By Jose G. Moreno, RPMA Media Team
Day Three: Is “Another World Possible” within the U.S. Empire?
(Detroit, Michigan) Today at U.S. Social Forum 2010, people gathered at Cobe Hall and downtown Detroit for workshops and assemblies that focus on the anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, and anti-colonialist struggles and ideological frameworks of the people movements of the las americas. Today I will examine the history and political representation of Mexican/Latino electoral and radical politics in the US Empire.
Since, the aftermath of the US/Mexico War of 1846-48 and the signing of Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, working-class Mexicans/Latinos have been politically downgrade by the elite and dominate classes of Mexico and US. For example, on the US side of the border Mexicans/Latinos were excluded from the mainstream power structure and forced to work and live in harsh conditions. This exclusion occurs from the dominant hegemonic process of the US Empire. According to education scholar Joan Wink on the concept of hegemony:
“Hegemony is the domination of one group over another with the partial consent of the dominated group. It is the control of knowledge and literacy by the dominant group” (Wink, 2000; p. 395).
Wink perspective and critical analysis on the concept of hegemony examined how the dominant group has been able to control the cultural production of knowledge in a modern society. Mexicans/Latinos have not been able to provide their perspective and analysis on the production of knowledge due to being marginalized and colonized by the dominant group. Wink argued that the ideological dominant practices prints a false consciousness on the subordinate group. The theoretical framework of hegemony has caused social and political damages to the Mexican/Latino population within the US Empire.
Political Scientist Armando Navarro argued that the US hegemonic and empire political process has historically, politically, culturally, and ideologically dominated the Mexican/Latino population in las americas. This ideological framework has forced Mexicans/Latinos to become second-class citizens and to be occupied in their historical homeland. Navarro used the concept of internal colonialism to examine the contemporary Mexican/Latino political experience in the US Empire. The ideological concept of internal colonialism makes the critical argument that American Southwest (Occupied Mexico/Aztlan) is a colony within colony due to historical and environmental roots that Mexicans/Latinos have to this regional center. Navarro work is a primary example on how radical and progressive activists/organizers have debated and challenged the concepts modern colonialism, imperialism and hegemony in the US Empire.
How has Mexicans/Latinos struggle for Electoral and Radical Politics? During the post World War II era, the Mexican/Latino middle class sector established social and political organizations to struggle for a political and social space within the electoral arena. They emphasized political reform and social grassroots electoral politics by working within the United States Empire. For instance, this sector established social and political networks and organizations to support and run Mexicans/Latinos candidates for public office. The League United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Community Services Organization (CSO) and the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) struggled for the Mexicans/Latinos to have a political and social voice within the mainstream electoral politics arena. This social movement became to be known as the “Mexican American Generation.”
Mexican/Latino mainstream grassroots electoral politics during the post World War II period did not change the social and political conditions of the Mexican/Latino population in the US Empire. Even if this electoral process was a disappointment for the Mexican/Latino population, they were able to gain the organizational and practical methodologies and a better political understanding of the mainstream electoral process.
This grassroots political and social experience in the electoral arena led to the birth of radicalism among the Mexican/Latino population during the late 1960s and 1970s. In 1965, the political climate in the United States changed in a tremendous fashion. There was a major shift in the political direction of the Mexican/ Latino community at the national level as well. All cross the nation, the Mexicans/Latinos were gaining political and social awareness and started to organize around burning issues that was affecting their local communities.
Out of this political awakening the Mexican/Latino population formed a mass movement for social justice and political change in the US Empire. This social movement became known as the “Chicano Power Movement” for equality and radical change. During the late 1970s there was a decline of radical politics in the Mexican/Latino Community.
In the last three decades, there has been a new wave of Mexican/Latino mainstream politics in the US Empire. The major question: Are Spanish sir-names elected official struggling for the betterment of the Mexican/Latino working-class population. I think they have not challenge the status quo and provide no social justice and equality politics to the Mexican/Latino population of las americas. Over the last decade, there has been a small growth of grassroots radical and independent local electoral campaigns in the Mexican/Latino working-class community.
Is “Another World Possible” by using grassroots and radical electoral campaigns as organizational tool and methodology to educate the Mexican/Latino working-class community? I think you could use this approach as an organizational tool but it will not provide a solution to the burning political and social problems of North America. Is “Another World Possible” with Barack Obama? To be honest with you electing Obama to the presidency of US Empire will not solve the economical problems and provide any hope to Mexican/Latino working-class population.
I think “Another World is Possible” with a counter hegemonic, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, and anti-colonialist struggle that will challenge the status quo in the US Empire. The concept of hope is only possible by not supporting the two-party system, political reforms, and Obama. Only a working-class and independent political movement with change the political conditions for the Mexican/Latino population in the US Empire.
I hope the fourth day of the USSF 2010 will cover and provide more problem-solving solutions for the struggle for national liberation and self-determination in the las americas.
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