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The Takeover of America
Transcripts of Latino Activists
California Coalition for Immigration Reform
From, '"The Takeover of America", a CD produced by the California Coalition for Immigration Reform. Click here to order the CD or to listen to the actual recordings. The California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR) produced a CD with excerpts of radical, racist speeches by fifteen Latino elected officials, professors, students and community activists, with additional comments by Congressman Tom Tancredo, L.A. Talk Show Host Larry Elder, former CA Governor Gray Davis ─ending with disturbing chants by MEChA students."
The following are the verbatim transcripts.
1) Armando Navarro, Prof. Ethnic Studies, UC Riverside at Latino Summit Response to Prop 187, UC Riverside, 1/1995.
"These are the critical years for us as a Latino community. We're in a state of transition. And that transformation is called 'the browning of America".
Latinos are now becoming the majority. Because I know that time and history is on the side of the Chicano/Latino community. It is changing in the future and in the present the balance of power of this nation. It's a game - it's a game of power - who controls it.
You (to MEChA students) are like the generals that command armies. We're in a state of war. This Proposition 187 is a declaration of war against the Latino/Chicano community of this country. They know the demographics. They know that history and time is on our side. As one community, as one people, as one nation within a nation as the community that we are, the Chicano/Latino community of this nation. What this means is a transfer of power. It means control."
2) Art Torres, former CA state senator, currently Chair of California Democrat Party at UC Riverside 1/1995.
"Que viva la causa!
It is an honor to be with the new leadership of the Americas, here meeting at UC Riverside. So with 187 on the ballot, what is it going to take for our people to vote - to see us walking into the gas ovens? It is electoral power that is going to make the determination of where we go as a community.
And power is not given to you -- you have to take it. Remember 187 is the last gasp of white America in California. Understand that. And people say to me on the Senate floor when I was in the Senate, 'Why do you fight so hard for affirmative action programs?' And I tell my white colleagues, 'because you're going to need them.'"
3) Jose Angel Gutierrez, Prof. Univ. Texas at Arlington, founder La Raza Unida Party at UC Riverside 1/1995
"The border remains a military zone. We remain a hunted people. Now you think you have a destiny to fulfill in the land that historically has been ours for forty thousand years. And we're a new Mestizo nation. And they want us to discuss civil rights. Civil rights. What law made by white men to oppress all of us of color, female and male.
This is our homeland. We cannot - we will not- and we must not be made illegal in our own homeland. We are not immigrants that came from another country to another country. We are migrants, free to travel the length and breadth of the Americas because we belong here. We are millions. We just have to survive. We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. It's a matter of time. The explosion is in our population."
4) Bill Richardson, New Mexico Governor, former U.S. Congressman, U.N. Ambassador, U.S. Sect'y of Energy interviewed on radio Latino USA responding to Congressional Immigration Reform legislation in 1996.
"There are changing political times where our basic foundations and programs are being attacked, illegal and legal immigration are being unfairly attacked. We have to band together, and that means Latinos in Florida, Cuban-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, South Americans, we have to network better - we have to be more politically minded, we have to put aside party and think of ourselves as Latinos, as Hispanics more than we have in the past."
5) Mario Obledo, founding member/former nat'l director of Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), former CA Sect'y Health/Welfare on Tom Leykis radio talk show.
"We're going to take over all the political institutions in California. In five years the Hispanics are going to be the majority population of this state." Caller "You also made the statement that California is going to become a Hispanic state and if anyone doesn't like it they should leave - did you say that?" Obledo "I did. They ought to go back to Europe."
6) CCIR commentary on Mario Obledo.
When CCIR, the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, erected a billboard on the California/Arizona border reading, "WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA, THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION STATE", Mario Obledo, infuriated, went to the billboard location and threatened to blow it up or burn it down. Even after this threat to deny American citizens their freedom of speech, President Clinton awarded Obledo the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor.
CCIR question to Obledo "Jose Angel Gutierrez said, 'We have an aging white America, they are dying, I love it.' How would you translate that statement?" Obledo "He's a good friend of mine. A very smart person."
7) Richard Alatorre, former Los Angeles City Councilman at Latino Summit conference in Los Angeles opposing CA Prop. 209 ending affirmative action in 9/1996.
"Because our numbers are growing, they're afraid about this great mass of minorities that now live in our community. They're afraid that we're going to take over the governmental institutions and other institutions. They are right, we will take them over, and we are not going to go away - we are here to stay, and we are saying 'ya basta' (enough!) and we are going to turn... and de... not elect or re-elect people that believe that they are going to advance their political careers on the backs of immigrants and the backs of minorities."
8) Joe Baca, former CA Assembly member, currently member of Congress at Latino Summit Response to Prop 187 UC Riverside 1/1995 and Southwest Voter Registration Project annual conference in Los Angeles, 6/1996.
"We need more Latinos out there. We must stand up and be counted. We must be together, We must be united.
Because if we're not united you know what's going to happen? We're like sticks - we're broken to pieces. Divided we're not together. But as a unit they can't break us. So we've got to come together, and if we're united, si se puede (it can be done) and we will make the changes that are necessary. But we've got to do it. We've got to stand together, and dammit, don't let them divide us because that's what they want to do, is to divide us. And once we're divided we're conquered.
But when we look out at the audience and we see, you know, la familia, La Raza (the family, our race), you know, it's a great feeling, isn't it a good feeling? And you know, I started to think about that and it reminded me of a book that we all read and we all heard about, you know, Paul Revere, and when he was saying, 'The British are coming, the British are coming!' Well, the Latinos are coming, the Latinos are coming!
And the Latinos are going to vote. So our voices will be heard. So that's what this agenda is about. It's about insuring that we increase our numbers. That we increase our numbers at every level. We talk about the Congressional, we talk about the Senate, we talk about board of supervisors, board of education, city councils, commissions, we have got to increase out numbers because the Latinos are coming. Because what's going on right now, with 187, the CCRI (CA Civil Rights Initiative against affirmative action), and let me tell you, we can't go back, you know, we're in a civil war.
But we need to be solidified, we need to come together, we must be strong, because united we form a strong body. United we become solidified, united we make a difference, united we make the changes, united Latinos will win throughout California, let's stick together, que si se puede, que no? (it can be done, right?)
9) Antonio Villaraigosa, Chair of MEChA (student wing of Aztlan movement) at UCLA, former CA assemblymember, former CA Assembly speaker, currently Los Angeles City Councilman at Southwest Voter Registration Project Conference in Los Angeles, 6/1997.
"Part of today's reality has been propositions like 187 (to deny public benefits to illegal aliens, 1994), propositions like 209 (to abolish affirmative action, 1996), the welfare reform bill, which targeted legal immigrants and targeted us as a community.
That's been the midnight. We know that the sunny side of midnight has been the election of a Latino speaker - was the election of Loretta Sanchez, against an arch-conservative, reactionary hate-mongering politician like Congressman Dornan! Today in California in the legislature, we're engaged in a great debate, where not only were we talking about denying education to the children of undocumented workers, but now we're talking about whether or not we should provide prenatal care to undocumented mothers.
It's not enough to elect Latino leadership. If they're supporting legislation that denies the undocumented driver's licenses, they don't belong in office, friends. They don't belong here. If they can't stand up and say, 'You know what? I'm not ever going to support a policy that denies prenatal care to the children of undocumented mothers', they don't belong here."
10) Gloria Molina, one of the five in Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors at Southwest Voter Registration Project Conference, 6/1996.
"This community is no longer going to stand for it. Because tonight we are organizing across this country in a single mission, in a plan. We are going to organize like we've never organized before. We are going to go into our neighborhoods. We are going to register voters. We are going to talk to all of those young people that need to become registered voters and go out to vote and we're are politicizing every single one of those new citizens that are becoming citizens of this country.
And what we are saying is by November we will have one million additional Latino voters in this country, and we're gonna march, and our vote is going to be important. But I gotta tell you, there's a lot of people that are saying, 'I'm gonna go out there and vote because I want to pay them back!'
And this November we are going to remember those that stood with us and we are also going to remember those that have stood against us on the issues of immigration, on the issues of education, on the issues of health care, on the issues of the minimum wage."
11) Vicky Castro, former member of Los Angeles Board of Education at Southwest Voter Registration Project Conference, 6/1996.
"Que viva la raza, que viva la raza (long live our race)!
I'm here to welcome all the new voters of 18 years old that we're registering now in our schools. Welcome, you're going to make a difference for Los Angeles, for San Antonio, for New York, and I thank Southwest for taking that challenge. And to the Mechistas (MEChA students) across this nation, you're going to make that difference for us, too.
But when we register one more million voters I will not be the only Latina on the Board of Education of Los Angeles. And let me tell you here, no one will dismantle bilingual education in the United States of America. No one will deny an education to any child, especially Latino children. As you know, in Los Angeles we make up 70% of this school district. Of 600,000 -- 400,000 are Latinos, and our parents are not heard and they're going to be heard because in Los Angeles, San Antonio and Texas we have just classified 53,000 new citizens in one year that are going to be felt in November!"
12) Ruben Zacarias, former superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District at Southwest Voter Registration Project Conference, 6/1997.
"We have 27 centers now throughout LAUSD. Every one of them has trained people, clerks to take the fingerprints. Each one has the camera, that special camera. We have the application forms. And I'll tell you what we've done with I.N.S.
Now we're even doing the testing that usually people had to go to INS to take, and pretty soon, hopefully, we'll do the final interviews in our schools.
Incidentally, I started this very quietly because there are those that if they knew that we were creating a whole new cadre of brand new citizens it would have tremendous political impact. We will change the political panorama not only of L.A., but L.A. County and the State. And we do that we've changed the panorama of the nation. I'm proud to stand here and tell you that in those close to three years we have processed a little over 78,000 brand new citizens. That is the largest citizenship program in the entire nation."
13) Ernesto Zedillo, former president of Mexico announcing the Mexican constitutional amendment allowing for dual citizenship on 6/23/97.
"I have proudly affirmed that the Mexican national extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders, and that Mexican migrants are an important - a very important part of it. For that reason my government proposed a constitutional amendment to allow any Mexican with the right as he desires to acquire another nationality to do so without being forced to first give up his or her Mexican nationality. fortunately, the amendment was passed almost unanimously by our federal Congress and is now part of our constitution. I am also here today to tell you that we want you to take pride in what each and every one of your Mexican brothers and sisters are doing back home.
14) Augustin Cebada, Information Minister of Brown Berets, militant para-military soldiers of Aztlán shouting at U.S. citizens at an Independence Day rally in Los Angeles, 7/4/96.
"Augustin Cebada, Brown Berets, we're here today to show L.A., show the minority people here, the Anglo-Saxons, that we are here, the majority, we're here to stay.
We do the work in this city, we take care of the spoiled brat children, we clean their offices, we pick the food, we do the manufacturing in the factories of L.A., we are the majority here and we are not going to be pushed around.
We're here in Westwood, this is the fourth time we've been here in the last two months, to show white Anglo-Saxon Protestant L.A., the few of you who remain, that we are the majority, and we claim this land as ours, it's always been ours, and we're still here, and none of the talk about deporting.
If anyone's going to be deported it's going to be you! Go back to Simi Valley, you skunks! Go back to Woodland Hills! Go back to Boston! To back to the Plymouth Rock, Pilgrims! Get out! We are the future. You're old and tired. Go on. We have beaten you, leave like beaten rats. You old white people, it is your duty to die. Even their own ethicists say that they should die, that they have a duty to die. They're taking up too much space, too much air.
We are the majority in L.A. There's over seven million Mexicans in L.A. County alone. We are the majority. And you're going to see every day more and more of it, as we manifest as our young people grow up, graduate from high school, go on to college and start taking over this society. The vast majority of our people are under the age of 15 years old. Right now we're already controlling those elections, whether it's by violence or nonviolence.
Through love of having children we're going to take over." Other demonstrators "Raza fuerza (brown race power), this is Aztlán, this is Mexico. They're the pilgrims on our land. Go back to the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria."
15) Fabian Nunez, formerly Alliance for Immigrant Rights, political liaison for L.A. School District, currently Speaker of the CA Assembly at Latino Summit Response to Prop 187 at UC Riverside, 1/1995.
"There's only two forms of power in this country and in this world. One is economic power, We certainly don't have the economic power because we don't own the means of production, but there's another form of power, and that's the power of the masses. So you can be as revolutionary as you want, you can be Chicano nationalist, you can be Mexican-American, you can be Hispanic, you can believe in the concept of Aztlán, you can believe in the concept of multi-culturalism. Somebody can say 'Everybody here is wrong, I am the only one that has reached revolutionary completeness'.
But the bottom line is that if we do not mobilize our community we are not putting together a setting - the parameters to establish a massive movement in our community. That's what this is about. And that's why I am here today - to talk about who here wants to organize the masses, and who here is interested in developing that movement that somebody earlier said that the sleeping giant is in a coma.
I'll tell you that on October 16 ("Grande Marcha" against Prop. 187) 150,000 representatives from the sleeping giant were not in a coma but rather were marching down the streets of Los Angeles saying that enough is enough and we're no longer going to tolerate the racism against our community. The very essence of the dignity of our community is in danger right now. Luckily, we don't have to give our lives. We're not at that point, but we can give a little. What I would like to ask everybody here to give is not necessarily your life, but to give one moment of thought to what the importance of a national march on Washington DC in 1996 would mean for the mass movement of our community. Get ten people, ten people ready to go with us to that march to Washington DC in '96, and I guarantee you, just as we mobilized 150 (sic) people into the streets of Los Angeles on October 16, we can mobilize one million people and bring Washington to a standstill, and those rednecks that are out there making decisions for the betterment of their communities will think twice before they push forward anti-immigrant legislation against our community.
And so that we can show our people that the time has come for us to come together on what brings us together instead of to sit down and bump heads. And I tell the students in the colleges, if you're still debating the question of whether they're Chicanos or Mexicanos, or Chicano/Mexicano, we're not learning from the lessons of ten, fifteen years ago. The time has come for unity - there's too many things that separate people, but we have to begin to look at what brings us together. And so I ask everybody here, how many of you agree if we can leave here with one thing today, that in 1996 we are going to Washington DC on a mass mobilization there to bring Washington to a standstill so that they know that we're there and that we begin to put into place those things that are necessary to insure that we advance the interests of our community. Raise your hands, those of you that agree with what I'm saying."
16) Larry Elder, L.A. radio talk show host reads a letter from one of his listeners.
"Dear Larry, I spent ten years as a cruise hostess working at sea on cruise ships all over the world, so many of my assignments were to the Mexican Riviera, going back to the destination over and over again working friendships with many of the local people working along side of us in the Mexican tourist industry. Larry, the one phrase I heard a hundred times or more was, 'When the revolution is over.' When I asked for information, always the same answer, 'When they have California back.' Young or old, it seems they grew up being taught there would be a revolution some day. Somehow they would have California back."
17) Tom Tancredo, U.S. Congressman from Colorado,, speaking on CSPAN, 6/27/2001.
"In the June 21 issue of Time Magazine, the lead story of which is titled, "AMEXICA". It describes the de facto elimination of the border between Mexico and the United States. I believe that the debate revolving around our immigration policy should reflect the fact that this phenomenon is underway. President Fox (of Mexico) yesterday stated that he came to the United States to "play a more active role in establishing the new international architecture". I believe that this new "international architecture" can be described as AMEXICA.
18) Gray Davis, former governor of California, recalled by the voters 10/2003 speaking to a Latino audience in 1999.
"In the near future, people will look at California and Mexico as one magnificent region."
19) MEChA (student wing of the Aztlan movement - motto "For the race, everything, for those outside the race, nothing.") chants at national conference, Cal State Univ., Northridge, 6/1996.
"Viva la raza (long live our race)", "Chicano power" "We didn't cross the
border, the border crossed us" "Long live the revolution" "Esta es mi tierra,
esta es mi lucha (This is my land, this is my fight)".
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