On June 19, Adel Ramos, a thug with a history of violence, gunned down Sacramento police officer Tara O’Sullivan, 26, who was helping a woman move out of her home after a domestic dispute. The city paid tribute to O’Sullivan, a graduate of Sacramento State University, but over at UC Davis things were rather quiet.
In January, convicted criminal Kevin Limbaugh gunned down Davis police officer Natalie Corona, 22. Police came from across the nation to pay tribute to Corona, by all accounts a rising star in the department. The UC Davis Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission issued a Facebook post complaining that the “thin blue line” flag Corona was shown carrying “represents an attempt by law enforcement to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Then in February, The California Aggie journalist Nick Ervin unearthed posts from UC Davis English professor Joshua Clover that cops “need to be killed,” shot in the back, and so forth. Clover specializes in “critical theory, Marxism, political theory,” and other subjects including “crisis theory and the end of capitalism.”
Clover was unapologetic and crime victims thought it strange that such a person should be on the payroll of a public university. UC Davis issued a statement condemning Clover and finding it “unconscionable that anyone would condone much less appear to advocate murder.” Even so, they duly kept Clover on the job. That is a tough act to follow, but UC Davis bosses are up to the task.
On June 21, 25 years after his death, the Sacramento Bee reported, Oscar Gomez Jr. “was finally awarded a posthumous degree in Chicana/o Studies and Community Development at the Chicanx and Latinx Graduation Celebration of 2019. (Chicanx and Latinx are gender-neutral alternatives to Chicano and Latino.)”
As the Bee’s Panchalay Chalermkraivuth explained, Gomez was “a member of the UC Davis chapter of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán (MEChA) and the host of radio show ‘La Onda Xicana.’ Gomez was known and loved on UC campuses, in state penitentiaries, on fields worked by Chicanx farmers and in his hometown of Baldwin Park – anywhere the airwaves carried his voice on KDVS 90.3 FM, anywhere he had traveled to orally document the struggles of Chicanx people.”
Friends and family stood with a collective roar of “Que viva Oscar,” and Oscar Gomez Sr. presented to his other son a shawl reading: “Oscar E. Gomez Jr. El Bandido. UC Davis MEChA. Class of 1995.” And according to the Bee, Gomez once “commandeered a university golf cart and was sentenced to community service, he chose to do his time by hosting a show on the university radio station, KDVS.”
The report notes Gomez’s “premature death on Nov. 6, 1994,” after which, according to one of his friends, “they held vigils in state penitentiaries.” According to Chalermkraivuth, Gomez died in an accident “while covering a student protest at UC Santa Barbara against Proposition 187, which blocked undocumented immigrants’ access to non-emergency health care, public education, and other services.”
According to Bianca Beltran, a staff writer with The Bottom Line at UCSB, Gomez was on site to cover a hunger strike over increased UC student fees. There was evidence of “foul play indicated by the blunt-force trauma on his head and reports of a fight with his friend, who happened to have been the last person to see him alive.” Even so, police closed the case.
A 2012 documentary by Pepe Urquijo charts Gomez’s rallies for the “La Raza,” to celebrate their history, pride and culture. “La Raza” derives from La Raza Cosmica by Mexican education minister and presidential candidate Jose Vasconcelos. The book contends that the fusion of Spaniards and Indians is a new race “infinitely superior to all that have previously existed.”
Ironically, the translator of La Raza Cosmica was the late Didier Jaén, former professor of Latin American literature at UC Davis. Jaén noted that most critics, including Marxists, reject Vasconcelos’ idea of a superior race. But then, the Chicano movement in the United States, identified with the concept of La Raza, “giving it new life, when in Latin America this concept had been forgotten and lost prestige.”
As Mexican-American Communist Bert Corona explained in Memoirs of Chicano History, Vasconcelos’ racial theory was “close to the kind of German racial superiority theory supported by Hitler.” Vasconcelos became a fascist, and as Corona explained, “I couldn’t accept all this. We’re not a superior race.”
The first bilingual edition of The Cosmic Race, was published in 1979 by the Department of Chicano Studies at California State University at Los Angeles. Vasconcellos’ ideas are the core curriculum of this non-discipline. MEChA is a belch from the sixties’ left and “Aztlan,” the lost homeland land of the Chicanos, never existed.
Meanwhile, in 2007 UC Davis awarded a posthumous degree to senior Matt Rybicki, who died in a car accident. According to the report, the university only awards posthumous degrees to undergraduates who have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher and are within 15 units of completing degree requirements.
No official word on the grades of MEChA razaista Oscar Gomez, basically a cross between Jose Vasconcelos and Cheech and Chong.