Skip to comments.MEChA youth groups review purpose
Posted on 04/16/2006 11:10:23 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
MEChA advisers at Jurupa Valley High School are reviewing the Chicano student club's constitution after the group was criticized by anti-illegal immigration activists.
A student called on the Jurupa Unified School District board to ban MEChA following last month's school rally on immigration legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives that would make it a felony to be in the United States illegally. Senior Josh Denhalter called MEChA a separatist group that advocates a Mexican takeover of the Southwest.
Jurupa Valley is not the only MEChA chapter that is examining itself. Students in the Beaumont High School chapter are debating whether to change their name to avoid any historical baggage.
MEChA advisers at Jurupa Valley plan to review the national constitution with the chapter's officers, and might develop a separate constitution tailored to the high school club, said adviser Enrique Velásquez, an economics teacher at the school.
Name Causes Conflict
MEChA stands for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, or Chicano Student Movement of Aztlán.
Aztlán is the legendary home of the indigenous Mexican people. The people who founded MEChA in 1969 used the term to describe the southwestern United States.
"Aztlán belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans," says El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, one of the documents outlining the early goals of MEChA.
Rudy Acuña, a professor of Chicano studies at Cal State Northridge, said critics distort the idea of Aztlán.
"It's pride. It's saying, 'I'm here. I'm not going away. I'm proud of being a Mexican,' " he said.
Some Beaumont High School students said they would rather avoid any misunderstandings by simply changing the name of their club.
"We don't want to be a club that has to sit there and explain itself all the time," said the Beaumont chapter's adviser, Julio Martinez. The club talked about a name change early in the year, and debated the idea again after the issue cropped up in Jurupa.
Some students also want a name that reflects a range of Latino cultures, not just Mexican culture, Martinez said.
Carolina Tamayo, a teacher at John W. North High School in Riverside who was president of MEChA while a student there, said some people in MEChA's early days believed in the idea of a homeland, but the group's main goal was to improve prospects for Mexican-Americans.
Aztlán is "not just about a physical place. It's talking about being a successful people, and that we as Latinos can be successful," Tamayo said.
Seventeen-year-old Cynthia Garcia, vice president of the North High MEChA chapter, said, "A lot of people have this idea that the people in MEChA are the ones that are thinking that California was taken from the Mexicans, and they're hanging on to that grudge.
"I hear it a lot. They're stuck in their own ignorance," she added.
MEChA Helps With Rally
Jurupa Valley set up a microphone in its football stadium to keep students from walking out on March 27, when thousands of other area students left school. MEChA chapter president Estela Rubio read part of the proposed legislation, HR 4437, and urged the crowd of about 1,500 students to show each other respect.
But the largely Latino crowd booed the few students who spoke for tighter immigration restrictions. Friends' accounts of the rally prompted Denhalter to call for getting rid of the club.
In an interview, Denhalter said he would not object to a Mexican-American cultural club, but he said he believes MEChA has no place on high school campuses.
Jurupa Valley Principal Ron Shecklen said school administrators turned to MEChA for help in organizing the rally to let students take the lead. He said he was proud of how Rubio handled the rally.
Rubio, the chapter president, said she sees the references to Aztlán and the "bronze continent" in the documents from the 1960s as a part of the past.
"It was very radical in those days. What we've been doing at school is completely different."
Focus Isn't Politics
Area high school chapters spend little, if any, time on politics, MEChA members and advisers said.
Instead, they work on helping Latino students go to college, and exposing all students to the cultures of Mexico and Latin America.
Other Inland-area high schools with MEChA chapters include ones in Perris, Redlands and San Bernardino.
Student officers of the MEChA chapter at Jurupa Valley spent their lunch period Wednesday talking about scholarship awards, an assembly and dance for Cinco de Mayo, and end-of-the-year parties. The chapter hosts weekly presentations on historical figures, such as Diego Rivera, Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King Jr.
Advisers at other area MEChA clubs said they focus on education and culture, too. Many members will be the first in their families to go to college, so some meetings at North focus on applications and getting recommendation letters, said Jacqueline Campos, a chapter adviser there.
The immigration demonstrations have come up for discussion lately, but Campos said she tries to steer the club away from politics.
That's a switch from just over a decade ago, when the MEChA chapter at North demonstrated against Prop. 187, which would have denied education and social services to illegal immigrants, and successfully pushed for a Chicano studies class.
Shecklen, Jurupa Valley's principal, said he's gotten more than 50 e-mails and letters over the past few weeks criticizing his support of MEChA. He said critics should take a look at how MEChA operates on high school campuses.
"I think it's unfair to judge my students when you haven't met my students," he said.
Estela Rubio, 17, MEChA president for the Jurupa Valley High chapter, and club adviser Enrique Velásquez, 43, are under fire by critics who say the Chicano students' organization promotes separatism.
It doesn't promote "separatism." It promotes "sedition" through Reconquista.
Conveniently ignoring the fact that most Mexicans are of European blood (some of them pure Spanish or French) and speak a European language.
Ron Shecklen, Principal
10551 Bellgrave Avenue
Mira Loma, CA 91752
I guess they just don't teach history anymore or at least not the history many of us were taught.
On the high school level it seems that MEChA is a more of a social club aiding Chicano Students to understand their heritage and providing support to get a good education and go to college. And this is in no way a bad thing.
However when these kids go to college they are introduced to a very different MEChA. The MEChA run by radicalized professors and spewing a supremacist, separatist and Socialist agenda.
I expect future demonstrations by illegal mexican aliens will be very sweet and peaceful. No mexican flags present. Lots of American flags and patriotism. They'll come off as downtrodden and worthy of immediate citizenship.
In reality they're here for the free benefits and work. Never mind the drug smuggling, forged documentation, identity theft, fraud and tax evasion that they routinely commit.
Illegal mexican aliens despise us and they think they have a right to a large portion of our country states.
Our senate, being insulated as it is with it's head up its ass, is out of touch with the American people and the security of this country. The same holds true for the president.
If it is in any way possible, I propose we have recall elections to remove some of them in mid-term, especially the ones that intend on selling us out with their
guest worker amnesty plan.
There may be hope for the future.
Gee, and I thought this was an org. for smart Hispanics.
I've always thought it was funny that the word mensa (menso, masculine form) is slang in Mexico for stupid.
Well, then be successful in your own country.
Don't forget Basques. Many Hispanic names are actually Basque names. They are likely the elites of Mexico besides Spanish.
adviser Enrique Velásquez, an economics teacher at the school
economics ????? when H.S. grads can't read nor write nor add ????
All of which demonstrates the mindset of invasion rather than immigration-----and The Plan by illegals to declare war on the US, overthrow the US government, and allow a foreign government to takeover the lower US. Here's what we have to look forward to:
Reconquista Armando Navarro 'Ethnic Studies' Professor at the University of California, Riverside Anti-American, Fifth-Column Menace. "Ladies and Gentlemen, what this means (the immigration bill) is a transfer of power, it means control, and it is the young people, the people who are now moving to develop an agenda for the twenty first century they are going to be in a position to really make the promise of what the Chicano movement was all about in terms of self-determination, in terms of empowerment, even in the terms of an Aztlan...."
WHAT TO DO? FREEPER ACTIVISM OUTLINED BELOW
Thanks! Hope you're having a pleasant Easter.
If elected and appointed government officals and others on the government payroll---like school principals---aid and abet MECHA, this could violate The Hobbs Act----The Hobbs Act covers extortion by public officials, as follows:
2403 Hobbs Act -- Extortion By Force, Violence, or Fear.
The Hobbs Act regulates extortion and robbery (of tax assets, for example), which Congress has determined have a substantial effect on interstate and foreign commerce by reason of their repetition and aggregate effect on the economy. Therefore, the proscribed offenses fall within the category of crimes based on the Commerce Clause whose "de minimis character of individual instances arising under [the] statute is of no consequence."
Primary investigative jurisdiction of offenses in 18 U.S.C. § 1951 lies with the FBI. The Inspector General's Office of Investigations, Division of Labor Racketeering (formerly the Office of Labor Racketeering), United States Department of Labor, is also authorized to investigate violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1951 in labor-management disputes involving the extortion of property from employers by reason of authority conferred on investigators as Special Deputy United States Marshals.
Supervisory jurisdiction over 18 U.S.C. § 1951 is exercised by the following offices with respect to the offenses noted:
1. Extortion under color of official right or extortion by a public official through misuse of his/her office is supervised by the Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division.
2. Extortion and robbery in labor-management disputes is supervised by the Labor-Management Unit of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, Criminal Division.
3. All other extortion and robbery offenses not involving public officials or labor-management disputes are supervised by the Terrorism and Violent Crimes Section, Criminal Division.
SOURCE October 1997 Criminal Resource Manual 2403 http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm02403.htm
No problem------ we should not waste our time with these ignorant NEA-type government employees......go direct to law enforcement.
SEE FREEPER ACTIVISM outlined above.