September 01, 2003
BUSTAMANTE UPDATE: Stefan Sharkansky has posts on MEChA here and here.
He also notes, via email, that the lefty regions of the blogosphere don't seem as willing to condemn Bustamante's racist connections as the righty regions were willing to condemn Trent Lott's.
UPDATE: Make that racist and homophobic. I'm disappointed to see the Democrats choosing such a troglodyte as their standard-bearer.
And yet, as Matt Welch notes, somehow it's Arnold Schwarzenegger who's being called homophobic? Puhleez.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Michael Levy emails:
You should note that Aztlan.net is not officially linked to M.E.Ch.A.--they deny any link, and Hector Carreon of la Voz is part of U.M.A.S., a different chicano student organization. They do share the same views on most issues, but you can't blame M.E.Ch.A./Bustamante for Carreon's words unless you can find some proof M.E.Ch.A. supports la Voz.
Fair enough. The page linked above under "homophobic" goes to Aztlan.net, not MEChA. My mistake. I blame the cough syrup. (And, yes, there really is cough syrup -- I've spent labor day weekend with a nasty cold, which seems deeply unfair. It's like having to scrape ice off your windshield in August -- bad enough in season, but a real gyp out of season.)
ANOTHER UPDATE: Matt Rustler has a post correcting my error on Aztlan.net, above. Meanwhile here's a Daniel Weintraub post on Bustamante.
STILL MORE: Crooked Timber says it's all just a right-wing smear job, and Bustamante has nothing to be ashamed of. (Well, actually they say that "Bustamente" has nothing to be ashamed of. Who's he? Another one of those 134 candidates? But my snarkiness aside, it's a long post that's worth reading if you want to see the pro-Bustamante angle to this story. Trouble is, when A.N.S.W.E.R. is routinely portrayed by the media as a bunch of ordinary concerned citizens, it's not much of a stretch to think that MEChA might be getting a free ride, is it?)
LATER: The post at Crooked Timber is by Ted Barlow -- I didn't credit him above because I had the impression -- apparently wrong -- that he was keeping a lower blog-profile these days. Sorry, Ted. And glad to have you back in the blogosphere! I don't take back the "Bustamente" crack though -- if you're going to post that everyone else is sloppy, it behooves you to spell the name right.
YET MORE AGAIN: Juan non-Volokh has a post saying that the Crooked Timber item above is "sloppy" and notes:
Why do all these MEChA sites post "El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan"? Perhaps because it was a statement of principles adopted at the 1969 National Chicano Youth Liberation Conference, out of which MEChA was born. It is part of "the essential philosophy of MEChA," according to the University of Arizona chapter, and is one formulation of the group's organizing principles. Whether or not the infamous phrase is the "official" slogan of MEChA or not, it is certainly reasonable to view it as part of the association's creed.
I feel pretty sure that a right-wing group saying the same kinds of things about white people that MEChA says about hispanics wouldn't be cut this sort of media slack.
STILL MORE ON THIS: It's a bit behind the curve, but here's a post by David Neiwert defending Bustamante, just in case you're interested. Flatteringly, he seems to think that I'm more influential than Fox News, though that in itself may undercut his credibility.
YET MORE: Now Neiwert is mad at me for "knocking his credibility." Sheesh. I just thought it was funny that he was putting me in the context of Big Media. I actually thought I was being rather generous and even-handed to add his post here. And I think I've gone out of my way to link to, and quote, people who say Bustamante and MEChA aren't racist. I just don't find them persuasive, and I think that Newert would call any white politician who talked about race the way they do a racist.
The rather frantic nature of the response to what seem to me perfectly legitimate questions -- questions that, as Kaus points out, Bustamante could have cleared up easily with a few straightforward sentences when they were first raised -- suggests to me that some people have a lot invested in the notion that their political allies couldn't possibly be racist. Sorry, but reality intrudes. It's not 1964 anymore.j
And Trent Lott wouldn't have gotten a pass for this, either. Meanwhile Robert Tagorda thinks that Pejman Yousefzadeh has pretty much settled things.
STILL MORE: But if that doesn't, here's an exhaustive examination of MEChA in its own words.