We the People
By: Nancy Salvato
We are a fragmented nation. Erosion is slowly chipping away at the belief system that once served to tie us together as a people. Indeed, movements are afoot; their radical self interest goals at odds with the vision of our founders. Perhaps most frightening, are large numbers of people so focused on their own wants and needs that they are oblivious to the threat; unconcerned how each tear in the collective fabric of our country effects their lives in the long run. The patchwork quilt, constructed from the assortment of ethnic groups making up our unique population, is ripping at the seams.
The goal of the Reconquista Movement is to retake Aztlan, the southwestern area of the United States, which a portion of Mexican immigrants consider theirs because they are “Americans” free to migrate anywhere on the continent and so refuse to recognize U. S. sovereignty. According to their message, the political border between Mexico and the United States will eventually become irrelevant because the population of White Anglo Saxon Protestants is growing smaller while the Latinos are gaining in number. Therefore, it is just a matter of time until their majority forces the white minority to acknowledge the Southwest rightfully belongs to them. Uninterested in assimilation and becoming “Americans” in the traditional sense of the word, these people are redefining the meaning of the word American to assert their autonomy, regardless of their legal status. 1
At Academia Semillas del Pueblo, a charter school in California, Marcos Aguilar had the following to say in an interview about the school’s mission.
We don’t necessarily want to go to White schools. What we want to do is teach ourselves, teach our children the way we have of teaching. We don’t want to drink from a White water fountain, we have our own wells and our natural reservoirs and our way of collecting rain in our aqueducts. We don’t need a White water fountain. So the whole issue of segregation and the whole issue of the Civil Rights Movement is all within the box of White culture and White supremacy. We should not still be fighting for what they have. We are not interested in what they have because we have so much more and because the world is so much larger. And ultimately the White way, the American way, the neo liberal, capitalist way of life will eventually lead to our own destruction. And so it isn’t about an argument of joining neo liberalism, it’s about us being able, as human beings, to surpass the barrier. 2
Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement
“Whatever comes of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, Nov. 23, 1993, is likely to be marked as the day it all started. On that day, the U.S. Congress adopted, and President Clinton signed, a joint resolution of apology to Native Hawaiians for the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom 100 years earlier.” 3 Hawaii was a monarchy, ruled by a queen with sovereignty over her people. Making up the legislature were people representing many races and some in her Cabinet were white. When Hawaii was established as a state, all the people were given autonomy and there was no differentiation made between “native peoples”. S. 147 would change this progressive thinking, establishing racial legal codes and applying them to persons of different races who live in the same communities.4 A race-based government is antithetical to the 14th Amendment which states that, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense
Perhaps the most frightening movement of all is the NBP, which has been condemned by several members of the original Black Panthers for condoning racism. It is, “the largest organized anti-Semitic black militant group in America.” 5 Established by former Milwaukee City Council member Michael McGee, the NBP is a militia whose initial mission was to carry out violent attacks on the government, private interests, and millionaires. Khallid Muhammad, their leader until his death in 2001, “referred to Jews as “bloodsuckers,” called for genocide against whites, vulgarly ridiculed Pope John Paul II and demeaned homosexuals.” 6 His successor, Malik Zulu Shabazz, blamed Jews for 9/11 and has supported Zacarias Massaoui, the French Moroccan convicted for conspiring with Osama Bin Laden. 7 Shabazz’s ultimate goal for NBP is to establish a separate nation. 8
Many of those living the American dream would dismiss these radical movements as unsubstantial and not worth fretting over. However, these factions are appealing to certain elements of our population and have been allowed to move forward with their goals. Let us not forget that the words, E Pluribus Unim, found on the seal of the United States means, “out of many, one” – not, “out of one, many”, as was mistakenly interpreted by Al Gore. If the leadership of our country doesn’t comprehend the belief system that binds us together as a nation, how can its people? Only an aggressive campaign promoting the civic education of our citizenry will assemble a force big enough to counter those putting their radical self interests above the common goals of the country. These are troubled times.
3 Greetings from independent Hawaii
Reporter Assaulted At Chicano Separatist School
Reporter claims assault at ‘racist’ public school
Student group stands by ‘Reconquista’ plan
Copyright Â© Nancy Salvato 2006
Nancy Salvato is the President of The Basics Project, (www.Basicsproject.org) a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (C) (3) research and educational project whose mission is to promote the education of the American public on the basic elements of relevant political, legal and social issues important to our country. She is also a Staff Writer, for the New Media Alliance, Inc., a non-profit (501c3) coalition of writers and grass-roots media outlets, where she contributes on matters of education policy.