Thursday, June 01, 2006

Malkinite fact-check

UPDATE: Argh! Significant correction: The post in question was not written by Malkin, but rather one "Bryan" -- that is, Bryan Preston, who posts regularly at Malkin's Hot Air blog and appears to be one of its chief partners. My apologies for the misattribution -- though, aside the suggestion that MEChA would like to kill all the non-Latinos in Aztlan, the rest of the rant in question actually just repeats things Malkin has already written.


UPDATE 2: I've edited the post to reflect the correct information.


The stream of misinformation from Michelle Malkin is so endless these days that you could make a full-time job of it just trying to keep up with her.

Fortunately, we have Malkin(s)Watch, which does all the heavy lifting (and a big welcome, BTW, to Ryan, the site's new contributor). But her output is so prodigious that sometimes the rest of us need to pitch in, too. And now her minions are busily spreading the same misinformation.

Take, for instance, one of the recent Hot Air ventilation by Bryan Preston, her cohort -- and linked to approvingly by Malkin at her own blog -- which attacks the student organization Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, or MEChA:
"La Raza" means, literally, "the race." As in, the Latino race.

As I've explained previously, "la Raza" actually translates more closely as "the people," that is, the Latino people -- who are constituted of multiple races. That is, it is an ethnic identity -- one that specifically repudiates racial distinctions. Malkin, as I pointed out then, has also made this mischaracterization previously.

Preston goes on:
MeCHA is that band of radicals that thinks the US southwest is actually Mexican territory, though they don't necessarily want it returned to Mexico.

Oh, really? Last we heard from Malkin, the "Reconquistas" were asserting "that the American southwest rightly belongs to Mexico."
They would settle for splitting it off from the US, killing all non-Latinos that currently live there, and creating a new state called Aztlan.

This is perhaps the most outrageous claim anyone has yet made regarding MEChA, and the Malkin contingent has already come up with some doozies.

So let's be clear: Nowhere in any of MEChA's documents or rhetoric is there even a suggestion of a plan to "kill all non-Latinos that currently live there" or even the desire to do so.

Preston's accusation is nothing short of the most vicious smear possible. As I just explained, the MEChA version of "Aztlan," conceptually speaking, is of an explicitly spiritual homeland based on their heritage as native American peoples.

Preston just makes matters worse by repeating an analogy she's made previously:
And they're funding a charter school in LA. Nice. It's not too different from turning over the education of young skulls full of mush to, say, the Klan. Or the Black Panthers.

Preston thus places MEChA in the company of violent radicals whose entire histories were fraught with death and destruction. (Malkin has also compared MEChA to the Nazis.)

Well, as I explained awhile back:
Consider the record of racist organizations -- particularly those to which MEChA has been compared by conservatives in this current brouhaha. First, there is the Ku Klux Klan, which has endured even today through multiple incarnations in America. The first of these was, according to Robert Paxton, the first historical emanation of fascism, the Reconstruction Klan. Here is its record, according to Philip Dray in At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America:

Richard Maxwell Brown's comprehensive study of vigilante violence in America estimates that in the four years 1868-71 there were more than four hundred Klan lynchings in the South, Union general Phil Sheridan calculated that 3,500 whites and blacks were killed between 1865 and 1875, Ida Wells-Barnett, writing in the 1890s, put the number of Negroes killed by whites since 1865 at 10,000m with only three white men executed for crimes against blacks in that period. … Author Dorothy Sterling, who combed through man thousands of documents and oral histories in her preparation of a noted compendium on the Reconstruction era, cited 20,000 as the number killed by the Klan just in the four years 1868-71.

The Klan revived in 1916 after years of dormancy and was responsible for a broad range of lynchings, "race riots" and anti-black purges in the South over the ensuing 15 years or so. And it has continued to be associated even today with an array of hate crimes and heinous acts of terrorism against various minorities.

Overseas, the most notorious racist organizations were the European fascist governments, particularly Nazi Germany. I trust I don't even have to go there.

For those who would argue that a group like MEChA is only nascent in its racism, and could eventually wreak such horrors if its agenda flamed out of control, it is worth remembering that racist organizations nearly always display their true colors almost immediately. The Klan, as just seen, was violent and terroristic from the start; so, too, were the European fascists, particularly during the fascista and SA years.

And what has MEChA done? Advocate for increasing the numbers of Latinos in higher education. Organize student rallies. Emphasize self-determination.

It would be fun to say that the Malkin anti-MEChA contingent has finally "jumped the shark" with this pile of disinformation, but the truth is that Malkin herself triple-axeled over that baby a long time and has been playing in Fonzie's band with Pinky Tuscadero ever since.

"Unhinged" doesn't even begin to cover it.

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