Glenn Reynolds Reminds Me Of Saddam Hussein. Why? I’ll get to that.
First, the InstaPundit‘s obsession with MEChA is becoming bizarre, even for the reality-distortion zone of InstaPunditLand.
Glenn Reynolds, willingly or unwillingly, was duped into this whole MEChA thing by a meme that started with the fringe right-wing media: A mistranslation of a line found within a MEChA document, “Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.”
The phrase is a typical expression of group unity that one would find in any activist organization, but some right-wing anti-immigrant folk decided to take Spanish into their own hands and translate that phrase as, “For the race, everything. For those outside the race, nothing.”
Why? Because it sounded really nasty. Who cares if it was accurate? Who cares if “por” wouldn’t mean “for” to any Spanish speaker in that context? Who cares if “For those” was completely made up? Certainly not Glenn Reynolds.
…the fight against racial prejudice at the highest levels of the Democratic Party in California is not without its setbacks, as Cruz Bustamante is still refusing to renounce MEChA. Well, we didn’t end Jim Crow overnight, either.
Huh? Does Glenn Reynolds ever think before he types?
All marriages between a white person and a negro, or between a white person and a person of negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive… are forever prohibited, and shall be void. Maryland
All persons licensed to conduct the business of selling beer or wine… shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room at any time. Georgia
The officer in charge shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any colored persons upon ground set apart or used for the burial of white persons. Georgia
No persons, firms, or corporations, who or which furnish meals to passengers at station restaurants… shall furnish said meals to white and colored passengers in the same room, or at the same table, or at the same counter. South Carolina
[The County Board of Education] shall provide schools of two kinds; those for white children and those for colored children. Texas
Let’s compare that to Berkeley MEChA’s constitution:
Homophobia: We will not tolerate the exclusion of Lesbian/Gay/Bi-sexual/Transgender (LGBT) Chicanas/os. Homophobic remarks, comments, gestures, and/or doctrines will not be tolerated during any Berkeley MEChA meeting or event.
Mutual Respect: Disruptions, threats, rumors, slanders, and the pitting of Mechistas against one another will not be tolerated since it breeds disharmony and division amongst the membership.
Racism: Racist remarks, comments, gestures, and/or doctrines will not be tolerated during any Berkeley MEChA meeting or event.
Sexism: Sexist remarks, comments, gestures, and/or doctrines will not be tolerated during any Berkeley MEChA meeting or event. We need the contributions of women and men working together for the betterment of nuestra Raza.
Gender Issues: To address issues of sexism and homophobia within our community by providing Chicana/o and Combined Caucuses throughout the school year which will establish an open forum and creates lines of communication
Berkeley MEChA will not restrict membership based upon race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical and mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or status as a covered veteran; we will not haze according to California State Law.
I suppose they’re almost the same.The underlying logic of Reynolds’ argument is that the “identity politics” of MEChA (and by extension, that of any mainstream civil-rights organization that vigorously attacks the tenets of white supremacism) is identical in nature to the institutionalized white supremacy of Jim Crow and its attendant ills: segregation, lynching, endemic discrimination.
In doing so, Reynolds not only grotesquely smears mildly militant minority-rights groups, he minimizes the horrors of the Jim Crow era. Suggesting that the systemic atrocities committed against blacks in the first half of the American twentieth century are in any way comparable to even the most distorted reading of Mechista rhetoric or activism is exactly the same kind of despicable historical revisionism deployed by those who compare the Holocaust to various lesser atrocities. I would even place the superficial comparisons of George Bush to Hitler, so despised by Reynolds, in this category as well…
Reynolds, as I said, has some explaining to do. This kind of minimizing the historical realities of the racist South is precisely what Trent Lott was doing when he landed in the national doghouse. Of course, Reynolds likes to compare Bustamante to Lott — as though MEChA were comparable in either rhetoric or agenda to the Council of Conservative Citizens, or the “Aztlan” myth to the reality of segregation. Reynolds, of all people, should know better.
If, as seems to be the case, Reynolds believes that MEChA comprises “fascist hatemongers” and is a racist organization, he especially needs to explain just why this is so…
Let me emphasize again: Accusing anyone, particularly a national civil-rights organization that enjoys broad mainstream participation, of being racist is an extremely serious charge. Its ramifications are widespread and can be devastating for any group on whom the label is placed. Misusing it cheaply, especially for scoring easy political points, is beneath contempt.
Hey, you know who else is beneath contempt? Saddam Hussein. Who reminds me a lot of Glenn Reynolds, the fascist hatemonger of the Blogosphere.
Why? I dunno. I haven’t really thought about it. But who cares? I’m just typing here. They’re only words. They don’t mean anything.