"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lunes con Lalo: Some Not Too Objective Observation on the Movement's Effect on America

Abelardo B. Delgado

Lunes con Lalo Delgado
The Chicano Movement: Some Not Too Objective Observations

The Movement – Its Effect on American

by Abelardo "Lalo" Delgado

It is with arrogance that some movement leaders humbly claim that the movement is a healthy phenomenon in our country by which most likely, the country as a whole, will benefit.

Those outside, particularly White complacent middle classists, view this with distrust and fear our every move.

Another attitude is the apologetic, one shared particularly by White students who welcome our struggle and seek to help and identify themselves with it. The sociologist burst with anxiety at our every move to record our behavior and once in a while even inject a few additional phrases of their own as they record our disenchantment with the American Dream.

It is presumptuous of me, and many Chicanos, to think we have made an impact on the whole country for in the East, not only could they care less about out Movement, but they have no idea that we Chicanos exist. They still ask if we are really American citizens -- those that ask.

Others, more directly for clashing with the Blacks, have their hands full even to consider that another minority does inhabit the land of the free. Yet, almost as if by design, Chicanos now surround the U.S. I mean the mobility of our increasing populations into every state in the Union is something that will be pointed out in the recent census.

What role the movement plays in the cleansing process of America's social ills, is, of course, of immeasurable significance. It is the Chicano finger that diagnose in communities, those symptoms of decadence and neglect, in time for correction, we may add. But the real contribution and the one I would like to elaborate upon is the antidote effect it has on the materialistic venom that is presently killing our country.

Chicanos can be said to know not only how to survive and remain intact under the most adverse conditions, but also how to live. This close relationship with life makes Chicanos a valuable commodity in our times, and most Movement Chicanos who know this, naturally try to capitalize on it. What this closeness to life actually means is an ability to celebrate even the economic disasters under which we grow up, raise a family, and die. Close to this ability is our ability to laugh at our meagerness and misery, and to weather pain and suffering so well. Just so you do not mistake the last part of the statement, let me clarify that we do not necessarily seek suffering, misery, poverty, and pain, or enjoy them for that matter, but the historical force which has imposed these things as neighbors has also gone ahead and immunized us again them.

This has a particular advantage in dealing with the dominate society, which in spite of its prosperous affluence, seems to crumble from within at the sight of minute problems. Teachers and timely answers on how to cope with the mounting historic dilemmas are all Chicanos to America at large, and therefore, these rare Chicano qualities are presently at a premium.

When a Chicano loses these inherited abilities to emerge above the situation and to brandish a set of values which baffles the materialistic Anglo mentality, he has, in fact, become an Anglo himself, a trader of real fulfillment for emptiness. Movement people have, as part of their educational efforts, warned against this trade, and they remind us how beautifully strong and serene we people are. We are, as the now jargon would put it, a people that are “all together.”

To summarize: our influence on the country of necessity will be noticed and increased as most of the stereotypes imposed on La Raza crumble and we become a more visible and audible citizenry in our own country. The Movement is not an end in itself, but a vehicle for mobility in that very direction.

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Other parts of this series:

Part IV Goals 
from The Chicano Movement: Some Not Too Objective Observations by Abelardo B. Delgado, (Denver: Colorado Migrant Council, 1971), prepared by the Colorado Migrant Council. Published with permission from the Delgado Family. Special thanks for Dolores Delgado. (c) Abelardo Delgado 1971, all right reserved. This may not be republished with out the permission of the Delgado estate.

Writer Saint Day

St. Francis de Sales
Patron Saint of Writers and Journalist

I'm not really sure why Francis de Sales is one of the patron saints of writers. He was a lawyer, so most likely he wrote a lot. His corresondence were many and many survive. Saints.SQPN.com states, "The value of his writings led to his being declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Blessed Pius IX in 1877, and a patron of writers and journalists by Pope Pius XI in 1923."

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