Po’pay (also spelled Popé) was the leader of the Pueblo Revolt of August 10-21, 1680, a successful indigenous uprising which drove the Spanish colonists out of the settlement they named Santa Fé de Nuevo Mexico (located in what is now the state of New Mexico). The Pueblo killed 400 Spanish and drove the remaining settlers out of the area. Twelve years later the Spanish returned and were able to reoccupy New Mexico. Po’pay’s statue, seen above, is currently on display in the United States Capitol’s National Statuary Hall.
For good measure Po’pay who kicked the Spanish out of New Mexico.
Title: Turkey In The Straw
Artist: Luis Montoya, Ricardo Archuleta, Meliton Roybal
In other turkey matters, “El Cutilio” performed by Meliton Roybal in 1970
The First Thanksgiving was Chicano
In an act of thanksgiving for their safe passage across the Chihuahuan desert, the Oñate entrada arranged for a feast to be held and asked the Mansos to be their guests. This thanksgiving was the first to be celebrated in what is now the United States, a full 23 years before that of the Pilgrims at the Plymouth Colony. Painting by Jose Cisneros, courtesy of the University of Texas at El Paso Library and the artist.
Reposting for El Dia del Pavo.
[…] Early in my freshman year, my dad asked me if there were lots of Latinos at school. I wanted to say, “Pa, I’m one of the only Latinos in most of my classes. The other brown faces I see mostly are the landscapers’. I think of you when I see them sweating in the morning sun. I remember you were a landscaper when you first came to Illinois in the 1950s. And look, Pa! Now I’m in college!”
But I didn’t.
I just said, “No, Pa. There’s a few Latinos, mostly Puerto Rican, few Mexicans. But all the landscapers are Mexican.”
My dad responded, “¡Salúdelos, m’ijo!”
So when I walked by the Mexican men landscaping each morning, I said, “Buenos días.”
Recently, I realized what my dad really meant. I remembered learning the Mexican, or Latin American, tradition of greeting people when one enters a room. In my Mexican family, my parents taught me to be “bien educado” by greeting people who were in a room already when I entered. The tradition puts the responsibility of the person who arrives to greet those already there. If I didn’t follow the rule as a kid, my parents admonished me with a back handed slap on my back and the not-so-subtle hint: “¡Saluda!”
I caught myself tapping my 8-year-old son’s back the other day when he didn’t greet one of our friends: “Adrian! ¡Saluda!”
However, many of my white colleagues over the years followed a different tradition of ignorance. “Maleducados,” ol’ school Mexican grandmothers would call them.
But this Mexican tradition is not about the greeting—it’s about the acknowledgment. Greeting people when you enter a room is about acknowledging other people’s presence and showing them that you don’t consider yourself superior to them.
When I thought back to the conversation between my dad and me in 1990, I realized that my dad was not ordering me to greet the Mexican landscapers with a “Good morning.”
Instead, my father wanted me to acknowledge them, to always acknowledge people who work with their hands like he had done as a farm worker, a landscaper, a mechanic. My father with a 3rd grade education wanted me to work with my mind but never wanted me to think myself superior because I earned a college degree and others didn’t.
"Tribute to the Chicano Working Class", Emigdio Vasquez. This mural, located in the Cypress barrio of Orange, Orange County, CA (I grew up in this area as well as in Santa Ana) was the center of debate in 2009 when the Orange Police Department claimed it promoted gang violence. Vasquez, who grew up in the Cypress Street neighborhood, painted this mural in 1979 as part of his master’s thesis for Cal-State Fullerton. Rather than view it as a piece of art in a neighborhood which prides itself on its cultural and historical roots, the nativist, anti-immigrant, conservative atmosphere of Orange makes it difficult for any culture to truly express itself. What is really at stake here, even as stated by Orange Police Detective Joel Nigro, is the threat that comes with portraying "rebellion against a perceived oppressive government through art” (OC Weekly). His use of the word “perceived” is important because he implies that there are no oppressive forces which contribute to the criminalization and marginalization of Latinos and people/communities of color alike. Orange is notorious for its negative treatment of people of color, especially towards undocumented individuals.
The 1968 Chicano Blowouts
For better education that met the need of Mexican American children.
When the school board thought that erasing history, cutting our foreign tongues and “socializing” the youth would work, Chicanos rose up to take back what was/is rightfully theirs.
The Mexican Earth-Mother
The Magic and Mysteries of Mexico; or, The Arcane Secrets and Occult Lore of the Ancient Mexicans and Maya
Lewis Spence, patriotic Scotsman
London: Rider & Co., 1943.
East Side Story Vol. 8 these are compilations of oldies tailored for Chicanos cruising in clean rides and plenty of, as my dad would say, “clutch butt” music #vinyl
These are the ruins of the San Geronimo mission church that was destroyed by U.S. artillery during the “Taos Revolt” of 1847. The reprisal at Taos was precipitated two weeks prior by the assassination of the newly installed American governer Charles Bent and several of his associates by Hispano and Pueblo allies. The revolt was a last ditch attempt to oust the invading American forces after the disgraced governor, Manuel Armijo, surrendered the territory without firing a shot. Not restricted to Taos, there were were additional battles at Santa Cruz de la Canada, Las Vegas, Mora, and Embudo. From the New Mexico Office of the State Historian:
On February 3 Colonel Price marched through the town of Taos without opposition and found the rebels assembled in the Taos Pueblo. As Price began to lay siege to the Pueblo, the rebels took refuge in the Pueblo church of San Gerónimo de Taos. Ignoring the sanctity of the church, he blew holes with cannons in its thick adobe walls and set it on fire, forcing the rebels to flee. In the ensuing melee over 150 Indian and Hispanic New Mexicans were killed and the church virtually destroyed. Seven American soldiers were killed, including Captain John H. K. Burgwin, for whom Fort Burgwin was later named. The next day the people of the Pueblo sued for peace which Price granted on condition that they turn over Tomás Romero, the Pueblo rebel leader. In addition to Romero, Pablo Montoya and other rebels were also captured.
Several of the insurgents taken captive were later charged with “treason” and “murder.” They were hanged for defending their homeland against an invading army.
At Mother Tomas’,
We danced the
Her hands on my buttocks,
My crotch puffed
Like a lung
And holding its breath.
This wonderful woman
Stitched my neck
And told secrets—
The silverware she stole,
Her spinster aunt
Living in Taxco, a former lover
With a heart condition.
I in turn, being educated
And a man of
Absolutely no wealth,
Whispered a line
Of bad poetry
And bit her left earlobe.
Afterwards we left
Arm in arm
For my room, for our clothes
Piled in a chair, and she
Fingering my belly-button,
I opening her legs
Like a large Bible,
The kingdom of hair.
—Gary Soto, “Catalina Trevino Is Really From Heaven”
Art Credit Xinyi Cheng.
Julio Varela of Latino Rebels Censors, Threatens Lawsuit, and Now Likely Behind Spam Attack
About three weeks ago, our friends at Aztlan Reads reposted our piece on Julio Varela of Latino Rebels. Then yesterday — yes, on the 45 year anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre — Varela decided to go on their site to post an extremely condescending comment.
As seen in the image above, he tries to flip everything around by claiming that we are the ones being deceptive and spreading “hate based on lies.” He even calls us “mediocres.”
As we’ve stated before and told him again yesterday on Twitter, his entire business model is based on stealing from Mexican culture. If anyone is mediocre, it’s Varela and those who have bought into and defend the pseudo-activism of Latino Rebels.
But the real story is what happened after Aztlan Reads posted a message on their Twitter account informing their followers of Varela’s comment. According to their blog admin., they began receiving spam immediately after the first tweet went up. This was intensified to almost 500 spam comments after they posted a full response on their blog. Read it here: Aztlan Reads Responds to Astroturf Group Latino Rebels.
Is it any coincidence that the only spam attack Aztlan Reads has experienced in the 2 years that they’ve existed came minutes after speaking out against Julio Varela of Latino Rebels? We think not!
This spam attack is clearly an attempt to intimidate us in the hopes that we back down from informing people of astroturf activists like Latino Rebels, which, of course, we will not.
This all comes weeks after Varela on 3 separate occasions reported our Facebook page for posting images and links to our blog posts on him. An attempt, it seems, to have our account closed. This was followed by tirades against people sharing our story on Twitter.
“…and you are sharing libelous content. We have noted your tweet and alerted our counsel,” reads one of Latino Rebels tweets posted on September 9. This was one of many.
Tracking Twitter for Think Mexican posts unfavorable to Latino Rebels and then threatening libelous action against people sharing those posts seems to be anything but “rebel.”
It also seems in clear contradiction to his current role as producer for Al Jazeera America’s “The Stream.” We ask again, how is a person like Varela who threatens libelous action against people who share blog posts critical of him, censors those who criticize him, and is likely responsible for a spam attack on a blog that calls him out is still working for Al Jazeera America as a producer?
Many media companies have unfortunately made the cynical decision to compromise their journalistic integrity and employ (in this case, literally) the practices of marketers. This corrupts the very notion of authentic journalism, reducing it to another form of public relations.
Let us repeat, rather than being intimidated, we’re strengthened by the many who after reading our blog have connected the dots and have begun questioning the legitimacy of marketer Julio Varela using the struggles of our of community to personally profit through his company, Latino Rebels LLC.
Security technicians interested in helping Aztlan Reads, please contact them on Twitter.
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The problem with “Latino” marketers is not that they are selling a bad product. The problem is we are the product. The Latino label has never had much room for Chicanos. Nobody can speak on the behalf of a Chicano/a. A Chicano/a must speak for him/herself.