April 21, 2010
I wanted to write about un-schooling. I wanted to comment on the unnecessary photoshopping jobs I saw earlier. I wanted to log onto YouTube and watch a cat do something stupid. I wanted to clear my mind.
But I think the universe hates me.
On April 19th, Becky Boy went and said something that actually had me shaking with rage. I thought the ambient hydrogen around me was going to fuse. The relevant portions are at 3:40-4:45 and 8:07.
I take pride in being able to present information, make a coherent argument, and do so with, hopefully, some semblance of wit. I’ve been called out on a few things, and sometimes I’ve been wrong. However, before I get to my actual argument… Beck, wherever you are, I want you listen closely.
Screw you and the high horse you rode in on.
…Actually, I’d derive more pleasure if the horse screwed you instead.
Okay, so what was so wrong with that clip? Well, I could go on about how he categorized Nazis as Right-wing when not too long ago he was adamant they were Leftists. I could point out that the media didn’t call the protestors Tea Partiers as he claims. I could also go into a LOT of detail on how progressives and liberals and socialists are not the same as Nazis. My main problem is that he equated the National Council for La Raza with MS-13 and called them racist. For those who don’t know much about these groups, let’s have a little history lesson with Uncle Michel.
The NCLR started during the Civil Rights Movement, but, since media coverage focused primarily on African American protestors, Hispanics were generally on the fringe of the movement. We lacked support structures like the NAACP and African-American colleges. After investigations by Herman Gallegos, Dr. Julian Samora, and Dr. Ernesto Galarza, those initial activists created the Southwest Council of La Raza which, in 1978, became the National Council of La Raza. The organization is now the largest Hispanic rights advocacy group in the country.
Over the years, the NCLR has been criticized for being racist, encouraging Hispanic separatism, and otherwise undermining US sovereignty.
And now Beck’s put them on the same level as MS-13 and racists like neo-Nazis.
And who are MS-13, you may ask?
Let me put it this way. Think of the most hardcore, in-your-face, badass thug you can. You got it? Okay. MS-13 is the gang that guys like THAT tell campfire stories about to scare each other.
Mara Salvatrucha, otherwise known as MS-13, started as a paramilitary organization in El Salvador. The gang trained as a guerilla force and is an actual national security problem in Central America, targeting reporters, government officials, and anyone who gets in their way. Today, they are involved in the cartel wars in Mexico, too. Just to give you an idea of how violent MS-13 can be, these are guys who prefer to use machetes when killing someone. Not guns. Machetes. Dismembered corpses are a favorite calling card of theirs. They do things to their enemies that would make the Marquis de Sade gag.
Quick warning. This video has some violent images.
Is the NCLR on the same level as this gang?
Beck thinks so. He’s not the first. Over the years, even a member of Congress has accused the group of being in league with people who want to take back land seized from Mexico. They say that NCLR helps illegal immigrants.
Son of wrong.
But the biggest selling point for paranoid wing-nuts, the one that gets people like Beck all hot and moist at the thought of some Mexican invasion, is the last part of NCLR’s name.
He said it means “The Race,” and, as always, Glenn manages to avoid using any part of his brain past his ears.
In Spanish, as in English as most people who passed grade-school will tell you, words can have multiple meanings. “La Raza” can be translated as “The Race,” but only if you ignore the origin of the term as the NCLR and other groups use it. “La Raza” means “The People.” It was originally coined in the early 20th century by philosopher José Vasconcelos in the book La Raza Cosmica, or The Cosmic People. In his book, he talked about a future race that would be an amalgamation of all the races in the world. Vasconcelos singled out the mixed races in some parts of the Americas as a first step towards that new race because they were already mixing both native and European cultures, reaching a balance between the two.
Hispanics, he argued, also had traces of blood from people all over the world (White European, African, Asian-descended Native Americans, etc), making them the first step towards this genetically unified humanity.
Even more, the full term, “La Raza Cosmica,” refers to the ability of this future race to spread knowledge and bring people together, to usher in a new age. It’s about inclusion, not isolationism. No one is a member of La Raza. It’s an ideal that includes everyone but has not been achieved yet.
So was Glenn able to do the most basic thing and ASK someone what it meant? Did he Google it? Check Wikipedia? Ask a fifth-grader?
Instead, he placed the NCLR in the same league as drug-runners and sadists, as a group trying to bring down America.
They’re a civil rights group who help Hispanics, whites, Asians, blacks, and anyone who needs it. They send kids to school. Fund clinics. When you have nothing and can’t do it on your own, you need help. Although, given how Beck feels about helping others…
I keep going after Beck, who apparently wants to return this country to what it was in the 60′s, and others like him because this kind of rhetoric hurts. I’ve had to explain to people why I know Obama was born here. I’ve had to explain that Mexico doesn’t want to invade the United States. I’ve had people ask me if I’m actually here legally.
And I blame these wild conspiracy theories.
So, if you’re reading this and you don’t count yourself as Hispanic, I want to think about La Raza. The People. It’s about getting past race and bringing everyone together. Shades of brown, white, Asian, African, European… It’s a lofty goal, perhaps utopian in its unatainability, but I believe, truly believe, that the basic intention of getting past race is good.
Come on. You’re all invited. If you wish to be, you ARE La Raza.