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Why Believers of a Reconquista are Absolut!

LatinaLista — Last week, a friend of mine who lives in Mexico sent me a picture of a map of North America and Mexico. It was part of an ad campaign for Absolut vodka.

The map was obviously a joke on the expansionist theory that Mexico wants to reclaim territory in the United States. Knowing that some of my regular readers are somewhat paranoid over this piece of fiction, and continually claim it’s for real, I decided against posting it.
Why fuel the flame of anti-Mexico hysteria?
Yet, now because of the absurd reaction over an ad campaign that wasn’t even appearing in this country — like Mexico is really going to plot with a vodka company to take over the United States, puhleeze — it’s time to set the record straight on what a fringe group of fanatics is trying to legitimize with their calls to boycott the vodka maker — Is Mexico plotting a Reconquista?

According to Wikipedia, “the term Reconquista (in English, “reconquest”) was popularized by Mexican writers Carlos Fuentes and Elena Poniatowska to describe the demographic and cultural reemergence of Mexicans in the Southwestern United States.”
There is nothing fundamentally wrong with that statement but rather it is what it insinuates that has proved threatening to a group of people who are insecure about the strength of this nation.
If anything, the term “reconquista” was a bad choice and is a bad choice to use in this country. The more precise term, and less threatening, could be “rediscovery.”
Mexican-Americans settling in the Southwest constitute a rediscovery of the ancient connection that exists between the tierra (land) and those descended of Aztec and Mayan lineage.
Like Native Americans everywhere, whose society is built on the foundation of the relationship with the earth, so it is with today’s Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who are rediscovering their ties to ancestral lands.
What does that mean?
It depends on how spiritual you are. For the vast majority of Latinos of Mexican descent, it doesn’t mean anything.
Does this mean to say that there aren’t some Mexican-Americans preaching reconquista? No. As with any group, there are extremists who preach an ideology that is only palatable to them. Ku Klux Klan ring a bell?
To the rest of us, it’s so absurd it’s not taken seriously and ignored.
Until extremists on the other side start screaming for boycotts of a vodka company because they feel threatened by a make-believe map and a story that would be better as a Tim Burton animated film.
What’s worse is that you have the mouthpieces of these extremist groups, who have their own cable talk shows, giving credibility to their ludicrous claims.
To think Mexico is really plotting to overtake the United States, when they are in the middle of combatting the drug cartels, and are barely winning at that, makes this scenario even more insane.
To think Mexican-Americans are plotting to stage a reconquest is beyond absurd. But most of all it’s insulting.
1. It insults our patriotism and allegiance to the United States — our home and country.
2. It insults our common sense.
3. It insults the history we all have in this country.
4. It insults our contributions to this country.
5. It insults our value to this country.
Yet most of all, it underscores the blatant racism, not fear, but racism that people harbor against brown-skinned Spanish and non-Spanish speakers.
And for every media outlet, whether it be print or broadcast, that has allowed these racist commentaries to be published/broadcast, they have compromised their news credibility and have become nothing more than instruments of propaganda for a group intent on driving home the point of how superior is the white race.
As I write this, it sounds crazy to me but reading comments about the vodka ad and the boycotts being demanded and the cable talk show hosts dwelling on this stupid map, the facts are sadly adding up:
These outrageous claims are being made by sober people.
It would be a whole lot easier to accept if they were drunk.

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  • Frank
    April 8, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    The ad was in bad taste.
    Now on to the reconquista agenda. It is very real to some Americans of Mexican ancestry. How many, who knows? But the fact remains that with the continued influx of Mexicans into this country illegally it will occur naturally in numbers. Those who advocate reconquista know this and that is why they are pro-illegal. The illegals are their little foot soldiers. Plus the high birthrates of this ethnic group puts the icing on the cake, doesn’t it?
    I don’t believe that a reconquista that returns part of the southwest to Mexico is what will occur and I don’t think that is the reconquista goal anyway. The goal is to see that Latinos become the majority in this country and therefore takeover numerically,culturally and politically.
    Why is skin color mentioned anyway? This isn’t about race or skin color. This is more about a cultural takeover of this country which includes language dominance. Those who claim this isn’t happening or that they don’t advocate it are trying to hide it. Fortunately, the dominant society in America isn’t dumb.

  • Hran
    April 9, 2008 at 12:28 am

    You have completely missed the point. Of course we don’t think “Mexico is really going to plot with a vodka company to take over the United States”.
    Mexico doesn’t have to invade in the conventional manner because it gets the benefits of invasion without the mess and fuss of war. Consider: it gets billions of dollars in “tribute”, and great political influence. The amnesty bill had a provision in it that the U.S. would have to consult Mexico before taking action to secure the border. Observe how the presidential candidates pander to the Latino vote. Mexico gets rid of millions of its poor and many criminals who would cause trouble at home. Etc, etc.
    And now the process can snowball, because of all the Latinos in the U.S. voting for open borders.
    So, the political borders may remain, but large regions of the U.S. will become ethnically Mexican.

  • Horace
    April 9, 2008 at 6:03 am

    Marisa, the concern is for the illegal immigration of Mexicans to this country, not for the presence of Mexican Americans. Mexican nationals cannot be equated to Mexican Americans, as the former have not been educated as Americans and have never grown up with a sense of loyalty and patriotism. Just becasue they have a common language and culture doesn’t mean that they are equivalent. Due to the common border, Mexican nationals who migrate legally/illegally retain an allegience to their home country like no other immigrant group in this country, long after they’ve physically moved here. Where Mexican and US interests conflict, Mexican illegals cannot be counted upon to side with this country to the extent demanded of their brother/sister Americans. You are blinded to the differences between Mexicans and Mexican Americans because you are too emontionally attached to the former by language and culture. This is one reason tha Hispanic Americans have so much difficulty in understanding opposition to illegal immigration from non-Hispanics in this country.

  • Challis
    April 9, 2008 at 9:22 am

    OK, after reading the blog comments, I had to leave something…
    As an American who is married to a Mexican (who is here legally, thankyouverymuch, and it was difficult!) I want to say that the comments posted here show a real ignorance of Mexicans and Mexican Americans.
    Being pround of your heritage doesn’t mean that you want to change the country that you are in. Speaking Spanish while in the US doesn’t mean you are promoting a “cultural takeover”. If you actually have experience with Latinos in the US, especially kids who were born here…they are as American as you are. Unfortunately, sometimes, including a distaste for the country from which their parents came.
    So, I am agreeing with Marisa here, this is a threat that is mainly worrying the ignorant, racist majority population who wish to see what they want to see, not what IS.
    I also disagree with Horace…Mexicans are here because they feel that their home country cannot offer them the same economic opportunities that this country can, they are motivated citizens who care for their home country but live and breathe in America-the place that is giving them a new opportunity and a better life for their family…sounds like a pretty good incentive to be a ‘patriot’ to me.
    -sometimes I’d rather be back in Mexico, caio!-

    April 9, 2008 at 9:42 am

    When people enter the U.S. illegally and start demanding that our laws be changed to accomodate themselves, that is reconquista. When American citizens support open borders and illegal aliens, that is reconquista. When our own government refuses to do anything to reduce the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. and refuses to seal the borders, that is reconquista. Press two for Spanish, that is reconquista. It is happening right before our eyes and if something isn’t done, we will soon be a northern extention of Mexico with all the same problems that exist there.

  • adriana
    April 9, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Frank, most Latino Americans do not speak Spanish. How can we be taking over culturally when we become English dominant after a few generations?
    As for Latino culture taking over, I have found that white America is very content to drink Tequila, eat tortillas, corn chips, and other “Latino” food products through exercising their preference with their own dollars. How is this going to be stopped? Culture is always in flux and in transition.

  • Texano78704
    April 9, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    “Those who claim this isn’t happening or that they don’t advocate it are trying to hide it. Fortunately, the dominant society in America isn’t dumb.”
    Yes, that’s why they instituted things like The Chinese Exclusion Act and Jim Crow Laws. Your point is obvious, Frank.

  • Liquidmicro
    April 9, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Here is a link that is being used to say that Mexicans in Mexico believe that the Southern US still belongs to Mexico.
    Mexicans Think U.S. Belongs to Them Wires
    Thursday, June 13, 2002
    So, you see, according to a Zogby International poll, Mexican people are taught/believe that the Southwest of the USA is still theirs and they should be free to come and go as they please.
    ” Asked if they believed the U.S. Southwest belonged to Mexico, 58 percent of respondents in Mexico said it did, and 28 percent disagreed. A similar number, 57 percent, said Mexicans had the right to enter the United States without U.S. permission. Thirty-five percent disagreed.”
    This is pretty much what Absolut is basing their “premise of a perfect world” on as well. Catering to the thoughts and the ideals of the Mexican people to sell a product, affirming their beliefs of the USA’s Southwest is still theirs.

  • Frank
    April 9, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    adriana, the problem is the hugh influx of illegal aliens from Mexico. They don’t feel the need to assimilate culturally or lingually. They are colonizing rather than assimilating. How do you explain so many towns in the southwest that are dominantly Hispanic and their language of preference or in many cases the only language they speak is Spanish?
    I live in California and out in public I am hearing more Spanish than English spoken by Hispanics. Are these all first generation legal Hispanics? I don’t think so!
    It is one thing to occasionally enjoy a different cultural food in one’s own country but quite another for that food, culture and language to replace the native one. In otherwords I don’t mind foreign cultures in this country as long as they remain the minority ones and don’t takeover numerically, politically and culturally by an illegal invasion.

  • Antonio Gonzalez
    April 9, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Why not ? Santa Ana lost the
    war, but why Mexico los the
    territory ? Why Germany did
    not lost territory, and more,
    Japan . Insulting is Mexico

  • yave begnet
    April 9, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    I was surprised that each commenter here hadn’t pledged to dump the bottle of Absolut that was sitting in their cupboard down the drain like all the other anti commenters did at the other thread I saw this at. Que sorpresa! Apparently, not only was every restrictionist on that thread previously an Absolut customer, but now has sworn off the product for life. Perhaps there were a few exaggerations.
    Tempest in a teapot, mountain out of molehill–whatever you want to call it, these people are desperate to turn attention away from Iraq, recession, and all the other mistakes and boondoggles the conservative movement has brought us.

  • Frank
    April 9, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    I don’t drink. That would explain why I don’t have a bottle to dump. The ad however was in very bad taste and Absolut admitted it.
    What is a “restrictionist”?
    There is news everyday that turns our attention away from the larger issues TEMPORARILY. My attention was turned away the other day when Charleton Heston died. It means nothing. News is news and dies out within a day or two. We never lose focus on the larger issues.

  • Hran
    April 9, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Marisa, Challis, Adriana:
    Suppose China decided to flood Mexico with immigrants. Hundreds of thousands came to Mexico each year, legally and illegally. Their children were granted automatic citizenship. The Chinese were rediscovering “the ancient connection that exists between the tierra (land)” and their ancestors who originally came across the land bridge from Asia. The Chinese learned Spanish, but they remained proud of their heritage and traditions, maintaining their cultural ties to the homeland. But some of them were “yellow nationalists” and didn’t want to learn Spanish or assimilate. Mexico does nothing to stop the influx, since that would be “racist”. Then one day the original Mexicans are only 10-20% of the population.
    A. Is this new Chinese Mexico still “Mexico”?
    B. Wouldn’t the true Mexicans be pissed off?

  • Horace
    April 9, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Yave, so its ok when Mexican ads insult and taunt Americans and generate animosity from Mexico? Your stupidity is showing. Aren’t US – Mexican relations suffering enough from the provocation of illegal immigration, without idiots in Mexico exacerbating the situation? You should be decrying provocations from both sides rather than acting as an apologist for Absolut the provocateur.

  • yave begnet
    April 10, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Ramesh Ponnuru and Mark Krikorian–notable proponents of additional restrictions on immigration–seem to know what “restrictionist” means. Read those articles and maybe they will shed some light on the term, which is widely used in the immigration debate. Everyone else seems to know what it means.

  • Frank
    April 11, 2008 at 9:44 am

    So restricting immigration that takes into account fair quotas for all countries, our population growth, job availability and assimilation probability is not a desirable and resonable approach on it?

  • brenda
    April 14, 2008 at 1:47 am

    I think this is different than “just a joke.” I think absolut new just like many other advertisers know that there is no such thing as bad press. Look, they got a million times more press and attention than with any other add. They got their product out to millions of household. This controversy was part of a keen and purposeful advertising strategy. Well it worked.
    Shame on them for exploiting and profiting from race tension and agitating the divide between U.S citizens and Mexican immigrants.

  • brenda
    April 14, 2008 at 1:56 am

    oh, and I get so sick of hearing the “press two for spanish” complaint. Seriously, people, every country I have gone to lets me “press two for English.” I lived in South Korea and road signs were written on top in Korean and on bottom in English. I didn’t see a bunch of germans in the subway bitching about having English on the city map. For the love of god, grow up.

  • Challis
    April 14, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Hran: (and Frank)
    wow, that is quite a scenario you’ve concocted there. Do I think that people who would consider themselves the “true Mexicans’ would be upset? yes.
    The idea the I am a “true American” or that my husband is a “true Mexican” is not something that we think; that strikes me as a very racist way of thinking. With that way of thinking, my children will not be ‘real’ anything, right? or does it depend on which country they will be born in?
    I guess my family and I will just call ourselves citizens of the world, and with that we can have a more inclusive view of the world and it’s inhabitants. I will confidently teach my children that the ‘yellow nationalists’ are part of an extreme group who should hold no more significanmce than their counterparts, the “American elite”.

  • Frank
    April 14, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Challis, I didn’t understand a word you were saying.

  • Challis
    April 24, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Frank, if you didn’t understand, then you aren’t reading all the comments. sorry for the confusion.
    it was a direct reply to the scenario that Hran posted, I just included you because of your April 9th post about ‘invasion’.

Comments are closed.