Wednesday, August 3, 2011
A History of LULAC
Funding Hate - Foundations and the Radical Hispanic Lobby- Part III
By Joseph Fallon
Volume 11, Number 1 (Fall 2000)
Issue theme: "America's porous borders"
While they promote similar views on 'Hispanic identity' and 'Hispanic history,' the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA), and the National Council of La Raza (La Raza) have separate corporate identities and histories. What is unique about both MALDEF and La Raza is that they are the creations of the Ford Foundation, which remains one of their principal sources of funding.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation's oldest and largest 'Hispanic' organization, was established on February 17, 1929 in Corpus Christi, Texas by the merger of three rival, and often feuding, Mexican-Texan organizations - The Order Sons of America, The Knights of America, and League of Latin American Citizens.
From 1929 through the 1950s, LULAC was a middle-class, patriotic organization of U.S. citizens of Mexican descent whose activities centered primarily on education. Its agenda was traditional 'Americanism' - Mexican-Americans must assimilate to the 'Anglo' culture of the United States and acquire proficiency in the English language. It stressed 'Mexican-Americans' were 'Americans,' not 'Mexicans.' An integral part of its activities was the promotion of U.S. citizenship and loyalty to the United States. LULAC rejected the idea the U.S. Southwest should be returned to Mexico and opposed establishment of Spanish-language enclaves in the United States. Because illegal aliens from Mexico were violating U.S. laws and posing an economic burden on Mexican-Americans by lowering wages, LULAC endorsed immigration control and supported President Eisenhower's 'Operation Wetback' which deported a million illegal aliens back to Mexico.
By the 1950s, LULAC had expanded its activities to include litigation. In 1954, LULAC succeeded in having the U.S. Supreme Court hear Hernandez v. Texas, the first 'Hispanic' civil rights case. LULAC asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the murder conviction of a Mexican-American in Jackson County, Texas on grounds that the composition of the jury was unconstitutional. Although Mexicans comprised 14 percent of the population of Jackson County, none had served on a jury for the previous 25 years. LULAC argued that by not having any Mexicans on his jury, the convicted murderer's constitutional rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment had been violated. The Court agreed with Chief Justice Earl Warren affirming 'that persons of Mexican descent were a distinct class' - not 'white' but not 'black' either.
This legal victory spelled the beginning of the end for the original LULAC. Although the formal trappings remain - the official colors of LULAC are still red, white, and blue; the official logo is still a shield emblazoned with the stars and stripes and bearing the name 'LULAC'; 'Washington's prayer' remains the official prayer of LULAC; 'America' is still the official hymn; and the Pledge of Allegiance continues to be recited at the start of meetings - the LULAC which so vigorously championed traditional 'Americanism' is gone. Today, LULAC is a 'Hispanic' supremacist group advocating actions that are diametrically opposed to those championed by its founders.
The original LULAC declared 'Mexican-Americans' to be 'white,' a part of the same race as European-Americans, and successfully lobbied both the federal and Texas governments to officially classify them as such. Nearly a quarter of a century later, LULAC's position changed. Beginning with Hernandez v. Texas in 1954 and finalized in OMB Directive No. 15 in 1977, LULAC succeeded in having the federal government recognize 'Mexicans,' and all 'Hispanics,' as separate from European-Americans and essentially 'non-white' so as to be eligible for affirmative action programs.
While the original LULAC emphasized 'Mexican-Americans' were 'Americans' sharing the same national interests as other 'Americans,' today LULAC's goals center on 'group entitlements' as can be seen in The 1998 LULAC Legislative Platform available on its website (www.lulac.org).
Among its objectives expansion of American empowerment and enterprise zones along the U.S.-Mexican border; incentives for 'Hispanic' small businesses; retention of affirmative action hiring policies 'to ensure diversity in all workplaces'; preventing California Proposition 209 from being enforced; increasing the number of 'Hispanic Serving Institutions' and according them 'as many of the same benefits provided to Historically Black Colleges and Universities'; increasing the number of 'Hispanics' at all levels of the federal government and in the civil service, especially at 'key positions in the State Department, the Foreign Service and the United Nations'; confirmation of 60 'Hispanic' judges; appointing a 'Hispanic' as the next Supreme Court justice; employing sampling for the 2000 census; having the Census Bureau include the population on the island of Puerto Rico in the total 'Hispanic' population for the United States; increasing the number of 'Hispanic oriented programming in TV and print' as well as having the major media companies increase the number of 'Hispanics' employed in 'creative positions.'
U.S. citizenship is no longer important. Membership in LULAC is not restricted to U.S. citizens. 'Residents of the United States' are now eligible to become members (Article III of the Constitution of the League of United Latin American Citizens). Interestingly, it does not specify that they be legal residents. U.S. Citizenship is also apparently not a qualification for National, State, and District Officers, whether elected or appointed. (Article VIII, Section 4).
LULAC's apparent attempt to denigrate the meaning and value of U.S. citizenship extends to the franchise. In The 1998 LULAC Legislative Platform, the organization appears to condone, if not actually promote, the violation of this country's election laws. According to the section entitled 'Voter Registration and Citizenship' 'LULAC actively encourages eligible Hispanics to fully participate in the democratic process and register to vote. We also encourage those who are eligible to become citizens' (italics added). Since the law states one must be a U.S. citizen in order to be eligible to vote, the wording of this LULAC platform encourages voter fraud.
In 1954, LULAC supported immigration control and mass deportation of illegal aliens. Today, LULAC opposes both measures. Convicted criminal Jos� Velez, the head of LULAC from 1990 to 1994, typifies this reorientation. Using his 'special status with the INS as director of LULAC,' Velez submitted false documentation for 6,000 illegal aliens seeking amnesty that netted him millions of dollars. Velez had previously declared that the U.S. Border Patrol is 'the enemy of my people and always will be.'
* LULAC sought amendments to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996 to increase the cap on suspensions of deportations from 4,000 to 'at least 75,000 per year.'
* LULAC lobbied for full restoration of benefits cut by the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 to legal immigrants.
* LULAC was one of the primary opponents of California Proposition 187 - the proposition to deny illegal aliens free social and welfare services.
* LULAC 'reject[s] attempts to dramatically cut legal immigration' insisting that current levels of nearly one million a year 'serve[s] the U.S. national interest.'
* LULAC opposes any deployment of the military to defend U.S. borders - not even to interdict drug smugglers - because 'military personnel are not trained for border patrolling and might easily violate the civil rights of those they intervene with.'
Prior to the 1960s, LULAC recognized English as the official language of the United States. Today, LULAC vigorously opposes any official recognition of English as the language of this country.
For example, in 1996, when U.S. House of Representatives passed the 'English Language Empowerment Act' declaring English the official language of the United States in the 'Bilingual Voting Rights Act,' LULAC responded with an 'Action Alert' to members and supporters. Full of disinformation, smears, and the threat of violence, this 'Action Alert' claimed
English Only is incredibly divisive because it sends the message that the culture of language minorities is inferior and illegal. With a dramatic increase in hate crimes and right wing terrorist attacks in the United States, the last thing we need is a frivolous bill to fuel the fires of racism. ...English Only is unnecessary because over 97 percent of Americans already speak English and those who don't are eagerly trying to learn. English language classes have three year waiting lists in Los Angles and New York and current immigrants are learning English at a faster rate than their predecessors.
LULAC offered no evidence to support any of these claims. If what LULAC claimed was true, however, then why was LULAC - a) opposed to legally recognizing this fact by legally recognizing English as the official language of the United States and b) demanding that the U.S. government provide bilingual voting ballots, bilingual welfare forms, bilingual motor vehicle examinations, bilingual education, bilingual translators, etc.
The 'Action Alert' then contradicted its claim that virtually all Americans already speak English by declaring 'If Congress was serious about increasing English fluency in the United States it would pass English Plus legislation that would promote English speaking and encourage Americans to become bilingual.'
By bilingual, LULAC means fluency in Spanish, not Arabic, Chinese, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, or any one of several more languages.
But if bilingualism is as beneficial and enriching as LULAC implies, then where is the reciprocity? If English-speaking Americans should be legally encouraged to learn to speak Spanish here, then, logically, Spanish-speaking 'Latin' Americans should be legally encouraged to learn to speak English there. Where are the comparable bills in each of the 18 Spanish-speaking dominated countries of the Western Hemisphere to encourage Spanish-speaking Mexicans, Colombians, Cubans, Dominicans, Ecuadorians, Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, etc., to learn to speak English in their respective countries? Why isn't LULAC demanding that? Because LULAC is pursuing power not principle, is engaged in rhetoric not logic, and is motivated by hatred not tolerance.
This official attack on the English language continued later that year during the 'Latino March on Washington.' Belen Robles, National President of LULAC, told the audience 'We must say no to politicians who vote for English only, the unwelfare bill and anti-affirmative action. Vote those in Congress who violate our rights out! Viva La Raza!'
Funding for LULAC's activities are derived from corporations such as AT&T, and, unlike the other 'Hispanic' groups, membership dues. For the period 1994-1997, funding from 'contributions, gifts, grants' totaled $380,929. 'Membership dues and assessments' for that period amounted to $503,524. For those four years, total 'compensation of officers, directors, etc.' was zero. But 'other salaries and wages' amounted to $336,988.
The post Hernandez v. Texas metamorphosis of LULAC from a patriotic, middle class organization of U.S. citizens of Mexican descent into today's 'Hispanic' supremacist organization was due in large part to LULAC's need to compete with the more radical Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and National Council of La Raza (La Raza) for influence and money.