Posted on May 5, 2020

The Bandit as Revolutionary Hero

Colin Clive, American Renaissance, May 1992

Gringo Justice, Alfredo Mirandé, University of Notre Dame Press, 1990, 261 pp.

Afrocentric education — the attempt to foist a largely fictitious African-American history upon us — has its counterpart among our residents of Mexican descent. Mexicans have not gone so far as to claim that virtually every advance in philosophy, mathematics, physics, and science was the work of Latinos. Instead, they argue that Latino culture would have flowered magnificently, had it not been for the baleful influence of whites, who conquered the southwestern part of North America in the mid-19th century.

Gringo Justice, by Alfredo Mirandé, is representative of “Chicano-centrism.” Widely used as a text in college courses in Chicano Studies and Minority Awareness, the author’s thesis is that Chicanos are an exploited people who have been labeled as banditos and criminals by a white colonial system. “Gringos” are “oppressors,” who “find it necessary to distort history so that it will conform to and justify the socially created order.”

Gringo Justice by Alfredo Mirandé

Mr. Mirandé, who teaches sociology at the University of California at Riverside, traces the history of Chicano-white legal relations since the end of the Mexican-American War. (Few recall today — and this book does not remind us — that it was Mexico that attacked the United States in 1848. British and French military observers expected Mexico to win, and the outcome was a surprise to them as well as to the warhawks in Mexico City.) Mr. Mirandé, who lards his prose with Marxist jargon, sees banditry as a form of social protest, and “a response to the decline of a feudal society and the imposition of capitalism.” Lawbreaking is nothing less than heroic resistance to Gringo oppression.

In his chapter, “Vigilantes, Bandits, and Revolutionaries,” Mr. Mirandé portrays a number of Mexican outlaws who operated in the California and New Mexico territories as ideologically motivated heroes. Tiburcio Vasquez of Monterey, who was hanged in 1875 after a quarter-century career of horse thieving and cattle rustling, turned to crime, students are informed, out of concern for the protection of Mexican womanhood. Oddly, it was Rosario Leiva, a spurned mistress and wife of his first lieutenant, who played the key role in his capture and prosecution.

Another of Mirandé’s heroes is Joaquin Murrieta, “the Robin Hood of the West.” In a two-year spree, Murrieta attacked white miners and ranchers in the Sonora area. Myth has it that this outburst was prompted by seeing his girlfriend ravished before his very eyes by a gang of white claim-jumpers. In fact, he shot her after she deserted him for a white settler named Baker. Murrieta was killed by California Rangers on July 24, 1853, and his pickled head was part of a museum collection that fell victim to the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

In February 1915, a Texas sheriff arrested a Mexican national by the name of Basilo Ramos, and uncovered an insurrection blueprint called El Plan de San Diego — something Mr. Mirandé calls “an important document that articulated the numerous grievances of the . . . [Hispanic] population in South Texas.” El Plan called for a general uprising by non-whites, to be launched on Feb. 20, 1915. A “liberation army” of Mexicans, blacks, Japanese (!), and Indians was to win independence from “Yankee tyranny.” Every white male over the age of 16 was to be shot, as well as all “traitors” who cooperated with the Anglo enemy.

The objective of El Plan was the creation of racial homelands: a black nation in the southeastern United States, a new Mexican republic in the five southwestern states, and an Indian nation based on ancestral lands. What the Japanese were to get for their efforts remains unclear. Mirandé regrets that “historians and other scholars have tended to minimize the importance of El Plan, or to dismiss it as a wild, unrealistic scheme.”

Turning to the present, Mirandé charges that “wanton killing” of Chicanos by the Border Patrol and local American police forces is “endemic” and that “atrocities have been committed . . . with relative impunity.” These atrocities remain unspecified and undocumented. In fact, it is attacks by Mexicans against the Border Patrol and police throughout the Southwest that are increasingly common.

Mr. Mirandé reports that the US-Mexico border resembles a “war zone” in many sectors, where illegal aliens trying to enter our country are often robbed, raped, assaulted, and killed. He fails to point out that the perpetrators of these crimes are almost without exception Mexican nationals or members of cross-border Latino gangs. Immigrants are not being preyed on by white Americans.

Mr. Mirandé informs the reader that Chicanos, like blacks, view law enforcement officers as “agents of lawlessness, injustice, and abuse.” While he admits that Chicano gangs are heavily involved in America’s urban drug trade, Mr. Mirandé hastens to observe that Chicano crime is, in the final analysis, a result of “a clash between conflicting and competing cultures and worldviews.” In the sense that traditional Euro-American culture does not countenance drug taking, public drunkenness, and territorial gang warfare, he is right.

Gringo Justice is about as far removed from neutral, academic scholarship as it is possible to get. Yet it was written with the help of a Rockefeller Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, a grant from the University of California at Riverside, a federal National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, and support from the Stanford Center for Chicano Research. Mr. Mirandé also got a grant from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), which is a tax-exempt organization supported by the Ford Foundation. Moreover, the book is published by the Notre Dame Press, one of the premier Catholic university presses in the world.

This is the kind of work that white organizations pay for, in their eagerness to support “diversity,” “inclusion,” and all the other excuses for anti-white propaganda. This is the sort of book that is read in the courses on “Minority Cultures,” that are proliferating as required subjects on our campuses. Gringo Justice is another grim reminder of how far the rot has gone.