The goal of this analysis is to provide a critical/self-critical assessment of the repression suffered by our communities during the years under trumpism. As Unión del Barrio, we also share our ideas regarding the self-defense and political future of working-class raza communities within the current borders of the U.S.Unión del Barrio defines “la raza” as follows: “Within the borders of the United States, we have historically suffered under colonial oppression, isolation, and dehumanizing conditions. As a … Continue reading This includes our understanding of the long-term consequences of trumpism as a political movement (2015-present) and as a governing force (2017-2021), the 2020 elections, and what the political violence between rival sectors of the U.S. ruling class means for raza communities within the current borders of the United States, and for Nuestra América more broadly.
The document is organized by listing the most difficult lessons of the rise and consolidation of the trumpian movement and the COVID-19 pandemic. We intend to document what we learned from these crises, and then use what we have learned to guide our political work in 2021 and beyond.
We identify trumpism as a “movement” because it mobilized and continues to direct the political actions of a substantial sector of U.S.-based white nationalism. During six years, between June 15, 2015 (the date of Trump’s anti-Mexican speech and the first national expression of this movement), and January 6, 2021, (trumpism’s culminating political action in Washington D.C.), the trumpian movement demonstrated a capacity to mobilize significant numbers of followers, and dominate a range of political contests – elections, policy debates, cultural struggles, public street-level challenges, etc. By 2020 it grew its number of followers within the U.S. and around the world. What is most important, is that trumpism destabilized ruling-class power dynamics. This destabilized context exposed contradictions within the ruling class, and threatened to topple the system itself.
As an organization, from 2016 to 2020 we did what we could to raise the alarm about the threats trumpism posed to our communities.Here are a few links of UdB articles published during the trump years: 05/26/2016 – “¡Fuera Trump! UdB Report On The May 27th Action In San Diego” 05/26/2016 – “Mobilize & … Continue reading More importantly, we shifted Unión del Barrio to a self-defense footing, and consequently, we did our best to engage in the active self-defense of our communities from relentless trumpian attacks. These actions and experiences were rooted in our political principles that center on collective struggle and community-based organizing, and these principles continue to provide us with enough political clarity to recognize the first important lesson of trumpian tyranny:
Lesson 1. The current political crises in the United States ARE NOT rooted in electoral struggle, and consequently, they have no electoral solutions.
There is abundant evidence that Democrats and Republicans do not operate as electoral organizations, but as syndicates who traffic in colonial/imperialist power. The Democratic Party has proven time and again that it has no political principles, other than a commitment to reform the status quo, in order to sustain it.
On the other side of the same coin, the Republican Party has for decades understood that demographic change in the U.S. has rendered their electoral futures untenable. For this reason, it is heavily invested in strategies to impose their political will through gerrymandering, voter suppression, and electoral college schemes. On January 6th, the trumpian movement added direct political violence to its list of strategies – elections be damned – officially moved past elections, and irrevocably altered previous arrangements of ruling class power in the U.S.This critique of the two-party system has very little to do with democratic norms and stolen elections. Gerrymandering, differentiations of electoral power, unlimited power of money in elections, … Continue reading January 6th is the clearest evidence of how the two colonial parties no longer share mutually recognized electoral, judicial, or legislative mechanisms to resolve their differences. Some people in our communities say F— it, let them destroy each other. Que se vayan todos a la fregada. But this is an irresponsible line of thinking.
Unión del Barrio recognizes that the consequences of the war within the U.S. ruling class will continue to fall most heavily on the backs of our peoples. To put it plainly, what is happening is a crisis of imperial decline, neoliberal decadence, surveillance capitalism, environmental collapse, and global pandemic. Within the collapse of the old system, a fascist movement has emerged, and the cornerstone of this movement is its murderous goal of further repressing la raza, here, and throughout Nuestra América. This is not an alarmist, exaggerated position. We have arrived at this conclusion by looking closely at the last five years. Listed here are the ten primary lessons we take away from trumpism:
- The current political crises in the United States ARE NOT rooted in electoral struggle, and consequently, they have no electoral solutions.
- Trumpism is a fascist social-political movement.
- Anti-raza politics are the cornerstone of trumpian fascism, and will continue as a cornerstone for future trump-inspired political movements.
- No one with any real influence advocates for la raza within existing forms of institutional power.
- Independent progressive raza forces, including Unión del Barrio, proved incapable of mounting an effective movement to defend our communities from trumpian fascism.
- A Latin American ruling class criminal syndicate has monopolized political power. This monopoly must be broken.
- Raza working-class people suffer an acute form of internalized colonialism, and it is killing us.
- The worst is yet to come.
- Disciplined political organization is imperative.
- Militant raza working-class struggle and international solidarity are our only viable defenses, within the U.S. and throughout Nuestra America.
What follows includes a summary of our understanding of recent political events, the pandemic, and what it all means for the future of raza liberation struggle within the current borders of the U.S. This summary of the difficult lessons Unión del Barrio takes away from trumpism is organized in four parts:
THE EVENTS OF JANUARY 6, 2021:
To begin, the January 6, 2021 storming of the Capitol was not a “breakdown” of law enforcement at all – it was a breakdown of the pre-existing ruling class peace. It was primarily a Trump-incited political action that unfolded, only incidentally, by the actions of the riotous white supremacist, neo-nazi misfits we saw streaming live to our screens. Who perpetrated the violent attack is less important than understanding why it was allowed to happen in the first place.
Washington D.C. is the most militarized city in the world. With the corresponding political will, the heavily militarized defenses assembled around the Capitol grounds could quickly have repelled and quashed the January 6th mob. “Smoking gun” evidence of “law enforcement” coordination with the mob may never be found through the interrogation of the people in charge of Capitol security, because that type of coordination is self-evident in the violent act itself. In other words, the fact the trumpian mob actually seized the Capitol is all the evidence needed to prove that they were indeed allowed to seize the Capitol.
That the attack happened at all, is also material evidence of the political nature of the event, the violent breakdown of ruling class consensus, and the reconfiguration of two-party ruling class power at the highest levels of the federal government, the military, and the system as a whole. Instead of mobilizing the massive defense mechanisms already in place throughout Washington D.C. to protect the building and the joint session of Congress taking place inside, the maximum political authorities in Washington D.C. allowed the mob to physically seize control of the seat of the U.S. federal government during the three hours that coincided with the certification of the 2020 presidential election.Consider the police response on January 6th, and how it compared to the summer 2020 BLM-targeted preparations for protecting confederate statues and the Capitol building. This comparison has been … Continue reading
What took place on January 6th was not a spontaneous action. Months before the events of January 6th, and months before the November 2020 elections, the trumpian movement had already disqualified as fraudulent any electoral results that did not confirm Trump as the winner. This media campaign was followed by the malicious intervention of the U.S. Postal Service to disrupt its capacity in a way that clearly intended to undermine voting by mail. Furthermore, before the elections, Trump suddenly removed and replaced key military and intelligence officials, and was reported to have met with military and political figures to consider a preemptive declaration of martial law to postpone the 2020 elections.
During the weeks after the November 20, 2020 elections, representatives of the Trump administration filed lawsuits, issued formal legal complaints, and deployed public pressure campaigns to force the hand of the institutional arbiters of electoral contests, the courts, and state-level electoral boards. When each of these challenges failed to overturn any elections in Trump’s favor, the trumpian movement became more aggressive. Trump and his allies called state representatives directly, demanding they produce new ballots that would change outcomes in his favor in the states of Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Days before the January 6th storming of the Capitol, Trump again met with military leadership seeking their support in some form of post-electoral intervention, and thereby provoked a public letter from retired “defense secretaries,” warning active military officials and their trumpian handlers against deploying the military to support an “auto-golpe.” An “auto-golpe” is a “self-coup” – used by outgoing governments to block the transfer of power to remain in government. See “All 10 living former defense secretaries: Involving the … Continue reading Trump was intent on staying in power by any means necessary, and if any combination of the publicized efforts listed here would have succeeded, he would have achieved his goal to forcibly remain in power.
Trump’s desperation escalated until he finally greenlighted a last-ditch effort that would keep him in office. The short-term calculation was that some form of direct action on January 6th would disrupt the certification of the Biden electoral victory, and at least give them more time to consolidate other plans. Undoubtedly, the more disciplined members of the trumpian movement were in on this conspiracy, and promised Trump consequential logistical support during the January 6 mobilization against the Capitol.
The political nature of this attack is further demonstrated by Trump’s behavior during, and immediately after the attack. During the three hours that the mob violently seized the halls of the U.S. Congress, Trump set his people against his own vice president. He literally tweeted messages to encourage violence against Pence while the mob attack was still taking place. Furthermore, during the crucial three hours of the attack, and for another three hours after the storming of the Capitol, the trumpian mob enjoyed the cover of presidential protection – they were deemed to be “very special” by Trump himself, and they all understood the political implications of Trump’s online declaration of love. The behavior of the mob and their individual online statements confirmed their awareness that they had the support of the trumpian faction of the federal government. As a direct result of their allegiance to the trumpian movement, the mob entered legislative chambers armed with weapons and explosives, and was allowed to move freely within other high-security areas.
To be clear, the trumpian mob did not retreat after January 6. They were not violently removed from the Capitol. Instead, they got tired and simply walked away with almost no arrests that day. Soon after, they convened armed mobilizations to take place across the country for January 17-20th. Despite a subdued response, threats of militant seizures of state capitol buildings were taken seriously across the U.S., and 25,000 national guard troops were mobilized to defend Biden’s January 20th inauguration. Riot control fencing and razor wire were installed around the U.S. Capitol, while armored vehicles patrolled Washington D.C.
Why did Trump fail to stay in power? Obviously, it was not because the Democrats stopped him, nor was it the so-called “resilience of the democratic system.” Trump failed to stay in power because he did not inspire sufficient disciplined violence to secure the political critical mass necessary to pull off an auto-golpe. This lack of disciplined support was primarily a consequence of Trump’s malignant narcissism that rendered him an incorrigible “loose cannon.” A person more ideologically committed than Trump would have successfully imposed the continuity of his government. A more disciplined version of Trump would have consolidated the transition of his civilian movement into one that seized the levers of state power in the U.S. through the dissolution of the election, and then followed through with the violent disarticulation of its internal opposition (the Democratic Party).
The prevalence of white supremacist, neo-nazi misfits is evidence that Trump was a key part of its political coordination. Trump’s egomania was appropriate to rally tens of thousands of Call of Duty cosplayers and misfits wearing animal pelts and viking horns, but it was not enough to marshal militant public support from more serious people, for example, the hidden hand of many military and police elements who were already among the people involved in the planning and direction of the attack.See “Nearly 1 In 5 Defendants In Capitol Riot Cases Served In The Military,” NPR, January 21, 2021. It is also likely that some of the promised support for Trump failed to materialize during the attack itself, as military and police co-conspirators got “cold feet” in the immediate aftermath of the attack, when they saw members of the Senate and the House sent to hide in underground bunkers or safe houses throughout the federal district.
The second impeachment trial and Trump’s second acquittal had nothing to do with a judicial decision of Trump’s innocence. The vote was the federal endorsement of January 6th – a final governmental affirmation of a violent reconfiguration of ruling-class power, as a formal declaration of political and physical war by the vast majority of the Republicans against the Democrats. One side literally attempted to murder the other side, and then they doubled down on their attack by publicly casting their impeachment votes in support of Trump – proudly declaring their intention to do it again. 197 House representatives voted against the impeachment, and 43 Senators voted against conviction and thereby told their Democratic opposition and the institutional structures of ruling-class power-sharing in general, to go to hell. Each of those pro-Trump votes effectively declared a Republican commitment to future electoral disqualification, voter suppression, and direct violence against anyone who would dare challenge this political movement.
Of course, it took very little time for Trump to turn his back on his rank and file in a cowardly fashion. While they were storming the Capitol, Trump literally told them he loved them. Then, when it had set in that the attack failed to block Biden’s certification, and there would be consequences for those who did not hide their faces, Trump immediately ratted them out. In the most ridiculous of punk moves, he denounced his most militant followers as terrible people, and his movement went as far as to accuse them of being undercover Antifa! These hardcore trumpers begged their cult leader to grant them all pardons, and he simply ghosted them. Today, the misfit cosplayers are the only ones who sit in jail cells, while Trump collects millions in donations, sent directly to his accounts while he plans his next move from his gold-plated South Florida luxury compound. That is what those fools get for choosing a pig like Trump to be their champion.
Completely washing their hands of any legal responsibility for January 6th, the elite, ruling-class representatives of the trumpian movement remain in political office like nothing happened, and they continue to issue violent threats to instill fear in the hearts of their Democratic “colleagues.” In late February 2021, the leadership of the trumpian movement rallied at their national CPAC conference in Florida, rolling out a gold statue of their god-king in a defiant celebration of their movement and the January 6th attack.
Lesson 2. Trumpism is a fascist social-political movement
In broad strokes, we acknowledge a generalized desperation created by a world-system built on the colonial genocide of indigenous peoples, the theft of native lands and resources, and the vicious enslavement of African peoples. That system is teetering. As Unión del Barrio, we seek to name what trumpism unleashed against working-class raza, because by doing so, we move from being victimized objects of their history, to becoming subjects of our own history. This is a process of “concientización,” and it is the only way we can understand the deeper significance of this historical moment.
We also recognize that the political categories we have used to describe the pre-trump arrangement of ruling-class power are no longer sufficient to explain the rise of the trumpian movement. These categories are even less useful to describe the repression by the gringo system against our communities, or to plan ahead for what comes next, now that Trump is not in the White House. To advance an independent, liberatory, raza-centered ideology, Unión del Barrio recognizes trumpism as a fascist socio-political movement because of at least three of its primary characteristics.There are more than three characteristics, but these are three that we use to establish the fascist nature of the trumpian movement.
First, as described in the introductory section of this analysis, trumpism is an organized mass movement, mobilizing substantial numbers of adherents from the most reactionary white nationalist sectors of U.S. society. Trump received at least 11 million more votes in 2020 (74 million) compared to the votes cast in his favor during the 2016 election (63 million). These significant electoral numbers do not directly translate to numbers of active trumpian militants, but we can be sure that the real number of trumpian militants is far greater than the number of militant Biden supporters. So, when it comes to people on the street – in other words, political power as a function of the militancy and political conviction of actual people – trumpism does in fact represent a more powerful political force than support for Biden. This tells us that the Democrats have no street-level counter-movement that is a direct challenge to trumpism.
To be clear, we don’t identify the trumpian movement as fascist because of what is in Trump’s head, or in the heads of its white nationalist, neo-nazi rank-and-file membership, or even its leadership. In fact, we see the entire superstructure of U.S. political power as fundamentally white nationalist, precisely because its base is colonial and imperialist. The trumpian movement did not change that fact. What is fascist about Trumpian ideology is that it demands total control of the superstructure, by any means necessary, and Trump’s followers have proven their willingness to burn their old power-sharing system down in the name of their movement. What is fascist about the trumpian movement is the militant unity and active commitment of the movement as a whole to simultaneously rally around Trump as the maximum leader, while maintaining the support of a significant sector of the ruling-class, who now openly disqualify U.S. political and electoral norms and constitutional frameworks, and direct the movement’s disciplined and violent targeting of colonized peoples.
The trumpian movement overthrew most of the internal leadership of the Republican Party, actively purged public “establishment” leaders from its ranks, and aggressively censured any internal opposition to trumpian dominance. The global big bourgeoisie (corporate CEOs; “big tech” like FB, Google, and Twitter; bankers/finance people; military industries; big pharma; big oil; etc.) held their noses during this hostile takeover, but they did not challenge the movement because it was a necessary in exchange for massive tax cuts, elimination of regulations, massive expansion of policing, I.C.E., Border Patrol, and the military.
The trumpian movement now has total control of the Republican Party, it controls a substantial number of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, they cultivate and maintain deep roots within the U.S. military forces from the highest levels down to the rank-and-file, and it has the sufficient support from the big bourgeoisie. It has its own propaganda networks and social media platforms, that operate independently from the mainstream corporate media. They use their outlets to identify, promote, and economically sustain their own public figures, strategists, and think-tanks. They also use their outlets to attack their critics, and to rally hostility against colonized peoples.
The second fascist characteristic of trumpism is its public willingness to seize political power through violence. Trumpistas only recognize elections they win, and disqualify all unfavorable electoral results, while demonstrating that they are willing to impose favorable electoral outcomes through violence. Above all else, the January 6th storming of the U.S. Capitol affirmed a broader reconfiguration of this raw political power, with trumpism clearly representative of a unified front, controlled by the most reactionary sector of the U.S. ruling class in political unity with the most militant sector of the white nationalist working-class. For these reasons alone, the trumpian movement commands substantial electoral power, even with Trump removed from the White House, and with Democrats “in control” of Congress. While trumpian militants continue to convene local/street-level, state, and regional mobilizations, they will also dominate policy and public debates.
The Democratic Party, on the other hand, is the party of the neoconservative, neoliberal, technocratic sectors of the U.S. ruling-class, with no working-class mass-based support other than a poorly organized, unprincipled multicultural aspiring petty bourgeoisie. Consequently, despite winning the popular vote with over 81 million votes and 306 electoral college votes, the Democratic Party is incapable of bold political leadership, much less undertaking a potential war of position against the trumpian movement – not within the government, nor on the streets. For these reasons, the Democratic Party has no idea how to deal with Trumpism, which now openly campaigns with calls for political violence – political imprisonment, assassinations, etc. against their electoral opposition – who they have come to characterize as satanist lizard people and baby-blood drinking pedophiles. Continued destructiveness among these sectors of the ruling class is inevitable, and contested elections will increasingly become flashpoints of political violence.
The trumpian “stop the steal” campaign is the ultimate hypocrisy, since the Republican Party has known for generations that they can no longer win elections through electoral majorities, so their strategy shifted to winning political power through the dilution of the raza and black electorate by gerrymandering, voter suppression campaigns, electoral college scams, mass incarceration, etc. In fact, Republicans are the true masters of the electoral “steal” – they are a million times better at stealing elections than the Democrats, whose skill at losing elections is infamous.
What was new with trumpism was that Republicans identified this movement as a formula to rally a greater number of white nationalist voters to demolish the so-called “blue wall” in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. This formulation worked perfectly in 2016. Republicans found that it also worked for them in 2020 because they won many seats in the House, and remained viable in the Senate. This trumpian formulation also worked to substantially increase their share of the popular vote in the presidential race, although they failed to muster a majority in the electoral college due to demographic shifts and intense hatred of Trump.
In fact, Republicans did better in 2020 than at any time in the history of their party. Despite losing the presidency, and having to publicly rationalize the violence of January 6, Republicans are now more emboldened, and openly seek to disqualify all votes that do not favor their movement, to undermine an electoral process they have identified as no longer working for them, and to accelerate their violent campaign to conquer and maintain power by any means necessary. This willingness to do whatever it takes to stay in power is at the heart of our third characterization of trumpism as a fascist movement.
The third fascist characteristic of the trumpian movement is its appetite to mobilize a genocidal hatred of la raza, not only within the U.S. but also across Nuestra América. Since 2015, we understood the fascist nature of the trumpian movement because it had from the beginning placed our communities in its crosshairs.The Trump administration had been in office for only four months when we published our May-July 2017 4-part analysis on what was coming, and sadly, most of our analysis was on point. We strongly … Continue reading From its national coming out in 2015, to the 2021 Trump speech at CPAC, the definitive characteristic of trumpism is its consistent and disciplined vilification of la raza on every conceivable level.
LA RAZA WAS SUBJECTED TO STATE FASCISM
In general, while trumpism had governmental power, it was defined by political chaos, institutional instability, ridiculous tweet-storms, and malignant narcissism. But when it came to our barrios, border “enforcement,” and interventionist policies throughout Nuestra América, we saw the generally ridiculous and incompetent trumpian administration demonstrate its disciplined capacity for state fascism.
Throughout the language and policies deployed against us, among the top and most influential advisors of trumpism, and within the culture and actions of I.C.E. and the Border Patrol, trumpism fixed its boot on our collective necks from day one.
While some public manifestations of trumpian state power were blocked by the courts, the so-called “deep state,” and corporate media scrutiny, the clearest manifestations of unfettered trumpian state fascism were deployed primarily against la raza during the four years of the Trump administration, and this anti-raza consistency embodied U.S. fascist state power. This is why we are forced to recognize that U.S. state fascism is now, and will continue to be a political force that is fundamentally anti-raza.We saw this take shape as early as July of 2017: “…anti-Mexican repression is one of the most important benchmarks to measure the success of a Trump presidency. His white nationalist base … Continue reading
There is an important distinction to make between a trumpian “fascist socio-political movement” and U.S. “state fascism”. A “fascist socio-political movement” maintains its primary capacity for violent political action by drawing its power from a mobilized civilian population. It is still deadly, but often disorganized and undisciplined. Most of the images and videos captured on January 6th demonstrate characteristics of a fascist movement.
During the January 6 storming of the Capitol, and as a consequence of Trump’s incitement, members of the House and Senate – Republicans and Democrats alike – members of the U.S. Congress got a small taste of the relentless civilian terrorism of the trumpian movement that millions of raza have experienced since June 16, 2015, when Trump first announced his candidacy for the presidency by declaring that Mexican people are rapists and criminals. Although exposed only to a few hours of trumpian fascist terror, the ruling legislative branch of government in Washington D.C. was forced to flee from their posts under the protection of specialized police forces. We understand that the events of January 6 were a form of political education for the U.S. as a whole – like Malcolm said in 1963, “the chickens came home to roost”.
One episode during the January 6th attack demonstrates the “thin blue line” between a fascist socio-political movement and the type of state fascism we have been experiencing in our communities. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) is a Democrat, and therefore we do not recognize her as a part of our struggle, although within the Democratic Party she is the most visible representative of a “progressive wing.” In an extensive February 1, 2021 livestream, AOC described a moment that the trumpian fascist socio-political movement was expressed as state fascism. She explained how on January 6, someone dressed in a black uniform violently entered her office yelling “Where is she!” When AOC realized that the person was a member of the capitol police, she admitted that she was initially unsure if that police officer was there to protect her, or to kill her. Obviously, it could have gone either way. The link between her fear of being assassinated by that officer, and the homicidal hatred the trumpian movement has for her is not coincidental, and it is a mistake to dismiss this link because she is a Democrat. AOC experienced January 6th differently than most other members of the House and Senate, precisely because she is a vocal, progressive Boricua mujer who actively challenges fascist trumpistas as well as accommodationist Democrats.Comments made later by a senator from Wisconsin support this observation. See “GOP Sen. Ron Johnson says he didn’t feel ‘threatened’ by Capitol marchers but may have if BLM or … Continue reading
The breakdown of any practical differentiation between the fascist socio-political movement and the institutions of legislative, judicial, and executive state power exemplifies what “state fascism” is about. In other words, state fascism is when disciplined, militarized law enforcement agencies and military forces are deployed against sectors of society deemed to be internal “enemies of the state,” while “representative” civilian agencies and institutions are rendered powerless. During the last few months of 2020 and early 2021, the entirety of U.S. institutional power came close to enacting this form of state fascism beyond what it has already deployed against our barrios. If we fail to recognize these “what-ifs,” then we intentionally blind ourselves to the realities that currently animate the trumpian right-wing mobilization for taking power in 2022 and 2024.
Lesson 3. Anti-raza politics are the cornerstone of the trumpian movement and will continue as the cornerstone for future trump-inspired political movements.
From 2015 to 2021, Trump relentlessly abused our communities in the most vile manner. He kicked off his presidential bid by calling us murderers, rapists, and drug dealers, and closed the book on his time as president by conjuring this same message in February 2021.During his 2021 CPAC Speech on February 28, 2021, Trump brought back the 2015 anti-Mexican speech that defined his campaign: “…They’re not giving us their best and their finest, because … Continue reading Throughout this period, his trumpian white nationalist supporters cheered him on, chanting, foaming at the mouth, eating up his words like fried twinkies at the fairgrounds.
As Unión del Barrio, and as politically conscious people in general, we did not have to wait until January 6, 2021, to be completely clear what trumpism was really about because we experienced it as state fascism. Listed here is only a small sample of the large-scale anti-raza attacks:
- The “build the wall” anti-Mexican mantra was repeated every day for at least four years, at every rally, public event and speech, millions of times by millions of people.
- National and international media campaigns designed to demonize and dehumanize our communities were used to justify thousands of repressive federal and state policy actions that included slashing “legal immigration,” and effectively canceling internationally recognized asylum protections.
- Specialized anti-raza police forces were expanded, militarized, and deployed to pursue, detain, and terrorize our barrios.
- A federal policy was enacted to intentionally separate raza parents from their children as they were processed for detention in privatized concentration camps.
- At least 68,550 raza children were held in detention centers and “tent cities.” Some were kept in cages. Some were denied “showers and hot meals.” Some were sexually abused while in federal custody. Some died. When the policy was officially ended, the federal government admitted losing track of over 1,000 children in their custody, likely to never be reunited with their families.
- Under the pretext of a national emergency, thousands of national guard troops were deployed to the U.S./Mexico border, authorized to use “lethal force” against “invaders.” Armed civilian militia groups mobilized to join those troops at the border.
- Hundreds of miles of razor wire were installed across the border region, and a series of military “shock and awe” war games were publicly conducted at U.S./Mexico border crossings in California, Arizona, and Texas. The border crossings were shut down while thousands of people watched, since these actions were intended to serve as both a demonstration of power, and a form of collective punishment.
- When caravans of gente came north from Centroamérica, they were slandered, dehumanized, and forced into makeshift camps along the border, where many continue to this day.
- Trump shut down the federal government for 35 days in an attempt to force Congress to approve $5.6 billion to fund the construction of his border wall. When the shutdown failed to secure the funds, he threatened to deploy a wave of I.C.E. raids across the U.S., with instructions to deport millions of our people, unless funds were approved.
- Mujeres in federal detention were forcibly sterilized by way of coerced hysterectomies.
- There was a massive spike in the number of reported anti-raza “hate-crimes.” Tens of thousands of individual anti-raza murders and violent attacks took place.
- Federal agencies engaged in pinpointed surveillance, harassment, and arrests, directed against pro-raza activists and advocacy groups.
- A deadly virus was allowed to burn through our communities with limited, and in some cases no official effort was made to control its rapid spread throughout our barrios, or in prisons and detention centers where so many of our people are kept. Vaccine accessibility and distribution rates in our communities have been abysmal.
In addition to these broad-based assaults, Trump and his administration engaged in tens of thousands of specific, smaller-scale anti-raza activities. Months before the infamously anti-Mexican speech of June 2015, Trump field-tested his rhetorical attacks by comparing raza to a mass of “vomit” pouring over the border.“Donald Trump Once Compared Unauthorized Immigration To ‘Vomit’”, 08/25/2016. When hurricane Maria killed thousands in Puerto Rico, Trump called victims “liars” and “ingrates,” and insisted that the numbers of deaths had been inflated by his political enemies. Trump later disqualified asylum for raza from Haiti because they “have aids,” called El Salvador a “shithole” country, and added, “these aren’t people, they’re animals.”
Trump befriended, endorsed, and then pardoned Joe Arpaio, the most recognizably anti-Mexican public figure in the U.S. Trump’s notoriously racist Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III canceled D.A.C.A., and traveled to the border adjacent “Friendship Park” in San Diego to formalize the “zero-tolerance” family separation policy. Trump chose John Kelly to lead the Department of Homeland Security, a retired general known for his ideological and military links to Central and South America’s most violent rightwingers, especially in Colombia and Honduras. For years, Kelly was the commander of “Southcom” U.S. forces in Latin America, including Guantanamo Bay prison. While in this military position, Kelly developed an intense hostility to raza immigration, and as head of DHS he was the first person to mention his support for the “family separation” policy. In July of 2017, Trump promoted Kelly to “Chief of Staff.”
During this period, there were thousands of anti-raza beating and murders, and at least two massacres. Inspired by Trump’s anti-raza attacks, a trumpista killed three people and wounded 17 at a festival in Gilroy, California. A week later another trumpista massacred 23 raza at a shopping center in El Paso, Texas. Another trumpista attempted to assassinate the federal judge Esther Salas at her home, but was only able to kill her son and critically wound her husband. It was later revealed that the same trumpista was planning to assassinate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
For the first time in the histories of these anti-raza agencies, the Border Patrol and I.C.E. unions endorsed a presidential candidate and openly campaigned for Trump. From that point onward, Trump completely politicized these militarized immigration agencies, and through federal policy and the national media, they were portrayed as the personal shock troops for Trumpism. During his first year in office, Trump ordered that the number of immigration officers increase by 15,000. The Border Patrol went on to actively destroy water stations, so more raza would die in the desert. The Border Patrol’s “special forces” unit known as BORTAC was expanded and deployed to so-called “sanctuary cities” where they broke down doors in our barrios and carried away our family members. During the summer of 2020, when people were on the streets demanding justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the same BORTAC group was deployed to repress protests in Portland as well as other cities. Weeks before the 2020 election, I.C.E. sought to influence voters in Pennsylvania by putting up anti-raza billboards with menacing pictures of brown and black people.
Trumpism struck secret deals with the most reactionary, corrupt, and violent governments in Central America, and in turn, these governments helped spark and then provided logistical support for mass caravans of desperate people to migrate north. The activities of these vendido governments were timed to coincide perfectly with U.S. electoral cycles and trumpian media campaigns for “wall” funding. After the most desperate of our people risked everything to travel en masse from Centroamérica to the U.S./Mexico border, they would then be used as media scapegoats to advance the most reactionary trumpian policies. Trump then turned around and cut aid to Centroamérica, because “they are not helping stop the caravans.”
It is also important to observe that the only time Trump’s anti-raza discourse was comparably directed against another “internal enemy,” was when he moved to attack what they identified as the “radical left.” During his last year in office, Trump expanded his anti-raza rhetoric to include anti-left, anti-socialist red-baiting against anyone who opposed him, mixing in references to Venezuela and Cuba any time he felt it might work in his favor. Trump’s QAnon followers added lizard-faced, baby-eating, pedophile satanists to the list of crimes perpetrated by anyone who opposed trumpism.
Finally, we must also consider the role of Stephen Miller. He was the only consistent advisor/ ideologue within the Trump administration, ingratiating himself with Trump during the 2015 campaign. Unlike so many other advisors, Miller survived all four years of the Trump administration. Of course, his job was to serve as the most notoriously anti-Mexican political bosses and speechwriters within the Trump regime. In 2019, when Miller was exposed as an active promoter of white supremacist ideology, he easily weathered the public criticisms and ignored the demands for his resignation. Clearly, Miller survived all four years of trumpism because that was his role – he thrived on his anti-raza credentials. And no matter how reactionary he was, and no matter how vicious his policy initiatives, not one person, party, or pressure group was able to force his resignation. The resilience displayed by this sniveling little piece of excrement is the clearest evidence of la raza’s powerlessness in the halls of Washington D.C. political power.
What is summarized here is only a fraction of the relentless, vicious attacks the Trump administration deployed against our communities. Any one of these points qualifies as a fascistic act, but what really marks it as U.S. state fascism is that all of these points were simultaneously and relentlessly deployed against our barrios, day after day, year after year, directed by the federal government, often supported by state and local government agencies, to be ultimately recognized as the cornerstone of the trumpian movement.
Obviously, this is not to suggest that the Obama administration was in any way a progressive force. Unión del Barrio has never subscribed to that myth.See “Hindsight 2008: ‘What Does The Election Of Barack Obama To The Presidency Of The Empire Mean For La Raza?’” What is obviously true is that the scale and intensity of anti-raza repression under the Trump administration busted up the historical equivalency between the two parties that continue to dominate the political culture of this colonial system.
HOW WE GOT HERE:
Lesson 4. No one with any real influence advocates for la raza within existing forms of institutional power.
Our political power is necessarily rooted in struggles that extend beyond the frame of ruling-class values and ruling-class political parties, just as our current condition is rooted in over 500 years of colonialism, and the economic, political, and cultural systems of U.S. power rest on the foundation of our colonial oppression. The work of Unión del Barrio is guided by our collective histories of challenging colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism, through a raza-liberation lens that is dependent on daily community-based struggle.
With this in mind, when we seek to understand how we could have been so viciously repressed under trumpism, we are forced to deal with a critical observation: no one with any real influence in the U.S. advocates for la raza within existing forms of institutional power.
The 2020 Biden election campaign directed at our communities serves as evidence that we remain a marginalized, largely leaderless sector of society. With regard to our communities, the Biden campaign decided to follow a “peor es nada” strategy, generally ignoring us in 2020, while correctly assuming that there was no way a substantial portion of our peoples would support a fascist pig like Trump.
Even centrist “hispanic/latinx” Democrats felt the sting of their partisan irrelevance. At the DNC national convention in 2020, an advisor to Julián Castro acknowledged the marginalization of la raza when they observed: “there are as many Republicans speaking on night one [of the convention] as there are Latinos speaking the whole week.”“Let’s hope the DNC’s inexplicably weak Latino lineup is not a fatal mistake” – Washington Post, 08/18/2020. At the same convention, this intentional marginalization moved to the malicious when AOC was allowed only 1-minute to address the public. Clearly, the Democratic Party was angry that (primarily Mexican working-class) Democrats in California, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah delivered Bernie Sanders his most important primary victories.In the context of the 2020 primaries, establishment Democrats cried for Biden when his primary campaign was on the ropes. The aftermath of Sanders victories is that the Democratic establishment now … Continue reading As a result, the official party line among Democrats was to isolate its own progressive wing, and DNC bosses preferred to embrace right-wing hispanics based in South Florida. Even veteran “Mexican-American” Democrats like Jesús “Chuy” García and Raúl Grijalva were completely blocked from public view by the corporate media and the DNC, who during the Trump years might otherwise have achieved a national profile beyond their own constituencies. This intentional marginalization must be particularly bitter among Mexican-American Democrats after they flipped Arizona for Biden, and yet the dominant story about “Latinx” electoral politics in 2020 focused on the electorally insignificant increase in the number of Trump supporters in Florida and in a few South Texas towns.See “Juan González: The Media Has It Wrong. Record Latinx Turnout Helped Biden. White Voters Failed Dems”.
Now, with Biden in office, what substantive effort has been made to help our communities recover from years of relentless trumpian attacks? A JLo “bilingual shout-out” during the inauguration? A bust of Cesar Chavez in the oval office? California’s Xavier Becerra served up to trumpian sadists in the Senate? New Mexico’s Deb Haaland as the first Native to lead the Interior Department? Not one of these symbolic gestures measures up to our demographic position or our potential political power. The neoliberal core of the Democratic Party has largely marginalized hispanic Democrats, while our communities were abandoned to trumpian fascism and COVID.
We know that the Democratic Party will continue to be useless. Fighting trumpism is not a struggle the Democrats will conduct. Even if they did, they would quickly be overwhelmed. They are simply not up to this fight, or any other serious struggle for that matter. The broader results of the 2020 elections proved this beyond the shadow of any doubt.
The Democratic Party did win the presidency, but in the same election, it lost 13 seats in the House. What is the first thing Democrats did after such a terrible debacle? They doubled down on these losses by again choosing Nancy Pelosi to lead them in the House. After a special election in Georgia, the Democrats barely won control in the Senate by one vote – the VP Kamala Harris. Keep in mind, that these electoral losses happened after four years of trumpism (meaning that everyone knew exactly what Trump was all about), and during a global pandemic (meaning that Trump would likely have won the election had it not been for the global health crisis).
The DNC, Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, etc., are political parasites and social movement-killers. They have proven time and again that they will surrender at the altar of “bi-partisanship” with facho Republicans, while aggressively isolating their “progressive wing” represented by people like Bernie Sanders and AOC. They struggled to pass the widely popular COVID relief bill, and refuse to debate the $15 minimum wage. While Democrats have the presidency, the House and the Senate, they can’t blame Trump anymore, so they are kept in line by a random clown named Joe Manchin, and self-imposed rule called “the filibuster.” The Democratic Party severed ties to class-based struggle decades ago. They are ideologically and practically incapable of mounting an effective challenge to trumpism, instead committing themselves to win over anti-Trump Republicans by moving the Democratic Party even more to the right.
For decades, our movimiento has understood how the two-party system does not favor us. The 1969 Plan Espiritual de Aztlan cited Corky Gonzalez when it explained that the two-party system was “two heads of the same animal feeding out the same trough.” Unión del Barrio summed up this relationship with a slogan that for decades guided our critiques of the U.S. two-party system: “¡Ni Republicanos, Ni Demócratas – Solo El Pueblo Organizado Vencerá.”
Still, in 2021 it simply does not make sense to think about the two-party system in the same way, because any practical equivalency between the Republicans and the Democrats was shattered by trumpism. For this reason alone, the Trump administration was not the same as any previous government in the 40+ years that Unión del Barrio has been politically active. While the argument that Biden and Trump represent two heads of the same system remains broadly accurate, it is also literally true that one of the heads of the system is attempting the decapitation of the other head. Furthermore, after our communities suffered six years of relentless Trumpian attacks, it is irrational to insist that they are the same. As an organization, we will leave behind the argument that trumpism was the same as previous governments, because it no longer serves as a useful guide for how to understand what we must do going forward. We remain 100% aware that the Democratic Party is not our friend, and neither party represents our interests.In 2017, during the first months of the Trump administration, we re-stated our consistently cleareyed summation of the Democrats: “We owe the Democratic Party nothing. It is a party of organized … Continue reading
Regrettably, we can’t expect any viable national advocacy from our gente in higher ed either. During the trump years, raza working-class communities truly needed our own intellectuals to rally some form of unified action to defend us from trumpian fascism and to educate us about COVID. Under trumpism, raza academics and intellectuals in general, did not provide the urgently needed analysis and research to help us defend ourselves, nor did raza intellectuals support the work of the few militant community organizations who were defending our barrios, including Unión del Barrio. During the Trump years, higher ed became more isolated from working-class barrios, even denying raza students the opportunity to learn both from the classroom and the community, who in turn might then have used their valuable skills for defending our communities from the attacks coming from trumpian fascism and COVID.
As a consequence, the vicious anti-raza cruelty of the trump years went largely unchallenged in our barrios, and generally disregarded within higher ed. Meanwhile, a severely weakened national MEChA voted on a name change, and diversity and inclusion administrators, careerist academicians, and a growing number of campus-based student resource centers purged working-class, community-centered politics from campus agendas, hoping to de-radicalize raza students. This resulted in the absurd intellectual gentrification of raza academic life, where the most prominent object of analysis among hispanics in higher ed was which tokenized/ indecipherable neoliberal identifiers was more intersectional and inclusive – “Latinx,” “Latine,” “POC,” “WOC,” “BIPOC,” “IBPOC,” etc. These debates raged on campuses across the U.S., while working-class raza were terrorized by the daily attacks of trumpian fascism in neighborhoods, detention centers, schools, industries, and across the U.S.-Mexico border.
We know that the true gatekeepers of higher ed are neoliberal administrators and careerist faculty. Even before the pandemic, too many raza academics were bound to the soul-crushing pressure of tenure-track positions, too fixated on the production of esoteric scholarship over that which might be useful for bettering the daily conditions of our barrios. The hispanic intellectual class is deeply invested in the rhetoric of “diversity & inclusion,” while this apolitical campus-centered agenda does next to nothing to help our communities. For decades, this was how the status quo neoliberalization of higher ed worked. Post-pandemic higher ed promises to be a political waste-land, and it is unlikely to recover any time soon.
The raw numbers reveal plenty about higher ed’s “diversity & inclusion” outcomes. We only need to look at “deep blue” California, where the State is at least 40% raza (in reality we make up over 50% of the population), while the largest, most prestigious campuses in the UC system remain largely segregated – UC Berkeley (14% raza undergrads), UCLA (23% raza undergrads), and UCSD (20% raza undergrads).The numbers of raza grad students, faculty, and administrators are much lower. For years, these highly ranked “public” universities have invested millions into “diversity & inclusion” programs, while not one of them has been federally designated an “HSI.”A “Hispanic-Serving Institution” (HSI) is a federal designation used to incentivize campuses to enroll at least 25% “hispanic” students. Once HSI status is reached, schools are awarded … Continue reading “Diversity & inclusion” strategies implemented at California prisons (44% raza inmates), I.C.E. (30% hispanic agents), and the Border Patrol (50% hispanic agents) are way ahead of the programs at these “top tier” UC campuses. If Berkeley, UCLA, and UCSD can’t enroll more raza students than the percentage of hispanic agents in I.C.E. or the Border Patrol, why should we expect any substantive pro-raza initiative to come from those campuses?
These enrollment statistics quantify the hypocrisy of “diversity & inclusion” rhetoric that is prominent within these bastions of “Latinx inclusivity.” These programs claim to promote inclusion, but instead, they play an important role in maintaining educational apartheid for a colonial system designed to keep our communities in check. Years ago, Berkeley, UCLA, and UCSD formally adopted “Latinx” at the institutional level, because for them it was the most inclusive identifier, while they continued to fail miserably at enrolling more raza students. While “Latinx diversity and inclusion” rhetoric is inclusive of neoliberal values designed to ease white guilt, their rhetoric also demonstrably excludes the vast majority of raza working-class communities, it does not serve to defend the interests of our peoples, nor does it challenge homophobia and transphobia in our barrios.See “Unión del Barrio & The Struggle For LGBTQ+ Comradeship”. The formal deployment of “Latinx” throughout higher ed is not a debate at all, but a monologue within an educated elite sector that benefits from their educational privilege by insisting on intersectional inclusivity, while broadly excluding the vast majority of raza working-class people from their campuses, and disregarding the most urgent needs of our communities.
The political bankruptcy of these frameworks is most obvious when liberals celebrate the Biden administration for assembling the most “diverse” cabinet in U.S. history, making the existing power dynamics more inclusive and welcoming to imperialists of all colors, genders, and identities, while those people continue to direct the work of the most violent colonial/imperialist government in human history. Diverse & inclusive imperialism is still imperialism, and being a “Latinx” in 2021 is the functional equivalent to being a “hispanic” in the 1990s – a white-washed, self-loathing institutionalized identifier that does nothing to address the roots of colonial/imperial oppression and systems of power.
This assessment is similarly relevant to the deployment of other forms of “inclusive” language polemics. With each new version of these neoliberal discourses, the greater the distance between campus-based identitarian activists, the urgent needs of our barrios, and anti-colonial/anti-imperialist struggles throughout Nuestra América. “Diversity and inclusion” politics makes no sense at all for working-class raza, and serve to further alienate our barrios from higher education during a period in history when we desperately need class-based intellectual leadership from raza in higher ed.
Under trumpian fascism, the closest source of consistent, planned community leadership came from the non-profit sector, and for better, or for worse, non-profits will likely continue to play a role in influencing the political struggles within our communities. Some of these institutions do important work, but many are run according to a charity mindset, with agendas set for them by external funding interests. Non-profits, often religious, tend to strip away political militants from unpaid community organizing, offering them jobs to expand a growing class of professional activists who conduct political struggle while prohibiting radical politics. Too often, nonprofits are motivated by external grants and funding cycles, and generally serve to disarm communities from establishing organic political militancy and independent leadership. And then there are the notoriously dishonest non-profits, run by some of the most opportunistic individuals we could ever imagine, who parasitically latch on to movements only long enough to claim leadership of those struggles during press conferences and on grant applications.
Our socio-political movements must not become dependent on non-profits, and these types of organizations should not assume dominant political positions within our communities. Honest raza who work in non-profits should be invited to support organic community-based leadership – an organizing model known as “accompaniment.” Well-meaning liberals and “allies” can also be helpful, but they will never be able to replace organic community leadership. Non-profit opportunists on the other hand, need to “stay in their lane.”
This critique is especially relevant within the networks of “immigration advocates.” The interminable “immigration crisis” at the U.S./Mexico border must urgently be recast in anti-colonial and anti-imperialist terms because it is now, and will continue to be used as the focal point of future fascist movements. We state clearly that there is NO SUCH THING as a progressive action or reform within any aspect of the so-called “immigration debate” as it is currently framed. At best, current frameworks cast our communities as perpetual victims, or incidental beneficiaries of anything that falls under “immigration reform.” Past, present, and future border crises (caravans, unaccompanied children, asylum petitions/seekers) – under Democrats or Republicans – are a direct consequence of U.S. imperialist interventions throughout Nuestra América. This point is fundamental to any honest assessment of what is happening at the U.S./Mexico border.
The fact that la raza has no institutional advocates has been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The clearest example of this is the case of the meat processing plants in the midwest, and the rates of infections and deaths at those plants. The majority of the people who work in that industry are raza from Mexico and Centroamérica. When the federal government stepped in to address the COVID-19 crisis in the meat processing industry, it was not to advocate for the health of workers, but rather to provide meat packing companies with immunity from worker lawsuits regarding COVID cases and deaths. Obviously, ruling-class access to an abundant supply of beef is more important than the lives of working-class raza.
In the same way as these meat processors were used as pandemic cannon-fodder, raza workers in the U.S. and across Nuestra América bore the brunt of the pandemic. As of March 2021, these are the ten highest COVID-19 mortality rates on earth:COVID-19 mortality rates are the number of confirmed deaths from COVID-19, per 100 confirmed cases, also known as “observed case-fatality ratio.” See Johns Hopkins “Mortality Analyses.” This … Continue reading
- Yemen – 22.8%
- Mexico – 9%
- Syria – 6.7%
- Sudan – 6.3%
- Egypt – 5.9%
- Ecuador – 5.3%
- China – 4.8%
- Bolivia – 4.6%
- Afghanistan – 4.4%
- Somalia – 4.3%
To be clear, the fact that Mexico has the second highest COVID-19 mortality rate in the world does not mean that the virus is unusually anti-Mexican. This horrific mortality rate is actually a function of social-political factors within Mexico. In other words, the 9% mortality rate in Mexico is proof that the political-economic system helped make this virus more lethal than anywhere else in the world outside of Yemen. At earlier points during the pandemic, mortality rates in Mexico reached levels as high as 20%. These numbers are evidence that the political-economic system is not designed to protect our gente, and to put it plainly, it is the clearest proof that Mexico needs a revolution, because the Mexican state is an abomination.
During March 2021, the average U.S. mortality rate was listed as 1.8%. Yet, in the 128 U.S. counties where la raza represents more than 50% of the local population, the average COVID-19 mortality rate was 2.4%.These 128 counties are in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Washington. … Continue reading Approximately 32 million people (just under 10% of the total U.S. population) live in one of these 128 counties. Yet,13% of total U.S. cases, and 13% of total U.S. deaths have been residents of one of these 128 raza-majority counties.
In California, the 13 counties where raza represent more than 50% of the local population, the average reported COVID-19 mortality rate was 1.4%. Although this is below the U.S. national average mortality rate of 1.8%, the systemic catastrophe in California was demonstrated in the failure to slow the rate of infections across raza communities. Just 46% (18.3 million) of the total population of California live in one of these 13 raza-majority counties, while over 60% of the total infections, and 63% of the total deaths in the entire state of California were suffered by residents of one of these raza-majority counties.Los Angeles county is 50% raza, and is the location of 33% (1.2 million) of the total California COVID-19 infections. By March 2021, across all 13 raza-majority counties in California, there were 2.2 … Continue reading
In Texas, the pandemic exposed how the state has organized its 254 counties to serve as an anti-raza apartheid-reservation system designed to keep our gente in check. Texas has 66 counties where raza represent more than 50% of the local population, and across these locations the average reported COVID-19 mortality rate was 2.8%, one full point over the 1.8% U.S. average mortality rate. Only 21% (5.9 million) of the total population of Texas live in one of these 66 raza-majority counties, while residents of these raza-majority counties suffered over 24% of the total COVID-19 infections, and 32% of the total deaths in the entire state of Texas.By March 2021, across all 66 raza-majority counties in Texas, there were 670,471 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 15,136 confirmed deaths. What is even more obscene about Texas, is that across 8 of the hardest hit raza-majority counties, the average of their COVID-19 mortality rates is 4.9%. If these 8 counties in Texas were a separate country, that country would be #7 of the top 10 highest mortality rates on earth, between Ecuador and China.These 8 Texas counties are Brooks, Cameron, Cochran, Crosby, Garza, Hockley, Kenedy, and Lamb. Together, 481,393 people live in these counties, with raza representing 67% of that population. As of … Continue reading
These horrendous statistics are incomplete, and we need more time to process the data for our raza-centered analysis of COVID-19 in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, New York, and South Dakota. But we already know that colonial borders and border walls will not protect us from future pandemics, because the systemic failures of neoliberal governments already transformed this pandemic into a colonial genocide.
Throughout Nuestra América, COVID-19 infections and deaths mirror our subordinate position in terms of the acute crisis within this colonial-imperialist system. We continue to see how la raza bears the brunt of COVID infections and deaths, while our barrios are the last to receive the vaccines. Even with the recent passage of the $1.9 trillion COVID package, we expect little of those resources will be directed towards attending to the desperate collective needs of our communities. Our barrios have been devastated by COVID, and our inability to defend working-class raza has cost our communities many lives.
We must recognize our lack of institutional and organizational capacity needed to provide medical education, advocacy, and services to our barrios. Long before Trump, our communities were denied institutional support and resources in times of crisis (massive fires, floods, earthquakes, deadly winters, and previous epidemics). But it was under trumpista fascism operating under a scarcity of healthcare resources, that we saw the true face of the healthcare crisis among our peoples, and as a consequence, we will mourn our COVID-19 dead for generations.
While all this was coming down, the two-party system, social media algorithms, and/or the corporate media provided us no say regarding who they designated as our political leadership. Even after the El Paso massacre, our struggles and our perspectives have never been allowed to enter into the national debate on any issue. We were perpetually a second-thought, a passing concern, or a charitable liberal lament. No one saved us while these things happened, and no one asked us what we thought about them after they happened. Sometimes, when we were lucky, they chose a random entertainer, a sports figure, or a business owner to speak on our behalf, who then have nothing useful to say because they are not our political leaders. More often, when regional/national political “leaders” are identified, they are selected from a small pool of reactionary hispanics based in South Florida. This observation leads us to the 5th lesson of trumpism:
Lesson 5. As pro-raza forces, we were incapable of defending our communities from Trumpism.
Viable leftist raza organizations have been largely silenced and marginalized by institutional powers. We were proven incapable of mounting an effective self-defense of our own communities, even while we actively defended other communities from attacks. This contradiction can be seen operating across the spectrum of the identity-centered “intersectional” activist networks. In the context of the Black Lives Matter struggle, significant numbers of raza progressives correctly joined the protests, and we expressed our solidarity with the Black-led resistance against police terror. Yet when raza communities suffered violent attacks, our “trauma” was never allowed to enter into the national public sphere at any comparable level.
This assessment is not anti-Black. This assessment is fundamentally a self-criticism because we failed miserably at the most basic task of projecting our own political voices in defense of our own communities. We can’t think of a single instance of national anger or broad-based solidarity with raza communities that was in any way comparable to the mass outcry after the murder of George Floyd – not even after the El Paso massacre. There were hundreds, if not thousands of moments we could have used the national spotlight to help resist the relentless anti-raza attacks of the trumpian movement. In hindsight, what we learned during the apex of the “Black Lives Matter” struggle was that raza lives just don’t matter. Even among our own people, trumpian attacks became “el pan de cada día.”
To tragically underscore this point, while this analysis was being developed in San Diego, California, 13 raza were killed in El Centro, two people drowned by Border Field State Park (one was a young mother), and a young man died just east of San Diego while attempting to cross the border. Within days, reports about these deaths disappeared from local news, replaced by other local news, righteous calls for solidarity with Asian Americans after mass shootings in Georgia, and then the mass shooting in Colorado. Again, our ongoing struggles remain localized and contained. The terrible evidence of our incapacity to defend our communities was further exposed by the pandemic. Even Spanish-language social media anti-vaxxers wield more influence in our communities than we do. We failed to communicate effectively with and on behalf of our own communities. Fear and misinformation reign supreme in our communities, and many of our people lost their lives as a result.
One factor that contributed to our weakness as pro-raza forces (among many), is that we are too dependent on social media. Social media is not real political power. Unión del Barrio has a substantial online footprint, but we acknowledge that it does not translate into real political power on the streets of our barrios. At best, the online struggle can at times be a momentary representation of political power. Compas who argue that more and better digital media is a priority over more organizational capacity on the streets of our barrios must be challenged. If we demand more social media content for our movement because we think we can use it to build strong communities, we will inevitably fail.
Lesson 6. A Latin American ruling class criminal syndicate has monopolized political power. This monopoly must be broken.
Trump’s self-exile in South Florida is fitting on multiple levels. South Florida, Miami in particular, is the continental capital of the Latin American ruling class. Under the most conservative assessment, the Latin American ruling class represents less than 1% of the region but control 90% of the wealth, resources, and political power throughout the region. This reactionary political class has historically been dominated by Cuban exiles, but it is now backed up by fachos from Bolivia, Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, Venezuela, and other countries. As such, South Florida is also the continental capital/ HQ of Latin American coup d’etats, right-wing death squads, international drug/human/arms trafficking networks, and a right-wing media monopoly that dominates transnational political communication across Latin America. Miami is the cultural capital of Latin American racism, classism, shameless consumerism, corruption, the narco-economy, and militant fidelity to U.S. imperialism. The dominant political forces based in Miami represent a homicidal, transnational right-wing, willing to slash and burn any threat to their power, and they are fascistically anti-left.
The Miami-based criminal syndicate is the only group that benefits – economically and politically – from the normalized disappearances, beheadings, femicides, mass graves, political assassinations, indigenous repressions, dystopian inequality, etc. that persist and spread throughout Latin America. The political power of this reactionary criminal syndicate flows from state terror, arms/drug trafficking, and death squads. In fact, these methods of extreme violence are the tools they use to conduct everyday politics. They own and profit from the madness and instability of the status quo in México, Centroamérica, el Caribe, and Sudamérica.
Within the borders of the U.S., this homicidal criminal syndicate is the dominant political force within the “hispanic” politics of both the Democratic and Republican Parties, and it directs U.S. policies throughout Latin America. Furthermore, we are sure that the role of the right-wing criminal syndicates from Latin America within the trumpian movement has not been completely revealed.We see too many parallels in terms of how the January 6th attack in Washington unfolded, with a similar model to what was done in Venezuela in 2002 during the right-wing march on Miraflores and the … Continue reading It is not lost on us that the leader of the “Proud Boys” is an FBI asset of Cuban heritage. Furthermore, central to the mass-psychosis of the trumpian movement election fraud accusations under the slogan of “stop the steal,” is an active media campaign that seeks to link raza liberation struggle to a fantastic international conspiracy involving Hugo Chávez, voting machines, the Latin American left, and the Democrats. Again, there are no coincidences in these fascist delusions.See 2020 Trump campaigning in Florida primarily directed at right-wing Cubans and Venezuelans.
This Latin American right-wing criminal syndicate is linked not just to Trumpism, but also an international reactionary insurgency – with different fronts on the move in different parts of the world. A cursory tracking of international right-wing activities suggests that trumpian fascism is one facet of a global ruling class insurgency that is intent in defending its position by any means necessary. This global cabal includes Bolsonaro in Brazil; Duterte in the Philippines; Modi in India; Netanyahu in Israel; all the Arab monarchies; Honduran and Guatemalan narco governments; Bolivian, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan golpistas; powerful sectors of the Mexican narco-state; and of course, reactionary Miami Cubans.
Consider how the caravans from Centroamérica were exploited by the trumpian movement as media events, and how these always coincided with internal Trump campaigns to rally his base. Obviously, the Democrats have always played an important role within this reactionary criminal syndicate, and we can see how the Biden administration is fully committed to this network. It is not a coincidence that there is “bi-partisan” support for the most reactionary politics in Nuestra America. It is unlikely that the Biden administration will remove Cuba from their list of “state supporters of terror,” they have affirmed recognition of Guaido in Venezuela, and are actively defending Bolivian golpistas.
Lesson 7. Raza working-class people suffer from an acute form of internalized colonialism, and it is killing us.
Even before the rise of trumpism, backward tendencies were dominant in our communities. Deeply rooted religious dogma is especially influential among hispanic working-class evangelicals, and they represent the most reactionary sector of our barrios. Under trumpism, too many people in our own communities were impressed by allure/proximity to the language of power from within the trumpian movement, and fascist evangelical religiosity was conjured into public political life. This authoritarian impulse exploited the identitarian irrelevance of “Latinx” liberals and self-identified progressive intellectuals, and the cultural “choque” became fertile ground for hispanic trumpism.
By filling the vacuum of raza working-class ideology and street-level leadership, trumpism infected more people in our communities than it should have. From what we observed throughout Southern California (without being able to provide data) trumpism entrenched itself primarily among right-wing religious people in our barrios. Each time we came across hispanic trumpistas, they were nearly always religious fanatics as well, and the 2020 Trump campaign expanded its influence in our communities primarily within this sector.
Hispanic trumpistas developed their own online forums, and spread their trumpian poison through existing religious networks. For many brown trumpistas, Trump was sent by god to defend their little piece of nothing. They used their religious fanaticism to rationalize their self-hate, racism, classism, homo/transphobia, pro-migra, pro-police, pro-imperialist, anti-socialist inclinations. This false consciousness is supported, by design, within the media-saturated, digital colonialism we live in, and it was accelerated during the pandemic which further exacerbated COVID-related problems in our barrios.
The fact that trumpism did in fact make inroads among raza working-class people is a function of ideological accessibility more than ideological acceptance. The trojan horse of religious fanaticism is what inevitably occupies the void left by the absence of liberatory, working-class thought and organizational capacity. Outside of these fanatical circles, and across our communities, there was clear mass-based awareness of the anti-raza nature of the trumpian movement.
What we know as social media is a digital expression of colonialism and conquest. Where social media dominates political communication and consciousness, it also destroys working-class consciousness and liberatory culture. Its algorithms are designed to center individualistic identities and neoliberal values over collective identities – the same collective identities have proven to be the only way we can muster collective power to challenge the system of our oppression. This category of digital colonialism and conquest undermines our collective strength, while it also nourishes the trumpian fascist movement – look at digital QAnon conspiracies as a social media-dependent cult, and a useful example of how this new form of digital colonialism and conquest works against our movements while inviting people to identify with the collective psychosis of an empire in decline.
This type of alienation insists that political collectives privilege the needs of the individual social media activist, and not the reverse that presumes individual activists will identify with, find acceptance within, and be accountable to existing collectives that are rooted in their own communities.See MECHA analysis from 2019. This is how we can literally see kids in cages, forced hysterectomies, anti-raza massacres, and entire communities decimated by COVID, while some continue to insist the most urgent struggle is the acknowledgment of individual identities and overturning an “oppressive Mexican hegemony.” Digital representations of raza youth identities, and neoliberal political culture disarmed a generation of otherwise vocal advocates that our communities desperately needed during trumpism and the pandemic.
WHAT COMES NEXT:
Lesson 8. The worst is yet to come.
We must understand the trumpian movement is only one stage of this process. Of course, it is also fair to note the high probability that Trump would have likely won the electoral college and possibly the popular vote straight away, without the severe disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. And the wrath of the fachos is not over.
We all saw it unfold. A malignant narcissist billionaire, ignorant of political struggle, only able to see the world through the lens of how he is perceived in the media, fed and kept in an information bubble developed by ultra-right forces, culminating with him believing his own self-delusional lies to stage an auto-golpe. Trumpism embodies homicidal colonial-imperial madness. It is collective psychosis, and it is growing on a global scale.
The epitome of this imperial madness is the concentration of global power in the hands of one person – Donald Trump. That kind of power concentrated in the hands of any one person should be abolished just on principle, let alone the insanity of handing it over to a scumbag like Trump. The threat to humanity is the concentration of power in the hands of one lunatic – the presidency of the United States – who wields more power than any monarch in the history of humanity.
We know that the Republicans will continue as a party under the thumb of trumpism. Since it now operates as a cult of personality, it is unclear if or who can win the support of this movement without Trump, but it is abundantly clear that it is a trumpian party. Many of those people, including the hispanic trumpers, see this historical moment as the “end-times,” and Trump is their savior.
At this point, we see two possibilities. The first is that Trump continues to lead this movement, it continues to radicalize, and it becomes increasingly violent, but fails to rally the mass support of the 2020 apex of trumpism. As a result, it is kept from seizing state power. The second possibility is that Trump is removed from his dominant position, and leadership passes to a more influential and more disciplined fascist, who successfully reassembles a broad base of support, electoral and otherwise. Needless to say, la raza will remain a central target. We already knew that the colonial-imperial agenda with regard to la raza is bi-partisan, and we learned from trumpism that anti-raza politics are the cornerstone of U.S. fascism.
As weather patterns are changed, and Nuestra America is subject to hurricanes, terrible floods, or scarcity of water, we can expect nothing but more repression and death. As the U.S. continues to impose puppet governments, we can expect nothing but more repression and death. As more pandemics emerge, we can expect nothing but more repression and death. Just consider for a minute that future pandemics are inevitable. Then imagine how bad our communities will have it with a more deadly pandemic, say a virus two or three times as lethal and/or infectious as COVID-19.
What we experienced from Trumpism and COVID-19 this time around was a test run, and we can be sure that the worst is yet to come. Trumpism/COVID-19 taught us to get organized, or perish.
Lesson 9. Disciplined political organization is imperative.
Unión del Barrio did our best to defend our communities during the terrible attacks of trumpism and during the pandemic. Our work has been in the real world, not limited to social media posts, exemplified in the work of our community patrols and comites de resistencia. But we know it was not even 1% of what we truly needed to do. Raza liberation forces need to refocus, prioritize, and re-center community-based struggle, to make it the heart and soul of every political action, while pushing back against the dominant role of esoteric/neoliberal academic, 501c3, administrative/ institutional political rhetoric and values. Academics, non-profits, and student services directors need to actively support independent, community-based organizations, if not, then they need to be told to stay in their lane, unless they are willing to publicly privilege the community ahead of their personal economic and professional goals.
Our movement must establish the means to identify our own regional/national political leadership. When we serve the interests of our communities, then we should use social media as an instrument that we control, and not the other way around. Political action should leverage social media as an instrument through which local struggles can be reinforced and expanded, spread to other communities that are suffering the same attacks, or shared with people who are in solidarity with the struggle. The essential root of political power is people’s power – the power to physically defend a community, and only viable community-based organizations can engage with real expressions of people’s power. Finally, we must build and support independent media outlets and break the informational and ideological stranglehold that dominates our communities. From 2015 to the present, we were and remain the silenced brown mass. We are a target of trumpism civilian and state terrorisms, and only appeared in the corporate media and digital media spaces as charity cases used by liberals as evidence of Trump’s racism. We need to self-represent in ways that center us as subjects of our own liberation, versus being portrayed as objects of someone else’s fears or victims of someone’s racism.
We should conduct our politics by centering on organizing with real people on the streets, decentering the type of organizing that focuses only on electoral outcomes, or online recognition. That is not to say we exclude electoral struggle or online struggles – but our work on the streets is primary and will transcend those other forms. We must reconstruct our own indigenous, pro-raza expressions of political power based on principles of participatory democracy, built upon a foundation of working-class, street-level organizational capacity.
We are our own liberators. We know the list of solutions is short, but it is also very difficult to achieve. We need to conduct an ongoing anti-colonial, anti-imperialist liberation struggle. We need to build an economic system that works for us – socialism.
Lesson 10. Militant raza working-class unity is the only viable defense, here and throughout Nuestra America.
Every one of us is more deeply connected to centuries of liberation struggle that is indigenous to these lands – a legacy that reaches back in time prior to the existence of any colonial/imperial universities, colleges, and high schools, prior to the establishment of the United States, or any settler-colonial nation-state. Acknowledging this, after a university and college experience, raza students should return to our barrios to continue to organize and build better realities for our communities. Anything short of centering and prioritizing the self-defense of our communities is to cede space to trumpista fascism.
As we emerge from the pandemic, we must maintain absolute focus and intentionality to recover what is actually “social” in our struggle, and in our humanity, and leave behind the online world of digital colonialism. Within our barrios, we must aggressively pursue a mass-based, working-class, political literacy campaign with regard to indigenous and Latin American history and politics, based on anti-imperialism and socialism. We must conduct substantial barrio-based work to raise conciencia and support real international solidarity and ideological unity across Nuestra América – work that would otherwise prioritize stopping the U.S. puppet coup-plotters of Venezuela, ending the blockade against Cuba, overturning the colonial domination of Puerto Rico, exposing the imperialist manipulation of Central America, and blocking the capitalist devastation of our planet. To support the struggles of Indigenous raza, we should prioritize support for the American Indian Movement (AIM), and always uphold the fundamental right for self-determination of indigenous peoples as central to our political programs.
The only honest assessment of the “immigration debate” and the “crisis at the border” must begin with the recognition that our ancestors did not cross any oceans, and as indigenous people to these lands, we identify ourselves as natives to Nuestra America, thereby render our immigrant status as null and void. The only viable solutions to the so-called immigraiton crisis – caravans, unaccompanied minors, asylum seekers, etc. – begins first by insisting that the U.S. government cease all imperialist “aid” and halt imperialist interventions throughout Nuestra América. Next, we must insist on, and organize to support the absolute compliance with the principle of self-determination for all nations to select their own political and economic systems.
We must break the political monopoly of the South Florida criminal syndicate. The political power of that sector does not correspond to their economic power or demographic status. We need to draw from our historical leftist traditions throughout Nuestra América, and learn to see southern struggles “as our norte.” The leftist knowledge and native culture of Nuestra América is what we have to internalize, and should draw from these legacies to nourish our struggles in the north. We need to measure our liberation with the liberation of the peoples and nations of Nuestra America. The future of our peoples within the U.S., is inextricably linked to the advances we make to the south.
We must recover what it means to be progressive, to be of the “left” by centering liberation ideas and the liberation struggle – a class-based re-appropriation of the leftist struggle. This includes a critique of what is NOT the “left.”
We need to promote identities of scale (raza working-class within the U.S., national working-class struggle, international working-class solidarity) – identities that emerge from mass-based struggles; Chicanas, Chicanos, and when appropriate to identify the presence of people who do not identify with the a/o, then we include Chicanx. Or specific national identifiers such as “Mexicana/o,” “Salvadoreña/o,” “Chilena/o,” and collectively la raza, as the best way to center on our political and working-class unity, while at the same time acknowledge the historical, geographic, and cultural range of our peoples. Our definition of the working-class raza is expansive, and centered on harnessing our collective strengths in order to defend ourselves and wield political power. Our use of la raza is inclusive, though not as a function of individual identity politics, but instead as a function of liberatory struggle.
We know that the heavy alienation and religiosity of our communities continue to propagate reactionary ideas, racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. Continuing to educate and raise conciencia among our gente is the only viable solution to overcome these reactionary tendencies. We need to criticize the unsubstantiated nature of social media identities not by attacking young activists, but instead pointing out the desperate need for youth-centered struggle within our communities.
We must continue to struggle in unity with Black Power, and international solidarity with all liberation struggles, while at the same time be absolutely clear that we do so as a demonstration of active, principled solidarity, versus as an appropriation of white guilt. “La raza” is not rooted in European colonialism – not now, not in the past, and not in the future, and we have no business appropriating forms of white guilt. This type of thinking is rooted in turning our backs to our own indigenous roots. The best way to express our solidarity with the Black liberation struggle, and all anti-colonial, anti-imperialist struggle is through organized revolutionary comradeship.
Finally, the most important lesson we take away from these last few years, is that we must never turn our backs to our working-class raza, because then we will truly lose everything. If we achieve any of the goals delineated in this assessment, we will improve our capacity to defend our communities from what is to come in the next iteration of Trumpism/COVID-19.
This document was developed during the months of February and March, 2021. For a small donation, it is also available in downloadable PDF format, useful for printing. Email UdB at <firstname.lastname@example.org> for more information.
|↑1||Unión del Barrio defines “la raza” as follows: “Within the borders of the United States, we have historically suffered under colonial oppression, isolation, and dehumanizing conditions. As a consequence, the need to struggle against these harsh realities led to the emergence of different terms used to identify ourselves. Mexican American, Latin American, Latina/o, Hispana/o, Raza, and Chicana/o, are examples of some of these identifiers. Terms such as La Raza and Chicana/Chicano have progressive connotations that were widely used during the Chicano Power movement. Even today, these terms are used in a positive and political fashion. We recognize the historical and political significance of La Raza and Chicana/o, and will ourselves use them when appropriate or necessary. Nevertheless, as a revolutionary organization struggling within the current borders of the United States, we believe that specific national identifiers such as “Mexicana/o”, “Salvadoreña/o”, “Chilena/o”, and collectively La Raza, best cover the historical, geographic, and cultural range of our movement. We see our diverse national identities as the foundation of a unified continental identity covering all of Nuestra América… We hold that the struggle of La Raza in Aztlan/México Ocupado is historically and geographically defined as an indigenous and Mexicano anti-colonial fight for land and socialism.” See Unión del Barrio Political Program, Who We Are, Point I: I. From Alaska to Chile – We Are One People Without Borders.|
|↑2||Here are a few links of UdB articles published during the trump years:
|↑3||This critique of the two-party system has very little to do with democratic norms and stolen elections. Gerrymandering, differentiations of electoral power, unlimited power of money in elections, mass incarceration; these strategies are just the “legal” tip of the colonial iceberg of electoral fraud. Elections in the U.S. have always been stolen from colonized peoples. Just look at California, a state that is 50% raza but only in 2021 had its first “Mexican-American” U.S. Senator with Alex Padilla. Note that he did not win his seat, but had it handed to him by Gavin Newsom when Kamala Harris (who had the seat before him) became VP. The other Senator from California is the reactionary Dianne Fienstein. She refuses to retire after having held that position for nearly 30 years (since 1992), and is the oldest sitting member of the Senate.|
|↑4||Consider the police response on January 6th, and how it compared to the summer 2020 BLM-targeted preparations for protecting confederate statues and the Capitol building. This comparison has been widely circulated as a meme that denounces racism and relative unfairness, but more importantly it also clearly demonstrates the political nature of all law enforcement activities.|
|↑5||An “auto-golpe” is a “self-coup” – used by outgoing governments to block the transfer of power to remain in government. See “All 10 living former defense secretaries: Involving the military in election disputes would cross into dangerous territory”, Washington Post, 01/03/2021.|
|↑6||See “Nearly 1 In 5 Defendants In Capitol Riot Cases Served In The Military,” NPR, January 21, 2021.|
|↑7||There are more than three characteristics, but these are three that we use to establish the fascist nature of the trumpian movement.|
|↑8||The Trump administration had been in office for only four months when we published our May-July 2017 4-part analysis on what was coming, and sadly, most of our analysis was on point. We strongly recommend everyone revisit this early analysis because it aligns with this 2021 assessment, and it is evidence that our ideological positions are far from marginal or exaggerated, but have proven to be accurate and useful for understanding what comes next: “The Self-Defense of La Raza is Now One of the Front Lines of Anti-Fascist Struggle”|
|↑9||We saw this take shape as early as July of 2017: “…anti-Mexican repression is one of the most important benchmarks to measure the success of a Trump presidency. His white nationalist base will track his success by how viciously this administration represses La Raza, that is, there is a direct line – an equivalency – between the success of trumpista fascism and attacking our people. Therefore, our communities will be identified as the front line trumpista fascism… the first objective militaristic enactment of it within the borders of the United States… The front line of anti-fascist struggle is therefore the self-defense of La Raza. Progressives, and others who find echo in the anti-trumpista resistance, should and must stand in solidarity with our fight – not just to declare ‘sanctuary’ campaigns, but active anti-fascist unity, that rallies around the self-defense and self-determination of La Raza, including native people and indigenous struggles.”|
|↑10||Comments made later by a senator from Wisconsin support this observation. See “GOP Sen. Ron Johnson says he didn’t feel ‘threatened’ by Capitol marchers but may have if BLM or antifa were involved”.|
|↑11||During his 2021 CPAC Speech on February 28, 2021, Trump brought back the 2015 anti-Mexican speech that defined his campaign: “…They’re not giving us their best and their finest, because they’re intelligent. They’re not giving us their best and their finest. Remember I said that. I said that a long time ago, when I made the first remarks, when I came down the escalator with our great future first lady…”|
|↑12||“Donald Trump Once Compared Unauthorized Immigration To ‘Vomit’”, 08/25/2016.|
|↑13||See “Hindsight 2008: ‘What Does The Election Of Barack Obama To The Presidency Of The Empire Mean For La Raza?’”|
|↑14||“Let’s hope the DNC’s inexplicably weak Latino lineup is not a fatal mistake” – Washington Post, 08/18/2020.|
|↑15||In the context of the 2020 primaries, establishment Democrats cried for Biden when his primary campaign was on the ropes. The aftermath of Sanders victories is that the Democratic establishment now considers West Coast Democrats as a collective demographic threat, the same way they consider Bernie and AOC threats to the status quo, and will refuse to acknowledge them. Aside from a few token appointments and a bust of César Chávez, “Mexican-American” Democrats in particular can expect to become more marginalized within their own party under the Biden administration.|
|↑16||See “Juan González: The Media Has It Wrong. Record Latinx Turnout Helped Biden. White Voters Failed Dems”.|
|↑17||In 2017, during the first months of the Trump administration, we re-stated our consistently cleareyed summation of the Democrats: “We owe the Democratic Party nothing. It is a party of organized duplicity, opportunism, with no political principles nor political consistency whatsoever. Ideologically, it is demoralized and bankrupt, except remaining aggressively pro-capitalist/imperialist, and a consistent supporter of neoliberal individualism. Beyond the West Coast and the Northeast, it is a failure as a national electoral party. Ultimately, the Democratic Party has been, and remains anti-liberation, anti-independent organization, and anti-revolutionary ideology.”|
|↑18||The numbers of raza grad students, faculty, and administrators are much lower.|
|↑19||A “Hispanic-Serving Institution” (HSI) is a federal designation used to incentivize campuses to enroll at least 25% “hispanic” students. Once HSI status is reached, schools are awarded millions in federal grants.|
|↑20||See “Unión del Barrio & The Struggle For LGBTQ+ Comradeship”.|
|↑21||COVID-19 mortality rates are the number of confirmed deaths from COVID-19, per 100 confirmed cases, also known as “observed case-fatality ratio.” See Johns Hopkins “Mortality Analyses.” This number is less about how deadly the virus actually is, and more about social, economic, and political status of the impacted population.|
|↑22||These 128 counties are in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Washington. These counties include over 19 million of our peoples, that is nearly 30% of the 65 million people who live in the U.S. who we broadly identify as “la raza,” including indigenous nations and tribes – all victims of genocidal violence, theft, and slavery imposed on us by European colonialism, United States imperialism, and global neoliberalism. These population numbers were pulled from the colonial U.S. Census that divides “la raza” into multiple groups to track our oppressed status, namely “Hispanic/Latino” or “American Indian/Alaska Native.” See Unión del Barrio Political Program, II. This is Nuestra América” – We Are Indigenous Nations.|
|↑23||Los Angeles county is 50% raza, and is the location of 33% (1.2 million) of the total California COVID-19 infections. By March 2021, across all 13 raza-majority counties in California, there were 2.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 36,489 confirmed deaths.|
|↑24||By March 2021, across all 66 raza-majority counties in Texas, there were 670,471 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 15,136 confirmed deaths.|
|↑25||These 8 Texas counties are Brooks, Cameron, Cochran, Crosby, Garza, Hockley, Kenedy, and Lamb. Together, 481,393 people live in these counties, with raza representing 67% of that population. As of March 2021, there were 44,447 confirmed cases of COVID, and 1,837 deaths.|
|↑26||We see too many parallels in terms of how the January 6th attack in Washington unfolded, with a similar model to what was done in Venezuela in 2002 during the right-wing march on Miraflores and the murders that took place on Puente Llaguno.|
|↑27||See 2020 Trump campaigning in Florida primarily directed at right-wing Cubans and Venezuelans.|
|↑28||See MECHA analysis from 2019.|