students sent a resounding message in the recent ASSU elections:
racism in any form will not be tolerated. For years, the Review
has worked to spread the truth about MEChA’s origins and the
racist ideology embodied in their founding documents. One needs
do little more than read the “El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán”
to find a sampling of outrageous quotes such as “For the race
everything, for those outside, nothing” and, in regards to
the guiding purpose of MEChA, “Self-Defense against the occupying
forces of the oppressors at every school, every available man, woman,
and child.” It should also be noted that “El Plan”
also includes the “liberation” of the southwestern United
States and the return of that land to its historical heirs, Chicanos.
In studying MEChA’s history, it is clear that its primary
intent was never to combat social inequity, but rather to promote
racial exclusivity and a radical, subversive agenda.
This is not to say the current
membership of Stanford’s MEChA chapters adheres to these objectives.
Today’s MEChA chapter is obviously not nearly as vocal in
such racist and outrageous goals. But regardless of whether MEChA
is simply silent about these historical objectives or has genuinely
lost interest in them, it has yet to renounce its racist underpinnings.
This alone should be a rallying call to every student who is dedicated
to opposing racism of all forms to remove financial support for
And that’s exactly what
Stanford students did. We as a community should be proud. For all
the protests and energy the community spends on promoting socially
progressive ideals, something very material has been achieved and
one racist group has been stopped dead in its tracks.
There has been collateral damage.
MEChA has strategically positioned itself as the center of funding
for many other Latino-related clubs. These groups receive a small
portion of the funding allocated to MEChA. In addition to the Review’s
editorials urging an end to MEChA, the Review has also called for
the smaller clubs that receive funding via MEChA to find alternative
routes of financing. Most of these smaller groups have no racist
history and their merits should be judged independently of MEChA
The radicalism that underpins
MEChA has finally caught up with it. Yet the penalty to be paid
will come at the cost of many arguably innocent groups. The only
way to guarantee that such a situation never arises again is for
these groups to renounce MEChA as a source of funding.
If Latino clubs continue to allow
their financial stability to rest on such a broken foundation, they
too will be haunted by the bigotry that lies in MEChA’s history.
If the community expects to have a well-funded future, it must take
a step away from MEChA and begin to build a new foundation that
is not rooted in racial hatred.