La Raza Unida (“the Unified Race”)

July 25, 2011

Open Borders group
Contends that the mythical land of “Atzlan” was stolen from Mexico by the United States
“We see no human being as ‘illegal.’ Those who have arrived to the U.S. with heritage indigenous to the Americas, and specifically those crossing the southern border, are migrants on their own continent.”

La Raza Unida (“the Unified Race”), also known as the La Raza Unida Party, is an association of groups formed in the late 1960s and early 1970s with chapters throughout the American Southwest, most prominently in California, Colorado and Texas. As the organization explains, “La Raza Unida [in Texas] organized around electing Chicanos to Boards of Education and City Councils. … The spirit and force of La Raza Unida was truly embodied in Texas under the leadership of Jose Angel Gutierrez, a student and [the] President of the Mexican American Youth Organization.” Gutierrez, an open borders advocate who founded La Raza Unida, has stated, “We have an aging white America … They are dying. … They are sh—ing in their pants with fear! I love it! … We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to the worst, we have got to kill him.”

La Raza Unida held its first convention in 1972. In addition to Gutierrez, prominent early members were Corky Gonzalez, Reyes Lopez Tijerina, and Cesar Chavez. The group’s mission statement, according to its official website, is “Re-Commit, Re-Direct, Re-Organize and Re-Claim our past Chicano activism. … We will seek group ascendancy and solidarity among persons of Mexican American ancestry in this century.”

La Raza Unida supports an open borders policy of unrestricted immigration; the effective dissolution of American borders; and amnesty, civil liberties protections, and expanded rights for illegals already residing in the United States. The organization articulates its immigration philosophy as follows: “We see no human being as ‘illegal.’ Those who have arrived to the U.S. with heritage indigenous to the Americas, and specifically those crossing the southern border, are migrants on their own continent.”

La Raza Unida also professes “a commitment to the advancement of people of indigenous heritage,” an advancement to be achieved by means of “the complete reworking of the current [capitalist] economic system.” The group further seeks what it calls “fair taxes for all,” a social justice plan for the redistribution of wealth via tax hikes for higher earners and an expanded welfare state. Moreover, La Raza Unida asserts that the U.S. government should “drastically reduce the amount of taxes used to fund military purposes,” and calls for “an end to the militarization of society, including the borders.”

Claiming that its ancestral homeland was stolen by white Americans, La Raza Unida declares that large regions of the American Southwest do not rightfully belong to the United States. In the summer of 2004, the organization produced an ad to publicize an August 24th rally to be held in a venue it identified as “East Los Angeles, Califaztlán” — a composite of the words “California” and “Atzlán.” Atzlán is the purported name of a mythical place that La Raza Unida depicts as the cradle of Aztec civilization which was unjustly seized by the United States following the Mexican-American War, and which should now be returned to its alleged rightful owners: the people and government of Mexico.

On its website, La Raza Unida “pledges to seek and offer support to other organizations performing actions mirroring those we address.” The group went through a period of re-organization and restructuring after 1975, and for some time it lacked cohesiveness. However, it appears to be much more active of late and claims to be “doing outreach via the Internet as well as in person in events, demonstrations, and individual contact.”

Source: http://discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6781 (25 July, 2011)

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