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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Race Issues in the Recall

September 06, 2003

Congratulations on the free ride you gave to MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan). According to your Aug. 30 article, a document titled "El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan" does not reflect its current goals. However, I checked MEChA's national Web pages. This document was among those considered "essential to the philosophy of MEChA." The site said, "Every MEChista should be familiar with them." This document starts out talking about "the brutal 'gringo' invasion of our territories" and saying that "Aztlan" does not belong to "the foreign Europeans." Rather, Aztlan belongs to the "bronze people" with the "bronze culture." The whole document is permeated with the call for racial and cultural separatism by "La Raza" and has numerous derogatory references to "gringo."

Another essential document is "El Plan de Santa Barbara." One reads about antagonism and the emphasis on separatism between the Chicano and Anglo American society. These two documents leave no doubt MEChA falls into the same category as other racist organizations calling for racial separatism.

Stephen M. Kirby

Chino

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I am appalled at state Sen. Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) comparing MEChA to the Ku Klux Klan. I have never heard of any MEChA chapter lynching anyone or burning crosses. I am a product of MEChA's efforts to encourage Chicano youth to go to college. I was a high school and college member in the '70s and '80s. MEChA-sponsored conferences and events were geared to promote higher education. Recruiters encouraged all ethnicities. During this period, MEChA contributed to the increase of high school graduates and the surge of minorities in higher education. Its 34-year history proves why it is a mainstream student organization.

The first time I heard the slanderous accusation that the organization promotes the return of the southwestern United States to Mexico was on talk radio during the 2002 Los Angeles mayoral election. Reactionaries put the fear factor in small-minded people that mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa was linked to MEChA, a "racist organization." They are at it again with gubernatorial candidate Cruz Bustamante.

Ramon Zavala

Pomona

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The juxtaposition of The Times' Aug. 30 reports on putatively pro-Latino groups like MEChA and the League of United Latin American Citizens -- whitewashing the "bronze nation" Aztlanders of MEChA in the former case while in the latter bashing Arnold Schwarzenegger's membership in the pro-common-language group known as U.S. English -- is, well, loco! Schwarzenegger should maintain his ties with U.S. English, but Bustamante must disavow his with the racist, separatist, U.S.-stole-the-Southwest from Mexico (including California, by the way) MEChA.

Harvey Pearson

Los Angeles

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Bustamante is a racist because he joined MEChA? What are Papa Bush, Junior Bush and John Kerry? They belong to a really scary organization: Yale's Skull and Bones Society.

Tom Freeman

Pinon Hills

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"Shedding Some Light on Bustamante's Dark Activist Past" (Sept. 3) personifies the real meaning of bigotry and sarcasm among certain Hispanics in the community. I will agree with Steve Lopez -- load all of his yahoos aboard buses and create a hideaway for them somewhere in Death Valley -- if he will agree to have the millions of illegal immigrants in this state boarded on buses for their final destinations of Mexico and Central America. Please do not brag about the number of Latinos in this state and the so-called power they wield when millions are law-breaking fugitives who will now be able to get a driver's license in California. Is this a great country or what?

William P. Mouzis

Lake Balboa

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