April 14, 2006

Editorial:

Las Marchas: What Did They All Mean?

Now that the Marches have subsided, the issue of Immigration reverts back to within the halls of the Senate. At the present, the non-Raza pundits and self-anointed political soothsayers are trying to define what all the Marches and Protest added up to. What did it mean to have hundreds of thousands of immigrants, citizen and non-citizens Latinos of most every nation in the hemisphere protest? What did it mean to have these Latinos being joined in their March, by thousand of non-Latino American Citizens!

In reading the Opinion Pieces, Editorials, and listening to the Talk-Show and Television pundits, the overwhelming sentiment seems to be that these Marchers did not demonstrate any real political power! They were, after all, only ignorant, uneducated poor immigrants, illegal or otherwise.

The White view, according to what was articulated in the Print and Electronic Media, was that the marches did not translate into power. Of course, it was these same pundits and soothsayers who had limited the debate to a one sided conversation amongst the Right-wing alarmist, who ramroded the HR 4437 Immigration Bill through the House of Congress. In a sense, the Right Wing extremist provided the catalyst that brought out the awesome protest! HR 4437 a Bill so misguided that it brought out representatives of all oppressed people to protest the arrogance of the Republicans, who, though they were elected to the Congress, forgot that they were- “ELECTED office and not AN-NOINTED to rule as Gods over the people of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

These misguided Pundits and politicians, have forgotten what the founding Principles of America were all about. It is those who come from foreign countries that do not have the guiding principles that Americans have been privileged to live by, that understand, very clearly what is at stake. They have no fear of taking to the streets in defense of these Principles that they so eagerly embrace and struggle to become a part of.

We, the Hispanics, Latinos, will continue to support the values that we share with the other Americans regardless of their color and/or nation of origin. It is not by chance that we share values.

The landscape for Hispanics has been changing and with each year of change the political growth of the community has exponentially grown. Examples of these signs of change can be seen in the growth and importance of the Latino Caucus and more recently the election of Antonio Villaraigosa as Mayor of Los Angeles where the term Chicano was readily associated with Villaraigosa.

The Chica-no, Mexican American, Hispanic community is demanding to be part of the American society. We saw the protest and marches, as manifestation of the Latino-Hispano community demanding to be a part of and share accountability with all other American citizens. The Hispanic community has 24 million eligible voters with a little less than half actually registered to vote. With the massive protest this equates to social power, a sense of being, a sense of community, and a sense of empowerment. The tangible effects of these marches and the coming together of la Gente motivates those that registered to vote to get out and vote and gives those who have not registered to vote a reason to register and vote, they have seen the impact that they as a community can have. Hope has been given to all those who live under oppressive governments, that in America those that come have an opportunity to find Freedom and Hope for the future.

The Hispanic-Latino communities are starting to burst out of the box that the power structure had carefully crafted to deal with this community, keeping the Hispanic community marginalized, powerless, and bereft of any hope for freedom and a future. Now the Hispanic community is coming together and loosely working together to form a nationwide coalition that will no longer stand in the shadows but shall come forth and stand together in the bright sun light of actual Freedom and Hope!

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