Updated: Jun 20

“The cultish obsession with non-violence in the u.s. has blood on its hands and has contributed to the sorry state of affairs today. It's a tactic, not a religion. Non-Violence sure feels real good but has failed to address the unresolved questions of racism, white supremacy and empire. While you are out saving ppl with your justice, they are looking for their own and it ain't pretty but it is dignified.” David Mitchell

Ernesto Todd Mireles, Ph.D.

La Xicanada Blog

As a nation “America” fetishizes the deaths of black and brown people within its founding myths. The extinction of the noble savage, the unrelenting miseries of slavery are stories retold in our education system not as apologies, but as formative warnings to generation after generation of our Black and Brown children.

The murder of George Floyd by killer kop Derek Chauvin and his three accessories this past week in Minneapolis in the wake of the brutal killings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery all within a month, all law enforcement related along with the caging of children separated from the parents are daily reminders of a precarious position; warnings to Black and Indigenous folk to mind their manners – or die.

So all you out there saying violence never solves anything please stop saying that. Literally, violence solves things all the time, ALL THE TIME. This lie makes the political situation in this country worse by setting an unachievable standard of behavior for those who endure that violence while simultaneously setting a double victimization that reeks of racism, misogyny, and homophobia.

This double victimization tells those who are literally fighting for their lives they do not have the right to defend their lives. That the "high road" of self-extinction is the right one, allow yourself to die, be beaten, raped, exploited, shoved back in the closet - just do not ever fight back or “riot” or “loot” because that is WRONG. There is no way to reconcile the racism of US colonialism with the notion black and brown lives have value because for that to be true settler colonialism would have to end, and does not seem like any of us are going to pray our way to that finish line.

‘Peace serves the oppressor, defends the status quo and protects the settler. Heightening contradictions and exposing irreconcilable differences is where social change happens. The time has long passed for oppressed people in this country to be held to a different standard of responsible behavior internally or externally. Black and Brown communities through political, cultural and economic nationalization can create our own standards of behavior and acceptable political response to this nightmare.

Regardless of the current picture on your video screen the loss of life, destruction of property, and well-being is disproportionately visited on people of color in the country and has been since it’s founding. I also think that all public violence and where it is inflicted is for the most part completely out of our control as 99.9 percent comes from the State. Anyone that fears the sight of the police, whose blood runs cold when they are pulled over, is passed over for a job because of their name or accent. This is the violence of colonialism; we are all going through it all the time.

Xicanos cannot oppose the system that imprisons them if they have no idea of how the power of that system is arranged. We fail to understand the racism we endure is not a simple mindless exercise of impersonal systems or personal whims but a systematic ongoing five-century exploitation that has left countless millions politically and economically dead and disenfranchised. It is the intentionality of that abuse and neglect, which overwhelms the senses, overwhelms the “rational” mind and forces Xicanos/Indigenous people to constantly subject ours hearts and psyches to overwhelming feelings of worthlessness brought on by those centuries long subjection to European hegemony.

In condemning the “riots” many have asked, “Can true social change really come from chaos and anarchy?” Ask the Natives who fought the Spanish, the natives who fought the English, ask the captured Africans who survived the middle passage and whose descendants to this day die in the street with a literal boot on their neck. Indigenous and Black communities in the Americas have survived continuous, centuries long “social change” so normalized is the oppression that these rare moments of physical resistance are considered shocking anomalies because if they were placed within a legitimate continuum of resistance it would indict a growing movement to end settler colonialism. By necessity riots must be illegitimate since that illegitimacy is one more way of removing the tool of physical resistance from our anti-colonial toolbox.

The above question is founded in failure. It fails to realize our current situation is already chaos and anarchy for whole groups of people. If simply based on your appearance you have a reasonable expectation any interaction with law enforcement (for example) could end with your death and no repercussions to your murderer - how is that not chaos and anarchy?

The Xicano/Indigenous community has been forced through economic and physical colonization to rely on and accept the political dominance of the colonial system. To accept the idea that the wrongs forced on us as a people will correct themselves if we trust in the democratic process of the settler and allow the rule of law to correct itself incrementally has proven untrue. What is not taken into account in this version of “benevolent” settle colonialism is the necessity of direct intervention as the actual democratic change agent implemented, in the case, by the colonized in the change process.

Democracy, at least on paper, is a political system of direct citizen participation. Because of this “participation,” we forget our current system is set up to accept and absorb a certain amount of direct action because without the pressure of dissent the discourse of equality within democracy flounders. So all you boohooing about the “riots” fail to realize this one thing.

These moments of mass rebellion are the closet thing to true democracy we have. The people are literally speaking – one person, one vote – careful what you ask for, you just might get it. Do you hear that annoying voice of bourgeois respectability in the back of the gallery shouting, “this is what voting is for” HOW CONVIENENT IN A MOMENT WHEN EVERYONE IS URGED TO PARTICIPATE OR GIVE UP THEIR RIGHT TO COMPLAIN SOMEONE ELSE ALWAYS GETS TO DECIDE WHAT LEGITIMATE POLITICAL PARTICIPATION LOOKS LIKE. This hypocrisy infects every level of the United States where the conflation of capitalism and democracy fosters even greater obstacles for the poor and marginalized in terms of participation, and assumed equality.

The time has passed for others to tell Xicanos/Indigenous people how to practice our politics or that the latest choice of white neo liberal saviors are “better” than the alternative of taking our political destiny in our own hands, in our own streets. It is time to create an alternative that reflects our hopes and aspirations.

Updated: Apr 22

"Refusing to assign a 'secret', an ultimate meaning to text "liberates what maybe called an anti-theological activity, an activity that is truly revolutionary since to refuse meaning is in the end, to refuse God and his hypostases - reason, science, law." - Roland Barthes

By Ernesto Todd Mireles, Ph.D.

This begging for scraps at the electoral table, not cute, not a good look, acting like boot licking sycophants, standing around defending the need to vote for a republican or democrat, all the while maintaining it doesn’t matter which as long as you participate? Making declarative statements about how you aren’t going to vote for either because neither party “represents” you?

The irritating thing those people have in common is none of them are doing anything to actually build real political power for Xicanos, Latinos or Indigenous peoples. These two options (republican and democrat) are simply default acquiescence to the settler colonial political structure. If your goal is to end colonialism it doesn’t matter who you vote for, so go ahead and vote I do, even though I believe that vote in every election is ultimately for colonialism.

How is that true? It is true because the entire argument of participation regardless of which of the two sides you are on is ONLY ABOUT SETTLER COLONIAL PARTY POLITICS, and the perpetuation of the settler colonial state by its own laws and regulations established at the moment of conquest to exclude black and brown people.

I want the rarely explored third option within U.S. colonial politics to the republican/democrat “if you don’t vote, you can’t complain” binary, which in this case can only be a sentiment designed to muddy the historical waters of brown exclusion. That third option states, “anyone not actively participating in building mass political organization for Xicanos, Latinos and Indigenous people has no reason to complain about the second class treatment we receive across society whether you “vote” or not.”

Xicanos argue endlessly about being Democrat and Republican, but never about whether we should have our own political party. No, we just laugh those clowns right out of the room, for no other reason really than our community simply cannot conceive of a situation where Xicano/Indigenous political force could offer an alternative to the political and economic force of settler colonialism.

The belief indigenous people are political, cultural, economic, and social losers is the plain view “secret” of U.S. history books, movies, and religious sermons written over the past 500 years. That deeply embedded “secret” contends Indigenous sovereignty is fractured, so beyond repair that as a community especially Xicanos and other indigenous people openly scoff at even the suggestion of resistance, even one that operates fully within the parameters of this nation’s laws - like forming a political party.

Recognizing any political allegiance to the Xicano Indigenous community beyond benign cultural practices puts people in dangerous territory. Those individuals stand on the threshold of a mighty refusal ready to embrace the understanding that the “national liberation of a people is the regaining of the historical personality of that people.”

Xicanos have to evolve politically if we are ever going to be more than a way for neo-libs to prove they speak a little Spanish. One way for that evolution to happen is when the political mutation of regaining our historical personality is introduced and intentionally spread to the population.

By regaining their historical personality Xicanos embrace their political destiny not as subjects of a settler colonial state but as a politically sovereign group of people. That is political, economic and social evolution. Turning our backs on the settler politics of the Republican and Democratic Parties in favor of building a Xicano/Latino/Indigenous political party that serves as a first step toward “a return to history.

It is this call for regaining history that is the dangerous part because it demands a large group of people recognize and reject the political reality of the past 500 years. It demands political action and as result of that demand is so thoroughly ridiculed it’s hard to bring it up at all.

We must have a political party, one that works for the future of Xicano/Indigenous people. The passing days of Covid 19 bring all of us closer and closer to the truth of our profound disappointed in the Dems, and our deep dislike of Republicans. But it still hasn’t occurred to the majority that Raza could form a political party based on the recouping of our “historical personality”?

No one is saying good work isn’t happening in our Indigenous Xicano/Mexicano communities across the country. There are real heroes everywhere - and now with the deportation of many Dreamers - these heroes are beginning to organize themselves in Mexico. This type of low intensity grassroots organizing can begin to build a new Xicano Indigenous culture to replace existing colonial culture and its twisted institutions.

Are our interests really so divergent from the rest of the population? We live on this planet, drink water, breathe air, and need food. Our interests are divergent not from the people around us but from the political economic system that seeks to uphold narcissistic capitalism intent on destroying the earth. I would argue the only thing that is hard to believe is how many of us fight against the idea of owning our political power.

The process of reflection, knowledge, action and transformation are basic expressions of indigenous knowledge acquisition found across the hemisphere. What the West calls the scientific method. To study or reflect on a matter is the building of knowledge and understanding about the material conditions, a population faces. When specific knowledge presents itself, a decision should be made about the course of action to correct those conditions.

The need for a Xicano Indigenous political response has grown across the 20th century and into the 21st leading us to this moment of pandemic that is creating a challenge to capitalism in which the possibility of profound political, social and economic change has never been more real or more inescapable.

Once the course of action is engaged, as in any physical process, action leads to evolution. This process removes us from the linear notion of time to a circular understanding by deleting the deficit model forced on us by settler colonialism and re-centering on the success of the Indigenous Xicano community outside of its relationship to settler colonialism.

The development of political will (reflection) is the key to organizing political party victories (knowledge). A people’s movement produces actionable power (action) as a consequence of the political mobilization of the people by the organizer. Political cultural education with the goal of building a political party is the “crucial task” of any anticolonial organizing initiative seeking to, “educate, mobilize, organize, and arm the whole people in order that they might take part (transformation) in the resistance.”

Su Voto es su Voz.

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“Beginning to think is beginning to be undermined”

Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

I am undermined. I am doubted, and maligned. My very existence violates the historical mythology of settler colonialism. I am anomalous in the historical imagination. The child of three America's: white privileged, black underclass, and Mexican invader, separate but equal, distinct but one, spreading rebellion through endlessly reimagined and refashioned realities, a secret in plain sight, displayed for the cultural benefit of liberal do-gooders. My children are the future – a future of voluntary miscegenation, of dismantling oppression. I am the failure of a colonial education because I speak, read, write and organize to free my people.

As an Indigenous Xicano organizer/scholar in the 21st century looking back on 500 years of physical, environmental and psychological erasure I see the latest threat to collective survival is creeping removal of indigenous resistance through a fracturing neo-liberal identity politics that celebrates “I” while dismissing “WE”. It is within this Randian ascendency I experience the dismissal of the group, the collective think tank, leaving me and others like me with the stark realization there seems to be no other recourse for political petition in the United States other than the individual will.

Routinely, in the past few years the passports of Xicanx people in Southern Texas have been confiscated, all along the US/Mexico border brown children are caged separated from their parents and forced to represent themselves in court regardless of age, in cities across this country, for the crime of being brown and indigenous looking, men and women simply disappear.

Many never heard from again. The brutal fact being most of us never even knew they were here and are gone. I say this not as a denunciation, but knowing all of you, like myself, already live with the internalized subliminal terror that is our constant reminder of the political powerlessness Xicanx/Latinx face in this country. Clearly, we are doing something wrong. There is a flaw in our approach to power of any kind.

As an example, the majority of our community considers it buffoonish to talk about a coming political storm; a deluge of social, political, cultural retribution that will overwhelm the fabric of settler society. Yet, the consummate US apologist Samuel Huntington said as much in his 2009 premonitory essay written for the Foreign Policy journal titled “The Hispanic Challenge”. Huntington warned unless the US government stemmed the flow of brown bodies entering the United States White Anglo Saxon Protestant society would be destroyed.

Unlike Huntington, I do not fear that storm or the rising tide of indigenous humanity that might reclaim their land and history. In the so-called immigration debate we rarely acknowledge, either on purpose or out of a sense of survival, this continent is not a place Brown people arrived at after a period of travel, but Huntington does, and in fact argues this claim makes our presence here dangerous.

Five centuries of European occupation have almost eradicated the political presence and capacity of indigenous people, however, la lucha sigue, and the struggle is in fact resurgent in many places. Across Turtle Island the numbers of Indigenous people and descendants of Indigenous peoples are rebounding, millions walk the streets of this country, but political power and cultural purpose beyond our role as consumers eludes us.

Imagine the further disenfranchisement that would ensue if this country’s labor supply was forced into a state of remote work. It would be the ultimate commodification of the body for the capitalist - remote slavery. Brown labor without Brown bodies. Huntington’s fantasy realized. Want a sneak peek at what the future could look like? Check out the 2008 movie Sleep Dealer, directed by Alex Rivera.

Existence is not resistance. It may be for a select few their personal existence is tied explicitly to their resistance of settler colonialism. But the hard truth is their, your, my individual commitment to anti-colonialism is almost universally metaphoric.

The revolutionary Ulrike Meinhof, one of the leaders of the Red Army Faction in Germany once said, “Resistance is when I ensure what does not please me occurs no more.” Collective resistance has physical consequences that extend notions of culture to include the political, and economic exposing the contradictions between human need and the economic realities of settler capitalism that forces those watching to choose a side across.

What does collective power ensure for indigenous lives and indigenous resistance? We have seen flashes of this collective power in the DACA movement, at Standing Rock, the Idle No More movement, certainly the Zapatista’s in Southern Mexico, and we know these movements have extended the scope of indigenous culture because they have forced, whether ultimately successful or not by a display of power, the whole of society to take a political and economic side.

That is revolutionary culture, collective resistance that surpasses individual existence.

Resistance is a conundrum, that you can believe. An endless morass of bewildering choices that only lead to more choices. When we open a collective channel to the practice of life being more than an cultural existence propelled forward by consumerist choices, we embrace indigenous resistance as a reemerging of the political, the economic, the artistic, the cultural into an opposing force that must inevitably end or be ended by the settler colonial system.

Huntington understood this, White people understand this, Xicanx people need to understand it as well. As long as we delude ourselves into thinking power is produced by proclaiming our existence - we continue collectively powerless in every sense of the word.

It seems the reality, for the vast majority of those who labor endlessly under capitalism and its diabolical proxy settler colonialism, that existence has very little depth outside the fabricated desires of capitalist consumerism. Clinging to the individualistic neo-liberal identity framework will not produce depth because that ideology of individualism cannot lead to a collective resistance powerful enough to confront the existing power structure.

One thing Huntington got wrong, or maybe in his mind it is always implied, mere numbers do nothing if they are not organized. Building organization, scaling up movements instead of scaling them down by constant fracturing through PC purges and ageism is necessary if there is ever going to be true Brown Power.

Join a group that is practicing or at least talking about “radical” politics. One with a critique of power, with a critique organization. It doesn’t even matter if it is an all white group. Make them teach you how to mobilize, how to build infrastructure. Two of the greatest Xicanx heroes of the 20th century, Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta were taught by white boy Fred Ross how to build organization and mobilize farm workers and farm workers supporters across the country.

Just think if their response to white boy Fred Ross had been, “you can come to my house but don’t say anything, because white people aren’t allowed to talk in our meetings.” Don’t be like that, be like Chavez and Huerta, build, organize, mobilize, resist - that is what we want our culture to be based on.

The choice before us has been the same one for the past 500 year: submit to an absurd genocidal shadow existence on the margins of settler colonialism or learn how to take back collective power from these obscene colonial fetishes that clamor for brownness sans the brown bodies.


© 2019 War of the Flea