Los Angeles Times March 25, 2007

Assimilation plays no part in this history lesson

By Bob Sipchen (Monday's column, March 26, 2007)

The 400-foot-long mural decorating two outside walls at Theodore Roosevelt High presents a colorful depiction of the rape, slaughter and enslavement of North America's indigenous people by genocidal Europeans.

On the wall of a building inside the chain-link fence, an oversized image of the school's namesake monocled Roughrider waves a sword heroically.

It's an interesting clash of historical perspectives, and I'll use it to poke at the question of how we should be teaching history now that Los Angeles public schools are overwhelmingly Latino.

I stumbled on the beautifully painted call for the descendants of Aztecs and other native cultures to reclaim their continent while hiking around the well-secured Boyle Heights campus in search of an entrance. Now I stand drinking in its full effect with artist Nelyollotl Toltecatl and the man he credits with enlightening him to North America's true history, Olin Tezcatlipoca.

I tracked these two down through an odd little website, http://www.stolencontinent.org . The massive mural — it's more than 18 feet tall at its peak — is a project of "the Mexica Movement," a small but disproportionately outraged cadre whose rhetoric pushes hard against the boundary between political expression and bigotry. A note to a "European," for example, proclaims: "Your people are … inferior to us in your morals, ethics, and humanity — by your collective actions of the last 500 years."

The mural, like the website, offers a blunt assessment of history. If the hundreds of students who swarm by each day looked up from their iPods and cellphones, they couldn't help but notice the churning stream of skulls in the wake of Columbus' Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. They would read that Europeans used smallpox like a WMD and that "Spaniards took babies from their mothers breast and smashed their heads against rocks." They would learn that the Aztecs and other civilizations of native North America were among the most successful on Earth but that "this greatness and wealth was stolen from us by Europeans."

Roosevelt High these days is 99.1% Latino. Not that the Mexica Movement has any patience with that term. "We reject the right of Europeans to define who we are," the website says. "We reject their occupation of our continent and their occupation of our DNA."

Roosevelt's principal, Cecilia Quemada, has not returned any of the messages I've left in many months of calling. Richard Chavez, with the local district office, was more polite. He said he had been an assistant principal at the school when a community member first floated the idea for a modestly scaled mural.

In 1996, Toltecatl, who then went by a name he now sees as a vestige of Spanish atrocities, set to work on an uncontroversial depiction of Chicano history, complete with a tribute to assimilation. He was perhaps a year and several dozen linear feet into the artwork when he attended a lecture by Tezcatlipoca, whose own views of history had changed late in life, when he began to read radical reinterpretations of the American conquest, including "American Holocaust."

That book, by David E. Stannard, teaches something most historians dismiss as egregious overstatement: that "95% of our people were killed by Europeans," Tezcatlipoca says. "I'm 57 years old. I grew up in East L.A. I didn't know any of this as a kid."

Under Tezcatlipoca's guidance, the artist spent the next several years working day and night to paint a less magnanimous vision of the past.

I tend to hear two types of complaints about how history is taught at this moment when Latinos (er, Mexicas?) are consolidating power in L.A.

On the one hand there's the father who called to say his son was humiliated when a teacher yanked down a map of North America and said any white students in the class should be ashamed of the atrocities their ancestors had inflicted on the continent.

Then there are the students, including many I met outside Roosevelt, who say that they've learned nothing in their years of public education about the accomplishments of people from Mexico or Central America.

Sal Castro helped lead the Los Angeles student walkouts of 1968, in part to protest the sense of inferiority schools instilled in non-white students. The retired teacher says history texts are barely more inclusive now than they were almost four decades back.

"We have no heroes," he says.

He rattles off dozens of Mexican Americans who deserve a place in America's official pantheon but remain largely ignored. He quotes the late Times reporter Ruben Salazar: "No man can find a true expression for living who is ashamed of himself or his people."

As my two strikingly pleasant Mexica guides and I buttonhole the high schoolers streaming by the mural, I'm struck by how few seem to have given it more than a glance, by how few demonstrate much grasp of any history — Latino, U.S., world, whatever.

UCLA history professor emeritus Gary Nash, who directs the National Center for History in the Schools, is on an intellectual rampage to rectify this. He warns against teaching only "smiley face" view of the past.

"Do not try to skirt the dark, tragic episodes," he says. "If you do, you will only produce cynics. If you do, when [high school students] get to college and learn a more honest approach, they will say, 'Why did you tell all these lies?' "

He also warns, however, against teaching "victims' history … the story of people who are exploited…. We prefer to teach struggle and survival and getting

American society to live up to its ideals, the agenda set down in the era of the American revolution. It's a much more honest and useful history."

I ask Tezcatlipoca about this shared struggle, if there's not something to teaching students that America is a melting pot — e pluribus unum — the one place where people from different backgrounds can live together and try to work things out without obsessing on the past.

He doesn't buy it. He notes that Jews haven't forgotten their Holocaust. He says Los Angeles remains horribly segregated.

"Not where I live," I say.

The homes on my small Mt. Washington loop are inhabited by three African American households, two Asian households, a Latino household and several families whose DNA is largely, for lack of a better term, "European."

We get along. Perhaps because of shared values learned in history classes.

I like our neighborhood. I hope we don't have to give it back.



Photos by Janine Kahn (Note - Click to enlarge.)

Question of the Week: How should schools teach history now that most Los Angeles students are Latino?

March 26, 2007 in School Me, The Column | Permalink


first and foremost, he or she who lives to tell the story is what is considered history. since europeans came to discover a fully occupied land in the late 1400's its no surprise that their descendents and the brainwashed coconuts and oreo's are in an uproar of THE TRUTH being taught to those who need to learn THE TRUTH in order to be set free from the OPPRESSION and CULTURAL DISINTERGRATION that occured when EUROPEANS came here and STOLE everything and claimed it to be thier GOD GIVEN RIGHTS. I was fortunate to learn the truth from a very early age and can truly say that the TRUTH has set me free. I DO NOT HATE WHITE PEOPLE FOR WHAT THEY DID, BUT I MOST CERTAINLY KNOW WHAT ATROCITIES THESE ORIGINAL TERRORISTS WERE CAPABLE OF; I ALSO KNOW WHAT ATROCITIES HAVE OCCURED IN THE PRESENT THAT are instrinsically connected to COLONIALISM and the continuance of the FOUNDING FATHERS TERRORIST ACTS. SO WHAT if some HS students are learning the truth of part of AMERICAN HISTORY. If most of you that are incapable of swallowing the truth and live steeped in historical LIES could only see that for the last 500 years all we have learned is how great and glorious and wonderful the WHITE MAN was especially at THANKS FOR TAKING AKA THANKSGIVING. If only we had been able to live in a world where we could all share ideas and move forward to a better future. i guess maybe that's what John Lennon hoped when he penned Imagine....unfortunately much of American History is nothing but a bunch of lies that make all brown and black people evil, primitive and backwards and make the victor the owner of the not only "inherited wealth" but the ever wonderful association of all that is white, pure and clean....please stop lying to yourselves like you are doing with the failed war in Iraq. accept the truth and STOP BEING AFRAID OF BEING WIPED OUT OF EXISTENCE, cause last time i checked whiteness usually disappears when mixed with black and brown!

Posted by: The Truth Shall Set You Free | April 24, 2007 at 06:06 PM

I am one of those college students who heard one version of history growing up in the 60s and 70s. When I went to college, just in these past couple of years I have learned a lot of history was just a fairy tale. We do tend to gloss over the attrocities such as the destruction of Native American tribes and other groups. I learned just last semester about Martin Luther King Jr's speech against Vietnam and his plan to redistribute wealth. After living in East LA, I have to say that the writer of the article is naive and uninformed if he believes LA is integrated. It is the most segregated city I have ever lived in. In East LA there was a 50% graduation rate from high school. Our schools lose our children's interest because they do not actively draw them into the drama of their history. Yes some of it is terrible. Some of it is wonderful. We have heros. I think that some groups on both sides go to extremes. Assilimation is not what minority groups want, they want recognition and their cultural diversity to be honored. They want to maintain distinct cultural identities while participating in American life. Let's celebrate the heros of all cultures and build up our Latino/a youth with the truth about it all.

Posted by: Julia Acuna | April 08, 2007 at 08:36 PM


I think that even though the majority of students there are Latino [majority are Nican Tlaca, Indigenous people, not Hispanic or Latino Mexica Movement comment], they should all be taught history as it was... The land here was either purchased or won in war! not stolen, not taken! The true history should be taught and by the way, also teach them that they are "part European" [including the 30 to 50% that are full blood, you monster Mexica Movement comment] as well and should't be "haters" against anyone!!!  [we should continue to be crazy in love with our masters Mexica Movement comment]

Posted by: melanie | April 04, 2007 at 11:54 AM


"How should schools teach history now that most Los Angeles students are Latino?"

So the students are not American?

Posted by: Ernest | April 03, 2007 at 07:28 AM


The Mural is cuturally appropriate. Regardlessly of how one sided it may seem. It shows a memory of "lost time." where suddenly "americans" go from heroes to "where did the indians go?" It shows a part of history that is touchie and not taught in school for what ever reason.

It must also be noted that this is not the only such mural in the "hood." At the edge of my block spans a half block long mural that is some 30 years old that spans the same thoughts.

My point is that we cannot just simply ignore what happened. No shinny happy light and ignore it. It may not be pleasant, but it must be stated, shown and explored, in some form or manor.

Posted by: Jason G. | March 28, 2007 at 10:46 PM

How should schools teach history now that most Los Angeles students are Latino?

How 'bout teaching it in English?

Posted by: Jeffrey Sherman | March 28, 2007 at 09:03 PM

As a practical matter I ask rhetorically when we are supposed to teach our students about the pre-Columbian history of the indiginous peoples of this hemisphere when I learned about them in fourth or fifth grade or during high school in place of U.S. history requirements?

I certainly do not favor the teaching of a "cheerleader" type of history, where only the happy and triumphant aspects of U.S. history are discussed. Nor do I support teaching essentially, "a history of American racism and genocide, from Plymouth Rock to today." I fail to see how either one prepares anybody to think beyond simplistic terms about themselves or other people.

I also think it is a huge mistake to view the study of certain periods and events in U.S. history as "European-American obsessions" such as the Civil War, World War II, and so on. All American students need to know about these events and what their consequences have been.

Just because you are of Mexican ancestry, you shouldn't be interested in the rise and defeat of Hitler? or the causes of the Civil War and how regular people living at the time viewed the war, and what constitutional amendments were ratified after the war? If your parents are from Korea, should you ignore learning about the early years of the country because no Koreans wrote the Federalist Papers?

There is a base of American history that all students need to learn regardless of where they live, warts and all. But what they don't need are polemics and agendas that merely pit "my group against your group" or that foster an uncritical new view of history in the name of self-esteem.

And this history, if it is honest, has to recognize the fact that Enlightenment political philosophers from countries in (gasp!) Europe heavily influenced the thinking of our country's founders. Maybe it would have been better if the country in the 1780s was as inclusive as a Benneton ad of the 1980s, but it wasn't. Whose country was?

Posted by: vandelayexim | March 27, 2007 at 01:34 AM

You know Sheryl, I think these people would rather have their ancestors, culture and land back in place of their "right to complain." Do you think that Indian tribes did not practice forms of democracy?

Wow, Sheryl how generous of you to point out that they can complain without "fear of reprisal" as if they should be kissing our feet because of that fact.

And since I am a history teacher, here's a little history for you based just on the 19th century, leaving out the horrendous enslavement/rape/complete annhilation of the Arawak Indians within just a few years. I'm sure you would have loved to have your hands cut off if you did not collect enough gold for the Spaniards in exchange for the right of the paltry number of your decendents to "complain later."

But I digress. Let's fast forward to the 1830's shall we when the Marshall Court said that the federal government had no right to force the Cherokee Indians of Georgia to move. Andrew Jackson's response to this decision was to challenge Marshall to enforce the decision. Then, in violation of the Supreme Court order, he forcibly moved the Indians. Many died while on the trek. The Cherokees were some of the most literate and educated Native Americans. But you know what? It wouldn't have been justified had they not been.

Then as land hungry whites continued to move west, they forced the Indians onto smaller and smaller pieces of land. Since they did not like their tradition of owning land communally, the Dawes Severalty Act was passed "allotting" so many acres of land to INDIVIDUAL INDIANS. What's so bad about that you ask? They gave the worst land to Native Americans and on top of that, many white couples adopted orphaned Indian children just so they could get their hands on the allotment land. Hence, the continuing loss of Indian lands.

Then when writers began documenting the horrible treatment of Native Americans "Christian" people began to feel bad. Their solution was forced assimilation ie boarding schools for Indian children where they were stripped of all Indian culture. 50% died in the boarding schools. If the parents refused to send their children to the schools, corrupt Indian Affairs officials would simply withhold food supplies.

And I think you are capable of looking up the Sand Creek Massacre by yourself. What Colonel Chivington and his men did to women and children, I cannot repeat here.
But I'm sure their decendents won't mind because we have been so magnanamous as to allow them the right to complain.

But you know, God Bless America, These Colors don't run , America is a just nation, and whatever other cliche you can delude yourself with- go for it.

Posted by: ellen | March 26, 2007 at 10:03 PM


This hate filled wall should be painted over immediatly. It is racist to teach people that a child with white skin should be ashamed of himself for his ancestory. [but it's ok to have our children be ashamed of themselves, even though they know nothng to the true glory and pride or of the crimes of the Europeans.  What is not true of the monstrous history of Europeans on this continent?  Mexica Movement comment] Everyone has been discriminated against at some point.[this is so monstrous to say, by anyone of the white race, to equate themselves with the racism against Africans or Nican Tlaca (Indigenous peopel) Mexica Movement comment]  Most of the Europeans who came here, came to escape persecution. [ and they immediately started killing and persecuting our people  Mexica Movement comment ] Stop being victims [stop victimizing us by continuing to hold our land and all of its wealth in your possesion, and they we will actually stop being victims Mexica Movement comment ] and start appreciating each other for whats inside.

Posted by: Tom Magdaleno | March 26, 2007 at 07:22 PM

Number One: No group should be promoting a victim complex to any children. [tell that to the Jewish people, but you won't dare because they know how to protect themselves.  Our people are not in the same position yet as the Jews, but we will.  And it's easy to say what you say if you have always been on the part of the oppressor of African and Nican Tlaca people Mexica Movement comment ]  That doesn't mean all history is goodness and light, but one is not born inherently unworthy.

Number Two: It is impossible to teach all the history everyone would like in the course of twelve years of grade school. Students should be pushed by ALL adult members of their community (parents, teachers, neighbors) to READ!! Then students can go to the library, bookstore, internet, and read as much history of whatever era interests them at the moment. [sneaky monster, this is your way of saying it shouldn't be taught at all Mexica Movement comment]

Posted by: Carol | March 26, 2007 at 05:51 PM



My great grandmother was 100per cent Cherokee Indian. On my Dad's side we have Cherokee English Irish and probably Heinz 57 everything. My mother's parents spoke Polish and a little German [in other words you're mostly white and can pass for white Mexica Movement comment] . they came from Austria to the US in 1895. The Polish were treated badly by the Italians in NY etc. We all can gripe about all the bad things done to our ancestors 100 200 300 400 500 yrs ago.[Were 95% of everybody's ancestors killed, 70 to 100 million people killed, and did everybody have 100% of their land and wealth stolen----you racist monster belittling the crimes of Europeans and equating their to lesser injustices to ours Mexica Movement comment ] Get over it. [ this is the identifier of a racist, this is their favorite cry "get over it" Mexica Movement comment ] This is 2007. I see blacks driving BMWs Cadillacs. I see Hispanics filling up their Escalades and really cool 1962 Chevys. Get over it. This is the USA capitalism etc I see Mexicans buying and selling motorcycles, cars, paying with rolls of 100 $ bills. This is a good thing. Capitalism is superior to Castro's Cuba and socialism Marxism etc. Ask any person over 40 or 50 who came here from Cuba [yeah, ask the gusanos who were exploiting the Africans of Cuba.  Yeah, Blacks are all in BMWs and Cadilacs----you monster  Mexica Movement comment]. Do you like Hugo Chavez and his type of govt? Go live in Venezuela. Do not bring your type of govt here and ruin America. [why don't you go back to your homeland of England you monster Mexica Movement comment ] Do not try to make the US into Mexico [Mexico is the way it is because it is run by Spaniards.  You can see how we ran our cities by reading the reports of the Spaniards themselves about how orderly and clean and beautiful our cities were Mexica Movement comment]. If Mexico is so great go there and stay there . Do not make the US a 3d world country like Mexico or any other 3d world..Thank you very much C wilson age 55 born in china town downtown Los Angeles 1951 [and what does any of this have to do with the article on the mural.  You white supremacist monster  Mexica Movement comment ]

Posted by: Craig Wilson | March 26, 2007 at 05:23 PM


While everyone's complaining about the horrible white people who ruined their "pure" culture, let me just remind you to KEEP in mind that the democracy and freedoms that allow you to complain are SOLELY the product of that dreaded Greco-Roman-Euro driven history and mindset  [This is an out and out lie.  Greeks and Romans had a very limited democracy and in only short periods of their history.  The majority of the people in Athens were not allowed to vote.  And here on this continent we had better democracy than anything in England, Spain, or France.  This is why proper history has to be taught, because of morons like this person who goes on and on based on biased and white supremacist history books Mexica Movement comment ] Whatever your poor, sad, oppressed victim story might be--my particular ancestral victimhood is Choctaw in nature, and includes that smallpox scheme--the simple fact is that YOU OWE YOUR ABILITY TO COMPLAIN WITHOUT FEAR OF REPRISAL to the philosophies and intentions of those European monsters--men who clearly didnt' practice what they preached, but who at least held some higher standard to strive toward and that they impelled future generations to try to live up to as well. Those standards are the reason that pretty much the rest of the world is trying to get here--INCLUDING the horrible Europeans.

There was nothing remotely resembling organized democracy, freedom of thought or speech, religion, etc., in any civilization on this planet until the Athenians came up with it. [ again the lie ] The concept of personal freedom and personal choice is essentially Celtic [Celtic now.  Whites invented everything....lies.  But don't believe me.  Do some research based on books written in the last 20 years, not 50 years ago Mexica Movement comment ]. The Renaissance only took place in a very small area of Italy, and the Enlightenment that was its' eventual child was European.

The "heritage" that this kind of nonsense claims to be trying to "reclaim" was never all that and a bag of chips. [ What at monster.  Racist monster.  Lies and more lies follow Mexica Movement comment ] Every single one of these "heritages" had institutionalized slavery, was religiously subject to the whim of an arbitrary ruler/ruling class rather than the rule of law [ and in Europe you had democracy in 1492, and TVs and cars too  Mexica Movement comment ] and in many cases, included ritualized slaughter of fellow human beings, not to mention cannablism.

You want to talk about the dark stuff, then let's talk about the dark stuff. BUT LET'S TALK ABOUT ALL OF IT, by all the gods anyone ever worshipped!

This country isn't perfect, but it's better by a number of orders of magnitude than what it replaced. [ this by a so-called Choctaw.  I guess she's happy all of the Jews are mostly gone from Europe and that Turkey got rid of most of its Armenians Mexica Movement comment ]

And it's time to get back to emphasizing the higher standards that got us here in the first place, and not just in the classroom.

Personally, I find all this History of Victimization boring and stupid. [ This is why you are a white supremacist.  You have no intelligence and you have no hear or conscience Mexica Movement comment ]  All it does drive partisan/racist crap from all sides. And when this is the kind of utter bull**** that's being propounded by school administrators and teachers, it's no wonder that students can't manage to pass high school exit exams.

You know the thing that really makes me angry about it, though? This kind of divisive crap always starts with some falling of the left side of the bus nutbar academic like Stannard, who I'm quite certain was only looking for a provocative "theory" in order to scam a bunch of university/foundation/government grants to fund his navel gazing, instead of getting a real job. [ You are one amazing piece of excrement.  May you receive what you give: lies and misery! ]

Posted by: Sheryl | March 26, 2007 at 12:42 PM

The teaching of history should not depend on the populations of students. All students should be taught the triumphs and the atrocities committed by previous civilizations. It is only in teaching this history that the truth can be learned. Whether the truth is composed of the atrocities committed by Hitler on the Jews or the atrocities committed by the Spanish on the indigenous peoples or the atrocities committed by the KKK on the African Americans does not matter. What matters is that ALL students learn ALL histories. There is a message to be learned from a truthful retelling of history - it is by avoiding the hatred and slaughter of the past through education and collaboration we can avoid the re-creation of such exercises in the future. It is the most important lesson children can learn and it depends on learning the truths of all histories - ignoring some only serves to create an uneducated and hate-filled future.

Posted by: mf | March 26, 2007 at 12:12 PM

It amazes me that in this day and age people still think that American history is a history in and too itself. One poster states "We should take back our country?" My question is when did European-Americans ever lose their country?
History should reflect all groups involved. I am African American and went through college without hearing about soldiers that fought in EVERY "American War" since the American Revolution. I also never heard about the many contributions of African Americans to technology that we now use.
Now as a teacher, I see that we have not changed our text books yet. Now we see that the people who are not being served in this rendition of history are the same students who have not been served for 500 years. Racism is an institution and as such, continues to be a part of American society. Until we can create a fair history that depicts European atrocities and conquests, then we will always have problems and skeptics to our version of history.
Students respond better in the classroom when they see themselves in the curriculum. America needs to get past this idea that its history is brave and coourageous, and tell the real stories that affect those whose skin has color. This is our true history; this is American History.

Posted by: Bruce Bean | March 26, 2007 at 10:53 AM

For a similar 70-year-old culture clash, check out the Orozco murals at Dartmouth College's Baker Library -- rich kids studying in front of capitalists with moneybags.

Posted by: Mark Regan | March 26, 2007 at 10:02 AM

History in the United States should be taught as it has always been taught  [ as lies upon lies Mexica Movement comment ]. If Latinos or any other ethnic group don't like American history they should leave the country. They should NOT be here if they don't like the history and don't want to be AMERICANS!!! We need to take our country back. [ No, it is we who need to take our continent back Mexica Movement comment ] Too many neighborhoods look like third world hellholes because they want to live here exactly as they did where they came from. Do we want our children and grandchildren growing up in a third world cesspool???? I. for one, DO NOT!!!!!  [ You of course are hiding behind all of this the fact that you want AN ALL WHITE colony of Europeans on what you call America. Mexica Movement comment ]

Posted by: belcurry | March 26, 2007 at 09:58 AM

Why shouldn't Mexicans and Central Americans learn about their own histories, the same way that European-Americans take for granted that they will learn about the foreign histories of The Romans, Greeks, and Medeival England?

Why shouldn't LA kids learn that Europeans killed millions of their ancestors off? The Jews learn the same thing for their own kids.

LA schools are not majority Latino. They are overwhelmingly Mexican/Central American. These people are in their vast majority overwhelmingly of indigenous descent, not European. Many also speak English but we do not label them as "Brittanics" or "Anglos." Most of them are descendents of the cities which fueled thriving civilizations prior to Europeans. Much of this pre-European heritage continues to survive in the modern culture of Mexicans and Central Americans (e.g place-names, foods, genetics).

The article laments about "obsession on the past" as if European-Americans do not already do this through Eurocentric history textbooks, the History Channel, Ancestry.com, The Renaissance Faires, Celtic Fairs, Scottish Highland Games, Civil War reenactments, vacations to Europe, monuments, plaques, parades, holidays, statues, ad infinitum...

Mexicans and Central Americans do not perform even 1% of the historical obsession that European-Americans take for granted as their birthright. The European-American "obsession on the past" comprises a multi-million dollar industry. For example, Rick Steves on PBS hosts a popular series of travel shows and guided tours that focus exclusively on Europe and its heritage.

Should you visit any major bookstore, you will find whole sections dedicated to European-American "obsessions" with The Civil War, World War II, and a wide variety of sub-themes in European and European-American topics.

As a matter of course, an entrenched European-American “obsession on the past” forms the core curricula of orthodox textbooks, history documentaries, and blockbuster movies.

The Jewish people of Los Angeles have an elaborate Museum of Tolerance dedicated to "obsession on the past", remembering the atrocities committed upon their people by Europeans. This Jewish museum dwarfs the Roosevelt High mural several times over in size and funding.

So, Mexicans have a history mural in East Los Angeles. That is nothing compared to the immense European-American preoccupation with their own past.

Los Angeles' children should be taught the history of the indigenous civilizations that preceded Europeans on this hemisphere, the same way that Egyptian history is taught and acknowledged as being a great world civilization.

L.A. kids should also know of European genocide against them in the same way that L.A. Jews know of their own European-committed Holocaust.

Are Mexicans any less human than the Jews?

Posted by: Manuel Alderete | March 26, 2007 at 09:55 AM


Tolteca is entitled to his opinions. But I wager he speaks European languages, English and maybe a little Spanish and not nahuatl, the language of the aztecs [this is due to your European ancestors working to destroy our languages and our leadership, to say nothing of killing 95% of our population Mexica Movement comment ]. And I'll bet he never mentions the fact that other Mexican indian tribes like the tlaxcalans allied themselves with the Spanish -otherwise 500 Spaniards could not possibly have won the battle for Mexico [spaniards won because of the use of biological warfare.  Not because of guns or allies or because they were the superior white man, which they are not Mexica Movement commment ]. What I do not understand is why LAUSD officialdom allows the radicalization of their walls to spread this story of victimization  [ but it's ok to spread the story the oppressors who victimize Mexica Movement comment ]. People who live in the United States should study the history of the United States. If Tolteca and his ilk find that pyschologically harmful, perhaps living in Mexico is the answer. [We are on our own land, perhaps it is you who should go back where you came from:  Europe.  Mexica Movement comment ]

Posted by: mhr | March 26, 2007 at 08:06 AM


FACTS  Y O U   S H O U L D   K N O W !

MEXICA    Mexica (Meh-shee-kah) is the original Nahuatl (the so-called Aztec language) way of pronouncing Mexican, Mexicano, and Chicano and Chicana. The Mexica was the last of our great Anahuac civilizations (1325 to 1521).  Mexica is the only one of our cultures and civilizations which has enough surviving material from which we can reconstruct our Anahuac nation.  The Mexica were victims of an ethnocide that left no one today who can authentically call themselves Mexica, much like in Italy there is no one who can authentically call themselves Roman.  Therefore, the rest of us who have lost all of our civilization identity and culture or tribal identity and culture, and even those of us who have a civilization or tribal identity, can and should embrace Mexica identity as a collective identity for all of us that we use in order to reconstruct our Anahuac nation and as a means of Liberation.  Mexica does not negate Maya or Huichol or Comanche or Shoshone or any of our other Nican Tlaca (Indigenous) civilizations or cultures.  Mexica is our point of unity and our means of reconstructing all of our nation.

ANAHUAC    Anahuac (Ah-nah-wak) is the true name of our nation. We are all part of the Anahuac civilization that gave us the Olmeca, Zapoteca, Teotihuacan-Toltec, Maya and Mexica civilizations. The Mexica part of our Anahuac heritage is how we can reconstruct ourselves as a Nican Tlaca (Indigenous) nation, as the Anahuac Nation. We have historic, cultural, linguistic, and racial factors that make us one Anahuac nation, which includes all of our civilizations and cultures. The Mexica heritage gives us a history, language, theology, and study base from which we can rebuild all of our Anahuac heritage.  We are a beautiful mosaic of civilizations and cultures throughout this whole continent that Europeans call "America".  But this is not "America", this is Anahuac.

NICAN TLACA    Nican Tlaca is our Nahuatl (Mexica) language way of saying "We the people here", in reference to all of us who are Indigenous to Cemanahuac (what Europeans call "the Western Hemisphere") and more specific to Anahuac which is the northern part of Cemanahuac (which is falsely called "North America"). Nican Tlaca refers to all of the people of our race in the "Western Hemisphere".  We are not Indians or indios because those are the people of a nation called India.  We are also not "Native American" because we are not related to Amerigo Vespucci, nor do we accept the concept of "Native" because it is always used in a derogatory manner.  Notice how there are no "Native" Europeans.

NOT MESTIZO    Mestizo is a racist term imposed on us by the Europeans.  Mestizo (Mixed-blood)as an identity denies us our full humanity, it enslaves us to the European world.  Full-blood or Mixed-blood we are still Nican Tlaca. Being Mixed-blood (so-called Mestizo) does not stop us from being Nican Tlaca, no matter how "white" one looks. The shades and physical looks of our Mixed-blood people are just scars from the rape of our nation. The scars do not define us! Our history, our heritage, and our continent ARE what defines us.

"CENTRAL AMERICA"    "Central America" was artificially created in 1823. Before that date we were all part of Anahuac. Anahuac includes Mexico, "Central America", Canada and the so-called U.S. We are not "Central Americans", therefore we use that term it quotes to reject it; while at the same time we know that most of our people are ignorant to its racist and colonial terms and that is the only way that they will know what we are talking about.  Much like us using the English or Spanish language, we use them in order to communicate with our people but we know that they are not our languages.  If we wrote the whole website just in Nahuatl or Maya the majority of our people would not understand a word of our website.

NOT HISPANIC    Hispanics are the Spaniards, the people of Spain. We are not Spaniards! We are Mexica! We are the people of Anahuac.  We are the Nican Tlaca (Indigenous people) of this continent, the true owners of this continent.  We are not Spaniards or the property of Spain.  Calling ourselves "Hispanic" denies us our true Nican Tlaca Anahuac identity, history and heritage. It enslaves us to the interests of the "Spanish" white world. Calling our people Hispanic is racist.  Calling our people Hispanic is like calling the African descent people in the U.S. Britannic because they have British names and because they speak English.

NOT LATINO    Latinos are the Latins: Southern Europeans--the Spaniards, French, and Portuguese. Calling ourselves "Latino" makes us cultural slaves of Europeans. Like Hispanic, Latino is cultural suicide. It is cultural genocide. It betrays our true Nican Tlaca ancestors.

NOT RAZA    "Raza" is not an identity. "Raza" is basically the same thing as using the Eurocentric term "Mestizo"--it takes pride in Spanish blood (what little or nothing that we may have) and puts shame in our Nican Tlaca blood and culture. Calling ourselves "Raza" is a way of saying, "I'm not an 'Indio', I have some, mostly, Spanish blood". In Mexico "Dia de la Raza" is celebrated on October 12---Columbus Day. Imagine that! We are celebrating the rape of our mothers, the rape of our nation, the enslavement of our people.

EUROPEAN, WHITE AND CRIOLLO are basically the same thing. These are "White" people who are on our continent. Europeans can call themselves "Canadian" or "American" but their homeland is still Europe and they are still trespassing on our continent. A Criollo is someone of "authentic Spanish-European" descent who is still on our land exploiting our people, our resources and our wealth. GENOCIDE as defined by Raphael Lemkin, "...is the planned annihilation [killing] of a national [Mexican] or racial group by a variety of actions [biological warfare, oppression, enslavement] aimed at undermining the foundations essential to the survival of the group [Nican Tlaca of Anahuac] as a group.

MEXICA MOVEMENT is leading the way with actions that defend our people, actions that provide a vision for the liberation of our people, actions that confront the racism against us and the occupation of our continent by Europeans. We declare ourselves independent from the Hispanic-Latino European colonialism and racism that has enslaved us for over 500 years.


1) Study this document and go to our website for more information:  www.mexica-movement.org

2) Read the recommended books listed below under BIBLIOGRAPHY.

3) If you can't get your books from your local library buy them from the powells.com

4) Share your knowledge! Make good quality copies of this material and pass it on.

5) Study the materials and the website. If you live in the Los Angeles area call us at (323) 981-0352 so you can visit us, join us in activities, or to become a supporter. You can also donate money to support our movement (we are a non-profit organization).

6) Once you understand our philosophy, and you have found the courage to change your life, become a part of the Mexica Movement.



None of these books are perfect, but they are the best of the best that are out there.  Read these with caution.  These books are from 90 to 100% right on the history and issues of our people.

(Read in this order, please)

1 Daily Life of the Aztecs by Jacques Soustelle

2 Mexico by Michael Coe

3 Mexico Profundo by Guillermo Bonfil Batalla

4 American Holocaust by David E. Stannard

5 Anahuac Book by Olin Tezcatlipoca  located on this website  click here

6 Year 501 by Noam Chomsky

7 Colonizer's Model of the World by J.M. Blaut

8 Mexica Handbook by Olin Tezcatlipoca

9 Mexico's Indigenous Past by Lopez Austin and Lopez Lujan

10 American Indian Contributions to the World by

Emory Dean Keoke & Kay Marie Porterfield


11Latin America: From Colonization To Globalization by Noam Chomsky

12Encyclopedia of World History 6th Edition by Peter Stam

13 Oxford Atlas of History 2002 by Oxford Press

14 Course of Mexican History by Michael C. Meyer and William L. Sherman

15Oxford History of Mexico 2000 by Michael Meyer and William Beezley

16 In the Language of Kings by Miguel Leon-Portilla

17 Skywatchers by Anthony F. Aveni

18 Flayed God (out of print, get used) by Roberta and Peter Markman





Just type in the title you are looking for



CONTACT US: mexicamovement@sbcglobal.net
(323) 981-0352 / blocked i.d. calls will not be answered


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