“Take a Radical and clothe it in moral garments”~~Saul Alinsky
Example: Van Jones; a self avowed Communist
From Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals
“The tenth rule… is you do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments.… It involves sifting the multiple factors which combine in creating the circumstances at any given time… Who, and how many will support the action?… If weapons are needed, then are appropriate d weapons available? Availability of means determines whether you will be underground or above ground; whether you will move quickly or slowly…” p.36
Julian Castro: A Radical Revealed
September 4, 2012
Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio, who will be giving the keynote address tonight, is, according to some, the next Obama. But while Obama’s radicalism may have escaped the notice of the DNC in 2004, Castro’s views are bit more transparent.
Indeed, he, along with his twin, Joaquin, currently running for Congress, learned their politics on their mother’s knee and in the streets of San Antonio. Their mother, Rosie helped found a radical, anti-white, socialist Chicano party called La Raza Unida (literally “The Race United”) that sought to create a separate country—Aztlan—in the Southwest.
Today she helps manage her sons’ political careers, after a storied career of her own as a community activist and a stint as San Antonio Housing Authority ombudsman.
Far from denouncing his mother’s controversial politics, Castro sees them as his inspiration. As a student at Stanford Castro penned an essay for Writing for Change: A Community Reader (1994) in which he praised his mother’s accomplishments and cited them as an inspiration for his own future political involvement.
“[My mother] sees political activism as an opportunity to change people’s lives for the better. Perhaps that is because of her outspoken nature or because Chicanos in the early 1970s (and, of course, for many years before) had no other option. To make themselves heard Chicanos needed the opportunity that the political system provided. In any event, my mother’s fervor for activism affected the first years of my life, as it touches it today.
Castro wrote fondly of those early days and basked in the slogans of the day. “‘Viva La Raza!’ ‘Black and Brown United!’ ‘Accept me for who I am—Chicano.’ These and many other powerful slogans rang in my ears like war cries.” These war cries, Castro believes, advanced the interests of their political community. He sees her rabble-rousing as the cause for Latino successes, not the individual successes of those hard-working men and women who persevered despite some wrinkles in the American meritocracy.
[My mother] insisted that things were changing because of political activism, participation in the system. Maria del Rosario Castro has never held a political office. Her name is seldom mentioned in a San Antonio newspaper. However, today, years later, I read the newspapers, and I see that more Valdezes are sitting on school boards, that a greater number of Garcias are now doctors, lawyers, engineers, and, of course, teachers. And I look around me and see a few other brown faces in the crowd at [Stanford]. I also see in me a product of my mother’s diligence and her friends’ hard work. Twenty years ago I would not have been here…. My opportunities are not the gift of the majority; they are the result of a lifetime of struggle and commitment by adetermined minority. My mother is one of these persons. And each year I realize more and more how much easier my life has been made by the toil of past generations. I wonder what form my service will take, since I am expected by those who know my mother to continue the family tradition. [Emphasis Castro’s]
Rosie named her first son, Julian, for his father whom she never married, and her second, who arrived a minute later, for the character in the 1967 Chicano anti-gringo movement poem, “I Am Joaquin.” She is particularly proud that they were born on Mexico’s Independence Day. And she was a fan of the Aztlan aspirations of La Raza Unida. Those aspirations were deeply radical. “As far as we got was simply to take over control in those [Texas] communities where we were the majority,” one of its founders, Jose Angel Gutierrez, told the Toronto paper. “We did think of carving out a geographic territory where we could have our own weight, and our own leverage could then be felt nation-wide.”
Removing all doubt, Gutierrez repeated himself often. “What we hoped to do back then was to create a nation within a nation,” he told the Denver Post in 2001. Gutierrez bemoaned the loss of that separatist vision among activists, but predicted that Latinos will “soon take over politically.” (“Brothers in Chicano Movement to Reunite,” Denver Post, August 16, 2001).
Gutierrez made clear his hatred for “the gringo” when he led the Mexican-American Youth Organization, the precursor to La Raza Unida. According to the Houston Chronicle, he “was denounced by many elected officials as militant and un-American.” And anti-American he was. “We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to worst, we have got to kill him,” Gutierrez told a San Antonio audience in 1969. At around that time, Rosie Castro eagerly joined his cause, becoming the first chairwoman of the Bexar County Raza Unida Party. There’s no evidence of her distancing herself from Gutierrez’s comments, even today. Gutierrez even dedicated a chapter in one of his books to Ms. Castro.
While apologists for La Raza Unida now claim that the group has been dedicated to the “civil rights of Mexican-Americans and promoting a strong ‘Chicano’ identity,” as Zev Chafets of the New York Times puts it, its brand of populism and socialist radicalism was controversial among Mexican-Americans and Democrats who considered it too extreme. The party pushed racial redistricting, affirmative action, bilingual education, and Chicano studies.
One of La Raza’s most powerful leaders, Frank Shaffer-Corona, an at-large member of the Washington, D.C. school board, even visited communist Cuba for a conference on Yankee imperialism and conferred with Marxists in Mexico. He was prone to conspiracy theories, decrying the “pervasive influence of the Central Intelligence Agency on American politics and what he says is a conspiracy of the multinational corporations against all minorities and the people of Latin America,” in the words of the Washington Post. (“His Pitch: Populism, and Very Latino; Shaffer-Corona Unruffled After Trip to Cuba,” Washington Post, August 28, 1978). The radical organization’s second most successful candidate, Texas gubernatorial aspirant Ramsey Muñiz, remains in prison on drug charges. La Raza Unida members periodically call for him to be pardoned, saying without evidence that the corrupt Muñiz is a “political prisoner.”)
Carlos Pelayo, another founder of La Raza Unida, clung to communism even after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, telling a San Diego paper that “the desire of people for social justice will never end.” “If it doesn’t work [the Soviet Union’s] way, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work,” he said. “So we capitalists have 20 different cereals and Nike shoes. Over there [in the Soviet Union], they have free education, free medical care.” (“Fall of Communism Fails to Deter Local Communists,” San Diego Union Tribune, September 14, 1991)
Is Ms. Castro repentant in the slightest over her involvement with La Raza Unida? Not in the least. She sees the rise of her sons’ political fortune as the fulfillment of her promise—some say threat—in 1971 when she lost her bid for San Antonio city council: “We’ll be back.” “When Julian was installed, it was just such an incredible thing to be there because for years we [the Chicano activists and La Raza Unida] had been struggling to be there,” she told Texas Monthly in 2002.
WHO is Tony Villar? A Radical tied to MECha.
Answer: Antonio Villaraigosa
MECHA leader Antonio Villaraigosa, circa 1974 (center)
For many years Villaraigosa has been a close friend of Gilbert Cedillo, who he met at Los Angeles’ Roosevelt High.
Through an Upward Bound program, Cedillo was accepted at UCLA, Villaraigosa went to East Los Angeles College and then transferred to UCLA. The friends both became active in Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan or MEChA, a radical Chicano seperatist group with a strong Marxist-Leninist underpinning.
Both attended the Peoples College of Law, a night school dedicated to producing public-interest lawyers. (Villaraigosa took the bar exam four times, but never passed).
Villaraigosa visited Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade. He and Cedillo became deeply involved in Centros de Accion Social Autonomo, or CASA, an immigrant’s-rights organization led by the Mexican-American Communist Party USA leader Bert Corona.
By his late teens, he had anchored himself to the movement — and to the legendary Bert Corona, a radical organizer and proponent of immigrant rights who nonetheless functioned in mainstream politics. (Corona played a key role in Robert Kennedy‘s 1968 presidential campaign.) With Gil Cedillo and Maria Elena Durazo (much later to become president of the L.A. local of the hotel and restaurant workers), Villaraigosa became a full-time organizer at Corona’s Centro de Action Social Autonoma, CASA for short.
Villaraigosa then turned his organizing skills to the union movement. As shop steward for a local representing federal civil rights lawyers, he found an L.A. office where just a quarter of the attorneys were organized, and enrolled nearly 90 percent of them in the union. He soon went on the staff of UTLA, Los Angeles‘ teachers union, and when the union struck the school district in 1989, Villaraigosa was given the difficult task of building strike support in South-Central — which, through an ambitious program of house meetings, he did. Soon thereafter, Gloria Molina appointed him to the MTA board, where he was the only member to support the demands of the fledgling Bus Riders Union, and where he won support to reduce fares to 50 cents. In 1994, he was elected to the Assembly. A scant four years later, through the miracle of term limits and his own considerable political abilities, he was elected speaker.