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by everardo carvajal
Monday, Apr. 16, 2007 at 6:11 PM
Minutmen protest peaceful commemoration. Why?
How many Minutemen does it take to formulate an argument?
The fifth annual Cesar Chavez pilgrimage occurred in Pomona, CA. this past Saturday. The event commemorated Chavez’s commitment to service and worker/human rights. Approximately one hundred and fifty Pomona Valley residents attended the walk and festivities. Several area leaders, students, professionals, and political representatives participated. Several members of the local Minutemen were also in attendance. However, given that walk was set to honor the legacy of giving and civil rights, why were the Minutemen/women compelled to attend?
Rather than formulate a hasty judgment about those who were protesting the legacy of Chavez, it is important to recognize the perspective of the individuals. For these reasons, I conversed with several of the Minutemen/Minutewomen in attendance. It seemed important to locate the most compelling argument that a Minuteman could offer. The importance of discovering their position is straight forward; an argument need not be decisive in order to be a valid and perhaps respectable argument.
I first spoke with a blonde woman whom carried a four foot flag pole fixed to a flag of the same size. Her modest American pride was hidden by her “Rocky” inspired jacket which looked as if it was made from an actual flag. I thought she might offer a well reasoned position for why she countered the celebration of a man committed to non-violence and civil rights. Unfortunately, she was unprepared to speak, or think for that matter as was indicated by her responses to a couple of questions.
After an introduction, I asked the woman for her “motivation” to attend. She quickly and calmly responded that she was in attendance because of “the constitution” and that it gave her “a right to free speech.” I’m not quite sure how my question about motivation was lost in translation, so I asked again, with a reframed question. “What is it about celebrating non-violence and civil rights that brings you out today”, I asked. Her response took a bit longer, I waited, hoping to hear the best reason and explanation yet, only to be disappointed by her words. Her motivation was to “Cause a revolution in Mexico so that Mexicans can take back their own country, and stop migrating to the U.S.”. At that point, I was worried that her ignorance was contagious, so I quickly thanked her for her time, and then I proceeded to speak with the national spokesperson of the Minutemen.
Unfortunately, the woman’s male counterpart demonstrated the same type of expressive deficiency. His motivation was to free the two Border Patrol agents currently detained for the shooting death of an unarmed man attempting to cross the border. The reader should also understand that no individual in attendance was in any way related to this detainment of the agents; which is why it became brilliantly clear that the best argument I could attribute to the day’s agitators was that they were upset. The two were not only upset but determined to be heard. Both issues are indeed commendable aims, however, their efforts are poorly misguided.
The interviewees were clearly dismayed by something. Their determination to agitate a crown of a non-violent commemoration revealed this much. The woman literally waved a giant flag so that it gently whipped the faces of the crowd as she walked by. She also interrupted the Aztec dance group by shouting “viva Oaxaca”. As for her male-counterpart, he mainly remained calm except when somehow discussing the arrival of pilgrims to America. It became clear that the only clear thing about the Minutemen in attendance was that they believed in something deeply. However, they simply don’t know what they believe in. Their actions, words, and even presence reveal their confusion. None of the people in attendance had any influence on the issues of their concern. The event was a commemoration. Why the presence then? It’s unclear. That is, if the Minutemen/women couldn’t even say why they were present, their argument could hardly be clearer to anyone else.
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||Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2007 at 6:20 PM
||Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2007 at 6:16 PM
||Thursday, Apr. 19, 2007 at 5:58 AM
||Thursday, Apr. 19, 2007 at 1:54 PM
||Friday, Apr. 20, 2007 at 6:18 AM
|Why? Because they HATE Mexicans!
||Friday, Apr. 20, 2007 at 7:37 AM
||Friday, Apr. 20, 2007 at 12:37 PM
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