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Old 06-17-2007, 06:44 PM
 
Location: SW Kansas
1,787 posts, read 3,349,001 times
Reputation: 1401

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Read this, see how old it is? And only now it is becoming common knowledge amount the general population.
Multiculturalism, Immigration and Aztlan - DASA - Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America (http://www.diversityalliance.org/docs/Chang-aztlan.html - broken link)
Quote:
MULTICULTURALISM, IMMIGRATION AND AZTLAN*
By Maria Hsia Chang
Professor of Political Science, University of Nevada Reno
One of the standard arguments invoked by those in favor of massive immigration into the United States is that our country is founded on immigrants who have always been successfully assimilated into America's mainstream culture and society. As one commentator put it, "Assimilation evokes the misty past of Ellis Island, through which millions entered, eventually seeing their descendants become as American as George Washington."1

Nothing more vividly testifies against that romantic faith in America's ability to continuously assimilate new members than the events of October 16, 1994 in Los Angeles. On that day, 70,000 people marched beneath "a sea of Mexican flags" protesting Proposition 187, a referendum measure that would deny many state benefits to illegal immigrants and their children. Two weeks later, more protestors marched down the street, this time carrying an American flag upside down.2 Both protests point to a disturbing and rising phenomenon of Chicano separatism in the United States — the product of a complex of forces, among which are multiculturalism and a generous immigration policy combined with a lax border control.

The Problem Chicanos refer to "people of Mexican descent in the United States" or "Mexican Americans in general."3 Today, there are reasons to believe that Chicanos as a group are unlike previous immigrants in that they are more likely to remain unassimilated and unintegrated, whether by choice or circumstance — resulting in the formation of a separate quasi-nation within the United States. More than that, there are Chicano political activists who intend to marry cultural separateness with territorial and political self-determination. The more moderate among them aspire to the cultural and political autonomy of "home rule". The radicals seek nothing less than secession from the United States whether to form their own sovereign state or to reunify with Mexico. Those who desire reunification with Mexico are irredentists who seek to reclaim Mexico's "lost" territories in the American Southwest.4 Whatever their goals, what animates all of them is the dream of Aztlan.

According to legend, Aztlan was the ancestral homeland of the Aztecs which they left in journeying southward to found Tenochtitlan, the center of their new civilization, which is today's Mexico City. Today, the "Nation of Aztlan" refers to the American southwestern states of California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, portions of Nevada, Utah, Colorado, which Chicano nationalists claim were stolen by the United States and must be reconquered (Reconquista) and reclaimed for Mexico.5 The myth of Aztlan was revived by Chicano political activists in the 1960s as a central symbol of Chicano nationalist ideology. In 1969, at the Chicano National Liberation Youth Conference in Denver, Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales put forth a political document entitled El Plan de Aztlan (Spiritual Plan of Aztlan).6 The Plan is a clarion call to Mexican-Americans to form a separate Chicano nation:


In the spirit of a new people that is conscious not only of its proud historial heritage, but also of the brutal "gringo" invasion of our territories, we, the Chicano inhabitants and civilizers of the nothern land of Aztlan from whence came our forefathers ...declare that the call of our blood is...our inevitable destiny.... Aztlan belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops, and not to the foreign Europeans. We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent.... Brotherhood unites us, and love for our brothers makes us a people whose time has come .... With our heart in our hands and our hands in the soil, we declare the independence of our mestizo nation. We are a bronze people with a bronze culture. Before the world, before all of North America, before all our brothers in the bronze continent, we are a nation, we are a union of free pueblos, we are Aztlan.7
How Chicanos are Unlike Previous Immigrants
Brent A. Nelson, writing in 1994, observed that in the 1980s America's Southwest had begun to be transformed into "a de facto nation"8 with its own culture, history, myth, geography, religion, education, and language.9 Whatever evidence there is indicates that Chicanos, as a group, are unlike previous waves of immigrants into the United States.

In the first place, many Chicanos do not consider themselves immigrants at all because their people "have been here for 450 years" before the English, French, or Dutch. Before California and the Southwest were seized by the United States, they were the lands of Spain and Mexico. As late as 1780 the Spanish crown laid claim to territories from Florida to California, and on the far side of the Mississippi up to the Great Lakes and the Rockies. Mexico held title to much of Spanish possessions in the United States until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American war in 1848. As a consequence, Mexicans "never accepted the borders drawn up by the 1848 treaty."10

That history has created among Chicanos a feeling of resentment for being "a conquered people," made part of the United States against their will and by the force of arms.11 Their resentment is amply expressed by Voz Fronteriza, a Chicano student publication,12 which referred to Border Patrol officers killed in the line of duty as "pigs (migra)" trying to defend "the false frontier."13

Chicanos are also distinct from other immigrant groups because of the geographic proximity of their native country. Their physical proximity to Mexico gives Chicanos "the option of life in both Americas, in two places and in two cultures, something earlier immigrants never had." Geographic proximity and ease of transportation are augmented by the media. Radio and television keep the spoken language alive and current so that Spanish, unlike the native languages of previous immigrants into the United States, "shows no sign of fading."14

A result of all that is the failure by Chicanos to be fully assimilated into the larger American society and culture. As Earl Shorris, author of Latinos: A Biography of the People, observed: "Latinos have been more resistant to the melting pot than any other group. Their entry en masse into the United States will test the limits of the American experiment...."15 The continuous influx of Mexican immigrants into the United States serve to continuously renew Chicano culture so that their sense of separateness will probably continue "far into the future...."16

There are other reasons for the failure of Chicano assimilation. Historically, a powerful force for assimilation was upward social mobility: Immigrants into the United States became assimilated as they rose in educational achievement and income. But today's post-industrial American economy, with its narrower paths to upward mobility, is making it more difficult for certain groups to improve their socioeconomic circumstances. Unionized factory jobs, which once provided a step up for the second generation of past waves of immigrants, have been disappearing for decades.



Last edited by Yac; 06-19-2007 at 05:45 AM.. Reason: shortened, copyright protection
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:48 AM
 
7,139 posts, read 12,902,141 times
Reputation: 2315
Great article, chele. Will try to "assimilate" it today!
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:42 PM
 
Location: SW Kansas
1,787 posts, read 3,349,001 times
Reputation: 1401
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilypad View Post
Great article, chele. Will try to "assimilate" it today!
I know, it's a lot to read. Basically the article says everything we have been saying, but was said almost 8 years ago!
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