Each Friday, LA Progressive presents a comment we editors find to be most profound, insightful, unusual, or even annoying– we then highlight the comment in an effort to bring attention to the broad range of positions taken by our readers.
This week, Rosalio Munoz comments on Dr. Rodolfo Acuña’s article about middle class Latinos he characterizes as Pochos – the gist of which is that Chicanas/os and Latinos remain political pochos because once they are out of college most do not remain politically active. Their principle concern is how to make a living and support a family. To read Dr. Acuña’s article on Pochos click here.
Rosalio Munoz comments:
I strongly disagree with the tenor of Rudy Acuña’s focus on middle class Mexican Americans as too politically unsophisticated and pacified.
In my experience the past 45 years in the movimiento, the key to moving the middle class is to organize the working class and build conciousness from there. Next it is not most effective to use guilt as the basis of left center unity in our or any other community. Common self-interest and common antagonists in the concrete is the best approach.
Perhaps most important is to measure the level of struggle of people. I think our middle class is struggling more than ever, and significant sections are involved very deeply and that is all base to be worked from.
Then there is the context, the US based global corporations have moved the nation and world to the right significantly from the sixties. Our middle class is not responsible for the Bakke Decision, Proposition 13, plant closures, Reaganomics, neoliberalism, in fact our middle class voted against and opposed these. They are not responsible for scientific/technological changes in the means of production be the property of the capitalist elites.
Also historically we are just on the cusp of having some leverage, a place at the table of national liberal/progressive politics so we are learning. In a large measure the National Council of La Raza is the premier Latino, Mexican American, and yes Hispanic middle classe organization and its sophistication and political orientation have been improving.
Finally on Arizona, I agree more solidarity is needed but really the right wing onslaught has us all on the defensive, all 99% of us and the transformation of the barrio can only take place in the context of the transformation of the socio economic formation.