A Historical Overview Part 2
By Herman Baca
It would be truly unbelievable if someone in our community in 2012 could honestly state that, “something is not fundamentally or systemically wrong politically in our ever growing community.” The recent Sweetwater Water District indictments by District Attorney, Bonnie Dumanis made that politically clear.
In politics there is an old saying, “sometimes what you see is not what you see, sometimes what you hear is not what you hear, and sometimes what is, isn’t!
When one views the large political picture, the facts are that something is fundamentally and systemically politically wrong in our communities. One only has to witness the increase of repressive official government legislation, and illegal hate groups that has led to vicious attacks on our peoples’ civil, constitutional and human rights. Many in our community question if the attacks are isolated, or well-planned concerted political attacks being initiated by a rapidly depopulating white controlled political system? A political system both at the national and local level that fully understands time is not on their side, and fears losing their economic and political control. Many persons in our communities have given up believing that President Obama, the Democratic and Republican Party, or His/Her Panics politicians are not going to do anything to stop the attacks.
The increased attacks at the national level have emanated mainly from Arizona (Nazizona) with its draconian SB 1070, legislation to destroy Chicano Studies (our history) and banning (Nazi style) of Native American and Chicano books. Former slave states such as South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas have legislated “Jim Crow” immigrations laws against persons of Mexicans ancestry. Adding insult to injury, New Mexico’s malinche Governor, Susana Martinez has desgraciamente lead white supremacist and Tea Party political lynching parties against her own people? The hate rhetoric, and legislation in those states have resulted in the murder by racist thugs in Pennsylvania of Mexican undocumented Luis Ramirez, and the hideous murder of 9 year old Brisenia Flores in Arizona by Minuteman.
In CA the political situation is no better. For starters the small city of Bell; 90 percent Mexican, median income $29,946, robbed by politicians/administrators with the full acquiescence of His/Her Panics politicians. The “legal” robbery included Bell’s city manager (Anglo) earning $787,637 per year, assistant manager (Anglo) $376,288 and Police Chief (Anglo) $457,000!
In SD County one would have to be deaf, blind and dumb (which most of the news media is) to deny the striking similarities between Bell, and National City, CA. NC like Bell is a poor city (the poorest in SD County), population 70% Mexican ancestry, household median income $39,000, NC city employees (non-safety) earn $55,000, while police and firemen earn $86,000?
Like Bell’s robbery, NC residents continue to be fleeced with the so-called 1 cent sales tax. One of the highest in CA, levied on the backs of SD County’s poorest residents; that adds up to 80-90 million dollars over a 10 year period!
In NC as in Bell, the fleecing/robbery has been …spearheaded by its white mayor with the unanimous acquiescence of its (4) elected His/Her Panics politicians!
Another example where things are even worse is North County, population close to 50% persons of Mexican ancestry. Five undocumented and unarmed persons have been killed by law enforcement officers. Escondido a segregated-apartheid city for Mexicans has a Sheriff Joe Apario, Texas Ranger style police force, and mayor and council that would have made Hitler proud in Nazi Germany. The city has approved ordinances against renting to Mexicans; illegal police check points, and permitting Ice Migra agents to ride along with its police officers, etc?
So why is this happening politically to our community?
History can only answer that question. Let’s not forget that in the late 60 our people did not even exist to U.S. political, social, and economic institutions. Our people were referred to as the silent, invisible, and forgotten minority. Politically we were represented in the entire California Legislature by one person of Mexican ancestry Assemblyman, Alex Garcia and in SD County, by National City Councilman, Louie Camacho.
Those dismal political facts finally began to change in 1959 when Bert Corona, Ed Roybal and Eduardo Quevedo organized (MAPA) the Mexican American Political Association. Ironically the first community based political victories in San Diego County were won in the South Bay School Boards Trustees elections. Individuals such as Ernie Azchoar, Ben Moreno, Oscar Canedo and others opened the political doors to those that followed, Peter Chacon (CA 2nd Assemblyman), City Councilman, Jess Haro, etc.
What are the historical political reasons for the above happening?
1. It’s apparent that the thousands of His/Her Panics politicians, along with most funded organizations such as the National Council of La Raza, etc. have provided no political solutions and failed our people. However the primary reason is; demographics, the only politically tangible that has changed in our community in the last 43 years?” I bet, “in those 43 years our population has increased 10 fold,” but unfortunately, “our political stupidity has increased 50 fold!”
2. La faulta of a political infrastructure to protect, advance our interests, and make politicians (especially our own) accountable. For that to be done, “If you are going to be in politics, you have to know how to count, either people or money, because that is the basis of all political power.” However, “they have to be organized people and organized money, because politics is not a game of individuals but one of competing interests.” The question for our community is…where are our organized people and money?
3. Our exploding population that will soon make us the majority in CA and other Southwestern States. However, if the process to educate our people (not only in schools, but with knowledge of their history, language, and culture), politicize them, and organize them fails; our fundamental and systemic issues/problems will only get worse. And if fail to historically address the above…we, our children and future generations will surely live under an apartheid system like the world witnessed in South Africa!
Baca is president of the Committee on Chicano Rights in National City. Part I of this perspective was published Jan 20. You can find this article on our website at: http://laprensa-sandiego.org/?p=16147