Convention Discussion: For Greater Awareness, Understanding, Appreciation & Celebration of Mexican American History

BY: Rosalio Muñoz| March 6, 2014

Submitted for discussion by Rosalio Muñoz, Los Angeles, CA.

People of Mexican descent make up over 10% of the population of the United States of America and its work force. People of Mexican descent long a major part of the population of the Southwest are a growing part of the national population in every region and in particular in most major urban and economic centers. Their electoral and overall progressive political role has become a decisive factor in the struggles for labor and democratic rights and peace nationally and additionally so as a core part of Latino/Hispanic political participation.

People of Mexican descent in the U.S. have faced deliberate policies of racism and national oppression and super exploitation throughout their collective history, and their struggles to survive and overcome them have made increasingly significant contributions to the overall struggles for labor and democratic struggles in this country.

Mexican Americans are a central part of the new 21st Century national question in the United States. People of color are approaching 40% of the national population and 25% of the voters, and similar proportions of the workforce and organized labor (though less so due to repression of immigrants.) As the progressive pro labor and democracy super majority trends among them are growing the threat to the far right and imperialist strength is a paramount issue.

Increased racist policies and practices, spearheaded by the far right, are being proposed and established in the areas of  labor, voting rights, immigration, education, health care, violent crimes, housing…, in all areas of life. The arising progressive trends in the country are underpinned on the burgeoning progressive force of people of color and other oppressed groups

A new central factor of this new 21st Century development is the emergence of Mexican Americans as a major national force particularly in labor and electoral arenas in its own right. This has been reinforced by increasing unified action with other Latino peoples. Key indicators of this development are the leadership of Rep Raul Grijalva in Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep Xavier Becerra as Majority leader of the House Democratic Caucus, and Maria Elena Durazo leader of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor on the board of the national AFL-CIO, the first and only member not from the leadership of an international union.

Greater ideological understanding of the national question and its historical development is necessary for meeting the right wing 21st century racist offensive and overcoming it. Basic to this is greater awareness, understanding, appreciation and celebration of Mexican American history. The Communist Party USA has been the leading national political group fostering such understanding in thought and deed for 96 years.

Our understanding of the necessary role of Mexican Americans in the development of multiracial multinational unity as the basis for working class and democratic progress and for the establishing socialism has consistently proved helpful to the Mexican American people in their struggles for justice a and equality. The new developments in the national question require collective discussion, thought and updating thought in our preconvention, convention and future decision and actions. I have some suggestions for some of the key issues for our collective consideration.

  1. The racist history of anti-indigenous thought, practice and propaganda of British colonialism and its development by US elites, including super exploitation and its influence on anti-Mexican, anti-mestizo and anti-Mexican American phenomena.
  2. British colonial and US expansionism and militarism as basic to the developing political economy of the US dialectically connected with slavery and growing into the invasion and of Texas, Mexico, California, the conquest and occupation. The US maritime/naval interest in Manifest Destiny to the Pacific Rim. The importance of anti-indigenous and slavery policies to the de facto nullification of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and the ensuing special oppressed status for Mexican Americans.
  3. The dialectics of the imperialist investment and intervention in Mexico and expansion and development of monopoly capital into the Southwest United States and the special exploitation of mexicano workers in the US. The use of punitive measures against Mexican@s in the US as pressure on the Mexican government, people, revolutionary and progressive forces into the present.
  4. The development of racist immigration policies as a control mechanism for a de facto policy of mass undocumented labor as Mexican American integration into labor and political development began to mature. The comprehensive approach developed by the movement of Mexican American and Chican@s during the 1960’s and 1970’s to meet the problematic of undocumented labor by welcoming the immigrants as members of our working class and people, which has been the basis for the modern immigrant rights struggles of today.
  5. The development of the Nixon administration’s parallel development of  Southwestern and “ethnicity” policies to undermine and divide growing empowerment of Mexican Americans and other Latinos alongside of its Southern Strategy against African American empowerment and development of  the ensuing right wing offensive.
  6. The role of the Communist Party USA and the left in solidarity and alliance with progressive developments in Mexican American History.
  7. Development of special ways of commemorating and celebrating Mexican American history besides Cinco de Mayo or Hispanic Heritage Month. I recommend celebrating the May 18 birthdate of Lorenzo Torrez and the contributions of Anita and Lorenzo’s contributions to the nation and party.
  8. The development of collective forms of discussing this and or similar issues in the pre-convention and convention processes and our future work.

The views and opinions expressed in the Convention Discussion are those of the author alone. The Communist Party is publishing these views as a service to encourage discussion and debate. Those views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Communist Party, its leading bodies or staff members. The CPUSA Constitution, Program, and all its existing policies remain in effect during the Convention discussion period and during the Convention.

For details about the convention, visit the Convention homepage
To contribute to the discussion, visit the Convention Discussion webpage

30th National Convention, Communist Party USA
Chicago | June 13-15, 2014


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