Tag Archives: Acuna

Are you a Mexican or an American first?

June 27, 2014

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Commentary: By Rodolfo F. Acuña What are you, a Mexican or an American? This was a question asked frequently when I was a growing — much more than it is today. This is perhaps because at that time we were clearly a minority and racism was more transparent and acceptable. It was a time when […]

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“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” Time for a Latino President

June 6, 2014

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Commentary: By Rodolfo F. Acuña James Boswell in The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1791) writes that Samuel Johnson made his famous adage that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” on the evening of April 7, 1775. Without knowing the context of the statement we have repeated the saying millions of times. It […]

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“Say It Ain’t so Monte!”

April 4, 2014

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Commentary: By Rodolfo F. Acuña This is probably the most difficult piece that I have written. Like many people of my generation I got involved in the Mexican American Movement because of the dropout problem, and because few Mexican origin students were enrolling in higher education. I first met you when you were a student […]

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Thanksgiving. El Día de los Pendejos? The Day of the Fools?

November 15, 2013

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Thanksgiving

Commentary: By Rodolfo F. Acuña British historian EJ Hobsbawm died just over a year ago. His works had a tremendous impact on my generation of progressive historians. He would take a theme and deconstruct it by using meticulous logic and documentation. Hobsbawm never suffocated his narrative with obtuse theory or meta-language. One of my favorites […]

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El Día de Los Muertos And Halloween Quo Vadis?

November 1, 2013

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By Rodolfo F. Acuña Mexicans, more than most races, seem preoccupied with death. Since colonial times Mexican laborers have continuously been uprooted, travelling thousands of miles from the interior of Mexico forging an El Camino Real to to mining camps and plantations in northern Mexico. They arrived in places like Zacatecas where they fanned out, […]

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Identity Crisis: An Arrested Development

October 25, 2013

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Commentary: By Rodolfo Acuña The debate as to what to name Chicana/o Studies will have future repercussions. The proposals are not new; they are not innovative; and they are symptomatic of the historical struggle of Mexican origin people in the United States to identify themselves. The problem is that the group has grown so large […]

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El Día De La Raza

October 11, 2013

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What happened to the indigenous race? Commentary: By Rodolfo F. Acuña When César Chávez was asked what he thought about the term la raza, he answered the question with a question, asking, what was wrong with the indigenous race? The word raza was popularized by José Vasconselos who in 1925 wrote an essay titled “La […]

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Rhetoric of War: Is there such a thing as a Just War?

September 13, 2013

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Commentary: By Rodolfo F. Acuña The rhetoric of war has evolved qualitatively since World War II. During this period, I have heard dozens of refined explanations as to why the United States is seemingly always waging war. The theory that has made the most sense is that of Senator J. William Fulbright during the Vietnam […]

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Chicana/o Identity: An Unresolved Question

August 16, 2013

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(The answer is not found in translation) Commentary: By Rodolfo F. Acuña For the past forty plus years, the question of Chicana/ identity has evoked passionate discussion. It got one of my favorite Chicano scholars, the late Dr. Ramón Ruiz, into hot water. Don Ramón for those of you who did not know him was […]

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Por eso estamos como estamos

July 26, 2013

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Commentary: By Rodolfo F. Acuña A simple definition of trust is “one in which confidence is placed” in someone or something else. It can be extended to products and/or future behavior. For example, I have often heard friends say, “Our relationship is founded on mutual love and trust.” The term is common to most languages. […]

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Sometimes You Have to Shout To be Heard

July 19, 2013

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Commentary: By Rodolfo F. Acuña Why should Latinos support Justice for Trayvon Martin? It is not the first time that I have been asked that question about another group. Take care of the family first. Through the years, people have questioned why I was against capital punishment and supported cases such as that of Mumia […]

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The Crabs, A Never Ending Story

July 5, 2013

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Commentary: By Rodolfo F. Acuña There are reoccurring themes in Chicana/o history such as the Sleeping Giant that echo the aspirations and frustrations of a community. This expression says that somehow we are going to wake up as a people and become a political force, and consequently get equal opportunities. The Sleeping Giant is a […]

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For-profit colleges wrong solution

June 14, 2013

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Commentary: By Rodolfo F. Acuña For-profit colleges are not the answer to the rising cost of higher education. This increase is having a disastrous impact on many poor and middle income Americans, and it’s disastrous for Mexican-American and other Latino communities. Over time, this trend will destroy all hope for millions of young people. Low-income […]

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Don’t Mess with Meskins

May 24, 2013

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Commentary: By Rodolfo F. Acuña In West Texas, during the struggles to desegregate the schools in the later part of the 1960s, I listened to attorney Mark Smith caution a small audience that, “You may not like Meskins, but the Constitution gives them the right to equal access to schools. Things have changed during the […]

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Since When Is Losing Winning?

May 3, 2013

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Commentary: By Rodolfo F. Acuña The other day I gave a presentation to teachers in Moorpark. Like always you can predict the question and answer period. More often than not you get friends in the audience who don’t ask questions but give speeches instead of questions. Everyone wants to be a presenter, and activists feel […]

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The Young Grow Old

April 12, 2013

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Commentary: By Rodolfo F. Acuña Rank and file Democrats are desperate for a turnaround of their political fortunes, and an end of the Robber Baron era — so much so that they see the recent elections as their deliverance. For them, the last presidential election was a sign that the country is turning to the […]

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Immigration: The Death of the Chicana/o Left

March 29, 2013

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By Rodolfo F. Acuña Prior to 1986 a clear Left voice could be heard on immigration reform. Among its priorities was that there would be no guest worker program, there would be no employer sanctions, there would be a more humane border enforcement policy, and there would be a clear path to citizenship with an […]

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