The following is a point for point answer to a Mechista done during the 2001 Mayoral campaign when Antonio Villaraigosa was running.

May 2, 2001

Dear Virginia:

Thanks for your email letter.


I ordinarily do not respond to MEChistAS who want to "straighten me out" about MEChA. The intention of the MayorNo site was not to clarify history nor to get into a tit-for-tat contest of who did the most wrong to whom, as I'm not a historian nor does it make any difference to the objective of this site, which group was "right" or which group was "wrong." My intentions were to show that MEChA is a racist, separatist, and divisive organization based on its constitution, manifestos, and public declarations -- and that Antonio Villaraigosa still embraces MEChA's beliefs.  If you are saying that MEChistAS are justified in their beliefs, I don't argue with that -- but they are nevertheless racists -- and no amount of history regardless of how cruel one group was to another and regardless of whose version of history you accept, justifies racism.

When I read the MEChA constitution or the "El Plan de Aztlan" manifesto, I take those writings at face value. I do not accept translations that attempt to water down the meanings. If in fact those documents don't mean what they say, they are at minimum, divisive, and should be banned.

I do not accept declarations by "multi-culturalists" that America doesn't have a culture. America has its own culture, but I'm not going into that on this site. So please accept my meaning when I refer to "American culture."

My use of the word "American" refers to any American citizen regardless of ancestry and regardless of how they got here.

My use of the word "citizen" refers to all American citizens -- by birth or naturalized. I regard all citizens as being equal. There are no citizens more American than others. and anyone born in the U.S.A. like you and I are "native americans."

This site recognizes the rights of individuals, not "preferred" groups and considers that no one person or group has any more rights in America than another based on ancestry. As such, this site recognizes that the rightful owners of the United States are its present citizens.

My use of the word Mexican refers to any Mexican citizen -- not Americans such as yourself whose nationality is not Mexican.

My use of the phrase "illegal aliens" referes to a persons residing in the U.S. without the permission of the U.S. Government and is the official nomenclature of the INS. Non U.S. citizens residing in the the U.S. with permission (green card), are legal resident aliens.

I decided to answer you in an open letter (since that is what you wanted), so that other MEChistAS who would be inclined to try to "straighten me out" might get their questions answered in this catechism type format.

I'm putting the ending of your email letter at the beginning for clarity. Your writings will be shown in blue. Mine in red.

You ended with this:

(April 28, 2001)

I write this in the hope that I will receive a substantial and substantiated response from you.

Virginia Flores

P.S. Please display my name.

As you can see, I broke your letter into parts that I answered (shown in red).

From: Virginia Flores, student at Yale University.

I have so much to say but yet I am void for words.  When I first entered your site I was full of anger and disbelief at seeing how incredibly ignorant and how easily swayed people can be by "racist propaganda."   After further perusal of your site, I became deeply saddened and moved almost to the point of tears.  Although your web site clearly said I was not welcome, I am a firm believer of hearing out the other side to strengthen my own stance, which is evidently not something you believe.

I put the header listing "who is not welcome" because I want to make clear who I consider to be racists. I do not want financial or moral support from racists. What is ironic, is that I have received letters such as yours from other individuals belonging to groups named in the header who also sincerely feel they are legitimate and not racists.

Yes I am as well a student at Yale University as you can tell from my e-mail address and I had to pull myself away from the huge amount of studying and reading I have to do for my finals this upcoming week. I knew that if I sat down to write this it would take me a long time so it must mean an extreme amount to me to take the time to do this.  I feel like dissecting every part of you site and I will try to do as much as I feel I have time for. I don't write e-mails in paragraphs so excuse my train of thought writing.  First off, if you want to pass yourself off as an educated man, then please become one.  There are tons of typographical errors on your page and this detracts a lot from your message.  I think it would be in your best interest to correct these as soon as possible.  (I think is of utmost importance especially since you have the audacity to point out others misspellings and yet there are so many on your own site.)  If you're going to insult someone, then at least get their name right.  I am a MEChistA so please refer to me as that, not as a MEChistA, which as far as my knowledge has no meaning whatsoever.

I am an engineer by education and everyone knows that engineers can't spell (a little flung sarcasm deserves a little in return). Seriously, just as you are cramming, so am I and I have not been paying enough attention to my spelling. I have welcomed your criticism even though it wasn't well intentioned, and I have started to go through the site's pages and believe I have made most of the corrections -- I leave it to persons like yourself to contact me and tell me where the mistakes are.

I have become actively involved in MEChA this year and have found it to be an incredible experience.  I am a Los Angeles native and will be voting in this upcoming election.  Through MEChA I have been able to meet other Chicanos on campus, a campus that isn't always very welcoming to minorities.  I have gotten to meet Chicanos from across the eastern seaboard and attended conferences where I listened to Chicana mothers and how they changed the unfair school system practices their children were subjected to, comic strip and graffiti artists talk about their art and its importance, as well as getting to watch Aztec dancers.  MEChA has opened up a door of new opportunities for me.  Next semester I am going to be working to get MEChA de Yale more involved in  New Haven's Latino community of Fair Haven, one of the poorest areas of the city.  We will try to help this immigrant community feel welcomed in this city and try to provide some kind of support system.  I have seen MEChA support such things as Hate Crimes Awareness Week, the Association of Native-Americans at Yale's annual Pow-wow and create a united front with other cultural organizations against a candidate that did not support minority causes.  This is what MEChA has been for me.  I grant you that not everyone's experience with MEChA has been the same  but this is something that you fail to acknowledge.

I acknowledge that MEChA may very well be a good thing for you personally and for others, and that MEChA pushes cultural pride and education for its followers. But that doesn't mean that MEChA isn't a racist organization. Your rationale is much the same as what Louis Farrakhan's followers say about him -- and I am sure you will agree with me that he is a racist.

You clump all MEChistAS in one group and don't bother to find out anything else that wouldn't fit neatly into your propaganda.

Until you show me a MEChistA who will publicly repudiate the racist "El Plan de Aztlan" manifesto, I will continue to clump all MEChistA's together as racists. Do you think this excerpt from El Plan de Aztlan: "Aztlan belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans" is neutral? Do you think it shows tolerance? Do you think it shows sensitivity? The definition of a bigot according to the American Heritage Dictionary is one who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ. You fit that!

And since MEChA is a bigoted organization, Yale or any other college or high school should not allow it to organize on campus at tax-payer expense.

Yes I stand for Raza causes and the empowerment of our people.

One of the dead give-aways of separatists is their use of the phrase "our people." Aren't you Americans?

The Latino community in Los Angeles is on the verge of being, if not already, the largest group in the area yet they are extremely under represented in terms of funding, social services and voting. They are among the poorest, most uneducated, and most discriminated against.  How is this fair?  It is not.

These people, whether or not they are fluent in English, entered this country illegally or legally, deserve the right to have a voice in a system that so many times overlooks and marginalizes them, yet they give so much to.  They need that voice.  I hope that one day the people of Atzlan are able to liberate themselves from this oppression.  I plan to be one of the people that bring this about.

If I entered your house illegally and declared that I deserve the right to have a voice in how you manage your house, you'd probably call the police. Now you said that "these people even if they entered this country illegally"  deserve the right to have a voice in a system..." Think about it! And Antonio Villaraigosa has the same beliefs as you.

You don't make any distinction between legal immigrants and illegal aliens and you put Europeans in a class by themselves. From MEChA's "El Plan de Aztlan" manifesto, Americans of European descent are foreigners. Since my ancestors are white and from Europe, according to MEChA, I don't have a right to be in America. And you say you are not Racists? Sorry, we don't have much common ground here. I for one respect the human rights of all people including illegal aliens. What I oppose, is illegal immigration fostered by MEChA and corrupt MEChistA politicians like Antonio Villaraigosa.

You are free to want to usurp "Europeans," and I am just as free to oppose those who would destroy our democracy. And that's what the MayorNo Website is about.

You call this discrimination a "false illusion" and I truly hope that you don't even believe that because discrimination against Latinos of all ethnicities is an unfortunately widespread occurrence that no one can truthfully deny.

I deny it! I think that you're confusing racial discrimination with discrimination against illegal aliens who you would like us to believe, are just as entitled to America as its citizens. But if you are right about Latinos being discriminated against in America, why would the vast majority of the world's Latinos want to leave their native countries to come to the U.S. to be discriminated against?

MEChA teaches unity, not separatism, among Chicanos all over the country, not only the Southwest I'm sorry to inform you.  It teaches many Chicanos, lost in the maze of the American cultural mainstream, to be proud of their ancestry, proud to be Mexicanos.

Saying that MEChA teaches unity among Chicanos and at the same time saying that they are not separatists, is an oxymoron -- MEChA is by its own declarations, a separatist group! There was unity of Americans during WWII when our country fought the German Nazis who also had unity, and against the Japanese who also had unity, and against the Italians who also had unity. Unity in America is supposed to be for everyone together, not just self proclaimed "feel my pain" separatists. I defy you to point out any country in the world where multi-cultures are living harmoniously. Multi-culturalism in America has only worked when immigrants (who did not abandon their native culture) embraced American unity which is only possible by sharing a primary language (English) and culture (American) that is common to all of us. Otherwise, America will become inhabited by a bunch of squabbling multi cultural groups, each wanting its own piece of Ethnic (hyphen) American pie.

As a subscriber to the Jewish faith, I think you can relate. You are proud of your rich Jewish ancestry and you should be. No one is entitled to take that away from you just as you are not entitled to take that away from me or anyone else.

Of course I don't want to take that away from you or anyone else. Thank god in the U.S., we're free to worship and embrace whatever culture we want. My parents didn't want me to forget my native Yiddish, so they sent me to Yiddish Shuleh which I attended in the afternoon (after public school) and they reinforced my Yiddish learning at home -- it was their choice -- but they didn't expect the government to accommodate them. If you want to be a Chicana and a MEChistA, fine! You want to share America with me and other cultures, fine! But don't try to "liberate" one group by taking away from members of other groups. And I think you should get over the idea that America owes you your culture or Aztlan.

If there is a tendency for Raza publications to refer to America as "AmeriKKKa" it is because of the WASP male domination that exists in this country that so often takes part in institutionalizing discriminatory policy, not because they have ties with the KKK.  If you would give this though for about half a second, this would become obvious.

There is nothing more racist than trying to justify racism with yet more racism. And that is just what you did in the above paragraph. The KKK doesn't represent America and it doesn't represent me. MEChA doesn't represent America and it doesn't represent me -- and I am equally offended by both.

For the record I don't hate the United States, it's the country where I was born and raised and in no other country would I have the opportunities that I have here but I do abhor some of its practices.

Sounds like your "putting up" with America so that you can milk from her. I can only conclude from your words, that you feel that you owe your patriotism to Aztlan -- not America.

I am a proponent of immigration seeing as this is a country of immigrants, founded by immigrants and made what it is today by immigrants.   When America provided such a wealth of opportunity to previous immigrants, such as your ancestors, why should these new immigrants be barred from this wealth?

I too am a proponent of immigration -- traditional sustainable legal immigration. You, on the other hand, want to open the border to whomever wants to cross it even if they push other immigrants who have been waiting to come legally for years, to the back of the line. And you consider anyone who doesn't agree with you as being anti-immigrant. Would you consider a married couple that plans the frequency and number of children they will have in the future, to be anti-children?

Those like yourself, who don't want anybody to criticize or even question immigration policy, blur the distinction between being "anti-immigrant" and a critic of immigration policy.  Since it is a policy issue, as American citizens, we have the right to question, discuss, and criticize a policy.

What I see, is the Mexican government cynically using illegal immigration to stay in power. Just imagine if all the Mexican illegal aliens stayed in Mexico being politically active like you and I, and demanding accountability from their government - Wow, that would be something!

If they are escaping other countries in which they have no choice but to remain poor and sometimes face political persecution, should they be barred from entering this country? It seems hypocritical to be an ardent supporter of this nation, a nation of immigrants, and not support current immigration, without which our economies, both local and national, could not survive.

The U.S. already allows immigrants who suffer persecution the right to immigrate to the U.S. It's called political asylum. But again, why would you want anyone to leave their country where they are persecuted just to come to America where, as you insist, they will be persecuted again?

Allowing people to illegally immigrate to the U.S. just because they are poor, is virtually the same as importing poverty. And if we open the gates to all the world's poor, who are multiplying at a rate equivalent to the whole U.S. population, every four years,"ALL" Americans will shortly be living in penury.

Why would "Americans" find it offensive to hear the national anthem sung in Spanish. You criticize people for not being proud of being Americans but when they express this pride in the language they can, you are offended.  How does this make sense?  Do you think the national anthem should only be sung in English?

Generally speaking, why something is offensive is a matter of opinion and depends largely on cultural acceptance of what's offensive and what's not. If you are in Saudi Arabia and you cross your legs while seated facing another person, that person will be offended. If you are a woman and go to the holy Western Wall in Jerusalem wearing a short sleeve blouse, you will offend many people. You may not understand why they are offended, but that shows your insensitivity to their culture. We are not talking just about the American anthem sung in a foreign language which by itself is offensive to many, we are talking about it sung to the Mexican flag. So if Americans are offended when Mexicans  are trying to make a political statement in places like Washington D.C. by singing the American national anthem in Spanish while displaying Mexican flags, take it at face value -- they're offended!

Put the shoe on the other foot. Suppose, as an American,  I lived in Mexico and was a member of the American Club where English speaking Americans hung out and there were American flags all over the club premises. And on the Fourth of July we had a little parade and displayed American flags, I don't think that would offend anyone. But then suppose a bunch of us from the American Club went down to the presidential palace waving American flags and shouting "long live the U.S.A." and demanded that the public schools teach our children in English, and demanded that Mexico mourn Pearl Harbor day, I think that Mexicans witnessing this, would rightfully find this offensive. Don't you think so?

if you are calling for the assimilation of these people into the "American" culture then you seem to dismiss the fact that although some may want to be assimilated, they are not allowed to.  Is this something that you are unaware of or just ignore?  I am not a racist.

Are you on another planet? Who isn't allowing them to assimilate besides organizations like MEChA that virtually considers the word "assimilation" a racist word?

You are probably a nice person on a one-on-one basis, but by any measure, as a MEChA member, you are a "politically correct" racist (a politically correct racist is someone who feels that because of past discrimination, that they have an anointed right to be a racist against certain innocent descendants -- like if my European great grandfather mugged your Mexican great grandfather, then you  would be "politically correct" in discriminating against me. As absurd as that sounds, that is exactly how you have been rationalizing MEChA's racism and anti-Americanism).

I just as you have friends and family members from all races, ethnicities and religions.  I love and am thankful for them all.  "Dime con quien andas y te diré quien eres," is a popular Spanish saying.  I hear it from my mother all the time.  Do you really associate only with people who are exactly in agreement with you about everything?  I don't think anyone is.

I don't get it. Are you saying that your mother was wrong? Of course you can tell a lot about a person by who they hang out with.

If I surrounded myself solely with people who thought the way I do, the world would be a very uninteresting and homogeneous place.  I am tolerant of people's views although they may not be similar to mine because this is also one of America's founding principles, the principle of free speech and thought. In addition, everyone has the right to associate with whomever they choose, whether they be in ideological agreement or not.  Just because I am friends with someone who believes that Atzlan should be repatriated doesn't mean I am of the same opinion.

Maybe not, but it means you are friends with a racist anti-American seditionist and that's almost as bad as being one.

You should watch the company you hang out with. Your MEChistA Yale friend who thinks I'm a politician, wrote the email letter shown below (unedited). If he represents MEChA, you're in bad company. He wrote:

"you're a moron.  when I like to think of you, I think you're a moron.  i'm a student at yale university.  trust me, you have no intellectual appeal in your provincial website.  you will never amount to anything.  because you are an idiot.  for no other reason.  you're a small, small person in the grand scheme of things and you have found yourself in the midst of something you can no longer control.  I hope you find some meaning in your personal life, because you lack the intelligence and the persuasivness of a true politician.
Armando Sistos"

Armondo's message is one of scores that I have received from MEChistAs all over the country, some much more offensive than his. Is that what you mean when you say that MEChA teaches tolerance?

Armando must be a very angry person. Be careful of him.

You make being a Mexican nationalist sound like a bad thing which I don't think it is.  I will always be proud to be Mexican and proclaim that at the tops of my lungs and never regret it.

No, there's nothing wrong with being a Mexican nationalist, but most Angelinos prefer the Mayor of Los Angeles to be an American nationalist.

How can you condemn someone for organizations that they were a part of 20 years ago?  How many of our leaders today were involved in "Anti-American" and "subversive" activities such as participating the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war protest during the 1960s?  Were these activities really "Anti-American?"  Perhaps only in the sense that they attempted to provide a voice for those who had none.

Bad analogy Virginia. Civil rights activists are not un-American. People like Martin Luther King are great Americans. But how do you feel about David Duke who quit KKK some years ago and now repudiates it. That's how I feel about Antonio Villaraigosa who, by the way, HAS NOT repudiated MEChA.

You recycle and reuse so much of what you say over and over on your site.  If you're going to make an argument, make sure you're covered on all sides and don't try to use the same spiel over and over (e.g. Tell me who you are...). How can you call your site one "that opposes hate" when you openly and viciously attack not only Villaraigosa but so many other Chicanos and Latinos for being proud of who they are?

The MayorNo site does not put down anyone for having pride in there culture? I put down people who are racists and hate America. That doesn't make me a hateful person.

In case you were still wondering, parks and park improvements do help the environment not only through beautification.  Why do you think so many environmental organizations sponsor tree planting drives?  Trees produce oxygen and consume carbon dioxide which means that they would take the excess carbon dioxide in polluted air and replace it with oxygen.  Lowering levels of carbon dioxide also helps reduce global warming.  If you want to learn more about that process, I seriously suggest you educate yourself on it.

Los Angeles has more trees than any comparable city. You can see the many hundreds of thousands when "parked" on the freeway. Adding parks with trees to accommodate the recreational needs of the continual arrival of illegal aliens with no end in sight, makes very little difference in the city's environment. The greatest cause of poor air in Los Angeles, comes from polluting automobiles. And the cars that are added to our crowded streets multiply in proportion to the record numbers of newcomers. Encouraging overpopulation through unsustainable illegal immigration as you and Antonio Villaraigosa do, just exacerbates the problem. It brings to mind the guy who keeps mopping the floor instead of fixing the leak which is causing the sink to overflow. Encouraging overpopulation and sprawl and then planting trees to help the environment, is just trying to make the best of an already bad situation.

Immigrants have long provided the labor for the work that Americans have not wanted to take. The pay and benefits for agricultural work have never been "decent" and even before WWII immigrants were mostly responsible for providing this labor in California.

Untrue. Between 1925 and the passage of the 1965 Immigration Bill, there was very little immigration. During WWII, the bracero program was put in place only to "temporarily" replace Americans who were drafted into the military. Otherwise, Americans were mowing lawns, cleaning houses, baby sitting, and picking fruit (and American women were driving buses, taxis and streetcars, and Rosie the Riveter worked in the defense plant -- I remember well, as I was nine years old when the war ended). The idea that somehow we suddenly can't run our country without an unlimited supply of illegal aliens is absurd.

Those who favor foreign labor are corporations who are addicted to cheap labor. They are the ones who are benefiting. But their benefit comes at the American tax payer's expense when you consider that the  American tax payer is virtually subsidizing the labor costs of the greedy corporations by supplying the illegal foreign workers and their families with welfare, free education, free medical, WICs, housing assistance, etc. -- something the corporations won't do.

Americans won't do the "work" because they won't allow themselves to be exploited as do illegals, but they will do the work if they are compensated adequately and receive proper benefits.

The kind of America that I want is a fair society that does not exploit people. Your rationale that immigrant (illegal alien) labor is necessary because Americans are unwilling to do the work is nothing short of advocating the exploitation of those immigrants. Moreover, for you to be an advocate for illegal aliens labor, makes you a hypocrite. You want exactly what MEChA's "El Plan de Santa Barbara" accuses "Anglo-American" society of doing. Here is an excerpt from that manifesto: "...due to the racist structure of this society, to our essentially different life style, and to the socio-economic functions assigned to our community by Anglo-American society - as suppliers of cheap labor and dumping ground for the small-time capitalist entrepreneur- the barrio and colonia remained exploited, impoverished, and marginal..." It seems that you are just as much in favor of cheap labor as the corporations.

And when the cheap labor arrives, Raza organizations like MEChA make matters worse with anti-assimilation rhetoric creating hatred towards the U.S. by those immigrants who provide cheap labor.

America is also far from being a third world country so I don't know where you even got that.

It's getting there. I don't know how long you have been away from L.A., but the next time you're in town, check out Alvarado and Wilshire. That's pretty close to 3rd world. When you're finished checking that out, check out Van Nuys where I live. And when you are finished there, check out Southcentral L.A. where you will see chickens and goats in peoples front yards.

This is all quoted from your web site and I think if you researched it enough then you would find that it is pretty true:

"I grew up in a capitalist society, a society that taught us that the greed of corporations control politics," Darder said. "Capitalism is the root of domination. Racism and sexism exist because capitalism requires it." Darder said a globalized economy forced smaller countries to give up their self-sufficiency, resulting in people migrating to the U.S. "We're here because U.S. foreign policy in Latin America has forced us here."

That quote isn't my quote. It's MEChistA Dardar's quote. Are we a capitalist society? Of course we are. But I don't draw the same conclusions you do about the "evils" of it. Darder is a communist. And if you eat up her propaganda, you are one too. This is America, and you can be a communist if you want, but most of us including most immigrants, like it the way it is. That's why I wouldn't want a MEChistA to be my mayor.

I hope you can at least come to see and respect another person's point of view.

Not a problem. I respect you and your point of view.

Hal Netkin