Because I am a conservative American of Mexican descent, liberals and leftists often accuse me of not understanding racism. However, I have seen the evolution of people's efforts for justice and equality, turn into a political strategy of keeping people frightened, dumb, and poor.
I was five years old when I saw my mom, and I denied service at a restaurant in Floresville, TX, because we were "Mexicans." I also saw the restaurant owner apologize and provide us a free lunch the next day after some local white leaders heard of the incident.
In 1975, during my summer internship in Washington, D.C., I was told by black civil rights leaders and government employees that Hispanics/Latinos did not deserve "civil rights protections" because they had not suffered as blacks have. The competition for jobs and other social benefits between the two groups continues today, and it is based on who the biggest victim.
In 1981, while working in the Reagan Administration, I was told by Puerto Ricans that because they suffered from colonialism and racism, they deserved more "civil rights protections" than other Latinos.
In 1984, I was told by a Hispanic "leader" that Americans of Latino needed to play the race game and be classified or lumped together as "Hispanics" or "Latinos" to offset black political power.
In 1985, I heard several Americans of Mexican descent who were community and labor leaders oppose the idea of an amnesty for illegal aliens. They spoke out against "Mojodos" taking Mexican-Americans' jobs and getting civil rights protections. They said an amnesty rewarded illegal immigration, and doing so would only encourage later.
In 1992, in the aftermath of the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, I heard black community leaders demand more government money for their programs. Ironically, South Central L.A. has been receiving large amounts of government money since the 1965 Watts riots. Even more ironic, is how they complained about Asian-owned businesses in the neighborhoods, and excluded Hispanic concerns from their agenda.
In 2019, leftists and liberals often tell me that I don't understand racism. However, I have observed political race-baiters who want power and use a "tribal" approach with a message of envy, hate, and victimization, to gain support and keep it. Keeping people frightened, dumb, and poor is their political strategy.
Instead of giving people economic freedoms so they can grow, move up, and move out, minority political bosses want to "protect their communities." These bosses preach against the "American Dream" and scare their constituents.
Today, I understand that the worst nightmare for a political boss is for people to be politically and economically independent. People who are concerned with their "personal" freedom, not racial or group unity, are dangerous to race-baiting political bosses.