Showing posts from July, 2018

Excuse Me, I Am Not Your Wetback

A 1993 hunger strike at UCLA that led to creation of the César E. Chávez Center for Chicana and Chicano Studies was modeled on a 1987 student action, says Dr. Álvaro Huerta. Photo © 1993 by Abraham Torres/ Editorial by Dr. Álvaro Huerta To borrow—more like crib—from the great James Baldwin’s writings and speeches, I declare to America’s racists that I am not your “wetback.” I am a man. I am a Chicano. I am a proud son of Mexican immigrants—the salt of the earth. I say these words from a place of privilege, having earned advanced degrees from world-class universities. These include a Ph.D. (city & regional planning) from UC Berkeley, as well as an M.A. (urban planning) and a B.A. (history)—both from UCLA. I also say these words because my personal and family backgrounds were indeed plagued by abject poverty, violence and a sense of hopelessness. I spent the earliest years of my life in a Mexican slum (Colonia Libertad, Tijuana, Baja California) and my form