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Stanford Students Say No to Racism



Stanford Students Say No to Racism
MEChA's Special Fee Loss Step in Right Direction

by Chris Fish

Stanford students sent a resounding message in the recent ASSU elections: racism in any form will not be tolerated. For years, the Review has worked to spread the truth about MEChA’s origins and the racist ideology embodied in their founding documents. One needs do little more than read the “El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán” to find a sampling of outrageous quotes such as “For the race everything, for those outside, nothing” and, in regards to the guiding purpose of MEChA, “Self-Defense against the occupying forces of the oppressors at every school, every available man, woman, and child.” It should also be noted that “El Plan” also includes the “liberation” of the southwestern United States and the return of that land to its historical heirs, Chicanos. In studying MEChA’s history, it is clear that its primary intent was never to combat social inequity, but rather to promote racial exclusivity and a radical, subversive agenda.

This is not to say the current membership of Stanford’s MEChA chapters adheres to these objectives. Today’s MEChA chapter is obviously not nearly as vocal in such racist and outrageous goals. But regardless of whether MEChA is simply silent about these historical objectives or has genuinely lost interest in them, it has yet to renounce its racist underpinnings. This alone should be a rallying call to every student who is dedicated to opposing racism of all forms to remove financial support for MEChA.

And that’s exactly what Stanford students did. We as a community should be proud. For all the protests and energy the community spends on promoting socially progressive ideals, something very material has been achieved and one racist group has been stopped dead in its tracks.

There has been collateral damage. MEChA has strategically positioned itself as the center of funding for many other Latino-related clubs. These groups receive a small portion of the funding allocated to MEChA. In addition to the Review’s editorials urging an end to MEChA, the Review has also called for the smaller clubs that receive funding via MEChA to find alternative routes of financing. Most of these smaller groups have no racist history and their merits should be judged independently of MEChA at large.

The radicalism that underpins MEChA has finally caught up with it. Yet the penalty to be paid will come at the cost of many arguably innocent groups. The only way to guarantee that such a situation never arises again is for these groups to renounce MEChA as a source of funding.

If Latino clubs continue to allow their financial stability to rest on such a broken foundation, they too will be haunted by the bigotry that lies in MEChA’s history. If the community expects to have a well-funded future, it must take a step away from MEChA and begin to build a new foundation that is not rooted in racial hatred.