The Inadvisable Beauty of Aztlan: Ramsey Muniz on the Minutemen

Introduction: "Inadvisable" is the word that
answers me when I think about posting the latest prison writings of
Ramsey Muniz. Isn’t there a populist vigilante movement rising against
Mexican immigration to the USA, sparked by the Minuteman Project and
fanned by a Governor of California and a would-be governor from Texas?
Are the Yankee border-watchers not out to personally hold the color
line in a kind of Alamo witness against ethnic invasion? And doesn’t
Ramsey simply taunt that movement with its Alamo futility, provoking
from the Minutemen a predictable crescendo of strident justifications
to remember the Alamo? And then doesn’t all hell break loose?

And what does Ramsey’s nationalism have to do with Civil Rights in
Texas? Is the Aztlan homeland not simply the mirror image of Homeland
Security? How can you malign the nationalism of the Minutemen while
aiding and abetting the nationalism of Aztlan? And why in the world
would you knowingly contribute to a polarization that is likely to
shake down some fence sitters onto the wrong side?

Let’s look at the problem in its utter generality. Five hundred
years ago an invasion of immigration began upon Turtle Island.
Beginning in 1492 the peoples of the North American continent were
purged and replaced. Today the First Nations of the continent still
live, but under stress. The Aztlan nationalism of Ramsey Muniz
celebrates the rebirth of a people, an historical and cultural
resurrection of los Indios upon land they belong to.

From a Minuteman point of view, however, the scenario of Aztlan
resurrected is a violence in the making, a submergence of culture and
people. And if there are fence sitters between camps, don’t these
competing nationalist visions of Mexican immigration shake people down
into predictable blocs–just in time for the 2006 elections?

Yet, in the general vision of Aztlan, how can one not see the
beauty? Don’t we tend to favor the underdog hero, the return of the
vanquished, the emergence of life upon death, and redemption? In order
to resist the beauty of Aztlan, one must assume a vested interest
against the vision. And this is what the Minutemen have done.

But the explicit, armed, and bodily intervention of the Minutemen
against the Mexican people’s return to Aztlan draws upon implicit
anxieties of English speaking peoples who find themselves increasingly
immersed in a Spanish speaking world. Where Mexican people are rising,
the English speaking world finds it all too difficult to say, well good
for them. It’s good to see people rising.

So the challenge to the fence sitter is this: will your vested
interests prevent you from seeing the beauty of Aztlan? Then go ahead
and fall where you must. But you don’t have to live without beauty. In
the beauty of others, you just might find something new in the beauty
of yourself.

Are the words of Ramsey Muniz inadvisable? We have to be careful
what we’re saying whenever we warn beauty to put a cover over her head:

* * *

Ya Basta with the American Minutemen
at the Borders

On or about 1920, in the Leavenworth Penitentiary, near
the end of his life, Ricardo Flores Magon, one of the
intellectual architects of the Mexican Revolution of 1910,
wrote a friend, stating that his comrades from the glory days
"are now generals, governors, secretaries of state, and
some have been presidents of Mexico."

"They are rich, famous, and powerful," Flores Magon
complained. "While I am poor, unknown, sick, almost
blind. With a number for a name, marked as a felon,
rotting in this human herd whose crime has been to be
so ignorant and so stupid as to have stolen a piece of
bread when it is a virtue to steal millions. But my
old comrades are practical men, while I’m only a dreamer,
and that is my fault. They have been the ant and I the
fly; while they have counted dollars, I have wasted
time counting the stars. I wanted to make a man of
each human animal. They, more practical, have made an
animal of each man, and they have made themselves the
shepherds of the flock. Nevertheless, I prefer to be
a dreamer than a practical man."

Ricardo Flores Magon
Died in the U.S.P. Leavenworth, 1922

As I have shared with nuestra gente in the past,
the borders between our Holy Land of Mexico and the
Southwest part of the United States will continue to be
a most decisive and profound issue of the 21st century.

For the record and for the purpose of sharing
with Hispanics, Latinos, Chicanos and Mexicanos, we
of the Sixth Sun and El Partido Raza Unida maintain a
strong opposition to the formation of the minutemen
vigilantes who have gathered at the borders. We oppose
citizens hunting down our people, our families, and
our friends like animals. We must not permit this
type of action to exist against humanity. We will
personally submit a letter to President Fox , so that
he convey our sentiments to the president of this
country, sharing that those types of actions by
citizens are illegal, unlawful, and extremely
prejudice. We will recommend that the United States
government, by law, grant amnesty to all our people
who at one time or another crossed the borders. At
this point, we are not addressing legal actions that
the United States can take, simply because we are
more concerned about the value of lives at our borders.

In reality it doesn’t matter how many agents,
vigilantes (minutemen) they will station at the borders,
because nuestra gente will continue to come across
into Aztlan.

We ARE here. The United States finally took count
and found out that within the last ten (10) years our
people have crossed the borders into American not
only fulfilling the American dream, but more importantly
fulfilling the destiny of our becoming the entire
majority in the Southwest (Aztlan). There is nothing
on this earth that can stop a movement of people whose
history revealed that they would once more govern not
only their lives, but their land.

We must have the heart, courage, and concern for
the well-being of our people. We must never forget that
in some fashion or another we are related. "We are all
Mexicanos — different names, different placed, different
native languages, but at the end we are Mexicanos. The
states within the borders know that it is a matter of
time before we become the majority. Those who doubt
this may study the U.S. census of people at the borders.
It was written in our ancient history, and the battle
cry for many centuries has been about life and death
for justice, liberation, and land. As a people and
race, we have returned to those times once again.
The land (Aztlan) itself cries for us. Before the
conquest by the invaders of 1521, our civilization was
one of the greatest in the history of the world.

This country has no business in the Middle East.
The issue represents the same method that was used in
taking possession of our land. Many refuse to address
the issue pertaining to Aztlan. They prefer to pat
"good deeds" on the back with words of praise for
taking one’s God-given land. This issue will never
end until atrocities committed are acknowledged. All
countries, including France and Spain, were defeated
in the Southwest of America — our Aztlan.

It is our responsibility to undo the mental brain
conditioning imposed, making us believe that we who
reside in the United States of America are different
from Mexicanos who reside in Mexico. We are one.
"Nosotros somos uno." The same Mexicanos/Mexicanas that
at times we see at the borders — barefooted, hungry,
and chained — are our sisters and brothers. These
Mexicanos are related to all of us. We are one, and
there is no river, no border, no agents or minutemen
that can ever stop the process of evolution. For
hundreds of years the invaders led us to believe that
we are different. Their history, how

ever, is wrong
and nature calls for the wrong to be corrected.

We request that Hispanic and Latino organizations
take a strong political position against citizen groups
at the borders. We ask that Hispanic/Latino Democratic
and Republicans take a strong political position against
the actions of citizens and groups in America taken
against us as a people.

Even though I find myself confined in these
penitentiaries of America, my soul is free with calm
rest because I know our history, and I know that our
time has come.

Let the world know. Let all Hispanic, Latino,
and Chicano groups know that our time has come. Do
we dare to scale the heights of heaven and our land
in Aztlan? Yes, I dare – y que!!!

In exile,
Tezcatlipoca (R. Muniz)

Note: received via email from Irma L. Muniz, May 10, 2005.–gm

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