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United States: Mexican Americans' "race"



     One constant source of irritation is the Mexican Americans' calling themselves La Raza (The Race), while denouncing gringo Americans as racists. They seem to have taken the term from Catholic Mexican intellectual José Vasconcelos, who invented the slogan "Por mi raza hablará el espíritu"--"Through my [Mexican] race, the spirit will speak," i.e. "We are not gross materialists like the gringos." It looks as though the spirit is having a rough time struggling with the flesh, to judge by this report:
     In a dispute over allegedly delinquent payments for three months of Internet access owed by the Chicago-area Spanish-language newspaper La Raza, the Ripco Communications service provider redirected surfers seeking La Raza's pages to an adult Web site. Saying that "at least the adult site pays its bills," a Ripco executive says he considered the La Raza domains "orphans," and explained that "the way we handle orphaned domains is to point them at a revenue-generating site for us." La Raza's online coordinator says, "The question isn't whether Ripco has the right to do what they did. I think the question is, how far do you have to go in a situation like this? Is their goal to embarrass their customers into paying quicker?" (Chicago Tribune/SanJose Mercury News 1 Sep 99) http://www.sjmercury.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/079592.htm
     My advice: The spirit commands you to pay up quick, which is a good gringo custom.

Ronald Hilton - 09/02/99


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