They peddle the documentary DVDs
like political leaflets, presenting them proudly
as they solicit support and monetary contributions
for the cause.
They are vending a symbol of gender subjugation;
a film that is stained with allegations of sexual assault;
assertions that were muffled; claims that were
minimized; and cries that were choked in the name
of the cause.
They have contaminated the cause and
have even attempted to hijack it.
Does the end justify the means?
No, not here!
We were all clear
about our cause.
It was wrapped around keeping our precious
Mexican American Studies courses that
enable our youth to gain relevant knowledge
to successfully catapult forward in a
Students were and are at the
center of the cause; at least for us.
After all, what we learn is empty
without knowing who we are.
MAS courses allowed all content that
was learned to stream through a perspective
that brought definition to it.
We honored one another (In lak ech)
in our learning spaces.
The film was meant to tell the story of this cause,
in truth (panche be) through student and teacher voices.
The film was meant to offer protection to our youth from
further oppression through our united voices.
The film was meant to help rescue our perspective.
All of these voiced intentions were merely propaganda
upon which nothing but exploitation ultimately took place.
The intentioned promises were all broken.
We knew that the antagonists- Horne and Huppenthal-
and others with like-lower consciousness, were the ones
with the scheme to remove the Mexican American perspective
from anything taught, keeping us forever bound
in Damned Ignorance.
Gradually, as most revelations occur, it became clear
that our cause was not at the focus of saving ethnic studies.
Internal antagonists within our movement took on an assault
within our trusted movement.
A deep contamination of the cause took place through
the elevation of male egos;
the Frankenstein-like creation of a hate-based attack blog;
the exclusion of womyn in decision making;
excessive consumption of alcohol at functions;
the persistent exploitation of young womyn;
intimidation tactics to silence any word of sexual assault;
the lining of pockets with total lack of accountability;
excuses for a man with a known and legal record of domestic violence;
cheap and wrongly founded blog attacks on activist womyn;
a “destroy all-nuclear” strategy in the event of legal defeat – one that has embraced loss and proclaimed the death of MAS;
the ill formed notion that one segment of the movement was
and the list goes on ad nauseam.
With the many unfolding revelations,
many left the corner of deception, misogyny
and Damned Ignorance.
Energy shifted within the movement.
We stand here
And the external and internal
antagonists, alike in so many ways,
are all recognized
for what and who they are and
what they have done.
The recognition itself is a form of accountability.
The cause is the path;
not the tyrannical attorney;
not the regressive blogger,
whose multiple muddles
have minimized him from three to zero;
not the moth-eaten sexist bato activists who
desire nothing more than to resurrect their egos;
not the documentary that epitomizes
the drastic wrong turn on this path.
The cause is the path on which most of us have remained.
The path is clearer and conviction is more solid.