Aztlán, Reconquista, and Anti-Immigration Racism
LiberalOasis reports that CNN’s Lou Dobbs ran the graphic at right, which was “sourced to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group deemed to have a ‘white supremacy’ ideology according to the Anti-Defamation League.” Further, “During a piece about illegal immigrants in Utah, reporter Casey Wian said, ‘Utah is also part of the territory some militant Latino activists refer to as Aztlan, the portion of the southwest United States they claim rightfully belongs to Mexico.'”
Digby has more on the CCC and posits, “The fact that they are touting the ridiculous Aztlan ‘threat’ puts the lie to any claims that this immigration debate isn’t being fueled by racism.”
The fact that a neo-Confederate group is touting a policy, however, is hardly evidence that others on their side are racists. Further, while the Reconquista and Aztlán memes are wildly overhyped by those advocating a crackdown on illegal immigration, that does not mean the underlying movements do not exist.
Wikipedia notes that,
Due to the association of Aztlan with Mexican national identity and an indeterminate northern location, the name Aztlán was taken up by Chicano activists of the 1960s and 1970s to refer to the area of the Southwestern United States ceded to the United States after the Mexican-American War. This is reflected in the title of the 1968 manifesto issued by the Chicano youth movement, the Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, as well as the names of several organizations, such as MEChA.
Indeed, the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center has published Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies since 1970.
I agree with Digby that Dobbs should have used a more legitimate source than the CCC for his chart, if he was going to use it at all. My guess, though, is that Dobbs doesn’t do his own research and some intern found it on the Web. Given the ability of most college students to differentiate the quality of various sources on the Internet, it would hardly surprise me that they didn’t do some pick and shovel work to figure out whose map they were using.