Ramón Del Castillo, PhD
When the leader of what could be one of the greatest nations in the world spews out gibberish, with a haughty and racist attitude—derogating Mexicans, classifying them as thugs, drug dealers, thieves and illegal aliens—then brags about the many jobs he has created for struggling Latino communities, leaders from those communities should shout out El Grito de los Pobres, espousing our collective spiritual conviction. Trump’s benign neglect coupled with his slurs at Mexicans should not be tolerated. The masses of la gente do not need to bow down to a president that holds contempt against them; we just need to demonstrate the cultural pride that is part of our history. His job creation initiative is false generosity and a ploy to keep an exploited working class of Mexicans, and other working-class citizens similar to those imprudent followers that constitute, as part of his base.
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla’s, the priest who led El Grito de Dolores on September 16th, 1810, had a goal to provide a more equitable distribution of resources to those people who work the land. We understand constitutions and contracts with free people.
When a president declares war on freedom of the press, labelling journalists as “Enemies of the state,” while his cronies are accused of treason, our communities have a constitutional right and obligation to stand in unity, demonstrating to the president that our dignity is not for sale in his capitalistic market place. Our duty to fight injustice was inscribed in México’s constitution after its War for Independence as los pobres confronted México’s elite. We have internalized this lesson and have shared it with our children.
When the president of the United States practices a double standard of justice, one for his own selfish interests and his congress and one for members of racial and ethnic groups, La Raza should activate its members and demand justice. The unjust mass incarceration of undocumented workers highlights this issue as does the gross maltreatment of children illegally taken from their mothers. We need to demand the closing of detention facilities and demand Congress to rectify the president’s violation of human rights.
When the president of the United States of América, demeans our political leaders as being unethical at a time when he cannot discern the difference between right and wrong; then by all means, we need to march on the streets of América and proclaim our freedom. This lesson comes from the Chicano Movement, a time when we would shouted “Ya Basta”, and took action.
El Grito de los Pobres is a 2018 battle cry for El Dies y Seis de Septiembre—a time when we understand what a true democracy is and is not. Our communities may suffer from materialistic poverty, but we have never been poor in spirit. It has been our revolutionary spirit that has taken us too many battlefields, spurred by the spirit of our ancestors joining us in combating the ongoing cultural wars. The countless battles that our ancestors fought in and the many enemies that we faced on various types of battlefields such as congressional hearings and political gatherings, pale in comparison to what the current administration is espousing. Denouncing the hyperbole preached by a man that lacks a social conscience is a right guaranteed to us by our constitution. We should practice our moral convictions through peaceful means. Our moral conviction towards freedom should not be transformed in vengeance, for as great leader Mahatma Ghandi once stated, to adhere to a philosophy that preaches, “An eye for an eye will only result in two blind people.”
Crossing bridges can be very challenging and difficult, especially in the life of a politician where allegiance to the party trumps everything else. Politicians should be held accountable to the public they serve; as Martin Luther King espoused, “Silence can become betrayal.” Deciding to stand on the right side of history where truth prevails is equally challenging. There is a time when moral conviction unpracticed is discernible. When hard ball politics penetrates the moral courage of politicians and pulverizes their wills into dust, it may be time to leave office.
The struggle for true liberation, with its consummate need to free all people and an inherent tension between those who are controlled and those who are controlled has never been more threatened than it is today. The 16th of September is a reminder that for over 500 years, nuestros antepasados fought off many invaders, saluted several flags, some under protest that preached democracy, and listened to TAPS as our children displayed patriotism for this nation.
Our battle cry should include maintaining faith in justice for all. Faith that the human condition will conquer needs to be collectively present as we continue our struggle. Without faith, one only wades in dark shadows, unable to peel off the cataracts that causes blindness, resulting in a lost soul. Triumph is always present, buried beneath the hate, anger and eventual solace that one feels. Our communities have somehow managed to survive. We are well aware of that through the paradox of defeat, there is victory—victory of the soul—a time when reconciliation becomes paramount. Those wading in controversy need to walk in reverence rather than crawl in heresy.
¡Que Viva El Deis y Seis de Septiembre!
Dr. Ramón Del Castillo is an Independent Journalist. © 9-11-2018 Ramón Del Castillo.
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