Re: To Vita from Zapata regarding Hitler

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Posted by Zapata on August 01, 2000 at 12:58:46:

In Reply to: Re: Do Reparations Work? (a devil's advocate inquiry) posted by Vita on August 01, 2000 at 09:53:39:


I was not being facetious at all in bringing the TOV. In fact, it was just won of those brain "poofs" that occur to me when I'm really into reading something or in some kind of discussion. I think that the dialogue that we (everybody on the board) have been having is great and extremely useful. If I've been accused of one thing in my life--actually, I've been accused of many but that's another story--is of being dogmatic. I've attempted to lessen this tendency by taking time to listen to other's opnions and POVs, and have found that my understanding of things has grown so much more as a result. As such, I think that your comments have had a similar effect. That is why when the realization about Hitler and the TOV "poofed," I had to post it because I believe it is a significant "other-side" to the coin of our discussion.

I'm surprised I hadn't thought of it before since its part of the approach I use for teaching the concept of "war" in my history classes. I like to have students look at the connections between the Franco-Prussian War, WWI, WWII, the Cold War, Korea, and Vietnam. Of course, Korea and the Cold War weren't necessarily "wars"--one was a so-called "police-action" and the other was more of a high tension I-got-bigger-bombs-than-you standoff--but I it's been a great way of demonstrating just how one war leads to another and even how efforts to NOT have another war led to another war (did that make sense?). Anyway, if you look at the period from the Franco-Prussian War to the end of the Cold War, you can see just how interrelated and domino-like they are. The fascinating thing about them is that they account for the lack of any real world peace in the last 200 or so years.

Oh! I attempted to post a response to one of your last responses, but it doesn't seem like it went through. I can't recall exactly what I said or how I said it but here goes...

Compensation for the Aztecs, Incas, etc. is not what this is about. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a full-blooded Aztec anywhere in the world. Most of them were killed off during the final siege of Tenochtitlan or died of disease (as you pointed out). Any that survived eventually became a part of one of the major blood-mixes ever, resulting in the mestizo. The descendants of the Maya, found in Guatemala and the Yucatan, are probably the closest thing to an Aztec that you can find. At the same time, the US had nothing to do with the early peoples of Mexico. If reparations were to be sought, they would have to be sought from the Spanish and even the Mexican govt. who even now is out to get the descendants of the Mayan and Tarahumara indians in the Yucatan and the state of Chihuahua.

If I've got a beef with anyone its would be with the US (calm down Bill). The US engaged in encroachment on the Mexican borderlands after the Louisiana Purchase and such...

The US war on Mexico (1846-1848)--unjustly started when Pres. Polk claimed that American blood had been spilled on American soil, despite the fact that the confrontation between US and Mexican forces occurred in Mexican territory which the US claimed was theirs--resulted in the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This treaty allowed Mexican nationals to choose to move into Mexican territory or to stay with the agreement that Mexicans choosing to become US citizens were to maintain rights to their lands, language, religion, culture, etc. Of course, history has proven this to not have been the outcome.

Nonetheless, I am not out to fight for reparations which I know that the US government has absolutely no intention of making. Instead, I know that the cultural battle for Chicanos and Mexicans in the US continues. That is why I do what I do as an educator and organizer in the communties in which I work. I don't waste time arguing with politicians about what SHOULD have been done with the Treaty; even the UN wouldn't touch it when Rais Lopez Tijerina and members of the Raza Unida Party brought the treaty up as an example of the US failing to follow international law.

I seek to work with and in my community (Chicano community) to develop its cultural, linquistic, economic, and educational infrastructure. Rather than seek solutions from the outside, people like myself seek to develop solutions and paradigms from the inside out.

I think our discussion is relevant as more of a debate of ideas rather than reality. I think that most of us contributing to the board realize that the possibility of such reparations actually being made are not only slim but unrealistic. The energy wasted on such efforts is better spent organizing and teaching. Nevertheless, it is a needed discussion. As I said in one of my first posts on this board, NOT speaking about such things is a way of condoning them. In addition, not speaking of them is one of the major causes of historical amnesia and in turn oppression.

Thanks for the continued dialogue.



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