblo • Venceremos • Pueblo Unido • Clavo En El Corazon • Radio Free Aztlan •

Guerrillera/os de la Pluma

Journal of the Raza Press and Media Association


A Reflection on the Critical Ethnic Studies Conference


Editors’ Note: The following report is based on a day to day participation by the Raza Press and Media Association (RPMA) at this year’s Critical Ethnic Studies (CES) and the Future of Genocide Conference. The RPMA sacrificed a lot of time and resources to participate, which meant having to drive back in forth from Los Angeles to Riverside, sleep on couches, and pack bologna sandwiches for lunch. This is the economic reality and struggle that the majority of our community is struggling with right now, but, we found it very important to have a community organization presence at the CES conference. The RPMA organized the following panel, “Chicano Studies Within the Academic Industrial Complex (AIC) and the Struggle for Raza Liberation” which included Jose G. Moreno and Luis Moreno of Michigan State University, David Rodriguez of California State RPMA CONSTITUTION

(Ratified January 24, 2008)


• Create A Movement of Progressive and Revolutionary Media Workers

• To Establish A Raza News Wire Service. • Hold On-Going Workshops And Conferences To Advance Raza Press, Media, And Popular Expression. • Establish An Editorial Board To Oversee Joint Publications. • Pool Existing Resources To Assist Publications And To Establish New Ones. • Establishment of a Collection Of Periodicals, Past, And Current.


University and Francisco Romero of Raza Press and Media Association.


rom March 10-12, 2011, the Critical Ethnic Studies (CES) and the Future of Genocide Conference was held at the University of California at Riverside (UCR), a conference which was essentially organized by a collective effort of faculty from the UCR College of Humanities and Social Sciences, along with support from a handful of faculty from the University of Michigan and University of California Post-Doctorate Fellows. The conference was attended by well over 1,000 participants coming from nearly every single state, as well as Puerto Rico and consisted of six major plenary sessions including over 200 workshops and panels. First, we should commend the organizing committee members and all of the volunteers that worked tirelessly on the programming and logis-

Guerrillera/os de la Pluma Editor

Luis Moreno

Managing Editor Ernesto Bustillos

Associate Editor Jose G. Moreno


Ernesto Bustillos Francisco Romero Marc Baca Pablo Aceves Darren Lee Brown Kelly Flores

Raza Press and Media Association Editorial Board 2010-2011

Ernesto Bustillos Francisco Romero Antonio Velasquez Luis Moreno

Raza Press, Media, and Popular Expression



• Must Be Raza Publications/Media Workers Who Are Independent Of Government Agencies. • Members Must Supp ort Raza Self-Determination. • Must Adhere To Democratically Reached Decisions. • Must Supp ort General Objectives Of The Association. • Must Supp ort The Struggles Of Other Indigenous People, Latino Americanos (Raza), and All Opp ressed People Within And Outside The U.S.


• Admission To All RPMA Events (conferences, summ its, etc.) • Membership Card and RPMA Press Card . • RPMA Reference (for emp loyment, grant purposes etc.). • Technical Assistance In Media Production.

• Voice In The Direction of the RPMA. • Knowing That You Are Fighting for Justice, Peace, and Liberation


• Mesa Directiva/Editorial Board Will Consist Of a) Coordinator, b) Events, c) Membership, d) Publications, And e) Member at Large. • Mesa Will Serve As Coordinating Body To Insure Comm unication And Comp letion Of Tasks. • Mesa Will Also Serve As Editorial Board For All RPMA


• Standing Comm ittees Will Be Established As Needed. • Mesa Directiva Will Organize A Yearly Summ it Or Conference.

Raza Press, Media, and Popular Expression



BY ERNESTO BUSTILLOS Editor’s Note: The following is a reconstruction of notes taken from a presentation given by Ernesto Bustillos (Coordinator of the Raza Press and Media Association (RPMA) and Raza Studies teacher) at the International Conference On Hate, Censorship, and Forbidden Curricula, on December 3, 2010. The conference took place in at the University of ArizonaTucson, from December 2-4, 2010. It was part of a panel titled “In Defense of Raza Studies: A Science Of The People”. The panel also included Pablo Aceves (RPMA and Unión del Barrio, San Diego, CA), and Francisco Romero (RPMA and Unión del Barrio, Oxnard, CA). Compañeros y Compañeras:


irst of all we want to thank the organizers of this conference, especially compañero Roberto Rodriguez for putting this very important gathering together.(1) We also want to thank all of you for being here this afternoon. Today, we want to provide a very brief historical and current analysis of Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies and time permitting, engage in a dialogue of comments, questions, and answers. We want to start our presentations by introducing ourselves. As some of you know, the Raza Press and Media Association (RPMA) was re-established in 1990 as the Chicano Press Association (CPA). We say, “re-established”, because the CPA existed as a network of movement newspapers, journals, and magazines

during Chicano Power Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. In an effort to be more inclusive the CPA changed its name to Raza Press and Media Association. We felt the changing the name from Chicano to “Raza”, would incorporate the growing number of Raza from Centro America and other parts of Latin America living within “Occupied America”, or what some people call the “U.S.A.” The RPMA was re-established with the goal of creating a media that would provide a voice to progressive and revolutionary activism –something that was absent in 1990 and a situation, generally speaking, that continues today. We don’t hide the fact that we, RPMA, are on the side of Raza liberation and the liberation of all people throughout the world. CHICANA/O STUDIES/RAZA STUDIES IS IMPORTANT TO RAZA JOURNALISM The re-establishment of the CPA took place at a retreat held in San Diego. The staff of the newspaper, La Verdad, a publication of the Unión del Barrio, organized the meeting. It was a response to a call made to progressive and revolutionary publications to come together to discuss the role of media in the struggle and how we could unite and make our voice more effective. Those attending the summit were cognizant of the importance of Chicana/o Studies Studies to the goals of the RPMA. Specifically, we understood that without some form of Chicana/o Studies, the development of Raza journalists and media workers would be impossible. We were

very much aware that for a Raza media worker be progressive or revolutionary, had to be knowledgeable of the community and the ideas and the actions on which she or he was describing, documenting, or reporting. A knowledge that comes from studying the history, culture, and needs of our community – here we are talking about the curriculum found in Chicana/o Studies-Raza Studies. CHICANA/O STUDIES/RAZA STUDIES WAS BORN IN STRUGGLE! Compañeros y Compañeras, to understand the situation in which Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies finds itself today and its relationship to our community, we must know its roots and conditions in which it has existed; especially its internal and external contradictions. Externally, since its inception, Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies and the studies of other oppressed nations (Black Studies, Native American, and Asian-American Studies) have been confronted with ruthless opposition from the capitalist-colonialist system. The “colonial-racist state” [U.S. government] has always worked to destroy, any and all for forms of noncolonial education –including multicultural studies and bilingual education. The settler-state knows well that without a colonial education [white-European centered education], colonialism cannot exist. This is why we say that any analysis or historical account of Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies must grasp the fact that it was born in struggle; that it has existed in struggle; and that today is involved in a struggle for survival. SEE “EDUCATION” PAGE 8


Guerrillera/os de la Pluma

Journal of the Raza Press and Media Association

RPMA Reading List

Social Justice and the City by David Harvey JJJ Celebrate People’s History!: The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution by John MacPhee JJJ The Hidden 1970s: Histories Radicalism by Dan Berger JJJ


Migra!: A History of the U.S. Border Patrol by Kelly Lytle Hernandez JJJ Stolen Revolution by Pablo Aceves JJJ Education, Chicano Studies, and Raza liberation! by Ernesto Bustillos JJJ Dismantling the Empire: America’s Last Best Hope by Chalmers Johnson JJJ Brown-Eyed Children of the Sun: Lessons from the Chicano Movement, 1965-1975 by Jorge Mariscal JJJ Schooling in Capitalist America: Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life by Samuel Bowles JJJ Quixote’s Soldiers: A Local History of the Chicano Movement, 1966-1981 by David Montejano JJJ





ack D. Forbes,….Windtalker… a man with a vision, an elder, a warrior, an activist scholar, a leader, and a poet. To many whose goal is society’s progression toward justice and equity, Jack Forbes was a man who bridged truth and knowledge. He wrote unprecedented scholarly articles of indigenousaboriginal civilizations that were truncated by European imperialism, colonization, and squatting on the Continent of Anahuac, currently known as America. In line with formidable courage as was his ancestral tradition, Jack Forbes challenged the academic establishment –unraveling American mythology and demagogy of hate. Forbes redrew Native and Mexican history on the continent. For many, Forbes’ writings were a spiritual return to the homeland. And for many of us in the “Chicano Movement” of the late 1960s and early 1970s, reading his early texts and books reaffirmed that we were in our homeland of Aztlán. Forbes work affirmed that Chicano history was in fact real. His academic activism was a model for a scholarship connected to the community.

Forbes demonstrated unfailingly that his intellectual discourse held mountains of information. Most of his works destroyed common myths about natives, uprooted contradictions, found anomalies in mainstream stereotypes and subverted dogmas. Much of Forbes’ work was about exposing expansionist and imperialist lies and contradicting revisionist history aimed at dimming the rich history of indige n o u s people. He radically challenged the colonized formations of identity for many people who have native DNA in their blood. Forbes ignited a movement to correct the adverse effects of the historical whitewashing of an ancient people’s traditions with a healing of knowledge. He helped expand the idea of who is an Indian and countered the erasure of historical legacies. Forbes was honored throughout his life for the inspiration he gave to Chicanas/os around the issue of their indigenous roots and their reinvigorated sense of purpose against European infamy. Jack D. Forbes was born in 1934. He received his PhD in 1959 from the University of California. He wrote numerous scholarly books that SEE “FORBES” PAGE 8

Raza Press, Media, and Popular Expression





he conviction of Shawna Forde for first degree murder on February 14, 2011 was significant in our history of repression for two primary reasons: the first being that typically the verdicts when White vigilante terrorists kills Brown or Black people (including children) they are not usually convicted nor are they legally considered hate crimes. The second reason being that it surprises us to the extent that it should cause everyone to pause and ask questions about media coverage of this crime against humanity and more specifically, our community was sparse and almost being nonexistent. In light of the perception that the U.S. is a country of laws and decency the connections between her and the Minutemen groups that spawned her crimes have not been even questioned. Guns in most of the US are an integral part of violent “American culture.” Porting firearms is like a practiced religion among racist Minutemen who often show up to their “peaceful” rallies carrying revealed 45 millimeter side arms. Many of us are aware of the outrageous facts of this heinous crime: The vigilante cowards broke into the family home in Arivaca Arizona disguised and identifying themselves as law enforcement agents. Most of us know that they murdered Raul Flores and his 9 year old daughter Brisenia in cold blood. We know that they shot and wounded her mother and Raul’s wife Gina Flores who managed to

shoot Bush with a gun legally owned handgun they had in the house (which is totally legal in Arizona by the way). It is no accident that during the trial, the prosecution attempted to portray Forde and her accomplices as “common thieves and murderers.”.

into question a legitimized culture of violence, and an atmosphere of intimidation and ethnic cleansing that did not just pop up recently, but has been instrumental in maintaining the white privilege and the status quo. Finally, they would have to expose the fact the true guilty party here is the US Government and its systemic violence against our people, as well as other Indigenous and colonized people within the current borders of the “United States.” This case shows the role and is a clear case of the use of colonial media in our oppression and it is seen here in three key areas:

J Keeping this case out of the

If the truth were told, they would be obligated to admit that this kind of violence is spawned by a colonizing society, that has always relied on violence by a white population armed to the teeth to protect its real and imagined privileges. They would have to say that Shawna Forde did what the Texas Rangers, Arizona Rangers, and other vigilante groups have done since 1848. They would have to call

national news and with as little coverage as possible on the local news in Tucson. What kept this case alive was the dedicated activism of Raza organizations and the use of independent, Raza and progressive journalism to get it to the public. J The public the criminalization of Brisenia’s family based on their ethnicity. The mainstream media hardly refuted the reckless justifications that the Flores family were drug dealers although no drugs were ever found in the home and there was absolutely no evidence that they engaged in any sort of crime. J Doing as much as possible to downplay the racism of Forde and her accomplices. Those of us who were able to find out about this case and the neo-Nazism of especially Forde and Eugene Bush (who awaits trial) did so because we had access to MinSEE “ARIZONA” PAGE 10


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Journal of the Raza Press and Media Association





am angry and always have been. Ever since I was a child I was dubbed the one to keep an eye on, the one with an attitude, the proverbial blacksheep. I am impatient. I am an agitator. I do not play around. It is no surprise what is happening to Ethnic Studies programs across the country. From the Hispanicization of Chicano/a Latino/a Studies, to the favoring of Diaspora studies within Asian American and African American Studies to the decimation of Indigenous Studies programs across the United States, Ethnic Studies is imploding as I write. The chief factor signaling the death of Ethnic Studies is the favoring of academics removed from the community at large. They are quick to posture a revolutionary stance on paper, but rarely take participatory actions. For the most part these bookbred pseudo-revolutionary “radicals” get aroused writing about resistance; however, they are anti-gun. They have forgotten the foundational influences of revolutionary thought in the creation of Ethnic Studies and write such an influence off as hyper-masculine, cultural nationalist, among other discrediting critiques. Their vested self-interest in securing tenure, a mortgage, and children dismiss their convenient political persuasions. They are hypocrites of the highest order. One must ask how were our respective disciplines robbed, taken from the people, and became just another bullshit course to fulfill a bogus multicultural requirement? It is pretty simple. It is all academics. Once our revolutionary approaches to education were co-opted by the establish-


ment under the guise of inclusion, a new order was created. Look at the cultural industries that have sprung forth ever since the creation of Ethnic Studies. Every respective community has its bookshelf, movies, and music. As a result, cultural blueprints were made favoring those fitting the bootstrap model- the American Dream. Capitalism reigns supreme. The global forces of capitalism influenced so called “transnational” theorists from around the globe to enter US academic institutions filling young impressionable minds with their bogus bullshit. As a result, the US experience fell by the way side in favor of these academics that have lived all around the globe sipping their wine and eating cheese while scoffing at their uncultured American counterparts. These parasites are no better than poverty pimps writing about communities they have never taken a part of. They write from a distance and keep the community at arms-length while typing in their comfy chairs as the populace suffers. For without its hardships, academics will have no career. These phonies do not participate in student actions or community endeavors. Their lives are ruled by publishing, pursuing tenure, and providing lip service to the populations they are supposedly serving. This leads to the question of students. Graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in Ethnic Studies are limited to mainstream disciplines (i.e, History or English) or counter-hegemonic studies (i.e., Cultural Studies and American Studies) that have unfortunately succumbed to the dismantling of the humanities across the country. Non-white students are recruited to diversify programs that are viewed as too white. This may be a

noble feat on behalf of the university system but it does not address issues of acclimating to a predominate white program of which some white graduate students will accuse their colleagues of benefiting from Affirmative Action. Such cries of “reverse racism” just prove that programs intended to uplift the disenfranchised have basically become an Affirmative Action program for whites. At the undergraduate level, the situation is just as dismal. Youth today, do not struggle to find representations as generations before them. Everything is offered on a platter via a smorgasbord of culture. This breeds complacency. The youth today are scared to fight. If they do fight, it is limited to the campus environment. Student activism needs to branch out into the community at large. This is not achieved by telling people about Fanon, Foucault, or Marx. This is achieved by getting off the proverbial academic high horse and back to reality by taking part in real day-to-day experiences not through a condescending “I know more than you approach.” Ultimately, culturally activated students need to get off the booze and drugs. They must come to the realization that such party time habits blunt collective politics and such drug-slinging traitors within our ranks are nothing but parasites bleeding us dry. Drugs prolong self-hate. We need clarity, not foggy pipedreams. As I awake from years of selfmedicated slumber, I cannot help but think how efforts could have been different without going into battle with a blunt sword. My experiences as a youth growing up in Alameda, SEE “ETHNIC STUDIES” PAGE 7

Raza Press, Media, and Popular Expression

Winter 2010 International Women’s Day:




Editor’s Note: On March 8th, 2011, close to 100 people gathered to commemorate the 100th anniversary of “International Women’s Day”, to bring attention to the continuing oppression of women, and to protest the U.S. wars against the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. The action took place in front of the Federal Building in Los Angeles and was organized by AF3IRM (Association of Filipinas, Feminists Fighting Imperialism, Re-feudalization, and Marginalization). The event was supported by several other groups, including A.R.E. (Association of Raza Educators), BAYAN, Comite de Mujeres Patricia Marin (CMPM), a project of Union del Barrio. The following are excerpts of a presentation delivered at the protest by Kelly Flores who was representing the CMPM.


hank you to AF3IRM for organizing this event and all the organizations and individuals for supporting and coming out. My name is Kelly Flores and I am a member of the Comité de Mujeres Patricia Marin (CMPM) and Union del Barrio –organizations that fight for Raza self-determination and liberation, including

and especially our women. The reality is that if we don’t end the double oppression that Raza women face, we will never be liberated. I am honored to be here with you all today and in solidarity with all our sisters and brothers around the world fighting against imperialism. We stand in unity with the demands m a d e here today, denouncing the U.S. military intervention around the globe. T h e violence against women, children and families is present in our everyday lives. We are referring to the militarized border where our people face the risk of death just trying to find a way to feed their families. Right here in Los Angeles, we face police and migra harassment: immigration raids and police checkpoints stealing our cars, deportations and incarceration of our people, and multiple methods of the separation of our familias. The truth is that Raza men and women who have committed no crime, are labeled and treated as criminals for crossing a border imposed on them by colonial wars and for capitalists profits. This war against our familias must be stopped. Alto a la Violencia contra las Mujeres! SEE “WOMEN” PAGE 9

tics for work that went into such a large-scale endeavor. Next, I will make some basic commentary and reflection, which is drawn from being there all three days and dialoguing with dozens of participants and by no means is a full and complete thorough assessment. Let’s start by looking at the overarching goals of the conference and see if these were met, then, perhaps, we can evaluate if these were approached and finally I will offer some constructive suggestions for future CES Conferences. The general objective of the conference was to “seek to structure inquiry around the logics of white supremacy, settler colonialism, capitalism and heteropatriarchy in order to expand the scope of ethnic studies,” and to “call into question the emphasis of professionalization within ethnic studies and the concomitant refusal to interrogate the politics of the academic industrial complex or to engage with larger movements of social transformation.” SEE “CES” PAGE 11 FROM “ETHNIC STUDIES” PAGE 6

Oakland, and San Francisco, being shuffled from house to house largely in part from having a mentally institutionalized mother and father working the graveyard and swing shifts in the glass factory speaks to the hardships and pains of making it in this country. Ethnic Studies provided a framework of understanding my family’s hardships in Amerikkka. Working collectively with compatriots for the past twenty years ultimately diverged into various paths – some losing their integrity altogether. That is what Ethnic Studies needs-a return to its fundamental core and integrity. In short, it is time to take your discipline back or abandon it. Leave it to the academics for we can erect our own institutions and organizations without them. We have done it before and we can do it again. J


Guerrillera/os de la Pluma

Journal of the Raza Press and Media Association FROM “FORBES” PAGE 4

chronicled United States savagery, while stealing a continent and the repression of its original inhabitants. Before his retirement from UC Davis in the mid-1990s, Jack worked hard to create strong Native American Studies program at UCD. His writings in the late 60’s greatly influenced the Tribal College Movement, which now consists of 35 colleges, for example D-Q University. Founded in 1971, Deganawidah-Quetzalcoatl University was established to preserve, promote and enhance Native traditions. Its primary goals were the advancement of traditional Native American values and beliefs, by establishing of a Native American Research Institute. Of great significance was the practicum of personal support systems for D-Q students and staff. Jack Forbes’ work resounded profoundly in the social movements of the70’s, as he bridged relationships between Africans and Indigenous Mexicans. He wrote of spirit-powers from Africa establishing relationships with the spirit-powers of the Americas and then mutually coming to respectful understandings, thus creating a prime movement for relationships between distinct communities and a socio-cultural and political power base. Unlike many professors that seclude themselves from the very community from which they emanate, Forbes took refuge in the activism and collectivity that served to meet the needs of a movement. He had great love for the human spirit and even greater love for those who had intolerance for injustice. Forbes shall live through the spirit of social justice that will continue to impel itself against U.S. racist, xenophobic and irrational fears yet to come. Jack Forbes, earthchild and wind-talker, a fierce warrior and great spirit, may he have a peaceful journey amidst thunderous clouds and continue on the good path. J

Radio Free Aztlan broadcasting from occupied territories 8


We absolutely agree with the position presented at the panel titled “Decolonizing The University” by one of the speakers who said that Ethnic Studies was born in the heat of struggle and would not exist if it were not for events such as the Third World Liberation Student Strike that took place at San Francisco State University in 1968-69. (2) The truth is that Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies came from a militant struggle waged by Raza activists during the Chicano Power Period. It was a “forced” concession won through struggle. But it was concession opposed by the colonialists; it was something never accepted by the system; and something that the colonialists were hell bent on destroying. CHICANA/O STUDIES/ RAZA STUDIES HAS ALWAYS FACED HATE AND CENSORSHIP We know well that historically the overwhelming majority of white professors and educators, and some confused Mexicans, have opposed Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies. In all campuses and schools where it existed, it was never given the “legitimacy” of being a “real” science, discipline, or field of study. At all times the colonialists worked to undermine it; some times secretly, other times openly. Therefore, we should not at all be surprised by the actions of the

settler-colonialists in Arizona and other parts of Occupied America, to destroy Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies. The fact is that Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies from its very beginning has faced censorship and hate. DEALING WITH THE ENEMY WITHIN On the other hand, internally, Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies has also faced tremendous contradictions. We can’t understand the current situation without looking at things critically. This means checking out both the internal and external contradictions facing Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies. In fact, before we can move into dealing with the external, we have to deal with the internal. This is the only logical way to approach things. And as many of you know, most of us don’t want to deal with the internal. Because dealing with the internal means “calling people out”. Oftentimes it means putting friends in check. Or confronting people that in some way or another, we fear. But we can’t deal with the external enemy, without dealing with the enemy within. We must come to terms with the reality that those of us who fought for the establishment of Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies were extremely politically naïve. We thought that if we hired a Mexican or Latino SEE “EDUCATION” PAGE 9

Raza Press, Media, and Popular Expression


to teach Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies, based solely on their “academic credentials” and how “sociable” they appeared to be, was enough. We failed to really take into consideration their past activism, or what “social class” they belonged to, or where they stood in regard to commitment and willingness to sacrifice for the liberation of our people; and this came back to haunt us. Soon after they were hire, it became apparent to many of us that most professors and instructors had no real interest in the survival and growth of a pro-liberation Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies. Most were not willing to risk their petty bourgeois lifestyle in favor of a Chicana/o Studies/ Raza Studies that would produce social activism and advance the liberation of the masses. Others were simply incompetent and some were just bigtime flakes; a situation that continues to exist today. This is why, for all intent and purposes, and in most places, Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies was eventually, and relatively easily, eliminated. Those most able and best situated to take on this struggle –the teachers, instructors, and professors– were unwilling to take risks. And since they had failed to produce activists, there existed few who were willing to struggle for its continuing existence. Many of you know

that there was a period of time, in the early 1970s, when Chicana/o Studies/ Raza Studies classes were found in most high schools and colleges throughout Aztlán. People in the community knew about Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies. This is no longer the case. Even on college campuses, most students know nothing about Chicana/o Studies/ Raza Studies. The reality is, that Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies, in the main, has failed to plant, to sow, an education that would produce anti- capitalism-colonialism activists. This is one of the reasons why today, we have so few who are willing struggle in defense of Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies. THE CURRENT SITUATION: A NON-ACTIVIST PEDAGOGY So generally speaking, we have a non-activist pedagogy existing within Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies today. In many cases, it has become a neo-colonial-institutionalized field of study that promotes very little, if any, critical working class/anti-colonial analysis and social activism. In most instances, its content is passive, watered-down, and overly “inclusive”. What we have is a Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies that: J Sees cultural pride and self-esteem as divisive. In order not to “offend” white students or anger the administration, its revolution-


Alto a la Violencia contra Nuestras Familias! Stop the Deportations and Mass incarcerations, Now! We demand full legalization for our people and end to the neo-colonial state, where we are second or third class citizens in our own land! We must understand that now more than ever, we, women –must raise our voices against the colonial imperialist wars at home and around the world. It is important that we stand in solidarity with all the women who fighting against all forms repression, femicide, and the political terror coming down in Mexico. It is a terror that is aided by the U.S. government. We therefore demand an end to the U.S. military aid to Mexico, to weapons trafficking, and U.S. intervention, including the so-called “free-trade” agreement. This past year, for political reasons, and under the guise of “drug wars” –has been a year of mass repression and killings of women in Juarez and women activists throughout Mexico. We know that the drug wars are a screen by which the Mexican and U.S government used to hide behind and wash their hands of their corruption, blood, and responsibility for the more than 5000 women who have been raped, tortured and killed in the state of Chihuahua. I would like to take a moment of silence in memory of three women activists killed recently in Juarez. Please join me in saying “presente” when I say their names, then we will take a moment to honor their struggle, which is also ours. Josefina Reyes-Presente! Susana Chavez-Presente! Marisela Escobedo-Presente! …and all the thousands of women murdered by capitalismimperialism! Porque el color de la sangre, Jamas se Olvida! The color of blood will never be forgotten! Gracias a tod@s! Que viva la Mujer en Lucha! J



Guerrillera/os de la Pluma FROM ““ARIZONA” ” PAGE 5

utemen Websites, to her pronunciations in the past and to videos of her talking about needing a gun in the Border region, the fact that she was saying that Raza were making “America” a “Third World Country,” and other racist twaddle . But hardly any of this was exposed in the trial. The prosecution framed this racist hate crime as Forde wanting “to change America.” Those of us who have seen these scenarios played out over history are not surprised. This case has a semblance to a similar tragedy that didn’t end in a trial but in a shootout in 1984 in San Ysidro, Califas where a notorious racist, James Huberty went literally “hunting” Mexicans. It was sanitized by the media that hereportedly told his wife that he was going hunting….”humans.” Huberty and found a McDonalds full of women and children and opened fire with an automatic rifle. This desperado was finally shot by the SD Swat Team but not until after he had calmly reloaded a couple of times and victimized as many as Mexicans as he had in sight. During the ensuing weeks and the talk of this crime, any mention of his racism, his problems with his Raza neighbors, the fact that he walked around in camouflage militia style paramilitary garb was downplayed. The flavor of that crime is reminiscent in the case of Brisena Flores. Mainstream media and the current system of white washed occupied


Journal of the Raza Press and Media Association

America are guilty of whipping the White population into a racist nativist hysteria that now wants to absolve itself and pretend that this is a case of a simple home invasion gone awry. It is also shocking to see how quickly the media was able to accept the explanations of equally racist crazies like Chris Simcox of yet another Minutemen faction, who have since Forde’s indictment been on TV often saying that she was a representative of the Minutemen and even ran for City Council on that platform but have how denied her membership. Even more aburd and hypocritical and typical of these spineless racist hooligan is “national Minuteman Leader” Jim Gilchrist, who is himself an embezzler of Minuteman funds went from avidly defending this murderous white racist to getting as far away from her as he possibly could. And the media, which is able to play 9-11 over and over again for us and to post Osama Bin Laden’s image on cue when anyone talks about ending the US imperialist invasion of Afghanistan is paradoxically content to turn a blind eye this entire episode. Even the “liberal/ progressive” media as pointed out by Mark Day, a columnist writing for La Prensa San Diego elected not to pursue the story. He gave the Forde verdict a scant 11 column inches, while the New York Times digested it in a gulp like news brief, and the Washington Post ignored it enSEE “ARIZONA” PAGE 11


ary-nationalist character is minimized. The pride that comes from the cultural knowledge needed to overcome the crisis of oppression is downplayed. The absence of Raza Studies at the High School level is one of the reasons that our youth continue to kill each other, or sellout to capitalism and imperialism by joining the military. J Opposes its original aim, which was so clearly laidout by compa Nelson Maldonado when he explained that the goal of Raza Studies, Asian Studies, and African Studies, was to struggle for decolonization through three stages: (a) create Identity, which was to lead to (b) Knowledge, and through knowledge, (c) create Power. J Has become “non-problem or solution oriented”. Few teach Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies courses as tools for solving problems. It has become a dead academic exercise; we find no praxis in most Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies classes. IMPLICATIONS AND RAMIFICATIONS OF THE CURRENT SITUATION Today we see that in most instances, the main mission of Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies, its main reason for existence, which is to contribute to the national liberation of Mexicans and other oppressed people –is missing. It is not producing Raza activists, organizers, leaders, thinkers; the types

of people needed to find solutions to our oppression and required for a revolutionary transformation of society. Earlier today, some of us were having a discussion. I posed the question, “Who do you see or consider, within our struggle, to be a “revolutionary theoretician”. We couldn’t name one! If we are to ever win our liberation, and this is why most of us are here today, and knowing that history teaches us that we cannot have a revolution without a revolutionary theory, then the question of theory needs our immediate attention. We raise this question because Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies was, according to those who fought for it, to be the spaces where the theory and ideas of liberation were to be formulated. Compañeros y Compañeras, with 50 million Raza within the borders of the United States, it is unbelievable that we exist without any revolutionary theoreticians. Without revolution organizers, activists, and thinkers, we are doomed to continue to be dependent on “liberal” colonial institutions such as the Democratic Party, NGOs [social service agencies], Church, some elements of the whitemedia, etc. We’re talking about a situation where the great majority of us see no other option than to assimilate into a capitalist-white colonialist society, versus finding our own road –a

see next page


Raza Press, Media, and Popular Expression

Winter 2010 FROM “ARIZONA” PAGE 10

tirely. Progressive pundits such as Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, and Lawrence O’Donnell also took a pass on the story.” You may ask yourself,… what does this mean, when these forces, who came out against SB1070 and like to go around calling themselves progressive won’t take an honest stand on something as heinous and diametrically opposed to common decency as this? It should be mentioned these same voices spoke with righteous indignation at the Tucson shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, also 9 year old Christina Green, and others in a shopping mall earlier this year. That shooting has provoked national outrage, calls for gun control, and rhetoric that the extreme right has finally gone too far. Any honest media organization would argue that there are very clear reasons for this, which no one wants to discuss.

Brisenia, her father, and her mother are considered Mexican. The aforementioned shooting victims in Tucson were white. One white victim was a US Congresswoman. No matter how liberals try to deny this and how much “responsible Hispanic leaders” will call this “emotionalism and demagoguery,” the self evident fact remains that the power dynamic of a wild wild West that is the same as it was 160+ years ago, absent lattes, hummers, and iPODS, demonstrates a current societal value in the U.S.; that a Mexicano/Indigenous life does not publically have the same human value as the life of a white human. The shootings in Tucson and the consensus that things have gone “too far” and that “we need to take a step back” are easily translated in the following manner: “It’s ok to terrorize Mexicans, and we can agree to disagree with takSEE “ARIZONA” PAGE 12


Generally speaking, these two main objectives of the conference were addressed and at minimal, there was a preliminary initiation of developing an entry point within critical ethnic studies in challenging the academic industrial complex and its distance away from the movements for social transformation (revolution) In a brief interview with the RPMA, Dylan Rodriguez, one of the core members of the organizing committee and current chair of the U.C. Riverside Ethnic Studies Department expressed, “the work of this conference was to try to make a small attempt to catalyze, or spark, or explode some type of intellectual movement against genocidal knowledge forms.” He also added, regarding the work of forging real, concrete ties with scholars and grassroots activists, “I am not

trying to make it simple or sound easy – the relationships between the different terrains of struggle are difficult, and doing the type of work being advocated here is not something that can be done overnight, it is hard political work.” From some of the commentary we heard prior to, during, and after the conference, the hope that the conference would set off a debate and discussion about the role of intellectuals within academia, critical ethnic studies and the relationship with social movements was achieved. For example on the online blog, unaffiliated with the organizers of the conference, was set up and one comment there leveled a sharp criticism at the plenary speakers, stating, “Its ironic that CES plenary speakers make these wonderfully radical calls to critical thinking & action yet they are highly SEE “CES” PAGE 14

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Guerrillera/os de la Pluma FROM “ARIZONA” PAGE 11

ing away their drivers licenses, threaten to put their children in orphanages and strip them of basic rights as human beings. But shooting a distinguished congresswoman and a little girl who looks like she just stepped out of a Norman Rockwell poster is just going too far. So NOW we are lulled into the notion that Raza must stop all the inflammatory rhetoric and critical thinking despite the capitalist savagery inflicted on a hard working people of struggle? An internet blogger David Niewert recently stated that this racial hate crime was not publicized because it goes “against the grain of the national discourse.” As a community we must first understand what that means if we are going to overcome this sort of smoke in mirror obscuration. More important, we have to understand who sets this so called “national discourse.” We are told-and it is something the Raza Press Association and other Raza media and forces in the movimiento have worked tirelessly to expose-that the media is “objective” and reports the “facts and the news.” However this was news. It was bone chilling, bloodcurdling news of a murder of a child and her father as well as the criminal assault on her mother. It was the kind of thing that usually advocates for the death penalty and stiffer prison sentences and more prisons use to publically argue their positions in favor of capital punishment. It should have had great news value, so why was it


kept buried on page 84? In short the national discourse at present propogates nativist paranoia and results in a perception that the “country” is “under attack” and that the response of militarizing our communities is the only solution. It engrains in the populace mindset that WE should be “thankful” that we will have “secure communities.” Over the last decade, in a way to prepare for global capitalism’s free fall militarizations abroad andat home have penetrated everything around us. In an unprecedented fasion, our children have the military engrained into them. The system, its mouthpieces and soundboards are anything but dim-witted. At a time when Raza are taking to the streets, and the people are electing so called “legitimate, responsible leaders” the last thing the system needs is for a case of overt racism, and the connections between the rhetoric of the ruling class and its flunkies and the violence it spawns to be aired. Manifest Destiny is alive and well today. The monsterous Shawna Forde was downplayed in a coordinated mainstream media “slight of hand.” Every attempt was made to show how “unstable” and troubled her life was. If the mainstream media had covered the contradictions evident in extreme U.S patriotism they would have had to admit that she was a typical White person who took the rhetoric she has heard, the “station” in life she grew up

Journal of the Raza Press and Media Association expecting that White Privilege is god’s law and intensified by the nonsense she is fed on the news and by racist politicians, this ignorant white trailer dweller was beguiled and did what millions like her have done throughout history and what many more would do as the conditions of failing savage capitalism affect her: she got a gun and started killing Mexicans. The government may want to convict her and close the case nice and neat, but we know and have to denounce that the US government is as guilty as if this had been an ICE Home Invasion like the ones they conduct in our community repeatedly. The media is an accessory to murder (the killing of one human being by another with intent), both for its racist dehumanizing, criminalizing campaign against Raza and for its silence in shirking its duty to objectively communicate the truth. Journalistic dishonesty is what we must get across to those self touting “respectable organizations” who repeatedly communicate that the government is responsible and preach an abrupt end to the transgressions. These organizations may be morally correct, but we have to understand the Government’s activity is not accidental, a blunder, or an oversight, but what they have systematically engaged in historically and whose primary objective is oppressing our gente. They use all weapons and tactics at their disposal- the foremost being media manipu-

lation which ironically is an activity funded by tax base created by the very targets of this repression. We also have to pause to see the irony of some of the blogs, pages, and other forms of communication that these bigots employed to defend Shawna Forde during her trial. Besides the fact that they can’t seem to make up their minds if they are celebrating the death of Raul and Brisenia Flores, or that Forde was held in dreadful conditions during her incarceration. These racist pendejos are the same people who engage in reptilian like behavior and have applauded the inhumane prison industrial complex system and concentration camp conditions that Sheriff Joe Arpaio has made our gente suffer in his concentration camp style jails, living in tents in the freezing and blistering desert conditions, denial of medical care, beatings, and striped uniforms with pink underwear. Brown people rounded up for walking on occupied land seems to be an outrage for many whites. However the affronting action of killing of an innocent nine year old girl and the obvious contradiction was never picked up by any of these “liberal” analysts: the Pima County Jail was where Forde has been locked up. She and her supporters have railed against Pima being “soft on crime and Immigration,” but had this happened in Maricopa County, Sheriff Joe would have had to treat her like any other prisoner-or would SEE “ARIZONA” PAGE 13

Raza Press, Media, and Popular Expression

Winter 2010 FROM “ARIZONA” PAGE 12

he? We will never know or discuss this because the media refused to ask the hard questions o rather any questions related to bigotry at all. This is clear and emphatic justification why Raza Media and an independent movimiento are so important. At minimum we MUST ask these questions in order to struggle in an organized fashion. We cannot ask the media and the Democratic Party nicely and appeal to their sensibilities, and just nature because their vision is skewed. There is no substitute for an independent Raza Media that can generate true and sovereign analysis of these events so that we can based on fact, mobilize our gente effectively in its own defense. And there is no substitute for a liberation movement that can struggle in defense of our community and one day stop racist attacks like this heinous murder and judge not only trailer trash like Shawna Forde but the capitalist-colonialist system that frogspawned her and other viscous bigots. J


road that leads to liberation. In fact there are people here today, and I don’t want to offend anyone, who push the Democratic Party on our people. (4) We oppose this. We believe in what Corky Gonzales used to say more than forty years ago: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are the two heads of the same monster. It was true then and its true now! (5)

WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS? We know that we must not criticize without providing solutions. Therefore, we are proposing some forms of activism and struggle that in our opinion will ensure the survival and growth of Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies as a science committed to the liberation of our communities. These include: J The need to ground our struggle on militant self-determination strategies and tactics. We must bring back Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies to its original goals. This calls for taking risks and making sacrifices. J Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies instructors have to engage in a dual struggle. We must to fight within and outside the academy. J We must build strong alliances, networks, coalitions, and organizations based on liberation politics and goals. We need to build forces that are capable of fighting white supremacy and capitalism. We need to ask ourselves: what are we doing to destroy capitalist-colonial system? J Internally, we must combat liberalism, individualism, parochialism, and uphold collectivism, accountability, and personal sacrifice. We can’t let those who live off our movement, off the hook, no matter if they are our friends. ORGANIZATION AND LIBERATION This is why we are here today, at this conference, within this workshop. We want to provide and put into action methods of struggle to ensure the survival and growth of Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies. We want to suggest alternatives to colonialist politics, ideologies, and organizations such as the Democratic Party. As a means to move forward a Chicana/o Studies/Raza Studies centered on liberation, the RPMA attends marches and rallies, we write articles, give workshops at high schools, organize meetings, and hit the streets with revolutionary propaganda. Some of our members have actively assisted the compas from Tucson in their struggle to save Raza Studies. This is why we are here. In closing we just want to say that we are open to improving our work and welcome positive criticism. We also want to invite all of you to join the RPMA and to struggle in an organized way –as only through organization will we be able to liberate ourselves. J Notes: (1) Professor at University, of Arizona, author, and one of the key organizers of the conference. (2) From late 1968 (Nov. 6, 1968) to the Spring of 1969, the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF), a coalition of students from oppressed nationalities at San Francisco State University, at that time a working class college, organized a strike. By early December, up to 5000 people were fighting the police on a daily basis in the central campus area. Their major demand was that classrooms teach about the struggles of third world peoples. Out of this movement came the establishment Ethnic Studies programs and departments in many California colleges and universities. (3) Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at Rutgers University, speaking during the conference at a workshop titled: “Decolonizing The University As A Social Movement”. (4) Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales died on April 12, 2005. He was the founder and leader of the movimiento organization the “Crusade For Justice”. Corky Gonzales was one of the most militant revolutionary activist our movement as ever produced. (5) At least one member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) was present at the conference. The CPUSA has energetically promoted and continues to uphold the “leader” of the capitalist-imperialist Democratic Party, Barack Obama.


Guerrillera/os de la Pluma FROM “CES” PAGE 11

professionalized & successfully entrenched in the academic industrial complex, as complicit institutionally as those at whom they level critiques.” This comment was anonymous, which takes away from the seriousness and legitimacy of the critique and adds to argument of needing actual critical analysis sessions, dialogues, and debates where everyone can submit and add their take. Another one of the immediate concerns brought up was the cost of registering for the conference, which was $50 for registration and the onsite registration was $150, which automatically excluded a very large sector of the community that may not be able to afford the fee. Somehow, also, providing opportunities for housing, a local campsite or even a warehouse with access to showers, etc, can be located and reserved to assist those that may have wanted to stay for all three days, but may not have been able to pay hotel fees, and or travel back and forth from far distances. Another cost was the food and a possible way to involve participants is to create spaces for communal-type food preparation making healthy food dishes, water, and other basic nutritional snacks so as to not have to deal with Panda Express, etc. where the prices are very expensive. Maybe dedicate one or two dollars of the registration fees to buy mass supplies of some basic food


supplies and then call for donations at each of the plenary sessions to obtain more funds to then restock for the following day. These are daunting tasks, but with the creativity and imagination of all of the participants, I am sure this type of effort would engage some key missed opportunities and can create “community” amongst the participants versus simple greetings, handshakes, and sometimes lonely treks shuffling through the conference program across campus. Another observation was the limited participation of community organizations during the panel presentations, or a space for information tables from the different social movement within and outside of the region. Perhaps, for the next conference, there could be a certain amount of registrations reserved for community members and activists where the fees would be waived, this certainly would increase the presence of gente from the barrio to experience and participate in these discussions. Another thing to consider is to have a community-based event or action in the host city, similar to what the National Association of Chicana/Chicano Studies (NACCS) attempts. This would be a practical way to at a minimal have the local community involved and informed about the activities on the university campus. This event should be coordinated through dialogue and direct leadership from local community and grass-

Journal of the Raza Press and Media Association roots organizations, which can begin the development of communication ties between the halls of the university and the streets. Professor Rodriguez, in same brief interview, acknowledging that he himself gets caught up in the apparatus of the AIC, suggested that perhaps, in an effort to begin to forge the nexus between scholars, students and community stated, “not that long ago, a central part of peoples’ political work was to sit down and read together. I don’t read enough, and most of all I don’t get enough time to sit down and think enough with people. If you look at the long historical record of both successful and unsuccessful but no less glorious revolts, insurrections and rebellions, almost in every circumstance, those that had the most legs, caused the most trouble, and actually overturned oppressive regimes, had one of their foundations, grounded in folks collectively from all different levels of education and age groups, and frankly of different politics, taking deeply seriously the project of building a politic through collective study and dialogue. Let’s commit to read something once a month together and that will have inevitable effects how we will do our political work.” He went on to declare, “I challenge my colleagues to commit to, at minimum, participate and open up the doors to their conference halls,” for these meetings and reading circles. In a final comment,

I want to share, that as a grassroots barrio-organizer, it was great listening to the different presentations throughout the conference. In particular, the workshop entitled, “Interrogations from Within the Academic Industrial Complex” which was an all female panel discussion led by Professors Davalos, Méndez-Negrete, and López in which they described the methods the Academic Industrial Complex, led by white supremacist ideological control, neocolonialism and mechanisms of exclusion erase the peoples’ voices. Many do not have access, even at the university level, to the nearly 20 years of Chicano and Raza journals, books, studies and writings. Professor Méndez-Negrete discussed the need of overcoming our fears of writing and documenting our struggle, she sated, “If we don’t write, we die.” This one quote was etched into my corazón. Let us keep resisting and advancing struggle for liberation, let’s keep on writing our own history! Ps, sign me up for clean up detail for the next conference, I love to wash dishes and mop! J Un abrazo revolucionario. To view the Critical Ethnic Studies Conference details and program:

Raza Press, Media, and Popular Expression

Winter 2010


Who We Are:

The primary objective of the Raza Press and Media Association (RPMA) is to advance the struggle for Raza Self-Determination by promoting and unifying the progressive Raza press, media, and popular expression. Essential to this process is confronting stereotypes espoused by the U.S. mainstream media and press. The RPMA holds the position that Raza are colonized, indigenous people and that the so-called “Southwest U.S.” is in fact Aztlán, part of the Mexicano nation, stolen in the U.S. expansionist/imperialist war of 1846-1848. The RPMA is committed to combat all manifestations of oppression and exploitation. Central to putting into effect our objectives the RPMA membership will actively get involved in the day-to-day struggles being waged by our movement and by our people. As part of this movement activism, the RPMA is committed to organize study sessions, forums, give presentations and disseminate information/publications to our communities to help raise the political consciousness of nuestro pueblo.


Raza Press And Media Association P.O. Box 620095 San Diego, CA 92162

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A Call For Articles On Raza Press, Media, And Popular Expression For The Upcoming Issue... STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:

The Raza Press and Media Association is the only national group of progressive journalists working towards winning justice, peace, and freedom for all Mexicano-Latinos (Raza). We meet on a regular basis, have an organizational structure, principles of unity, objectives, and we consistently published journal, Guerrilleros de La Pluma. In response to the continuing and growing assaults on the right to information and freedom of expression, especially as it relates to Raza and other oppressed nationalities and peoples within the current borders of the United States, the Raza Press Association (formerly known as the Chicano Press Association) is making another call on Raza (students, journalists, community activists, and academicians) active in the field of media (journalism, radio, TV, popular art, spoken word, computer information, etc.) to submit articles related to the question of The Role of Raza Press, Media, And Popular Expression In Our Struggle For Democracy, Justice, And Self-determination.

The articles must address the historical/current onslaught on progressive and alternative thought. We see this fascist-racist attack coming down both “within the belly of the beast” from FBI, Police, Mainstream Media, Christian Right, Vendidos, etc., and externally from the CIA, Military Industrial Complex, Global Capitalism, and so forth. A major objective of these attacks on progressive thought is a conscious racist-capitalist effort to eliminate all programs which were initially developed for the purpose of advancing the educational and cultural development of the Raza community; for example: Chicano Studies, Ethnic Studies, Progressive Publications and Programs at Colleges and Universities, Raza Cultural Celebrations at elementary and high schools, Centro Culturales, and Bilingual/ Multicultural Education. Selected articles will be published in the Guerrilleros de la Pluma. Issues of Guerrilleros de La Pluma are distributed widely. Copies are circulated at political actions, colleges, libraries, and conferences; they are mailed Raza

prisoners and a subscribers list; the journal is also posted online (Internet). Literally thousands of people read the journal.


(1) articles must be between 3 and 5 pages (no longer please), typed and doubled space (Fonts 10 or 12 points). If you submit a research type working paper, when quoting, or referring to data, use footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography for documentation purposes. Writing styles that could be use are the following; Chicago, APA, and MLA. (2) send your articles via e-mail (newswire@ or on a floppy disk/ CD (i.e. MS Words, etc.) to the following address:


Guerrillera/os de la Pluma, Spring 2011  

Guerrillera/os de la Pluma, Spring 2011

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