Once thought to be among the most uncritically patriotic of communities, Mexican Americans created a massive antiwar movement during the Viet Nam period. Since that time, corporate and government managers have sought to erase this history in order to replace it with a passive “Hispanic” identity that fits well with conservative national agendas. On the threshold of another unnecessary war, the spirit of Chicano/a progressive politics reappears. The following open letter, signed by representatives from every sector of the Chicano/a community, has been delivered to the appropriate members of Congress. It calls for members to vote “no” on granting the Bush administration unlimited war powers. It demands that the nation’s priorities be shifted from a growing militarism to issues of health care, education, low-cost housing, and other social needs.
From the 2002 Chicana/o Moratorium for Peace and Justice
No First Strike In Iraq or Anywhere Else
Fund Peace Not War
La Raza Humana, Si. Guerra, No!
We call on Congress to reject the Bush administration’s resolution to authorize military action against Iraq. We do not want Congress or the United Nations to delegate authority to the Bush administration to carry out a “1st strike” attack on Iraq or any other nation. We have seen no evidence to support the administration’s allegations that Iraq constitutes a threat to U.S. national security. We believe that military escalation is not the road to lessening tensions in the Middle East nor will it reduce the threat of terrorism.
As a community that has sacrificed many of its young in U.S. wars, we resent the campaign of fear and prejudice being waged by the Bush administration to justify militaristic foreign and domestic policies and so we must speak out. We believe there is a need for disarmament, especially the elimination of weapons of mass destruction. But the U.S. is the only country capable of destroying the globe with its weapons. Let disarmament begin at home.
Tyranny must never be appeased. Therefore the Bush administration’s tyranny must be opposed. Bush’s campaign of fear and prejudice is a corruption of our nation’s pledge of liberty and justice for all. We demand that our representatives reject the administration’s resolution. Vote Funds For Peace Not Funds For War! La Raza humana, si. Guerra, no!
Maria Sesena, San Diego
Dr. Alberto Ochoa, San Diego
Dr. Mariaelean Ochoa, San Diego
Irene Mata, San Diego
Dr. Darlene Muzquiz Guerrero, San Diego
Cecilia Ubilla, San Diego
Dr, Max Parra, San Diego
Maria Y. Fuentes, San Diego
Dr. Rosaura Sanchez, San Diego
Dr. Robert Alvarez, San Diego
Rosalia Salinas, San Diego
Dr. Michael Monteon, San Diego
Dr. Natalia Molina, San Diego
Fredi Avalos, San Marcos
Brent E. Beltran, National City
Submitted by Rosalio Munoz (RosalioMunoz@cs.com) and Dr. Jorge Mariscal.