President Calderon’s Message of Unity Brings Together Minutemen and Mexican Opposition

February 15, 2008

This story in La Opinion is bizarre in a uniquely L.A. way.

It describes how, “for a moment” anti-immigrant Minutemen joined pro-immigrant Mexican opposition groups (as in opposed to Calderon and Minutemen they consider racist) to loudly protest the visit of Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

According to the story written (translated por mi) by La Opinion’s Isaías Alvarado,

The Los Angeles visit of Mexican President Felipe Calderon has, paradoxically, united groups traditionally antagonistic to each other.
As if in unison, protesters marching in front of the Omni Hotel shouted slogans like “¡Sin maíz, no hay país!” (“Without corn, there
is no country”) slogan of the sympathizers of the Party of the Democratic Revolution and ” ¡Pre-si-den-t Cal-de-rón go fix
.Mé-xi-co!” slogan of members of the Minuteman project. There were no violent incidents, including between people who engaged in previous disputes.”

In light of this bilingually bi-national bizarre moment, let me say that I actually believe that, at some point (not yet), those of us defending immigrants ravaged by globalization must make at least some peace with those other victims of globalization, white racists. Yes, I do believe that we need to build a big, unprecedented tent that allows us all to burn down the bigger tent of the corporate interests that unite Calderon, Bush and most other heads of state. Of course, we have to find a way to delete the racism before that happens and that’s a lot of work.

Or are we supposed to support that other election-stealer, Calderon, because he’s Mexican?

Para Nada. Despite his flowery calls to defend Mexican and other immigrants, he, his devastating policies are what turns a Mexicana(o) into an “inmigrante”.

Beware of the nation-state and the false consciousness of nationalism.

2 Responses to “President Calderon’s Message of Unity Brings Together Minutemen and Mexican Opposition”

  1. clarefox Says:

    wow. i really dig your analysis here. i agree there are many many traps in nationalism that disguise themselves in the rhetoric of “liberation” – we can turn to the liberation struggles throughout the “3rd world” in the 20th century for examples of what happens when national identity obscures class hierarchy within capitalism (though obviously kicking out imperialist occupiers was vital.) one thing i would offer on your “big tent” idea– i think the key to understanding *those* particular white racists is their relationship to capitalism– that is, they are largely white working class folks, not white ruling class folks. as such, it’s not to let white working class ppl off the hook for their racism, but to realize that they too- in a way- are pawns of corporate capitalism, as you suggest. of course white folks (especially white supremacists like some of the MinuteMen) definitely need to do some serious self-work before coalition work can be effective and safe, but what i appreciate in your writing is that there is room to see our common interests beyond race and through the lens of global capitalism.

  2. robvato Says:

    Thanks, Claire. Yes, we don’t want to let racist whites “off the hook”. That said, though, no movement forward without crossing the racial divide obscuring common class interests. Gracias, R


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