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August 28, 2003

Faux News Smears Bustamante

FOXNews has jumped on the anti-MEChA bandwagon to smear Bustamante.

Here you have conservatives saying that folks like Strom Thurmond or nominated Appeals Court Bill Pickering, who voted for a range of racist laws and worked closely with real racist groups like the "Mississippi Sovereignty Commission," shouldn't have their past disqualify them from office, then turn around and slime Bustamante for being a member of a mainstream student group like MEChA.

Just look at the Lying Lies Used by Liars in the Fox News story above. See the phrases like "members of the group" or have been "associated" with some other group, or the random quoting of documents out of context.

The rightwing machine is in full play, first to mount the recall, now to slime Bustamante-- a Democrat so moderate he's endorsed Lieberman for god's sake. It's just more Big Lies.

Let's look at the mission of MEChA as stated by actual MEChA chapters, as opposed to the lies of its enemies.

  • Univ. of Oregon- "As the official voice of Chicano/a students at the University of Oregon, MEChA's main objective is to provide a feeling of community and security, while increasing the recruitment and retention of Oregon Chicanos/as."
  • Stanford- MEChA "works towards progressive changes in the Chicano/Latino community by advocating for educational equality. Our organization strongly believes in the right to a fair and adequate education. Education, we believe, is the key to improving the social and political situation of the Chicano/Latino community."
  • U of Texas- Austin- MEChA's goals are " To increase the number of Chicano students in higher education and to ensure that all necessary assistance if offered for successful completion." amd "To take part in the direction of the movement towards Chicano self-determination or control over one's destiny."
  • UC-Berkeley (long version)- "El Plan exhorts Mechistas to preserve Chicana/Chicano culture in this culturally diverse society, both in community and on campus. Thus, a Chicana/Chicano Nation is a necessity defined as an educational, socioeconomic, and empowered Chicana/Chicano community...the term Chicano is grounded in a philosophy, not a nationality. Chicanismo does not exclude anyone, rather it includes those who acknowledge and work toward the betterment of La Raza."
  • Or check out other MEChA web sites

    Nowhere is racism of any kind towards other groups advocated, nor the rightwing boogie-man of armed separatism or any such rightwing smears. No doubt there were individual members within MEChA way back who used such language, but for the organization as a whole, the idea of self-determination has been one of educational uplift within a multicultural country, as American a goal as apple pie. Anyone who has worked with MEChA students -- as I have -- can tell you they are committed to multi-racial organizing and respect towards people of all races, genders, and sexual orientation.

    They are a hell of a lot more tolerant and supportive of diversity than any of their critics.

    Update: A good article in the Arizona Republic emphasizing how radical this assault is on Bustamante, since it is really an attempt to destroy almost every existing latino politician through this smear. As this columnist notes:

    Among the prominent MEChistas hereabouts is John Loredo, the current Arizona House minority leader. I wouldn't be surprised if most Latino political leaders nationwide were MECHistas.
    This fight is now about a lot more than Bustamante; it's about defending a whole generation of latino leadership from the rightwing wurlitzer.

    Update: See GOP: Repudiate YAF for more on conservative hypocrisy on racism and Bustamante.

    And here documenting lies in the Fox report.

    Posted by Nathan at August 28, 2003 10:48 AM