In Los Angeles last year, cars were seen bearing illuminated signs that read “F--- you, this is still Mexico.” Not just a few cars. Thousands. This is but one sign of the hostility towards the United States that is growing among Mexicans living in this country.
As the number of Mexicans living in the U.S. has ballooned (growing from 2 million to 23 million over the past thirty years), so have the feelings of anti-Americanism among them. While the many Mexicans living in the U.S. are still law-abiding and loyal, there are disturbing signs that anti-Americanism is on the increase. Worse, it is being aided and abetted by the anti-Americanism of native American leftists.
When the Mexican national soccer team came to Los Angeles to play a match against the U.S. team in the summer of 2002, the loyalty of the fans was clear, as demonstrated by the number of Mexican flags waving across the city. Similar attitudes were shown at a 1998 match, with even more repulsive behavior by the Mexican fans. White members of the crowd were jeered at, cursed, soaked with beer, and otherwise harassed. Some in attendance even reported that the United States Marine Band was doused with urine.
The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) is one of the leaders in this anti-American movement. MALDEF is a supposed grass-roots organization that receives almost none of its money from the people it claims to support. In reality, they are funded by the Ford Foundation and take their ideological guidance from the anti-American leftists of the National Lawyers Guild. Among other things, they promote free college tuition for illegal immigrants, the lowering of educational standards to accommodate Hispanics, refusal to defend American borders, and the right of criminals to vote in U.S. elections. This is all from an organizational that proudly proclaims itself “the premiere Latino civil rights organization in the United States.”
In early 2002 the Mexican counsel general in San Jose, California, Marco Antonio Alcazar, visited a group of largely Hispanic ten- and eleven-year olds at a Salinas, California elementary school. There he extolled the virtues of Americans claiming Mexican citizenship and gave the school a collection of books from the Mexican government, designed “to help students understand Mexican history and culture.” In these books, the failure of Mexico – a nation secretly tormented by the fact that its northern neighbor has become the world’s leading society while it has remained a banana republic – is blamed on “American imperialism.” This, of course, is despite the fact that in 1867, we rescued Mexico from domination by an invading French army that had tried to plant an imperial flag there while we were rendered incapable of enforcing the Monroe Doctrine by the Civil War .
Is it any wonder that so many of our immigrants have contempt for our country and its traditions, when such a large number of native-born Americans feel the same way? From our schools, to our television shows, to the seats of our political power, widespread disdain is shown for many aspects of our nation’s culture and heritage. We are setting a very poor example for the newcomers to our country, regardless of their predispositions.
Nowhere is this worse than on college campuses. At the University of Houston, a popular mural covers an entire wall of the Student Center. This travesty of art depicts the United States in the guise of a monstrous Uncle Sam terrorizing the strong but defenseless Mexican people, his foot stomping on a book labeled the “U.S. Constitution.” When the school proposed painting over the mural during a renovation, such was the outcry from Latino students that the idea was quickly abandoned.
Such anti-Americanism among Mexican students is encouraged by the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, the country’s largest Hispanic student group. “Aztlan” is the name given to a section of the western United States (stretching as far north as Washington and east as Texas) that extremist Mexicans still dream of as their own. Among MEChA’s more outrageous positions is their open denial of the authority of the U.S. government. They pledge themselves to be an “indigenous people, who are sovereign and not subject to a foreign culture.” What they propose is nothing less than treason, a Mexican nation “autonomous and free” to be balkanized from within the United States. Not only does MEChA have chapters at most universities throughout the Southwest, they even have groups at some high schools, thus ensuring that young and suggestible minds can be corrupted early.
Of course, if anyone promoted a self-conscious racial nationalism on the same lines for white mainstream Americans, they would be condemned from one end of the political spectrum to the other. But let a half-baked pseudo-nation like “greater Mexico” (or “Palestine,” come to think of it, a nation that never appeared in maps or history books before the PLO invented it.) do it, and it’s politically correct, because they bear the sacred mantle of the Third World.
This doublespeak is also the focus of many Chicano Studies courses taught at colleges across the country, where the myth of Aztlan is presented as fact. The bible of these classes is the best-selling Occupied America, a book filled with anti-American vitriol, in which author Rodolfo Acuna offers up such poisonous theories as “Anglo control of Mexico's northwest territory is an occupation” and “Chicanos are not able to obtain justice [in the U.S.] because they are controlled and living in captivity.”
Such ideas are having an effect, too. During my abortive career as a professor at a California community college, my classes always included a number of students of Hispanic descent. When discussing the United States’ war with Mexico in the 1840s, I often received questions about how and why America had “stolen” Mexico’s land. That generally led to discussion of whether or not this territory would someday be reclaimed by Mexico. Although not universally so, this usually was regarded by the Mexican-American students as being not only desirable, but inevitable, particularly among those with the closest ties to Mexico.
Of course, these students who thought America’s ownership by right of conquest of conquest was illegitimate had no trouble with enjoying the fruits of our more developed civilization, and never mentioned that Mexico itself is a nation founded on conquests, both of the Aztecs (and others) by the Spanish and of prior Indian groups by the Aztecs.
This reconquista of the Southwestern United States – a movement to “take back” Texas, California, Arizona, and New Mexico, not by conquest, but by attrition – is the most obvious and potentially dangerous example of anti-American feelings in the Hispanic community. Mexicans intend to achieve this goal, in part, by immigrating to the area in such large numbers that they effectively, if not literally, claim the region for Mexico. This remains the primary goal of the “Brown Berets” of the Aztlan movement, self-styled freedom fighters who compare the United States government to Satan. They liken themselves to the Palestinians in Israel and wish for an intifada in the U.S. Not surprisingly, they are viciously anti-Semitic and racist towards everyone but themselves.
In their efforts at “reconquest,” Mexicans and Mexican-Americans have the full support and encouragement of the government of Mexico, particularly in the personage of President Vincente Fox. El Presidente is fond of saying that he is not the leader of 100 million Mexicans, but rather 123 million, the difference being those living in the United States. Fox isn’t the first to espouse this view. His predecessor, Ernesto Zedillo, once proclaimed, “I have proudly affirmed that the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders.” In other words, he is the sovereign of loyal Mexican citizens who just happen to be living in this country. This sentiment was subsequently backed up by the Mexican consul in Los Angeles, Jose Angel Pescador Osuna, who boldly stated that, “we are practicing la Reconquista in California.”
It is estimated that there are more than 3 million illegal immigrants from Mexico living in the United States today. What are we to make of residents whose first act as “new Americans” was to break the law? Apologists for illegal immigration (like President Fox) say that poverty in Mexico drives the hopeless to enter the U.S. in search of a better way of life. But it is impossible for this country to absorb such huge numbers of largely poor, illiterate people, especially when assimilation is the last thing they have in mind.
Historically, Mexican immigrants to the United States as a group have been among those least likely to become citizens. Although a number of reasons for this have been cited, one of the most compelling is the enduring attachment among Mexican immigrants to their home country. Unlike the immigrants of an earlier time, who generally were eager to adopt America whole-heartedly as citizens, the fealty of many Mexicans is much less secure. This dual nationality of Mexican-Americans is compounded by recent changes in Mexican law that allow even those expatriates who are American citizens to reclaim their Mexican nationality.
The potential impact of this division in loyalty is profound. If an immigrant’s heart is still given to Mexico, then it is not given to America. It is also quite apparent that the interests of the Mexican government (and her loyal citizens in the U.S.) are not always the same as those of the American government and the majority of our people. Whether the issue is illegal drugs, trade, or the economy, Mexico has a distinct agenda that is often at odds with our own.
The most tendentious issue between the two involves immigration. For many years now, the Mexican government has been calling for a large increase in the number of Mexicans allowed to legally immigrate to the United States each year. As if that weren’t enough, President Fox has also chastised the U.S. for the dangerous nature of the shared border, which often results in the deaths of those trying to enter the country illegally. He calls upon the United States to make the border safer for the thousands who would criminally enter.
Such ideas clearly go against the will of the majority of the American people, as revealed by a series of polls. (Recent studies conducted by Gallup, the New York Times, and Zogby International, among others, all indicate majority support for restricting immigration.) It would, therefore, be easy to simply dismiss these radical proposals, were it not for the organized and concerted efforts of Mexican-Americans to support these and other policies at the urging of the Mexican government. Those who are eligible to vote in the U.S. are constantly urged to “vote in the interests of Mexico” and “think Mexico first.” The Mexican government calls this deliberate advocacy of disloyalty among American citizens of Mexican heritage acercamiento (literally translated as “approach”).
This brand of shocking interference in the American political process by a foreign government would have been front-page news during the Cold War, but for Mexico today it is de rigueur. Former Speaker of the California State Assembly Antonio Villaraigosa said in 1999 that Mexican President Zedillo had “great impact in defeating Proposition 187,” the California measure to deny state services to illegal immigrants. One might wish Villaraigosa had made this statement with outrage, but in fact it was with pride. He later went on to nearly win the mayoralty of Los Angeles, a feat that surely would have been a great triumph for the Mexican government.
How is it that most Americans are completely unaware of this manipulation of our government and political system? One simple explanation is that they don’t speak or read Spanish. The Mexican media, including television, newspapers, and the Internet, doesn’t try to hide these efforts. There is no reason to: They know that most Americans wouldn’t understand what they heard, even if they were exposed to it. Further disguising their efforts is the benign public face the Mexican government puts on when speaking to American government, media, and corporations, the face that most Americans see and hear. There you will not hear of reconquista or acercamiento, but rather talk of cooperation and being “good neighbors.”
Confronting such a concerted and dedicated effort will not be easy. This is especially so if we are unwilling to even address the problem. We, as Americans, must stand-up against the derision of our culture and the lies about our history. Our fears of political incorrectness must no longer make us passively accept the hatred shown towards us by those living in our own country. Furthermore, if we are truly serious about protecting the prosperity and traditions we enjoy, we must start working towards a moratorium on immigration and a reinterpretation of the 14th Amendment. Otherwise, we will only continue to leave our borders insecure, our heritage under attack, and our safety in jeopardy.
At the very least, we should stop pretending that Mexico isn’t a foreign country, eager to pursue its own national interest at the expense of ours.