Category Archives: News

2020 NACCS Scholar

Professor Albert M. Camarillo

At its Midyear meetings in Seattle, Washington, the NACCS Board unanimously selected the Northern California Foco nomination of Dr. Albert M. Camarillo for NACCS Scholar.  Camarillo has been a pillar in the Chicano/a community, training a cadre of Chicana/o Historians and working on the front lines to create and include Chicano/a Studies within the Academy. He was part of the initial wave of Chicanos and Chicanas to attend college in the 1960s before affirmative action programs and laid the foundation for generations of students and faculty.

Professor Camarillo earned his Ph.D. from UCLA in History in 1975 and promptly became a professor in the Department of History at Stanford University where he spent his entire academic career (42 years) until his retirement this year.  During his tenure at Stanford Dr. Camarillo held numerous academic and administrative positions including Special Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Diversity (2007-2019), Founding Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity (1996-2002), Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Studies (1992-94), Founding Director of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUP) (1985-88), and the Founding Director of the Stanford Center for Chicano Research (1980-1985).

Professor Camarillo taught thousands of students at both graduate and undergraduate levels.  Among his students are Antonia Castañeda, (Ph.D. 1990), David G. Gutierrez, Monica Perales, Stephen J. Pitti, Vicky L. Ruiz, George J. Sanchez, and William Deverell.  It is fitting to note that in many ways Dr. Camarillo has paved the way for students to become historians in his numerous leadership roles in the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, the Urban History Association, and in the National Association for Chicano Studies (sic).  He served as a co-editor of the 1979 NACS proceedings “Work, Family, Sex Roles, Language” along with Francisco Hernandez and 1999 NACCS Scholar Mario Barrera.

His dissertation, “The Making of the Chicano Community:  A History of the Chicanos in Santa Barbara, California, 1850-1930”, was nominated in 1975 as one of the best Ph.D. theses in American History in the nation and augured the impact he would have in documenting Chicana and Chicano History in the future.  Author of multiple books and articles focusing on the experiences of Mexican Americans and other racial and immigrant groups in North American Cities. Dr. Camarillo is widely regarded as one of the founders of Chicana and Chicano Studies history from his very first article and beyond.  

The NACCS Scholar award was established in 1981 to recognize “life achievement” contributions of scholars to Chicana and Chicano Studies. 

It is our sincere honor to welcome Dr. Camarillo as the NACCS 2020 Scholar in recognition of his life’s dedication, mentorship, and leadership in the field.  We invite everyone to celebrate Dr. Albert Camarillo in Seattle, Washington at the NACCS 47th Annual Conference during the Awards Dinner on Friday evening.

Fall 2019 Vol. 44 No. 1

NACCS XLVII

April 15-18, 2020
Seattle, WA

New Fire: The Flowering of a Union of Free Pueblos

Submit your Proposal Today

 Deadline to submit a presentation for the 2020 conference is November 1, 2019.

https://www.naccs.org/naccs/General_Info.asp

The year 1968 has long been heralded as a year of global revolution. From the Tet Offensive to Tlatelolco, and from Black, Red, Yellow and Chicano Power to Brown is beautiful and the Blowouts, the stage was set for the emergence of Chicana and Chicano Studies. The following year witnessed the Santa Barbara and Denver conferences where, respectively, the blueprint for Chicano Studies and MEChA were born and for the first time Chicanas/os declared themselves a People, a Nation, a Pueblo among other Pueblos, and Aztlán itself as a Union of Free Pueblos. As we commemorate the various 50 th anniversaries of many of these events and accomplishments, as well of several respective departments, let us also heed the call of the Zapatistas for the need to rethink our cartographies and calendars. So rather than the uncritical mapping of Aztlán premised on the national-territorial borders of western colonial nation-states or the marking of yet another decade or half-century as is the hallmark of western temporalities, let us use this upcoming 2020 conference to develop the critical hindsight and conceptual clarity on the need for a New Fire – the ceremonial rebirthing ceremony that occurs every 52 years among several Pueblos of the misnamed territories currently named Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.

Building on last year’s theme to engage with the ways Indigenous knowledge informs our lives and work, we invite further exploration of building relationalities with the diverse Indigenous Nations and Pueblos of las Américas Profundas, Turtle Island, Abya Yala, Pachamama. A New Fire Ceremony is the basis for a rebirth, one that marks the end of four cycles of 13 years, which is integral to the cosmologies of several “Meso-American” and “Southwestern” Indigenous Nations and Peoples. Let us thus disobey the cartographic and temporal conventions of western disciplines and nations and reignite a New Fire within Chicana and Chicano Studies to intellectually, politically, epistemically and spiritually combat the violence, destruction, and displacement that characterize the civilization of death and its various modalities (racism, sexism, compulsory heterosexualism, patriarchy, genocide, classism, coloniality, epistemicide, Christian-centrism, eurocentrism, ableism, ageism, etc) that we have accepted as the norm.

In 2020, the Peace and Dignity Journeys, an intercontinental spiritual run to reunite Eagle and Condor nations by building on the autonomy and interrelationship of all Pueblos of the northern and southern continent, will devote its prayer to the Sacred Fire. Similarly, Mexico’s National Indigenous Congress has pointed out that, “¡Ha llegado el tiempo del florecimiento de los Pueblos!” – The time of the flowering of the Pueblos has arrived! Chicanas, Xicanos, Chicanxs, Raza of all nations, genders, colors and ages have been part of and accompanied both movements from the start. So let us revisit that original call of our own for a Union of Free Pueblos to think about how Chicana and Chicano Studies can serve to (re)light the embers and kindlings of new temporalities, cartographies, epistemologies and relationalities in Abya Yala.

Towards these “ends” or rather openings and distinct forms of walking and being in this world, we welcome papers, panels, workshops, and presentations that address the following types of questions and topics, by no means exhaustive:

  • How can we foreground a rigorous, yet combative spirit in our work, without losing sight of a creative and rasquache aesthetics and poetics ?
  • How do we dispense with pretensions to objectivity that continue delimit the possibility of decolonial imaginings and openings in academia?
  • How do we better elucidate the ways Chican@ Studies, Ethnic Studies, Queer Studies, and related fields produce knowledge above and beyond the limited myopic scopes, national imaginaries, disciplinarian divides and accompanying methodologies of traditional
    disciplines?
  • How can we re-ignite the fire of action research in defense of our pueblos, barrios, communities, territories, lands, bodies, waters, climate, earth?
  • What might be the bases for a collective and shared understanding and refoundation of a decolonial Chicana and Chicano Studies?

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Unthinking Nation-States
The history and politics of MEChA
Bridging or reengaging with our various Pueblos
Learning from the land
Indigenous foundations of Chicana/o/x Studies
Chicana/o/x, Latina/o/x, and Indigenous Relationships
Internationalizing Chicana/o/x Studies
Decentering state-centric migration subjectivities
Returning to self, ceremonia spirit and healing
Indigenous Knowledge and Language reclamation
Decolonizing eating and farming
Two-spirit identities  
Autonomies and the politics of naming
The future of autonomies and sovereignties
Politics of Recognition and its limits
Critiques of appropriation
Practices of reconciliation
Reconceptualizing Aztlán
Aztlán as praxis, Chicana/o/x ethnogenesis, emergence and axis mundi
Aztlán as kinship, migration story, performativity, and queer nation
Chicana/o/x, Latina/o/x, and Indigenous community organizing
Urban Zapatismo
Asambleas, caracoles and other social formations
Collectivity as praxis
Indigenous theory and research methodologies
Indigenous feminisms
Social media and technology
Danza, Folklórico, and traditional dancing
Youth and restorative justice
Decolonizing borders
The future of Ethnic Studies
The Works of Early Chicano Thinkers and Writers
The Historical Moment of Chicana/o/x Studies
Xican@ Time
Un Nosotros sin estados
Xican@ futurities, or, the ashes of Chingon Politics

Fall 2019 – Vol. 44 No. 1

Conference Hotel Information

Sheraton Grand Seattle
1400 6th Ave
Seattle, WA  98101
206.621.9000
Conference date: April 15-19, 2020
Reservation information available soon.

Conference Dates: Participants can begin their stay at the hotel starting April 13 and/or stay until April 20 with the conference rate based on availability. For additional dates and/or room options, please contact the hotel directly.

The 2020 conference will be hosted at the Sheraton Grand Seattle
Located in the heart of downtown at 6th and Pike, the Sheraton Grand Seattle provides a gateway to the diverse sights and sounds of the Pacific Northwest.

Rates: (not including taxes) Reservations must be made by March 15 to guarantee the conference rate.  Room Rate: $159.00. Triple/Quads rooms are limited and are in high demand. Make your reservations early.

If you plan to travel to Canada before or after the conference make sure to bring your U.S. Passport.  Canada is only a ferry ride away.

Fall 2019 Vol. 44 No. 1

The Antonia I. Castañeda Prize

The award is in recognition of a published scholarly article or book chapter of an historical orientation on the intersection of class, race, gender, and sexuality as related to Chicana/Latina and/ Native/Indigenous women. The piece must have been published in November 2018 – 0ctober 2019 by a woman who is an ABD graduate student, pre-tenured faculty member, or an independent scholar. The award is designed to promote and acknowledge scholarship of an historical orientation by Chicana/Latina and/or Native/Indigenous scholars working on issues of intersectionality. No books or creative writing considered. Deadline: November 1.

Application/Nominations Process:  Both applications and nominations are encouraged. Submit  a PDF copy of the published manuscript, paper, or article and a two-page curriculum vita of the applicant or nominee.  The submission must include a short letter by the applicant or nominee addressing the merits of the article or book chapter’s contribution to the field.   Applicants are also required to solicit a letter from a third party to that effect (e.g., from an adviser, a chair, a colleague). In all cases, applicant or nominee contact information, email address, telephone number, and mailing address, must be included in the application/nomination letter.  Submissions of all materials shall be delivered electronically by the deadline directly to: CastanedaPrize@naccs.org

November 1:  Application due to NACCS at CastanedaPrize@naccs.org

Fall 2019 Vol. 44 No. 1

Immigrant Student Beca Award Extension

EXTENDED TO JANUARY 15th, 2020

NACCS Board has agreed to extend the deadline to accept applications for the NACCS Beca Award from students.   NACCS offers scholarships for current undocumented immigrant students who are committed to furthering the well being of Chicanas and Chicanos. Applicants must be members of NACCS, be enrolled in an accredited degree-granting institution and be an immigrant of Chicana/o heritage. The NACCS Immigrant Student Beca Fund was founded in 2008 to help Chicana and Chicano college students complete their education. The scholarships are available on a competitive basis for community college, four-year college, and graduate students. Awards range from $100 to $500. Application form at: Link Here

Fall 2019 Vol. 44 No. 1

2020 Leadership Nominations

Nominations sought for 2020-2021 leadership

The Nominations Committee seeks candidates and/or self-nominations for Chair-elect, Treasurer-elect, Secretary and two At Large Representative. If you are interested in running or want to nominate a candidate, the nomination form includes 3 questions regarding participation in NACCS, in Chicana & Chicano Studies and Community. The contact information you provide must also include a short biographical sketch.

Preferred/Eligibility Criteria

  • Current membership in NACCS
  • Immediate past membership in NACCS (for Chair-elect/Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer-elect/Treasurer 4 years minimum of past membership; for At-Large Reps two years minimum of past membership)
  • Significant and Demonstrated active participation in NACCS
  • Significant and Demonstrated active contribution to Chicana & Chicano Studies
  • Demonstrated contributions to advance the interests and needs of the Chicana & Chicano community
  • Active participation in NACCS Foco and/or Caucus

The nomination of any individual is not considered final. Based on the nominations received and/or outreached to, the Nominations Committee will decide on the slate that best represents the diversity (region, interest, and/or research) of the NACCS body. 

Submit your nomination(s) by November 30, 2019.

Submit Nomination Here

Fall 2019 Vol. 44 No. 1

NACCS Job Announcements


Employment: Assistant or Associate Professor, Cx/Lx Studies, Sonoma State Univ. see>>


Employment:
 UCLA, Assistant Professor, Chicana/o Studies see>>


Employment: Assistant Professor, Gender & Women Studies, CSU Northridge see>>


Employment: 
Director, Chicano Studies Research Center, UC Los Angeles see>> 

Fall 2019 Vol. 44 No. 01

Chicana and Chicano Studies Loses Another Warrior

By Julia E. Curry-Rodriguez, Executive Director NACCS

José Augustín Luz Díaz de León Villa

Chicana and Chicano Studies lost another warrior in June 2018! The San José community received the sad news from Joseph Villa, the son of José that his father had passed. We include his obituary here because it is important to remember the ones who came before us and whose courage, commitment and labor allowed us not only to develop an academic field of Chicana and Chicano Studies, but also to institutionalize departments and programs. At San José State University, Jose Villa was one of the founders of the first Mexican American Studies graduate program in 1969, with the name Mexican American Graduate Studies.

On July 19 Kathy Blackmer Reyes and I were in a community of southern Colorado engaging in research and made a pilgrimage to the New Mexican town of Alcalde to attend the mass and reception for Profesor Villa. The ceremony was moving and inspirational. It was amazing to learn about this gentleman who committed all of his adult life to bettering the lives of others, preserving his culture, and making the pathway for race and ethnic studies.

At the reception we were asked to leave a written memory of our awareness or interactions with José. I concentrated on being thankful for his work and for his inspiration. I met and spoke with Joseph and promised to follow up on the development of an archive of his father’s work at SJSU. I offered him my NACCS pin because without José Villa, his contributions and actions in the years of what his family states was “the Chicano Revolution” we would not have a present or a future as Chicana/ Studyists.

I was especially moved by the acknowledgement that my home department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at SJSU was inspired by activist people who were dedicated to work and not only to their personal professional development. José Villa and his fellow revolutionaries (including Dr. Ernesto Galarza, Dr. George Castro, Dr. Hector Cordova and many others) were in fact professional in every aspect of their collective work in the community. They used their research skills to develop their positions, to introduce policy, and to make demands on various institutions. I am thankful that Profesor José Villa made it possible for me to come many years later. I pledge to continue his work in the most humble manner – recognizing that much of the heavy lifting of institutionalization had taken place. Following his memorial I left Alcalde and his family with the renewed commitment to not forget the ones that offered their lives to ensure we can engage in our academic discipline but not without a commitment to our people and our culture. His grandson Jesús helped me to focus while he sang with a beautiful Spanish baritone voice as he strummed on his guitar, las canciones de su abuelo activista. Thank you, Profesor José Villa for your faith in us. Que en paz descanse compañero!

This obituary was shared with me by his son Joseph Villa.

José Augustín Luz Díaz de León Villa, 87, longtime resident of La Villita, NM, died peacefully at his adobe home on June 27, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. The last of his generation, he was preceded in death by his parents, Encarnación and Luz Díaz de León Villa, seven brothers and seven sisters. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Clare Cresap Villa and his eight children: Daniel (Jennifer), Mariluz (Tom Reynolds), Christopher (Margo), Gregory (Lisa),Virginia (Michael Hansen), John (Meli), Joseph (Kathleen), and Angela (Thollem McDonas); thirteen grandchildren: Jesús (Lily) Villa, Cipriano (Devin) Villa, Roxanne Jackson, Joseph Reynolds, Nicolás Villa, Emma Villa, Samuel Villa, Artemis (Matt) Ettsen, Persephone Eglaine, Alejandra Villa, Jessica (Christopher) Carbajal, Louis Villa and Lydia Villa; one great-grandchild, Lilith Ida Ettsen; numerous nieces and nephews of several generations, and a grateful community of co-workers and friends.

José was born in Clovis, NM, to Mexican immigrant parents with whom he and his siblings worked the cotton and broomcorn fields of Eastern New Mexico and West Texas for many years. He attended Our Lady of Guadalupe elementary school and Sacred Heart High School in Clovis, as well as St. Francis Seminary in Cincinnati, OH. He earned his BA in Inter-American Affairs from UNM in Albuquerque, his MSW from Arizona State U in Tempe, AZ, and his MA in Education from San José State U. in San José, CA.

In 1955, after completing four years in the Air Force serving in Korea and Japan, he married his high school sweetheart, Clare, and began on a life journey which took the family to Lovington and Albuquerque, NM, Yuma and Phoenix, AZ, San José and Felton, CA, until his retirement in 1992 when the couple returned to New Mexico to live in the adobe ruin in La Villita that they and their extended family had been restoring every summer since 1982.

José, a gifted community organizer, left his mark on every community that he touched. He helped develop the Community Council in Phoenix at the time of the War on Poverty under President Johnson; after appointment in 1969 as the first faculty member of the School of Social Work at San José State University in San José, CA, he helped in the formation of that School, taught Community Development classes for many years and served as Interim Dean for two years. He developed the Mexican American Community Services Agency into a major force in San José during the Chicano Revolution in the 1970’s, and served two years as director of the Mexican-American Graduate Studies Department at SJSU. He also worked several years for the San José Unified School District in Bilingual Education projects.

Shortly after retiring to the Española area, he co-organized the Española Valley/Los Alamos Habitat for Humanity group, which continues to thrive enthusiastically in the community. He worked two years for the Española Middle School as Parent Liaison, after which he set about uniting the local faith communities to take action against drug abuse in the Interfaith Leadership for the Advancement of all People (ILEAP) effort. He lobbied on behalf of AARP for two legislative sessions and helped raise funds for many local non-profits including the Española Valley Arts Festival and the Abiquiú Library. His last, and perhaps most beloved, project targeted designation of the northern Rio Grande as a National Heritage Area, which was achieved after many years of preparation by a dedicated group of local heritage aficionados.

He was a devoted member of the Hermandad at the Morada de Nuestra Señora de Dolores del Alto in Abiquiú, NM, as well as a Lector and Eucharistic Ministerat St. Anne’s Church in Alcalde.

Rivera Family Funeral Home is in charge of cremation. Memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Anne’s Church in Alcalde at 9:00 AM on Thursday, July 19, preceded by a Santo Rosario at 8:00 AM led by his Hermanos from Abiquiú and followed by a reception at 10:00 AM at the Oñate Center in Alcalde.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Habitat forHumanity Española/Los Alamos (726 N Riverside Dr, Espanola, NM 87532:www.habitatevla.org) or St. Mary Indian Mission (P.O. Box 39, Tohatchi, NM87325; stmarytohatchi.org).

Summer 2018 – Vol. 43 No. 1

The Legal Rights of Asylum-Seekers: A Primer for the Trump Administration

by Kevin Johnson, NACCS Scholar 2008

Kevin Johnson, NACCS Scholar 2008

With a focus on aggressive enforcement of the immigration laws, President Trump has kept immigration in the headlines. And few committed to the humanitarian treatment of immigrants believe that the administration can be trusted.

The latest issue concerns migrants, including many women and children, from Central America. Many of these migrants have come to this country seeking asylum under U.S. law, which they have the right to do. Migration from this troubled region is nothing new, but the President has responded like no other president in recent memory. President Trump first adopted a heartless family separation policy and then abandoned it for a policy that will detain immigrant families together. What has gotten lost in the shuffle and political rhetoric, however, are the legal rights of the migrants in question. Although the President claims that the immigration laws must be enforced, his administration is not committed to protecting the legal rights of immigrants.

Working diligently to deliver on his campaign promises to crackdown on immigration enforcement, Trump has taken a number of steps to implement a “zero tolerance” policy. This was the motivation behind his original decision to separate families, which officials hoped would deter future immigrants. After unified political pressure (including from Republican congressional leaders), Trump backed down and issued an executive order ending the policy.

The White House also announced that the family separation policy would be replaced with one allowing for the detention of entire families. President Barack Obama’s administration operated family detention centers in Pennsylvania, Texas and, for a time, New Mexico. Critics argued that family detention was inhumane. There is no reason to believe family detention authorized by Trump wouldn’t be the target of similar legal challenges as well as political ones. And humanitarian concerns represent only one aspect of Trump’s potential legal problems.

First of all, keeping families in detention during the pendency of legal proceedings would require changing the consent decree from the class-action lawsuit that was initially brought against the Reagan administration as Flores v. Meese and was eventually settled by the Clinton administration in 1997. Known generally as the Flores settlement, this landmark decision limits the detention of migrant children.

Anticipating this, Section 3(e) of the executive order instructs the attorney general to modify the Flores settlement agreement “in a manner that would permit the Secretary, under present resource constraints, to detain alien families together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings.”

There are also important constitutional concerns involving the rights of unauthorized immigrants and asylum seekers to due process. These concerns can only be fully understood if we look at the general rights of noncitizens seeking asylum under the U.S. immigration laws.

U.S. law allows noncitizens who flee persecution on account of race, political opinion, religion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group to seek asylum in the United States. Central Americans fleeing violence have been seeking asylum since Congress passed the Refugee Act in 1980.

Under the applicable regulations, noncitizens apprehended in the U.S. by immigration authorities still have the constitutional right to a removal hearing that complies with the due process clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment. (President Trump has stated that hearings are not required and has called for summary deportations, an idea that nobody is picking up on.). An immigration court at the removal hearing is tasked with evaluating whether noncitizens should be allowed to remain in America.

But the immigration courts are backlogged, and it can take months and sometimes years before a hearing is held. In the past, noncitizens have been eligible for bond during this period, provided he or she does not pose a flight risk or danger to public safety. President Trump referred to this practice, which the law requires, disparagingly as “catch and release.” He signed a memo in April ending the so-called “catch and release” of immigrants into the community.

Some critics argue that those who are released on bond fail to appear in court when the time comes. But data show that the vast majority of families who are apprehended and bond out of custody subsequently appear at their removal hearings. Thus, a policy ordering the indefinite detention of families must be viewed in large part as a way to force desperate families to abandon possibly valid asylum claims.

Here, again, the Trump administration should anticipate legal trouble. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court in Jennings v. Rodriguez sent a case back to the lower courts to decide whether detention without a bond hearing and possible release violated due process.

Although the Supreme Court has not addressed the lawfulness of such tactics, the lower courts have. For example, in Orantes-Hernandez v. Thornburgh, a court of appeals in 1990 found mass immigrant detention and various related policies by the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and the first President George Bush to be unlawful. The policies included detaining immigrants in remote locations where it was difficult for them to retain legal counsel. The court found that the policies represented a concerted effort to deter asylum claims.

More recently, a court found that the Obama administration’s mass detention of Central Americans violated the rights of migrant children. In Flores v. Lynch (2016), the court of appeals found that detained children must be released after 20 days in accordance with the original Flores agreement. Trump’s executive order instructs Attorney General Sessions to try to amend the original Flores settlement in order to allow for indefinite detention of children, which seems like an uphill battle.

There remains some confusion as to what the Trump administration’s detention policy will look like going forward. A report published by the Washington Post claims that noncitizens who were detained at the border with children would not be held at this time due to a lack of resources. Meanwhile, a Justice Department spokesperson told the Washington Post that there “has been no change to the Department’s zero tolerance policy to prosecute adults who cross our border illegally instead of claiming asylum at any port of entry at the border.”

What is clear, however, is that whatever decision the administration makes will be carefully scrutinized by legal experts and advocates working to protect the rights of everyone, citizens and noncitizens alike, who steps foot on American soil.

Kevin R. Johnson is dean and Mabie-Apallas professor of public interest law and Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Davis School of Law. He is NACCS Scholar 2012 and an active member of his Foco. This piece is adapted from a post on the NBC News blog. https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-s-executive-order-ended-family-separations-legal-challenges-remain-ncna885491

Summer 2018 – Vol. 43 No. 1

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BIOPOLITICS: Child gulags in ‘telluric’ America

by Devon G. Peña, NACCS Scholar 2013

Devon G. Peña, NACCS Scholar 2013

“Autochthonous defenders of the home soil, who died for our altars and our hearths, the national and patriotic heroes who went into the woods, all elemental, telluric force in reaction to foreign invasion.”

—Carl Schmitt, The Theory of the Partisan, 52.

The Washington Post ran a story last week (May 15) about how the Trump administration is implementing a policy separating children from their parents or other relatives if they are caught trying to enter the U.S. without the standing to do so legally. The headline read: “Trump administration preparing to hold immigrant children on military bases.” It was featured under the topical by-line “NATIONAL SECURITY”, a problematic choice I will return to because it merits criticism about the role of the mainstream media in normalizing Trumpian national security policies.

Many of these families are from indigenous and working-class communities in Central America and Mexico and are fleeing the effects of decades of U.S. foreign, military, and trade policies associated with the violence of neoliberal shock doctrines in place since the early 1970s.

The idea of splitting up families apprehended and detained during unauthorized border crossings is one facet of an over-reaching and over-arching fully-militarized policy of direct repression of people in transmotion based on an ultra-nationalist ideology that declares white people must defend their imagined homeland from threatening (criminal, unintelligent, unassimilable) others. This from the descendants of the true invaders and settler colonists.

It must be noted this draconian measure has a longer history. During the Obama Administration in 2012, there were cases of young children in foster care for two years or longer, while parent(s) languished in federal detainment facilities awaiting deportation for being in the country without legal status (see the report by Ryan J. Stanton in the Ann Arbor News, April 15, 2012).

We can go deeper and mention the history of Native American children forced into missionary boarding schools to be stripped of their language and cultural memory. Xicanxs also faced forced deculturation in Americanization classrooms, often staged in the broom closet for “special ed” kids. It would seem white America has a problem with a nasty history of basically kidnapping or segregating and then mistreating other people’s children. Surely the courts will find this constitutes cruel and unusual punishment to the children and their relatives? We will have to wait and see how the policy unfolds and is challenged.

I wish to make two points about the split-the-children-from-their-parents policy: First, a point about the deplorable base of racists, white supremacists, and other telluric partisans mobilized by Trumpian racism: They may be ‘nativists’ but they sure as hell are not native.

We must end the self-righteous legitimizing narrative and brand it as false before the public discourse and popular imagination. This will starve the white supremacists of the type of resentiment they need to thrive. Everyone needs to remind white people how many are descendants of violent and interloping settler colonial populations and other less fortunate arrivants whose genealogies are not indigenous to the Western Hemisphere, unlike Mexicans, Guatemalans, and others with millennial indigenous roots across the entire continent and who now face the terror of the status of illegality.

Now about the Washington Post topic by-line of NATIONAL SECURITY. The only way I can see this as a national security issue is by noting how the regime in the White House is violating the constitutional rights of children and their relatives. This a threat to the prospects for security in democracy in a settler colonial nation-state bent on exercising the constituted power of white supremacists. The by-line follows the Trumpian logic of misconstructing immigration law reduced to a policy analog of national security. This has been part of a decades-old discursive strategy seeking to criminalize all immigrants by misrecognizing them as the moral equivalents of terrorists in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. This is especially painful and harmful to displaced indigenoustransborder travelers who are only guilty of trying to escape death squads, narco-drug cartels, and other forms of structural violence unleashed by neoliberal shock doctrine policies of all recent U.S. administrations including Obama and Clinton had she won (never forget Berta Caceres).

Our social justice movements must foment awareness of these facts and punctuate the narrative by focusing attention on the legal and political consequences of the criminalization of those displaced by the American empire.

Second, this sort of draconian action has happened before. The case of the legal targeting of children as part of the pogroms of the Nazis in Germany is instructive to the point that it renders the question – is Trumpian ideology a form of fascism? – moot. This does not mean the U.S. is fascist. It does suggest we have an Executive intent on being a charismatic strong man like the killer Duterte he so admires and is a threat to any future, strongly indigenized, democratic prospects.

On being the new ‘Rhineland Bastards’

Ina Friedman is among the historians and social scientists focused on the “other victims” of Nazi laws. She notes how it was not just Jewish children who were affected but rather “…the lives of black children, who were the offspring of German women and African soldiers stationed in the Rhineland after World War I. Many of these so-called ‘Rhineland Bastards’ were picked up from the streets or from classrooms and sterilized, often without anesthesia. Due to the application of the “Law for the Prevention of Off-spring with Hereditary Defects,” which was passed in 1933, approximately 400 of these children were deprived of their right to reproduce.”

Following the Kristallnacht pogrom (commonly known as “The Night of Broken Glass”) on November 9-10, 1938, Nazi legislation barred Jews from all public schools and universities, as well as from cinemas, theaters, and sports facilities. In many cities, Jews were forbidden to enter designated “Aryan” zones. Sound familiar? (as recounted in The Holocaust Encyclopedia).

Let us therefore resolve to understand how #BlackLivesMatter, #Not1More, and similar movements are justified forms of civil disobedience against the real existing threat of daily lived violence at the hands of white telluric partisans, who are like the Schmitt irregulars, white men like Zimmerman who murdered Trayvon and got away with it because grandma had her way with stand you ground laws in Florida.

Illustrating this will further empower our indigenous social justice movements to challenge as unfounded, the claims over the policing and regulation of citizenship as articulated by fake telluric partisans with their questionable status as righteous natives. By overthrowing the nativist mythos and revealing the settler colonial origins of Trumpian white nationalism we may take a vital step across racially-politicized and polarized differences to advance movement toward a rethinking and indigenized  remaking of the very meaning of citizenship and territory. There really is nothing more repugnant than the children of invaders assuming the position of the elemental telluric force. The only telluric partisans in this conflict are the indigenous peoples of this hemisphere.

It is worth recalling Carl Schmitt in The Theory of the Partisan on the nature of the telluric partisan for it reveals how compelling the need is for us to challenge the delusion of nativity used by the deplorable base of white nationalists to justify the violence encouraged by the current strongman in the White House:

The partisan has then a real, but not an absolute enemy. That proceeds from his political character. Another boundary of enmity follows from the telluric character of the partisan. He defends a patch of earth to which he has an autochthonic relation. His basic position remains defensive despite his increasing mobility. He comports himself just as St. Joan of Arc did before her ecclesiastical court of judgment. She was not a partisan; she fought the English in a regular way. When asked a theological trick question by the judge—whether she claimed God hated the English—she responded: “Whether God loved or hated the English, I do not know, I only know that they must be driven out of France.”We have a choice: Allow the friend and enemy distinction to continue functioning as a primary driver of white nationalist politics, or reclaim our status as the true telluric partisans who really are the natives in this world-transformative dispute. We are the Helots among the Spartans at the gates of Athens, all elemental and fiercely grounded in our, for now, transborder homeland.

Original Article Appeared in Mexmigration

Summer 2018 – Vol. 43 No. 1