Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Complex, Multicultural Vision of the World Promotes World Peace and Justice

Happy Sunday, everybody!

Here is a powerful piece by Dr. Roberto Cintli Rodriguez in this month's Diverse Issues in Higher Education. He makes the strong case that Chicanos/as have been in a permanent state of insurrection.  I might prefer the word "continuous," as opposed to "permanent."  In any case, this is a worthwhile read.  I like this quote from within:
"In effect, what is being said here is that the state of insurrection(s) by native peoples on this continent has never been quelled. The reason is because it cannot be quashed unless all lands are returned, etc. No one has the authority to end it. It is akin to when the Mexican government in the 1800s sued for peace with the Maya. The Maya famously proclaimed to their enemies: “Go away and then there will be peace.”
Of course, settlers won't simply "go away," but the mentality that reproduces imperial projects can and should.  However, this calls for and indeed requires an opening of the mind to others' experiences, albeit with an epistemic humility and openness that help access this different, complex, and beautiful world.

So this "insurrection" about which Dr. Rodriguez writes, in my view, is as much about the political as it is about the moral and the epistemic, meaning the value system (or systems) that attaches to ways of knowing and being in the world.  

The antithesis—a monolingual, monochromatic, monocultural, ahistorical, commericalized, decontextualized, standardized view of the world—is tantamount to the death of the soul, of complex ways of knowing and being, that in their absence, render "insurrection," in Rodriguez' words, a necessary state of affairs.

A contemporary of President Abraham Lincoln in the U.S., Mexico's greatest, most beloved president who also happened to be a full-blooded, Zapotec Indian, President Benito Juarez' time-honored, wisdom rings true not just for today, but for the ages:

“Entre los individuos, como entre las naciones, el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz.

Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.”

In closing, a complex, multicultural vision of the world breathes life and justice into the stuff of social relations and in so doing, promotes world peace.  
And we are all the better for it.
Angela Valenzuela

Rodriguez: Resistance or Permanent State of Insurrection?

Roberto Rodriguez

In Chicano Manifesto (1971), Armando Rendon made the radical claim that the United States and Mexico were technically still in a state of war (1846-1848) because the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo was violated prior to even its signing, and that therefore, a state of war continues to this day.
Rendon’s claim was based on war having been waged against Mexico; half of its territories were illegally seized via war or threat of war during the 1830s through the 1850s; and several of the articles (Article VIII and XI) from the treaty were altered and one (Article X) was outright deleted​. These articles had to do with land rights and the human rights of the peoples that remained in the former Mexican territories.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Here, I am not agreeing or disagreeing, but actually positing something even more radical: that people of Mexican descent (including Chicanos/as) that live in this country, live in a permanent state of dehumanization and thus also part of a permanent state of insurrection that has been ongoing since the days of Columbus, Cortez and Pizarro and other “conquistadors,” one that never ended, and technically, can never end. These (Indigenous) insurrections and rebellions went on long after the official wars of Independence ended in the 1800s that rejected the more than 300 years of colonialism.
Continue reading here.

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