We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Speaking Truth to Power

by ROBERT BRACAMONTES Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005 at 11:52 AM

I would like to acknowledge the following professors for this dialogue and article about a sensitive issue in the Chicano movement: Mario Barrera of Berkeley, Noam Chomsky of MIT, Chuck O’Connell of UC Irvine, and Jorge Mariscal of UC San Diego.

“They deemed him their worst enemy who tells them the truth.” After the many reactions I received from my last

article, “The Truth About a Mexican Hero,” I felt relieved when I read Plato’s famous words. One Indymedia

website called me a troll, a person that wants to get people mad and get people a knee jerk reaction. The second

Indymedia website put my article in a Hidden area because of policy violations. I emailed them to ask what exactly

that meant and received no reply to date.

In the past, posting my 18-year-old-sounding, flaming, radical, 1960’s-era articles, as a long time friend says, was

never a problem for Indymedia. I felt welcomed. When I wrote for the conservative, reactionary corporate-owned

LA Times (oops can’t help the flames), I was always prepared, but nevertheless, taken back with the restrictions

on speaking the truth. My hope is that this article will be printed without restrictions; where people can read

UNTROLL like reactions that involve thoughtful and intelligent dialogue.

My thanks to all of you that sent in emails because it helps us all learn just how problematic this article was for all,

especially the writer. The following emails are reprinted here with permission from the senders.

”Before linking Cesar to the Minutemen, however, it would have been more fair and accurate to point out

that Cesar changed his position on the undocumented after people like Bert Corona convinced him to do

so. Cesar learned from his mistakes. He wrote a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle that was widely

circulated in which he repudiated the UFW's early stance on illegal immigration. To date, the Minutemen

have not shown a similar gift for self-criticism.

What is most troubling about your article is the timing. Why air Cesar's dirty laundry (which he tried to

clean up himself) now? Will this information not aid the Minutemen in their propaganda efforts?”

Saludos cordiales, Jorge Mariscal

“What you write about Chavez and the UFW was true for a time, but I really wonder why you don't indicate

that that position changed with time. Since you obviously know that and choose to suppress it, it totally

undermines your credibility in my eyes, and those of anyone who knows the history of that period. It would

also have shown a more balanced attitude on your part to point out that Chavez refused to enrich himself,

as it would have been so easy for him to do and as so many other powerful leaders in our society have

done. So what's your real agenda?”

Mario Barrera

Professor Emeritus

University of California, Berkeley

Here are a few reactions to the above emails by others who read my article:


Muchas gracias por sharing!!

Guess am at the "adolescent stage" too!! Consider wherefore these people are coming from- mainstream!

It's like telling our Black Brothers & sisters to wait for equality and civil rights, voting too! We wouldn't have

gotten the 14th & 19th Amendments!! It's called not rocking the boat,etc.. Same thing with Dr. King, can't

criticize either, but at least Dr. King was changing! Che came to mind- he never changed- a sexist,etc. Ever

talk to Delores Huerta or Linda Chavez-Thompson(ALFCIO)? But that's the galling, glaring part that

everyone doesn't want to address. Notice when they say "product of time" no one wants to address the

racism,sexism,etc. It’s excused.


lynn :)

ps. As our Black Brothers & Hermanas say,” Keep truth to power"!!

It is interesting how one must be aware when rocking the white ivory towers. True that academics

research what they know, and they know it well - BUT Lynn brought up something that the Chemist pointed

out. Its is a product of time and therefore a way of thought that is based on a certain formula. Almost like

scientific method, if you want to be "rational." Regardless, I think your article problematizes what people

take as norm, which should not be looked down upon, as it is in all our best interest to challenge what we

know even if it will rattle the ground we walk on.

What are your personal reactions?

Peace, Fatima

I've always believed that you should judge a person by all his actions, good and bad. When teaching my

students, I always make it a point to show that many of our so called American heroes aren't as saintly as

we have been led to believe. Case in point, Martin Luther King- cheater and womanizer, John Adams-slave

owner and elitist, Thomas Jefferson - slave owner, cheater, women abuser etc... What kind of education

are we fostering with our youth when we choose to ignore human faults? Society is led to believe that such

individuals have led an idealistic life, when in fact, they're as human as any of us. When we purposely

ignore, hide and fault those who point out the truth, we falsely create fictional characters out of ordinary

individuals. Legends are made up of people like George Washington, who supposedly chopped a cherry

tree down and later denied it only to later tell the truth. In reality, there is no way little George would ever

even involve himself in such manual labor. He had enough slaves to turn that plantation into a corporation.

If we just learned to accept the truth, our gente would be able to judge for themselves whether or not those

individuals should truly be called heroes. Rivas

After reading the first two emails I sent my article to some right wing websites and got zero reaction. I imagine

their reaction was more than likely similar to a man at my work. He is a very conservative white male and only

really reacted to the negative comments about the Minutemen and never once mentioned anything about Cesar

Chavez. He stressed that it is not racist what the Minutemen are doing. He asked how would we react, “If

wetbacks were hired for four dollars an hour to do your job; would you like that? We have had wetbacks doing this

work before and they did a good job.” My co-worker’s father and brother worked here previously and took great

offense to hearing his family members referred to as good “wetbacks.”

While many different views are expressed here, this writer has one major concern. I can put this up on my little

web page; I think Herman would refer to it as my soapbox that is not really freedom of speech because only

corporate America and now even Indymedia has control over what issues are the important ones. Control over

what we read is the agenda.

What has happened to us in the American media arena? Have we become so polarized that each side can only

sing to its own choir? Has racism crept into the American psyche in a way that it is acceptable, at certain places

in time, to ignore oppressive tactics used against immigrant workers trying to cross US borders? Are parallels of

the tactics used by Cesar Chavez in 1979 and the Minutemen of today only different because some are seen as

white swastika waving racist, and the other a hero to the Chicano movement? Have we seen other examples in

the world that mimic this scenario where immigrant workers are the blunt of both the dominant culture and at

times even their own extended ancestral families?

Accompanied with the aforementioned emails, I posed these questions to Noam Chomsky. His response was the


Difficult to measure polarization, but it's hard to believe that it's more extreme than before, or even

anywhere near as close. Immigrants are almost always the target of attack by the dominant culture. Look

at the way Irish and "Huns" (meaning anyone from Eastern Europe) was treated in the US in the late 19th

century, or blacks in the North later (basically internal immigrants, coming from the South). Or Jews, as I

remember very well from childhood. Does their own community join? In spades. Again it's standard, and

from all directions. One factor is those who have sort of "made it," and don't want to see their fragile

standing threatened by those "bad people" with whom they'll be associated. Another, from the opposite

side, is those who are seeking identity and a history and culture they can view with pride, and don't want to

see that challenged. And more.

What you're experiencing is ordinary. Unpleasant, but then raising hard questions often has that

consequence. Noam Chomsky

Thank you Noam for your comments. They are greatly appreciated. It is important that we read and hear a variety

of views, so that ultimately truth can speak to those that have power. In the end each person grows and learns

from what they read and hear. I hope that in some small way, we have all gained some knowledge from each other

here. My sentiments are that many of you will seek out the heroes named on this page and read what they say

about the world, because every day they are engaged in the art of speaking the truth to power.

-Robert Bracamontes

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
What about Terry Anderson ? Ben Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005 at 4:42 PM

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Jesse Jackson's Sneak Attck on Toyota Lexington Ky and it's workers 2018 J19 9:12PM

Video: Chris Herdges in Eugene, 1 hr 24 min J19 5:37PM



Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance J18 6:04PM



Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM


FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM



PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy