Joseph E. Fallon, American Renaissance, March 2000
Hispanics, as we are so frequently reminded, are the fastest-growing minority group in America. At just under 12 percent of the population, they are poised to overtake blacks, and massive immigration of Hispanics is the main reason whites are projected to become a minority sometime in the middle of the new century. There are now some 32 million Hispanics in the country, and the figure could more than triple to 98 million and 24 percent of the population in 50 years. Who are these people, what do they want, and who speaks in their name?
The four main Hispanic-interests pressure groups are the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), the National Council of La Raza (La Raza), and the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA). They have different histories and go about their work in different ways, but they are essentially united in their objectives. They promote the agenda of a racially- and ethnically-conscious group, largely composed of immigrants, whose interests frequently conflict with those of the majority. Indeed, these groups exist precisely because of these conflicts, and it is at those points on which Hispanic and American interests are most at odds that the groups are most active.
There are several general issues on which all Hispanic organizations agree. They want more immigration of their own people to the United States. They want as many government benefits as possible for non-citizens, whether in the country legally or not. They want to stop deportation of illegal aliens as a prelude to full amnesty. They want to spread the rights of American citizenship — some would include even the right to vote — to non-citizens. They want official recognition of their own culture, language, and national holidays, and as much public money as possible to promote them. To this end they want public school instruction and all government services in Spanish. They want place and street names, public monuments, and official observances to commemorate their history and their culture. They want recognition of Spanish as at least co-equal with English, and they support Spanish as the official language in areas in which Hispanics predominate. They want to expand all racial preference programs, and gear as many as possible to the explicit benefit of Hispanics.
In short, Hispanics want the very things they would achieve if they were able to invade and conquer the United States. Many activists do not hesitate to describe their goal as reconquista.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), which is the oldest and largest of the groups, was established in 1929 in Corpus Christi, Texas, by the merger of three rival, and often feuding, Mexican-Texan organizations: The Order Sons of American [sic], the Knights of America, and the League of Latin American Citizens.
Until the 1950s, LULAC was a middle-class, patriotic citizens’ organization with an agenda of traditional “Americanism” — Mexican-Americans must learn English and assimilate to “Anglo” culture. It stressed an American rather than Mexican identity, and an integral part of its work was promotion of U.S. citizenship and loyalty to the United States. LULAC rejected the idea that the American Southwest should be returned to Mexico, and opposed establishment of Spanish-language enclaves. Because illegal aliens from Mexico were violating U.S. laws and lowering wages for Mexican-Americans, LULAC endorsed immigration control and supported President Eisenhower’s “Operation Wetback,” which sent one million illegals back to Mexico.
By the 1950s, LULAC had discovered litigation, and in 1954 it took to the U.S. Supreme Court Hernandez v. Texas, the first “Hispanic” civil rights case. The Court overturned the murder conviction of a Mexican-American in Jackson County, Texas, on grounds that the composition of the jury was unconstitutional. Although Mexicans were 14 percent of the county, none had served on a jury for 25 years. LULAC argued that the absence of Mexicans on the jury violated the convicted murderer’s 14th Amendment rights. Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote that “persons of Mexican descent were a distinct class” — neither black nor white — and had to be an explicit part of the judicial process.
This victory spelled the beginning of the end for the original LULAC. No longer were Mexicans trying to be like Anglos; they were a separate class with separate goals to be achieved by separate interest groups. The old shell remains: The official colors of LULAC are still red, white, and blue; the official logo is still a shield emblazoned with the stars and stripes bearing the name “LULAC;” “Washington’s prayer” is still the official league prayer; “America” is still the official hymn, and members still recite the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings. But the LULAC that so vigorously championed traditional “Americanism” is gone. Today, it is an ethnic pressure group that opposes everything its founders stood for.
While the original LULAC asserted that Mexican-Americans had no interests other than those of other Americans, today its goal is the group entitlements clearly spelled out in its Legislative Platform displayed on its website (www. lulac.org).
Among its objectives: preferences for Hispanic small businesses; affirmative action hiring policies “to ensure diversity in all workplaces;” establishment of “Hispanic Serving Institutions” that would have “many of the same benefits provided to Historically Black Colleges and Universities;” more Hispanics at all levels of the federal government, especially in “key positions in the State Department, the Foreign Service and the United Nations;” appointment of 60 Hispanic judges; appointment of a Hispanic as the next Supreme Court justice; more “Hispanic-oriented programming in TV and print” as well as more Hispanics in “creative positions” in major media companies.
U.S. citizenship is no longer important to LULAC. “Residents of the United States” are now eligible for membership, and they don’t have to be legal residents. U.S. citizenship is not a qualification for league positions, whether elected or appointed.
In 1954, LULAC supported immigration control and mass deportation of illegal aliens. Today, it opposes both. José Velez, head of LULAC from 1990 to 1994, has said that the U.S. Border Patrol is “the enemy of my people and always will be.” Needless to say, LULAC opposes having the military defend U.S. borders — not even to stop drug smugglers — because “military personnel are not trained for border patrolling and might easily violate the civil rights of those they intervene with.”
In the 1950s, LULAC recognized English as the official language of the United States. Today, it vigorously opposes any official recognition of English. In 1996, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “English Language Empowerment Act” declaring English the official language, the league responded with an “Action Alert” claiming that “English-only is incredibly divisive because it sends the message that the culture of language minorities is inferior and illegal. With a dramatic increase in hate crimes and right wing terrorist attacks in the United States, the last thing we need is a frivolous bill to fuel the fires of racism.”
Compared to the multi-million-dollar Hispanic organizations funded by the Ford Foundation, LULAC is a financial piker. In 1997, for example, it had revenues of only $250,000, of which $67,000 was donations. It received $150,000 in membership fees, which does not exactly square with its claims to have a membership of “approximately 115,000.” That would mean dues of $1.30 a year, whereas annual membership is $25.00. At that rate, its $150,000 take works out to 6,000 members. The “approximately 115,000” looks awfully approximate. At the end of 1997, LULAC had $322,000 in assets, mostly cash. In its IRS filing it listed only two directors — a president and treasurer — both unpaid. At the same time and somewhat mysteriously, it managed to spend $150,000 on salaries and $62,000 on travel.
Every summer LULAC holds a National Convention & Exposition, which can be a big money-maker. In 1996 it appears to have turned a profit of more than $1 million. According to its IRS report for the year, it spent more than $390,000 on conferences and conventions, which must have been flossy affairs.
Ford Steps In
Ironically, one of the reasons LULAC dropped middle-class patriotism for the ethnic hustle was that it had to compete with the more radical Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and National Council of La Raza (La Raza) — which were not popular Hispanic organizations but creatures of the Ford Foundation.
Perhaps the best book about MAL-DEF is Importing Revolution: Open Borders and the Radical Agenda by William R. Hawkins, on which this account draws heavily. MALDEF’s founder, Peter Tijerina, was a disaffected LULAC chapter chairman who didn’t think the league had followed up on Hernandez v. Texas with enough legal activism. He wanted LULAC to copy the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (NAACP-LDF), and in 1966, he sent a league member to the NAACP-LDF’s Chicago convention. On the strength of contacts made at the convention, Jack Greenberg, president of the NAACP-LDF, arranged for Mr. Tijerina to meet Bill Pincus, head of the Ford Foundation. Mr. Pincus agreed to fund a new organization to push Mexican interests exactly the way the NAACP-LDF pushed black interests. Mr. Tijerina was MALDEF’s first executive director, and, in 1970, Mario Obledo, former Texas Attorney General, became General Counsel. The Foundation then awarded the organization a five-year grant of more than $2 million.
Ford handled more than just the money. It appointed the executive director, decided where the headquarters should be, and the type of legal cases to pursue. At first, MALDEF brought cases about education, school desegregation, voting rights, job discrimination, composition of draft boards, and the status of anti-Vietnam war protesters. Ford thought this wasn’t radical enough. It wanted precedent-setting cases to go all the way to the Supreme Court for rulings that would change the country. MALDEF duly redirected much of its efforts towards bilingual education and immigration.
In one of its most famous cases, MALDEF supported the plaintiffs in Lau v. Nichols, in which the Supreme Court required that non-English speaking students be taught in English or “other adequate instructional procedures.” MALDEF brilliantly misinterpreted this to mean education in languages other than English. The fund also sued for free public education for the children of illegal aliens, and got what it wanted in the 1982 ruling, Plyer v. Doe. These are perfect examples — just like Brown v. Board of Education — of clever, foundation-sponsored lawyers getting the courts to do things no democratically-elected legislative body would do.
MALDEF cases are exactly the kind one would expect. It fought California’s Proposition 187 that denied social services to illegals, and once it was voted in, filed a class-action suit challenging every provision. It filed suit in 1997 to abolish the requirement that Texas high school students pass the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TASS), claiming that the “test contributes to the high drop out rates among Mexican Americans and African Americans.” The fund sued in California, claiming school textbooks were biased against minorities. A number of figures associated with MALDEF have demanded that U.S. citizenship be eliminated as a requirement for voting. The fund successfully lobbied for the “motor-voter” bill of 1993 that allows voter registration at welfare offices or when applying for a drivers license, and discourages states from verifying an applicant’s eligibility or citizenship. Needless to say, it is now defending racial preferences at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
MALDEF opposes securing the Mexican border even to stop the flow of illegal drugs. When the Federal government launched “Joint Task Force Six” to combat drug smuggling along the border, MALDEF filed suit to halt the project, arguing that “it would cause irreparable damage to the human and physical environment in the area.” What does MALDEF want? According to Mario Obledo, who rose to become head of the fund, “California is going to be a Hispanic state. Anyone who does not like it should leave.” In 1998, President Clinton awarded Mr. Obledo the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
MALDEF gets funding from corporations — AT&T and IBM in particular — and foundations. For the period 1991-1995, the total amount of “gifts, grants and contributions” to MALDEF was over $17 million. Between 1996 and 1998, MALDEF received over nine million dollars from just three foundations: the vast majority — over six million dollars — from the Ford Foundation; $1,200,000 from the Carnegie Corporation, and another $1,525,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation. The fund does not even pretend to be a membership organization. Other than gifts, its main source of income is settlements and awards of attorneys’ fees in court cases. In 1995, for example, it collected over $1.1 million spread over a number of different cases. The largest award was $299,000 in something called Lopez v. Del Valle.
Another important source of income for MALDEF is fund-raising dinners, which it holds in places like San Antonio, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago. In 1996, the Los Angeles dinner brought in gross revenues of $306,000 but cheapskates in Chicago came through with only $135,000.
At the end of 1996, MALDEF had total assets of over $7 million, most of which was money in the bank. It reported $2.7 million in securities and another $2.7 million in short-term cash accounts. This was after it had splashed out $120,000 in salary and benefits to its president, Antonia Hernandez, and $93,900 to vice president Teresa Fay-Bustillos. Three other vice presidents — all Hispanics — got just over $50,000 each. A hired gringo, Al Kauffman, was the Senior Litigator who ran the legal work. He got $85,000, and his four best-paid staff lawyers got $50 to $60,000.
MALDEF spends some of its money training Hispanic law students to take over Al’s job. In 1996, Ruth Flores at Columbia Law School got the Valerie Kantor Memorial Scholarship and Christina Mireles at Northwestern School of Law got the Helena Rubenstein Scholarship. Thirteen other Hispanic law students got lesser scholarships; two thirds of the recipients were women, as are the top two officials at the fund.
MALDEF also wants more Hispanics in the media. As it explains, because of “the powerful position the media maintains in shaping and molding the beliefs and attitudes of the general public,” this important work cannot be left in the hands of gringos. The fund therefore dishes out $3,000 and $4,000 scholarships to promising young propagandists who fit the right ethnic profile. In 1996, the fund granted a total of 25 scholarships, all to Hispanics. It is probably safe to assume that citizenship or even legal residency are not requirements for MALDEF grants. If there were a similar organization that boasted about giving scholarships only to whites, MALDEF would file a discrimination suit.
MALDEF is an aggressive, well-funded group designed to advance explicit racial-ethnic interests at the expense of the white majority. Ironically, its support comes almost entirely from “Anglo” sources, without which it would collapse. Ford Foundation and IBM would be indignant at the idea of an organization that promoted white interests.
Ford’s other raven-haired child is the National Council of La Raza (“the Race”), which was established originally in 1968 as the Southwest Council of La Raza. According to its IRS filings La Raza’s purpose is to “improve life opportunities for Hispanic Americans.” In 1996, its biggest single expenditure for this purpose was to throw fancy parties. Every year it has a Congressional Awards Dinner, a national conference, and an American Latino Media Arts (ALMA) program at which it gives “Alma” awards. In 1996, these soirées cost no less than $3.9 million, or more than a quarter of the budget. La Raza says the hoopla is “designed to communicate the needs and concerns of the Hispanic community.”
Its other most expensive program is distribution of money to “Hispanic community-based organizations.” In 1996 it handed out cash to dozens of groups no one has heard of: $126,000 to El Hogar del Niño, $9,000 for Chicanos por la Causa, $30,000 to Cabrillo Economic Development, etc. etc. The boodle added up to $1.3 million, but La Raza appears to have spent another $2 million just administering the distribution. La Raza also spent more than $1 million “to improve education by placing academic concepts and skills in a context familiar to Hispanics, and forming a network of interactive community-based Hispanic healthcare providers.” It was no doubt in this latter context that it carried on its books a $81,000 ten-year loan to a dentist by the name of Carlos de la Peña.
La Raza operates a Policy Analysis Center, which claims to be “the pre-eminent Hispanic ‘think tank’,” and uses its findings to lobby for the usual: affirmative action, bilingual education, mass immigration, more hate crimes laws. In 1996, the pre-eminent Hispanic think tank had a budget of about $700,000, or less than one fifth the party budget.
On policy, La Raza sings the same Hispanic song. It says increased immigration control violates civil rights, and that Congress’ 1996 cutback on handouts to immigrants was “a disgrace to American values.” It wants another amnesty for illegals and is willing to make threats to get it: “Our elected officials should not be surprised if their failure to act on reforms of these terribly unjust [immigration] laws is met with a firm response at the ballot box.”
In 1999, La Raza made a big noise about anti-Hispanic hate crimes, warning about “a growing pattern of harassment, hate violence, and law enforcement abuse against Hispanics.” In a report called The Mainstreaming of Hate, it fussed about such people as Samuel Francis, “member of a number of hate groups,” and Jared Taylor, who argues that “the existence of civil rights organizations [like La Raza] require Whites to organize in self-defense.” The glossy, 50-page report never mentioned that the FBI lists Hispanics as a hate crime victim category but not as a perpetrator category; any Hispanic who commits a hate crime is officially “white.”
La Raza is the richest of the Hispanic organizations, with total revenue in 1996 of no less than $14 million, of which $8.5 million was private contributions, $3.2 million was government grants, and $2 million was largely government fees and contracts. In other words, the U.S. government gives millions of dollars every year to an ethnic advocacy group that criticizes immigration legislation as “a disgrace to American values.” The organization makes no pretense of grass-roots or even Hispanic support, and like MALDEF would disappear if its gringo patrons came to their senses.
From 1992-1996, La Raza got a total of $38 million in “gifts, grants and contributions,” and this doesn’t even include millions in government fees and contracts. Over three years, 1996-1998, La Raza received over $5 million from just three foundations: the majority — nearly $4 million — from the Ford Foundation, $850,000 from the Carnegie Corporation, and another $850,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1996, the president of La Raza, Raul Yzaguirre, got over $180,000 in pay and benefits, and his two senior vice presidents got $115,000 and $85,000. Four other employees made more than $50,000.
La Raza literally has more money than it knows what to do with. At the end of 1996 it reported $2.6 million sitting in non-interest-bearing cash accounts and only $114,000 in securities. It listed total assets of $7.8 million, of which $3.8 million were grants receivable.
At La Raza, the ethnic hustle is not as tightly focused or subversive as it is at MALDEF. La Raza likes to throw parties and give money to Hispanic tenants’ organizations. However, any organization that can raise $14 million in a single year has the means for serious work.
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) is the youngest, most incendiary, and unabashedly anti-white of the four Hispanic organizations. It is mainly a student group, and its first chapter was established at UC Santa Barbara in 1969. It now has chapters of varying size and effectiveness at a number of universities and high schools. It is not possible to confirm numbers like this but according to Miguel Carillo, a Chula Vista High School teacher, there are MEChA chapters at over 90 percent of the high schools in San Diego and Los Angeles.
In English, the group’s name would be Chicano Student Movement for Aztlan. “Chicanos” are Mexicans living in America, and “Aztlan” is the pseudo-Aztec name radicals want to give to the Southwestern part of the United States after they kick out all the white people and make it an independent country.
MEChistas, as they call themselves, combine very militant talk with old-fashioned Communism. Ernesto “Che” Guevara, of all people, is still one of their big heroes. Miguel Perez of MEChA at Cal State Northridge has explained that Aztlan would have a government that would be closer to Communism than anything else and adds, “Non-Chicanos would have to be expelled . . . opposition groups would be quashed because you have to keep the power.”
Rodolfo Acuña is a MEChA advisor and a California State University professor. He has said that “the [demise] of the Soviet Union was a tragedy for us” and that “Chicanos have to get a lot more militant about defending our rights.” At a 1996 MEChA conference held to condemn California’s Propositions 187 (ending benefits for illegals) and 209 (ending affirmative action), he said “anyone who’s supporting 209 is a racist and anybody who supports 187 is a racist. . . . You are living in Nazi U.S. We can’t let them take us to those intellectual ovens.”
In 1997, a MEChA representative declared during a rally in front of Los Angeles City Hall: “When the people in this building don’t listen to the demands of our community, it’s time to burn it down!” This was not an empty threat. In 1993, to underscore its demand for full departmental status for Chicano Studies at UCLA, MEChA started a riot that destroyed half a million dollars worth of campus property.
MEChA spreads the word in campus newspapers such as El Popo, Aztlan News, Chispas, Gente de Aztlan (UCLA), Voz Fronteriza (U.C. San Diego), La Voz Mestiza (UC Irvine), and La Voz Berkeley. These choleric broadsides are generally paid for out of school student-activity funds. While an independent Aztlan is a distant goal, MEChA’s shorter-term objectives are essentially the same as the Hispanic groups for grown-ups; it is just nastier about them. For example, the May, 1995, issue of Voz Fronteriza gave the following headline to a front-page article about a Hispanic INS agent who died in the line of duty: “Luis A. Santiago: Death Of A Migra Pig.” “Migra” is a derisive term for the INS.
Voz Fronteriza (“Voice of the Frontier”) is located in San Diego, “Califaztlan,” and celebrated 25 years in print with a photo spread of Pancho Villa-type revolutionaries on the front page and more recent shots of Central American female revolutionaries on the back. It also printed a photo of Lolita Lebrón, a Puerto Rican lady who helped shoot up the U.S. Congress in 1954. Inside was a huge, centerfold of Guevara. The lead editorial sets the tone. Titled, “If You Can’t Take the Heat Get the Fuck Out the Kitchen,” its first sentence is “God damn, the shit has really been flying at UCSD.” Writers like to use “Raza,” capitalized, to mean Hispanic, as in “Three Raza students confronted the power structure last weekend at. . . .”
News stories included information about how the U.S. government plants drugs in Hispanic neighborhoods and warnings like: “The gringo colonial establishment will hunt down and frame anyone who refuses to denounce the principles of Raza self-determination.” One article ends with “Que viva Mao!” [Long live Mao!]
La Voz Mestiza is a sister publication printed at UC Irvine. In a typical issue we learn that “the materialism in the everyday lives of North Amerikkkans makes them blind and incapable of free thought.” One editorial addressed to capitalist whites ends with: “You’ve spilled enough of our blood, now it’s your turn to bleed you fucken [sic] subhuman beasts.” We also learn that “in the US. as well as in other countries the U.S. government only protects the civil rights of its white racist citizens . . . Thus we are caught in the middle between those who want to enslave us and those who call for our extermination.” The back cover is a photo spread of people like Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchanan, Bob Dole, and Jesse Helms with swastikas printed on their foreheads. “ILLEGAL ALIENS,” screams the headline, with the further explanation that they are “demonic, vicious, barbaric, rapist, bestial amerikkkan[s].”
Voz Mestiza lurches occasionally into spiteful feminism, which is a little surprising in a Hispanic publication. One article about respect for women begins: “Ramming his dick up, penetrating, with full force of a 3 inch penis that pretends to be a work-horse of pleasure. She: a hole in the wall for his two minute pleasure.” Yet another fine campus publication supported by the taxpayer.
MEChA has a rather spotty web presence that pushes the same general line. The home page for the University of Oregon chapter boasts that the “site is maintained in the USA by illegal Mecha aliens.”
MEChA does not appear to have a formal, corporate existence and does not have a national headquarters. From an organizational standpoint, it is essentially a network of school-funded student clubs. Since it is not a non-profit organization it cannot accept grants from Ford or Carnegie, but would probably only have to tone down its language a little to get grants.
It is impossible to know how many Mexican-Americans feel as the MEChistas do. Probably very few hate America with such intensity. MEChistas probably get scholarships from MALDEF and become professors of Chicano studies, get jobs at CBS or the Los Angeles Times, or go to work for the innumerable little Hispanic groups La Raza supports. Whatever they do, they probably never completely lose their dream of throwing all the white people out of California and moving into a Beverly Hills mansion.
In the long term, what the more moderate-sounding Hispanics are pushing amounts to the same thing: more Hispanics, more preferences, more “multiculturalism” (which is just another way of saying more Hispanics), which can only lead to eventual domination, cultural and demographic, of the United States. Hispanics have a strong, entirely natural sense of peoplehood, of la raza, and want to refashion America in their own image. They are different from other groups only in that they have stumbled onto an incredibly rich country full of people who not only accede to their ethnic demands but actually help pay for them. These are heady times for the reconquista crowd, and will continue to be until the majority comes out of its trance.
[Editor’s Note: This essay is in A Race Against Time: Racial Heresies for the 21st Century, a collection of some of the finest essays and reviews published by American Renaissance. It is available for purchase here.]