Category Archives: Articles

Name Change

We should talk through issues. Maybe I am missing the mark but my understanding is that the reason for changing names is to make an organization or organizations more inclusive more inviting. I arrived at my political maturity at the height of Chicano nationalism and while I worked mostly with Mexican American organizations I never felt that I was not interacting with other groups.Diverse experiences are not found only through Chicana/o or Latino organizations. I guess because I liked food I was always attracted to other cultures. I found that most of the people I worked with professionally were white, Black and Asian. Few were Mexican. At the time there were only 3 million Mexican Americans in the US. But like today it was not difficult to get involved with other groups there were plenty of them as there are today. I encourage my students to get involved in Los Angeles’ trade union movement. Go to Black Lives Matter actions. I don’t know if it has changed but at the time it was hands off Cuba and the Vietnam War. I went to functions of the CDC (California Democratic Council), the Quakers and was always being recruited by a left group. Went to several study groups. Every place I would turn I would see Pierre Mandel. Quite frankly I did not want to talk to most whites only the political ones, I had gone to school with them and was always a minority. Leftist were like family you could fight with them. I have continued working with Chicanos and Central Americans because I want to and believe that our issues should be addressed. Like Dr. Ernesto Galarza used to say, the Democratic Party loves Mexicans but we are always number 9 on the list and they never get down to Number 9.Being part of a Mexican or Latino organization is to remind people of the issues that inflict No. 9. Everyone has criticisms. My criticism of Mecha today is that it is too social and not political enough. The competition from fraternities and sororities has moved it to the right. Getting old so I don’t get out much but I remember groups such as the Workman’s Circle who I did not always agree with and criticized but I enjoyed listening to the war stories. Diversity comes from participation not sitting at a student meeting. Anyway it was always a good excuse to go to Canter’s on Fairfax when I was a kid it was on Brooklyn and Soto.

Cuaron

I am not taking anything away from Alfonso Cuaron, his progressive credentials are impeccable and I congratulate him for opening a much neglected conversation of Mexican racism toward its indigenous people. However, Cuaron I fear had a Father Miguel Hidalgo moment. Hidalgo led a massive army made up of Indigenous followers. Rallied by Hidalgo’s grito:  “¡Viva la religión y mueran los gachupines!” the Indigenous masses flocked to his revolutionary banner. His troops numbered in the tens of thousands as they approached Mexico City, but Hidalgo fearing a massacre did not attack the Azteca capital. Instead the revolution died in midstream. Cuaron like Hidalgo arrived at a similar moment of truth last night. In accepting the Oscar he said that that Roma was a critique of servants throughout the Mexico and the world putting it into the context of a class struggle, with which I do not quarrel. However, just like Hidalgo’s initial revolution the theme of the movie was much more. It was about race and maybe it is time to kill the gachupine in all of us that keeps racism against the First People alive. It is specifically about the gachupine, it is about racism.

Venezuela: No “P” on My forehead

No “P” On My Forehead

Venezuela

No “P” On My Forehead by Rudy Acuña

I will be the first to admit that I am not an expert on what is happening in Venezuela but I know enough about the history of Latin America to say with certainty that the United States has caused most of the two continents misery. Porfirio Diaz was a dictator and tyrant but one of the few things I agreed with him is when he said “Pobre Mexico tan lejos de dios y tan cerca de los estados unidoes.”  I have read countless accounts of Americans bleeding with compassion for Mexican oligarch’s who supported Diaz and how the US should intervene for humanitarian reasons. No one objected to the tyranny of these elites who sold Yaqui People to Yucatan at 25 pesos a head so American investors could develop the Yaqui Valley or the oppression of the Mexican peasantry. Villa, the tyrant, according to them had to be brought down. Throughout the 20th century we landed marines to insure that oligarchs could be installed as American puppets so Americans could have access to land and natural resources. The communists were going to take over take over the government. When Fidel liberated Cuba, again the communist were going to take over. The people to Americans meant white oligarchs who enjoyed tremendous privileges were going to have to live like black Cubans. In 1974 Arbenz had to go, neoliberalism would cure Chile’s problems. The same occurred during the 1980s in Guatemala, el Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras. We were ensuring democracy and order. Now we are supporting a butcher in Brazil who is beginning a genocide of indigenous people with the US sprinkling him with holy water. Well I just cannot buy that we should bleed for oligarchs because there a leveling of society is taking place and poor little fresas can go back and do what the always do look down on  “pinche indios” and “pinche negros.” Logic and my heart tell me that the U,.S. does not give a shit about the poor.R

TO THE PUBLISHER. “Occupied America ” 12-7-18

Rudy Acuña – TO THE PUBLISHER. “Occupied America “Sorry that I…

TO THE PUBLISHER. “Occupied America

“Sorry that I was in a rush about the LOs.[Learning Objectives] Since my heart surgery I have had to walk. As always you made me think. One of the conclusions I have come to is that the book does not belong with Pearson, it has not felt right since Harper and Row. I have taught K-12. In elementary school the teacher is on center stage.In Middle and high school the textbook is the center of the teaching experience. In college the stage shifts.At 86 it is a whole different ball of wax. I teach two classes, a lecture class with 45-50 students and an online class with 80-95 students. The textbook becomes a tool not the teacher. Even the lecture class is a hybrid. In both classes the computer is at the center. Canvas necessitates having learning objectives built into the course (not the book). Teaching is taken to a different level. Although I prefer the lecture class I have to admit Canvas makes it easier. Exams, assignments are all posted and I just have to adjust to the classes. Like the LO the computer keeps it focused.

College students have their own computers or at least access. What makes Pearson different than Harper is that Pearson sells to institutions . It does not sell to the mass market. Its books are generally supplements rather than texts. Texts sell through college bookstores that are monopolized by giants such as Follett that have a monopoly. The rub comes in the difference between a text and a trade-book. Occupied America is a monograph that is treated like a textbook and Longman and then Pearson have wanted to convert into a textbook confusing its identity. The problem is also l with me. I am a teacher but also a skeptic. In truth, I should have left Occupied America as is after the first edition and moved on.”

Rudy Acuña

The Neo-liberal University

We have been fighting with the Cal State Northridge administration for some time over the privatization of the university. Today students pay $7000 annually for tuition, $300 for parking, $950 to rent a “bed” in a dorm that their student fees paid for, $3500 for a meal ticket, over a $1000 for books from the college bookstore. Today I tried to buy a small cup of coffee from the Freudian Sip and it cost $1.90; sushi over $8i. No wonder my students struggled through three jobs and were homeless. Then I see this sign from the school mascot, the Matador, saying that it was unpatriotic to buy off campus where 4 students can get an apartment $600 a piece, cook their own meals and get a cup of coffee for a dollar and park their car there. Down the street on Reseda at Shogun they can buy sushi for $3.85 an order. In my humble Mexican mind i think that it is the Matador who should be grateful. It is probably because I come from the Solent Green generation that paid no tuition and for a dollar bought a cuo of coffee with a huge cinnamon roll.

Roots of White Supremacy

Roots of White Supremacy

Rudy Acuña

I could not sleep last night. I was wrapped up in the final edit of the 9th Edition of Occupied America. I am on the Arizona chapter where the Indigenous People reached an incredible development that ignorance and racism has almost wiped. This led me to ponder the differences between American and Spanish Colonialism. It is a sensitive topic since so many Mexican/Latinos either suffer from a colonial mentality or historical amnesia. Without the guidance of theory or methods I came down to simple examples.

Spanish Colonialism subjugated a people integrating them into a caste that was based on color. Where the subjects had limited rights and expanded duties based that were on color. British/American colonialism was based on the Old Testament and justified and made inevitable the annihilation that was god’s will. In various forms it is present in white supremacy ideology.

Fight Back!!@

The silence of the lambs – Rudy Acuña

I wondered how masses of people could be herded to the ovens without a fight. Today’s so-called vote on cloture reminds me that the victims of the holocaust were not unique. I ask myself “where have all the radicals gone.” In large part I blame the Democrats, they have no shame. They knew the rules and knew that Trump would obstruct. His Rasputin Mitch McConnell is the worse of them all, viagra doesn’t even help him.

Yes, there were people in the streets who I applaud but it had to be something bigger and this was up to the Democrats who like Republicans have cashed in by getting elected to public office.

Only a pendejo believed that the FBI would be impartial, the strings were controlled by Trump who has never done an honest thing in his life. I kept on looking for a counter strategy; the most I got was Dian Feinstein. IF THE PROCESS IS FLAWED, invent your own process. The Democrats have raised millions on the issue. They should have rented out the Staple Center and conducted their own investigations calling and paying for the expenses of every witness not interviewed by the FBI. The media would have picked it up and paid for entrance. When a tree falls there is no sound unless someone hears it.

Feinstein, Schumer and all the other eunuchs just sit there. A counter narrative is lost. We do not live in a democracy, civility has become censorship especially when the other side does not respect it.