First Posted 1-28-2011 by @Peta_de_Aztlán
Let us use the power of ‘the Word’ in order to better define and comprehend connected reality. We must learn how to make ‘the Word’ meaningful for us, so that is makes common sense for us and serves our vital interests. It is the sacred right of the corporate slave to define himself in relation to his own reality and liberation, not to blindly accept the definitions of the corporate master.
There are different kinds of definitions for a given word: A lexical definition of a word is used in a standard dictionary or profession; a stipulative definition of a word is one we assign a novel meaning to for our own usage, local idiom or slang; and a scientific definition could be subject to various meanings.
To begin with, I am First and Foremost a humane being of the dominant race of human beings, the modern life species known taxonomically as Homo sapiens. In our DNA there are no separate distinct races of Black, Brown, Yellow or White peoples. Concepts and terms around races of people are actually social ideas, social inventions and social constructions. Social racism is conditioned into the whole sick social system with institutional racism and further embedded by cultural racism.
For many, racism seems as natural as breathing. Racism is utilized by repressive ruling powers to keep the masses divided along false racial lines and conquered as colonized people. Today these ruling powers are mainly concentrated in the form of an Evil Empire, worst than Star Wars. Wars have been fought and people have been killed merely because of being a member of one social race or another. It will take mass education and long generations to weed it out of our collective psyche, if our endangered species lasts that long. The fact remains, we are all human beings of the same humane family of the same human race.
Those with a higher level of liberated consciousness are more highly evolved along spiritual pathways and strive for oneness. We have become humane, that is, we have tender care, true concern and loving compassion for all living beings. We are not limited by superficial labels, classification of categories or the greater or lesser concentration of melanin in our skin color for our own self-identity. At birth we are born innocent and ignorant as humane beings. It is objective social conditions and environmental circumstances that affect our consciousness about our self-identity, cultural outlook and world view. Much of what we view as racism is actually a kind of cultural superiority complex because of fear, ignorance and a lower level of consciousness
In relation to my ethnic/racial identity I am a Chicano of Aztlán. Chicano was a popular term first wisely used by Chicano activists in the early Chicano Movement of Aztlán in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
I stipulate that a Chicano is a multi-cultural indigenous native and U.S. citizen of Mexican descent. His self-identity is neither fully Mexican nor fully American. He exists in a kaleidoscope of clashing cultures in the USA. In a way, a Chicano is of a ‘lost tribe’ abandoned by his Mother Country of Mexico in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, yet is still not fully accepted into White Amerikan society. He is an alienated alien who does not completely immerse himself in Mexican culture nor is he comfortable in only White American culture. Many of us do not speak Spanish fluently and English is our dominant tongue. It’s complicated!
As a Chicano of Aztlán I think of the U.S. southwest as Aztlán in recognition of the ancient name for these lands. Some Chicanos consider all of the U.S.A, as Aztlán. Many Native-American activists refer to North America as Turtle Island. Aztlán (from Nahuatl: pronounced [ˈastɬaːn]) is the mythical ancestral home of the Nahua peoples, one of the main cultural groups in Mesoamerica. Aztec is the Nahuatl word for “people from Aztlan”.
The ideal here is that we who are descendants of the original indigenous native peoples of these lands were already here in the USA before there even was an ‘America’. We have the natural right to call these lands whatever term or terms we choose, not the European conquerors or their descendants.
Keep in mind the origin of the term ‘Americas’. Amerigo Vespucci (March 9, 1454 – February 22, 1512) was an Italian explorer, navigator and cartographer. The Americas are generally believed to have derived their name from the feminized Latin version of his first name.
Who has the natural and historical right to name America if not its original natives? How can descendants of original natives of Aztlán ever be considered foreign illegal aliens in their own homeland? Whether I am a U.S. citizen or not does not matter here. If my bloodline is of the original peoples of Aztlán I cannot possibly be an illegal foreigner in my homeland! It is my natural birthright to be here now!
Thus, I use the power of the word to define these lands as Aztlán, not America. I use the term ‘America’ instead of Aztlán in conversation so as not to confuse or lose people, especially decent Americans. Sometimes I spell America as ‘Amerika’ with a ‘k’ in remembrance of the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) mentality still in many White racists.
Be sure, White racism is still alive and well. We need to be reminded from time to time. We are not all well and wonderful. Racism is widespread inside the USA as a widespread social sickness and mental-disorder. People are denied housing, employment and are sometimes killed by racism. To different degrees social racism is still the unnatural norm in Amerika on a conscious level, a subtle semi-conscious level or remains deeply hidden on a subconscious level. Social racism still exists among all racial/ethnic groups in the USA to one degree or another and clings to no one color, no matter the outer color of the President!
Some non-White people because of self-hatred and an inferiority complex want to be or act like White people. They are always seeking the acceptance and approval of the great White mind. Their visions of beauty are White beauty, the taboo of the White blonde blue-eye woman. It is a sad form of self-hatred to want to be other than what you are by birth and natural bloodline.
For the typical American the above is a lot to wrap the mind around. Social racism remains one of the great divisors in Amerika, along with other great divisions, especially one’s economic-class status. We are still in a class society, class struggle continues, sometimes breaking out into class warfare and we do not yet have liberty and justice for all.
As a Chicano of Aztlán I can relate to the term Latinos to describe La Raza Cosmica ~ all those who consider themselves Chicanos, Mexicans, Hispanics or Native peoples of the Americas. To me, the most disgusting term for us is Hispanic, a Nixon era invention. Alas, any social term for such a unique, diverse and multifaceted people is going to be vague and inadequate. It is what it is. We need to evolve beyond racial politics and advocate the politics of global liberation.
As humane beings, we must embrace all of humanity as all of us are of the same human family. At the same time we need to also openly embrace our cultural differences, those special qualities and unique elements of us that make the promises for America and the world more fascinating.
Our world is changing now more than ever. Times are changing all the time. We must be receptive and welcome new creative changes in our lives and upon our global landscape. There are great changes happening all over the world. The winds of liberation are encircling the entire globe. Today there are great sandstorms for democracy, justice and liberty sweeping all across Arabia and the rest of the world.
No matter what we call ourselves on an individual level, let us remember that we are one family upon one planet we call Mother Earth. Our basic survival needs must come to the forefront of our mass collective consciousness: food, clothing, shelter, medical care and quality education. We establish governments to create a central structure and a political-economy to help administer to our needs.
When those man-made governments no longer serve our vital interests and refuse to bring about required reforms we have a sacred right to alter or abolish those governments. In the end, a participatory global democracy must be the sacred will of the people in power with control over their own future destiny and respect for the humane rights of the minority.
Those of us of La Raza always argue what to call ourselves as a people. Let’s get out of closed circles of debate and come together. Each of us has our own right to self-identify as we wish. I am a Chicano de Aztlán.
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.” ~ President John F.Kennedy ~
Venceremos! We Will Win!
Peter S. Lopez AKA Peta_de_Aztlan
Sacramento, California, Aztlán