The National Council for La Raza has been at the forefront of the campaign against Senator Jeff Sessions as well as President Trump’s promise to enforce our immigration laws honestly and equally. Last weekend, the group arranged a march with Rev. Sharpton to protest the Sessions appointment. It has also organized news conferences on the issue, published an anti-Sessions attack on its homepage, are actively promoting the Twitter initiative #StopSessions, and had this to say about the senator in a recent email to its members: “[H]ow can we trust someone with ties to extremist anti-immigrant groups to oversee the lives of immigrants and the Latino community?” His views are “diametrically opposed to those of the Latino community… Tell your senators to protect and defend the rights of all Americans by opposing the confirmation of Sen. Sessions. Adelante.”
The organization’s attack against racial politics and ethnocentrism may leave some scratching their heads given the group’s own forceful ethno-nationalist mandate and long-time racialist ties to anti-white racist UT-Arlington professor Jose Angel Gutierrez. Before becoming a teacher, Gutierrez created a string of extremist ethno-nationalist organizations, including La Raza Unida (“The United Race”), a political party based in Texas, and the beret-and-combat-boot-wearing Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO). He was also a key player in the Brown Berets, a paramilitary organization also from the late sixties that’s recently had a resurgence following its alliance with Black Lives Matter.
Notably, La Raza’s gone out of its way to separate the group from Gutierrez. As it states on its website, Gutierrez “never had any connection to NCLR.” A modest amount of investigative research, however, does indeed show not only does La Raza have connections with Gutierrez, those connections are substantial. The following quotes, taken from throughout the man’s career starting in the late sixties as a key figure in the “Chicano Rights” movement, show why La Raza’s perhaps now wised up to create distance between the two:
Around the time Gutierrez made the above “aging white America” quote, La Raza, which again states emphatically it “never had any connection” to him, presented the man with its “Chicano Hero Award”, a reward for his apparent ‘service’ to the Hispanic community.
When La Raza presented its award, the organization was led by Raul Yzaguirre. Yzaguirre’s been described as a “close friend” of Gutierrez. Yzaguirre’s also shared platforms with the man, having appeared with him in a book called Chicano! and having lectured with him at activist meetings—Yzaguirre, it should be added, has compared organizations that push for the establishment of English as the official working language of government as the Ku Klu Klan.
Other ties between Gutierrez and La Raza are manifold. Gutierrez once worked for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a La Raza “sister organization” according to the latter’s website. The founder of MALDEF as well as the San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association, Mario Obledo, once stated while on the Tom Leikus radio show: “California is going to be a Hispanic state, anyone who doesn’t like it should leave… We’re going to take over all the political institutions in California… [Whites] ought to go back to Europe.”
La Raza and MALDEF also received the same founding grants as Gutierrez’s United Race and MAYO –All were provided by the Ford Foundation. The ethno-nationalist politics of each of these Ford-funded groups was criticized early on. As the Arizona Daily Star observed at the time of La Raza and United Race’s founding:
Some Ford Foundation money has been spent in staging marches designed to stir up Mexican-American youth, and in financing campaigns against such persons as Rep. Henry Gonzalez of Texas, whose Mexican-American credentials are of the highest order… In other words… troublemaking and divisiveness, plus efforts to grab ethnic-group power have been the aims of those using the Ford Foundation money.
As La Raza (originally called the Southwest Council of La Raza) mentions on its website, three of the group’s founders: Julian Samora, Ernesto Galarza, and Herman Gallegos. Not mentioned is Maclovio Barraza who appears to have been another, or perhaps the original, founder. Barraza has been called an “inspiration and mentor” to a Gutierrez’s United Race party. According to author Armando Navarro:
The Southwest Council of La Raza and its leadership were helpful in strengthening the [Chicano Movement]’s various struggles for change in Arizona. Its founder and leader, Maclovio Barraza, who was known for his progressive politics, contributed greatly to the growing activism among Mexicanos there. In addition, he was an inspiration and mentor to Salomon Baldenegro, who became Arizona’s main CM leader and the founder of [United Race] in Arizona. For several years, Baldenegro accompanied Barraza to speeches he gave at demonstrations and to other forms of political activity.
Navarro’s characterization of Barraza as being “known for his progressive politics” may be a bit generous. According to a California senate committee report:
Mr. Barraza has been identified… as a member of the Communist Party, and presides over the Council which recently received a grant of $1,300,000.00 from the Ford Foundation… The operation of this large and well-financed private concern, with a Communist at its head, obviously exerts a powerful influence on the Mexican-American minority throughout its domain including the Brown Berets.
Every year, La Raza commemorates the “achievements” of Barraza by handing out the “Maclovio Barraza Award for Leadership.”
In 1968, La Raza funded another organization created by Gutierrez: the Mexican American Unity Council (MAUC). La Raza apparently is still affiliated with the Gutierrez-created group. MAUC also received funds from the Ford Foundation. When it also helped fund Gutierrez’s other organization, MAYO, it was denounced by Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez (D-TX).
According to Texas State Historical Association, in the late sixties Gutierrez established a student organization at UT-Austin as an outgrowth of something called the Mexican American Student Association (MASA). Along with other affiliated groups, MASA, which once included among its ranks former “Chicano Rights” activist and current Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), would later form into the notorious Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Astlan of ‘MEChA.’ MEChA, still strong today, is a hyper-radical organization, and which then, as now, openly advocates for ‘Reconquista’ of America’s southwestern states. That group’s been found to have been actively funded’ by La Raza. Says Gutierrez, Reconquista is a movement to create within America, “a nation within a nation.” According to one report from Human Events, today MEChA:
rejects the notion that we [Hispanics]…should assimilate into the Anglo-American melting pot… Aztlan was the legendary homeland of the Aztecas … It became synonymous with the vast territories of the Southwest, brutally stolen from a Mexican people marginalized and betrayed by the hostile custodians of the Manifest Destiny.
According to the report, MEChA’s ‘Reconquista’ and return-of-Aztlan mandate found its spiritual beginnings with Corky Gonzalez, an early leader in Gutierrez’s United Race party. Gonzalez established El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan, a document that “encouraged autonomy and ethnic nationalism among Chicanos.” As explained by MEChA leader, Miguel Perez:
The ultimate ideology is the liberation of Aztlan. Communism would be closest [to it]. Once Aztlan is established, ethnic cleansing would commence: Non-Chicanos would have to be expelled – opposition groups would be quashed because you have to keep power.
According to author Gordon Mantler, Gonzalez found that “[e]thnically and racially driven culture, such as the importance of land symbolized by Aztlan, resulted in dissimilar and sometimes competing needs” vis-a-visa other minority groups.
Despite La Raza’s supposed rejection of the Gutierrez-affiliated MEChA and the goal of achieving Aztlan, a previous MEChA member provided the keynote address at La Raza’s 2002 Annual Convention. Further, using millions of dollars in federal grants, La Raza has apparently sponsored ethno-nationalist charter schools, including Aztlán Academy of Tucson, which state authorities were forced to close in 2010 for not meeting state standards. The principal of another taxpayer-funded/La Raza-sponsored chartered reportedly stated, “the White way, the American way….will eventually lead to our own destruction.”
With such a well-connected and well-financed organization like La Raza having such ties to a deeply anti-American and anti-White individual, like Gutierrez, one has to ask, what if a conservative organization such as Heritage Foundation ever gave an award or funding to a member from the American Nazi Party? After all, La Raza’s influence on national politics cannot be overstated; not one, but two, senior La Raza officials received top White House advisor appointments during the Obama Administration: Cecilia Munoz and Felicia Escobar. How is it that the media was silent on these appointments, yet so willing to cover criticism for President Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon. It’s about time the public begin demanding consistency from the mainstream media and the Democratic Party when they legitimize and promote ethnocentric extremist organizations, like La Raza.