"We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent. Brotherhood unites us, and love for our brothers makes us a people whose time has come and who struggles against the foreigner 'gabacho' who exploits our riches and destroys our culture. With our heart in our hands and our hands in the soil, we declare the independence of our mestizo nation. We are a bronze people with a bronze culture."
Substitute "Aryan" for "mestizo" and "white" for "bronze." Not much difference between the nutty philosophy of Bustamante's MEChA and Papa Schwarzenegger's evil Nazi Party. To date, however, the only exposure Bustamante's MEChA history has received has been on the Internet.
In a critical article on Bustamante published by David Horowitz's FrontPage Magazine.com last week, Lowell Ponte notes that "Like Nazism, MEChA has acquired more than a tinge of racism. In their tactics to advance Latinos and 'La Raza,' many of its activists have directed racist attacks against not only white-skinned Anglos but also against blacks, Asian-Americans and Jews -- in fact, against every non-Latino group."
Popular Internet blogger Tacitus points out: "It's tempting to dismiss this as a youthful affiliation that means nothing today -- but that temptation would be wrong. There are certain associations that are socially tainting (and justly so) in the modern day, and they don't have statutes of limitations. Former Klansmen and former Nazis don't get a pass unless they spend a great deal of time and energy apologizing for and explaining themselves in a convincing manner."
Why should Bustamante, a public figure already known to have used a racial epithet in the past (he infamously used the word "nigger" while addressing a Black History Month event two years ago) get a pass? Or, for that matter, former California State Assembly Speaker and Los Angeles mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa, State Assemblyman Gil Cadillo, State Sen. Joe Baca, and Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva -- all unapologetic Mechistas?
Ms. Couric, I know you'll get to the bottom of this. They don't call you Hardball Katie for nothing.