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Recent History



Don Mariano Leyva Domínquez
Are Hispanics An Ethnic Group?
Dialog of the Dead





















Don Mariano Leyva Domínquez


====> Click to Hear the Original Unedited Recording

====> Click to Hear the Original with Slight Noise Reduction Added

This recording is from November 16, 2004, at the Universidad Nahuatl, Ocotopec, Morelos, Mexico. Don Mariano (QEPD) speaks about the founding of Los Mascarones, the first trip Los Mascarones made to Califas, the planning of the Quinto Festival/Primer Encuentro LatinoAmericano, the arrival of los Chicanos/as at the train station Buena Vista in Mexico City, and the actual Encuentro.

Total time: 24:54

Alan Eladio Gómez is a co-founder of Colectivo Radio Caracol, a group of international radio producers based in Austin, Tx. He is an Assistant Professor of Latino/a Studies as the Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity at Ithaca College, and works with the Thompkins County Workers Center (Ithaca), Resistencia Bookstore/ Casa de Red Salmon Arts (Austin), and the Proyecto de Defensa Laboral (Austin). His writings have been published in Radical History Review and Texas Observer.

============================

Don Mariano Leyva Domínquez (QEPD),
Los Mascarones y Teatro Chicano

Los Mascarones became the most well known and respected theatre group in Mexico, largely because of the political content of its work, but also because it played a major role in developing linkages with like-minded groups in the United States and across Latin America. It was founded in 1963 at the Prepa No. 6 in downtown Mexico City with five members and a director named Mariano Leyva Domínguez. Their name derived from the masks, or mascaras, that bordered the entrance to the school.

In the beginning, they performed traditional theatre; later they took to the stage at universities and public theatres across the country, in places like Veracruz, Oaxaca, Puebla and Morelos. The group offered continual performances in Mexico City. They won various awards including a first prize in stage setting for "Lyrical Indigenous Poetry" from the National Institute of Mexican Youth in 1966 and first prize for best director, best actor, best actress, and the best group for "The Invaders" in 1966.

By 1968, they had expanded to eight persons, and had settled into the recital style of choral poetry. That summer, Leyva won First Prize for best director for "Las Calaveras de Posada" given by the National Institute of Fine Arts. But in the summer of 1968 the prize was background to the student mobilizations and state repression that were exposing the contradictions in the official "Mexican miracle" of economic development.

The massacre of Tlateloloco on October 2, 1968 changed everything. The entire terrain of politics changed as people and organization questioned their government and began to experiment with diverse forms of organizing strategies. The Mascarones, "once an award winning Theatre Company," refused the federal support that had sustained them, "and began an independent life producing and distributing recordings of their own work." They eventually established themselves in a commune-like space in the southern artistic suburb of Mexico City named Coyoacan, living and performing collectively.

Martha Ramirez-Oropeza, a Chicana from Los Angeles, California, who at the age of 19 was beginning an apprenticeship with David A. Siqueiros, the master muralist, met the Mascarones during these heady times, "I was invited to live in the commune. During those first few months, the rules in the commune were to participate in the daily seminars we had on Marxist philosophy and the history of theatre and the student movement. The latter was of more importance as we the group had a play called "Volveremos," (We Will Return), a show that paralleled the slaughter of indigenous people by the Spaniards in 1521 to the slaughter of students by the government in 1968."

In 1968, at a performance in Oaxaca, they were described as a group that "hace teatro que va directo al pueblo: sencillo, moderno, muy completo." In addition to choral poetery and classical works, by 1968-70 they had "originated a number of Actos," or one-act "scenes." Los Mascarones presented their short poetic "scenes" in France, as well as the United States at the Festival de Teatros de Aztlán in 1970, 1971, 1972, and 1973. One of these actos, "La Huida de Quetzalcóatl" was performed in October of 1970 at the teatro Casa de Lago, a UNAM -administered auditorium on the shores of the small lake in the middle of Chapultepec Park in Mexico City.

During this same time period, they wrote and performed a potent political acto, Maquinas y Burgesas (Machines and the Bourgeious), in collaboration with the musical group Los Nakos. They would perform it at the Quinto Festival/Primer Encuentro. Based on Frederick Engel's writings, Maquinas y Burgesas was an adaptation of the history of the Industrial Revolution in England, "the birth of capitalism and at once, the birth of the working class. It is also about an attitude that developed which, in the name of freedom and progress, exploited and murdered the working class [with] the inevitable victory of the proletariat."

Los Mascarones worked closely with the Group Pancho Villa and Grupo Emiliano Zapata (GEZ) from the Preparatoria Popular (PP). The PP was an educational project begun as an experiment that provided opportunities to students who could not attend the state high schools. Beyond government oversight, and organized as an autonomous project, the PP movement emerged from groups of "rechazados", the rejected ones, students who were not accepted to state-run high schools. Their demands for increased government spending to accommodate the growing numbers of Mexicans emerged as "una propuesta de autogestión educativa pionera del movimiento estudiantil del 68."

Out of necessity, they occupied an unused portion of a government housing project - Liverpool #66 "Mártires de Tlatelolco, and built a community based educational project that represented for the maestro, expressed in his words: "una constante retroalimentación de aprendizaje mutuo partiendo de la vida diaria del pueblo mexicano, de sus padecimientos, de sus anhelos, de sus luchas. Por eso consideramos que la educación popular es un sueño posible, por esto la propuesta de educación popular representa toda un dasafío a la estructura de las instituciones burocratizadas y representa una posibilidad viva de cambiarlas."

Los Mascarones, FARO, and musicians like José de Molina and Judith Reyes, supported the efforts to establish the PP, and later, the government-supported CCH's (Colegio de Ciencias y Humanidades), a different alternative educational project created within the UNAM system. These connections revealed a primary characteristic of popular theatre: collaboration and experimentation that combined education and performance. In fact, it was from the filas (ranks) of the GUZ that new members of Mascarones were be recruited.

Los Mascarones continued to perform at La Casa del Lago in 1972, but the press no longer wrote about them in a positive light. Instead, they were referred to as Panfletarios (pamphleteers) "con una falla total de conocimiento" The political experiences of living through the years since 1968 profoundly marked their politics and artistic decisions.

Las Brigadas

The primary organizing vehicles of the student movement were the brigades. As a weapon to combat the vilification of the student movement by the prensa vendida (sell-out press) - as many activists referred to the media, students organized themselves in small focos or cadres of 4 to 5 persons, each with their own specific task. For example, a musician would sing and play the guitar while another would pass out literature, while a third might make an organized speech. There was always a person whose sole responsibility was to watch for the police, who were always close behind.

These roles were often interchangeable. Spreading out in Mexico City, on the buses and recently constructed state of the art subway, and throughout the summer across the entire country, they went directly to the people to explain why they were protesting through music, literature, theatre and personal conversation. Direct contact was the most effective tool for circulating information among fellow Mexicans, many of who did not have a formal education. They were innovative and adaptable, improvising and creating a direct connection with people in order to convince them of the justice in their movement.

The brigades would be the place where Los Mascarones would work out their own pedagogical approach to street theatre. For example, "Teatro Camion", one of the strategies "invented" by Los Mascarones, was one of their most effective strategies. It would consist of two or more persons engaged in a heated political discussion in a pubic place (like a bus or restaurant) when one of them will turn to a random person in the bus to ask them their opinion about the issue being discussed. Together with the "audience", they would transform a public space into an opportunity for a political discussion, a performance into political dialogue.

A flourishing national theatre movement was a central element of the Chicano Movement. The Teatro Campesino and other Chicano theatre groups established TENAZ in 1971. This occurred in Fresno, California, a week after the second Annual Festival de los Teatros Chicanos, held in Santa Cruz, California. Moreover, the collective involved fellow cultural workers from Mexico. The name TENAZ was proposed by Mariano Leyva, director of Las Mascarones: "El nombre que se iba a llevar la organización, a mi me salió, se me occurio, dijé yo, 1848 son una tenacidad, y entonces en tenaz veia yo TEatro NAcional de Aztlan, TENAZ, le dijé a Luis [Valdez], TENAZ, el tiene que llevar TENAZ, porque estedes han sido tenazes, porque han aguantado y han tenido una tenacidad de Huitzuilopotchli." The prominent participation by the Mexican national Mariano Leyva reflected an important trend.

Theatre groups had been reaching out across the continent. The TC played an important role in this when it contacted Los Mascarones in 1970. According to Hernandez and Leyva, one day an unidentified person knocked on the door at the Mascarones "house" in Coyoacan with an envelope that contained an invitation from Luis Valdez to come to California, and funds to pay for the trip. They accepted and traveled to California for the first time in 1970.

Los Mascarones subsequently participated in the 1st, and then 2nd, 3rd, and 4th TENAZ Festivals. Once they were incorporated into the movement, Los Mascarones connected with a variety of organizations throughout the United States. These included activists from El Colegio Jacinto Treviño in Mercedes, Texas and the Ruben Salazar Cultural Center in San Antonio, as well as from Leavenworth prison and others from New Mexico, New York and San Francisco. As Elizabeth Martínez, speaking on behalf of El Grito del Norte, wrote in a letter to her "Queridos Compañeros" in 1972, "Los Mascarones ya son muy conocidos por toda la Chicanada y han sido una verdadera inspiración para nuestra gente aqui."

--------------------------

Alan Eladio Gómez, excerpts from "Theatre Against Empire," chapter 7 of "From Below and to the Left": Re-Imagining the Chicano Movement Through the Circulation of Third World Struggles, 1970-1979.

Mariano Leyva Dominguez, interview by author, 16 November, 2004, AM, UNA. "Los Mascarones de Mexico," in Chicano Theatre Two: Special Festival Issue, TENAZ (Verano 1973), San Jose State University, 18.

Martha Ramirez-Oropeza, "Two examples of art challenging political times: '10 de Junio' Teatro Mascarones and 'Danzas Indigenas', Judith Baca Monument," paper for Humanities 390 course Urban Zapatismo in Los Angeles, California State University-Northridge, February 2006, p. 1-2. Document in author's possession. Ibid., 2.

"La Actuación de los Artistas del Grupo Mascarones, Relevante por su Contenido," Periodicao Oaxaca de Juárez, 25 de Mayo, 1968. "[Los Mascarones] create theatre that goes directly to the people: simple, modern, very complete." Mercedes Nieto, interview by author, audio recording, 6 November 2004, Mexico City. "Los Mascarones de Mexico," 19.

José Manuel Galván Leguizao, "A Manera de Introducción," Untitled manuscript about the history of the Prepa Popular, copy in author's possession, 7.

Letter from Jorge A Villamil, Subdirector of the Preparatoria Popular, 10 June 1971, AM, UNA.

The CCH system was a product of the university movement of 1968. Conceived by Pablo Gonzalez Cassanova, and put into actions by coalitions of students, university professors and social activist, the original idea was to create 11 campuses across Mexico City of high schools with open curriculums that were to be individually designed by the students themselves. A state version of the Prepa Populares (Popular High Schools), they became a threat to the regime as students were learning a career while also receiving preparation in political analysis, the original plan to build 11 schools was arrested at 5. See Maylo from Los Nakos, interview with author, 14 November 2004, Mexico City, audio















Are Hispanics An Ethnic Group?

http://www.blackcommentator.com/161/radio_bc/161_radio_bc_hispanics_an_ethnic_group.html

===> Click Here To Listen To Audio Version Of The Text

The U.S. Census Bureau does its big count every ten years, and updates the numbers in the middle of the decade. The 2005 figures show that the Hispanic population is pulling further ahead of African Americans. There are officially 2.1 million more self-identified Hispanics in the U.S. than self-identified Blacks, 41.3 million Hispanics compared to 39.2 million African Americans. And, with immigration and high Hispanic birth rates, there is no reason to believe the trend will not continue.

Among most marketers and political demographers, it has long been a done deal that Hispanics have replaced Blacks as the nation's biggest ethnic group. But that's only true if one believes that "Hispanic" is an ethnicity. And that is more than open to question.

There is no doubt that Black Americans are an ethnic group. Their ancestors, who came from many African nations, speaking many languages, worshipping different gods, were forced to become one people during slavery. Over the centuries, Blacks did become one people, and remained so after Emancipation, within the confines of Jim Crow. Indeed, even in that peculiar place called Louisiana, differentiations among the Black population were blurred by the heavy hand of segregation. Jim Crow further knitted Blacks together, as the freed men and women of the South, as in the North, built Black social, cultural and political infrastructures - monuments to Black identity. The surrounding white nation relentlessly encouraged the flowering of a Black polity based on Black ethnicity. This policy was the other side of the coin of the American policy of assimilating "all the nations of Europe" into a big white "melting pot." The whites became "Americans." We remained African Americans. The Black polity, which is a kind of nation, already existed when the great waves of Europeans arrived after the Civil War. It is a multi-textured but amazingly unified cultural and political entity, now almost 40 million strong. We don't all agree, but we share the same social and historical reference points. Black Americans are an ethnicity and a polity.

Hispanic Americans come from many nations. In their ancestral countries, they often comprise many separate ethnicities. A Peruvian Indian is ethnically different than a member of the white elite of that country, and remains so w hen both groups of Peruvians emigrate to the United States, where both are ethnically different than Afro-Caribbean Hispanic immigrants. Calling all Hispanics in the U.S. one ethnic group in effect denies their actual, varied ethnicity. Hispanics in the U.S. are many people. Often, Hispanics in the U.S. who hail from the same country are ethnically different.

No, it is a stretch of social science to lump Hispanics together as one ethnicity, although it is certainly possible that at some time in the future a portion of the various Hispanic ethnicities will forge a common culture and worldview within the U.S., as have African Americans over the centuries. But that remains to be seen. For Radio BC, I'm Glen Ford.

=====================================================















http://www.historynothype.com/deaddialog.htm


DIALOG of the DEADóAn Interactive One-Act Play

By

Rubťn SŠlaz MŠrquez

© Copyright 2005 by Rubťn D. SŠlaz

 

 Dramatis Personae

Narrator (female), Chicano, Above-It-All, MarŪa (female), Latino, Immigrant (female), Hispano.

Heckler, Policeman, Immigration Officer (female), Army Soldier, Sheriff, FBI Agent. Two male stage hands.

 

Dual roles:  Heckler/Sheriff; Policeman/Stagehand.

 

Scene:  The stage is dark and bare except for the Narrator standing behind an upstage, brightly spotlighted (overhead) podium. Behind her in the dark are six seated individuals:   Chicano, Above-It-All, MarŪa, Latino, Immigrant, and Hispano. All are dressed in ordinary clothes of their choosing. The only thing they have in common is a luminescent cross-hair target painted on their foreheads.

PART  I

NARRATOR:  Ladies and Gentlemen, Damas y Caballeros, Bienvenidos. Welcome to this presentation on ethnic identity. Let me advise you immediately that the viewpoints presented here will not leave you unmoved. We encourage your sincere participation and we wish for everyone to consider what will be expressed, even if you donít happen to agree with the various points of view. The effort is to reach a rationale consensus of opinion, despite the fact that we realize some people destroy unity by denigrating everybody else. There are also those who believe they must be the center of attention so they argue about everything. We are here to dialog, not argue. We have a right to disagree but we have no right to destroy. Please keep that in mind.

 

In hopes that we will make progress in our communities, we will now begin our dialog. Speakers may use the podium or the entire stage. We conducted a drawing to decide on the order of presentations and as it turned out, the Chicano will be our first presenter.

 

CHICANO: Thank you. I am a CHICANO. That means I recognize who I am:  a mestizo, mostly Indian, part Spanish, part Mexican. I am proud to say I am descended from the Aztecs of the Valley of Mexico. The Aztecs came from Aztlan, a faraway place in the northland. They kept migrating south until they saw a sign, an eagle devouring a serpent atop a cactus and that became their home in the Valley of Mexico. The Aztecs became masters of a rich and sophisticated empire before it was destroyed by Spaniards.

 

Chicanos are the mestizo race. We are proud to be who we are, no matter what anybody says, because we believe in self-determination. We have forged our own identity and have cut away the Spanish fantasies that plague our people. Chicano and Chicana artists often incorporate images of Aztecs like Quetzalcoatl and Cuahtemoc because they are proud of their indigenous roots. We have a history that goes way beyond the arrival of Europeans, Spanish or otherwise. We demand that this be respected and we show the way by respecting it ourselves.

 

We realize we have been repressed since the United States took over the northern half of Mexico, today called the Southwest. People didnít want to be called Mexicans because to the oppressors that was equivalent to greaser, wetback, or illegal alien.

 

Nomenclature is a factor in our Southwestern reality. A whole menagerie of euphemisms cropped up and everybody could take their pick. Chicanos picked their name from the Aztec under classes, an offshoot of Mexica, combining Sheeka with the Spanish "ano" to form CHICANO, a distinct identity that recognizes our proud Mexican past that racists would deny us. We will not be forced into being ashamed of our indigenous roots nor our present working class realities. Most importantly we openly reject repression by dominant societies, whatever their origin. We acknowledge our deep cultural, racial, and linguistic differences from Anglo-Americans. We will actively seek social justice for our people as we widen their awareness of our history as natives of this land..

 

We have also endeavored to open the university ivory tower to the community. We demanded that courses be taught about our people and our communities. We demanded that courses be directed toward Mexicans in the United States. Subservience would not be the foundation for Chicano courses. Universities didnít favor the movement but we forged classes because we struggled, channeled student indignation, and united with other non-white minorities. I think weíve made progress.

 

By necessity we are activists. First and foremost we will not reject our indigenous heritage. It doesnít matter that we are attacked on all sides. We know who we are and we stand proud. We chose to use CHICANO as our name. Nobody shoved it down our throats. We chose it for ourselves.

 

Self-respect starts with yourself. Look at how everybody else scurries around, toadying up to the powers that be. Theyíll say and do almost anything to get accepted. Thatís true everywhere but especially on the college campus. Chicanos or Chicanas will be or might not be accepted, but itís under our own terms. And there is nothing to apologize for. Thank you.

 

NARRATOR:  Thank you. The Chicano seems to be saying "Know thyself." As I mentioned at the beginning, our participants have deep-seated beliefs and we advise everyone to weigh and consider them.. Our next presenter is Above-It-All.

 

ABOVE-IT-ALL:  I am an American, first, last, and always. It doesnít matter where my ancestors came from. The only important thing is that they came HERE, to America, the good old U.S. of A.

 

So whatís the problem? This is our homeland, this is where we live and are going to die. This is where we pay our taxes. This is where we get an education. This country, whether you think it is good, bad, or indifferent, is the basis for our culture. What came before, whether from Spain or Mexico or Timbuktu, is of no importance to me.

 

When we go to war we wear the uniform of the USA. If we die on the battlefield itís for the USA. I hope our country is always on the side of right, but right or wrong, itís my country.

 

Will we get veteransí benefits? Social Security? Medicare? I sure hope so. But Iím damned sure of one thing:  nothing is coming to me from Spain or Mexico, Aztlan, or any place else.

 

Let me tell you what you already know. The language of the USA is English. Speak it, speak it well, then use another language if you want to or see a need for it. But donít expect the rest of the country to fall into step with you. It wonít happen because you canít change a countryís language or culture. It hasnít happened in the entire history of the world. Donít bother me about having another language, Spanish or otherwise. If I donít need it for business or daily living thereís no need for it and thatís not an insult. Thatís not racism because the language of this country is English.

 

You say youíre being targeted by the police? Then why behave in a way that draws police attention to you? Why dress like gang members if you donít want racial profiling? You tattoo yourself then you resent being treated like convicts? That makes no sense. Some people think they can cuss out  the police and nothing should happen to them. You think thatís acceptable in some other country? Let me know when you try it.

 

Are you going to be accepted in America? Maybe so, maybe not. Itís up to you to work on it because itís a free country. That holds true for everybody. If you donít like your neighborhood you have the right to move. Thatís part of our freedom. Thatís part of being an American. Do you think youíre going to be accepted by doing graffiti, fighting the cops, dropping out of school, doing drugs, or going on welfare? Thatís downright sick.

 

Letís wise up. If you donít like this country nobody said you had to live here. Be what you are, an AMERICAN, and learn what you have to learn to live a good life. What other country offers you anything better? Just about everybody wants to come here. Weíre here and you donít appreciate it? Wise up. Youíre just making a lot of trouble for yourself. Thank you.

 

NARRATOR:  Thank you. Above-It-All believes we should recognize our American culture. Next we will hear from MarŪa, la Mujer.

 

MARÕA:  I am not particularly concerned with labels so I am here as your grandmother, mother, daughter, granddaughter. I have seen our communities torn apart by people like you who donít realize we are viewed as one and the same, whatever your label. Women give us life but you, all of you, are responsible for our death, figuratively and often literally. What have you people done for your communities other than tearing them apart? We give you life then what do you do with it, THIS?! Where are the heroes and heroines of our people? Where are YOU?! Iíll bet you canít even agree on that. You people will lead us to the grave. I believe hope will come from women. Thank you.

 

NARRATOR (nervously):  Ah, thank you. MarŪa, la Mujer, who believes we should, ah, recognize our responsibilities to community. Next we will hear from the Latino.

 

LATINO:  I call myself a Latino because that is what I heard growing up in Texas. Valid history tells us we are from the Latin branch of the human family. I believe many Americans shy away from history because they donít want to face reality. Greeks and Latin Romans laid the foundation to what we now refer to as Western Civilization. People in Europe and the Americas are the beneficiaries of that civilization. Latin people can be justly proud of the civilization they created. We should be encouraged to be proud of our heritage, but valid history isnít taught in the schools. The Germanics, Anglos as they usually call themselves, were the destroyers of civilization. When the Anglo barbarians finally conquered Rome our world was plunged into the Dark Ages. We didnít get out of the Dark Ages until the Roman Empire resurfaced in Europe.

 

The greatest king during the Middle Ages was Charlemagne but ordinary people know next to nothing about him, even after taking a high school course in World History. We are bombarded with stories about King Arthur, who was never a real person, and the Knights of the Round Table, who never existed either. The movies make you think he was the King of England when in fact he was always and is now only fantasy, along with his knights of the round table. This fantasy heritage is pervasive in the minds of most Americans and some get angry when you tell them King Arthur was never a real person.

 

You might say:  So who cares? What happened a thousand years ago doesnít matter now! Thatís a standard reaction. But if you rely on fantasy instead of valid history you have other fantasies that skew your life. Take the fantasies of the West about people like the Texas Rangers or Wyatt Earp. Yes, now weíre hitting closer to home, arenít we? The Texas Rangers were ruthless killers who would shoot you down or in the back before they asked any questions. And being unarmed didnít matter to them. They were Nazis on a smaller scale but people wonít say that because they are afraid of the consequences. I have often wondered why our people accept all the abuse that is directed at them. One of the few to fight for his rights was Juan Cortina, who is still being vilified in warped Texas histories. But how many Latinos know Cortinaís story? Iíll bet most of us donít know much about him.

 

Why donít our people stand up for their dignity and self-respect? Why are they constantly tolerating insults? Why donít we promote valid history about men like Juan Cortina and Elfego Baca instead of accepting the Hollywood dream factory of sheer fantasy? Take Wyatt Earp as an example. He was a pimp and back shooter. Yes, thatís the historical truth. The ďgloriousĒ thirty-second fight at the OK Corral was over who would control the prostitution industry in Tombstone. They donít mention that in the movies or even most books. Let it be said once and for all that Wyatt Earp worked in the prostitution  industry of Tombstone, Arizona, was a back shooter, a bushwhacker who finally had to flee from Arizona because he shot down his enemies in the back as they were riding by.

 

Americans get their sense of history from the movies. The nonsense about two gunmen walking toward each other on main street is Hollywood fantasy. Most of those guys in the West were back shooters but now theyíre made out as heroic gunmen. Earp and Doc Holiday were anything but heroic yet they continue to make movies about them. Movies make you think that John Wayne created the West. He didnít and neither did anybody else from east of the Mississippi. Tejanos created western ranching in Texas, Californios did it in California, and Hispanos in New Mexico.

 

Why donít you see to it that your children study about themselves and their valid history? Yes, you and me, the whole community is to blame because we donít bother to educate our kids. We leave it to the schools, and all they really get there is that Latinos are vile people while the heroes are individuals like Davy Crockett who came from east of the Mississippi river, all speaking English. Incidentally, Crockett at the Alamo is about as big a myth as King Arthur.

 

If you donít study your real history you are confused or lost. Iím sure youíll see what I mean just by being here tonight. Stay tuned. Thank you.

 

NARRATOR:  Thank you. Our Latino seems to be saying that we have to know our history in order to know ourselves. Next we have perspectives from the Immigrant.

 

IMMIGRANT: I am in this country because I like it here. Iíll bet youíll never guess what I like the best. Itís BOOKS. This country is fabulously wealthy in BOOKS and thatís what I like best of all.

 

Most people think immigrants are out working in the fields or in construction. That isnít the case for everyone. I started in the fields as a little girl then I got a janitorís job in a library then I worked my way into different aspects of library work. Someday I hope to finish college work in Library Science, si Dios quiere. It hasnít been a piece of cake by any means and Iíve encountered people who donít think I have the right to work in a library. They didnít mind when I was cleaning toilets but some sure resent me now. I guess thatís the way itís always been with immigrants in this country. I love it anyway. But Iím aware of very real dangers. For example, it has been documented that a total of 4,742 Americans were lynched between 1882 and 1968. Of these 3,452 were African Americans. No one has studied how many Hispanos were lynched. That is still to come. So living here isnít just a piece of pie.

 

Another of the things I like about American life is that you have to rely on yourself. Let me start by saying we immigrants have paid the price for coming to the United States. Let me set the record straight on what immigrants are doing for this country. Immigrant workers, legal or otherwise, will pay around $500 billion into the Social Security system during the next twenty years. Immigrants collectively earn $240 billion a year, pay $90 billion a year in taxes, and only claim a return of $5 billion per year. Thatís an 85 billion dollar profit for this country. If you donít believe me check out People for the American Way.

 

Weíre get accused of taking away American jobs! °Mentiras! We do the work Americans wonít do. Now that Iíve worked my way up the latter, now Iím taking away an Americanís job? Donít kid me. Nobody wanted to start with janitor work so they gave me the job. I did the job and Iíve climbed up the ladder of opportunity. We immigrants are the work ethic of this country. Now thatís what we do for Americans like you and for your wonderful country. Muchas gracias.
.

NARRATOR:  Thank you, seŮora. That information is very interesting and certainly a revelation to me personally. Next we have the Hispano.

 

HISPANO:  Thank you. There are any number of ethnic labels used locally, regionally, and nationally. Some are positive, many are derogatory. This applies to all ethnicities which comprise the population of the USA.

 

Despite the belief of some to the contrary--ďItís their name for usĒ they like to say--the label used historically for New Mexicoís Spanish speaking population is and has been Hispano, Hispanic in English.

 

Is it really ďtheir name for usĒ? No, it isnít. I agree with Latino that we donít study our history. And by the way, I donít believe HISTORY is boring. The word HISPANO has its roots in a history that is more than 3000 years old and it goes like this:  at around 1200 B.C. the Phoenicians were the first to record visiting a land which they referred to as Hispalis, the Iberian Peninsula, and to the people living there as Hispani. So Hispani is the name given to us some 3000 years ago. When the Romans conquered the area they named it Hispaniarium which later became Hispania and the people were referred to as Hispano. To this day, the people who came out of Spain and Portugal are referred to as Hispano, as are those Latin Americans who became products of the basic cultures of the Iberian Peninsula, Spain and Portugal. And no one speaking English gave it to us.

 

Yes, we all recognize that we are AMERICANS. Everybody knows that, but that isnít the point. The reality is that we are not accepted as equals by racist Americans. Notice that I am singling out ONLY racists. Furthermore, be aware of differences which exist amongst our people:  we Hispanos of New Mexico didnít come to the USA, the USA came to us. Weíre not immigrants coming to the United States. We didnít change out names so we could be ďAnglosĒ the way so many Ellis Island immigrants did. We had a long history before we were made citizens of the USA. Indeed, our Spanish history is longer than our USA history. Understand the point that Iím making:  historical New Mexicans are not immigrants who came to the USA.

 

Some people recoil against the idea that New Mexicans are Spanish. You know why they do that? Because they have bought the racist concept that ďone dropĒ of blood can make you inferior. So if you have ďone drop of African bloodĒ that makes you a black person. If you have one drop of Indian blood that makes you an Indian. And so on down the line. The ďone drop race theoryĒ is ludicrous on all counts but it is basic to racist American psychology. And some of our people have bought it. Thatís why they ridicule anyone who refers to himself as Spanish or Hispanic.

 

Iím sure you can make a case for use of Latino. We are part of the Latin family, but so are Italians, Portuguese, French, and Romanians. How come they donít refer to themselves as Latin Americans? Thatís what they are, just like us.

 

The label Chicano doesnít exist in any historical document as far as I know. There is no reference to the label used by any historian before the twentieth century, as far as I know. Being barrio slang, it was used sparingly in the 1940s but became a rallying point during the Civil Rights struggles beginning in 1964 to 1970. The Chicanos, often militant, some people referred to them as militontos, made demands at the college level and some new courses were initiated because of the pressure. Thatís about as far as it went because the community didnít embrace the militancy or the idea that anyone who didnít use CHICANO was a phony, a ďTŪo TacoĒ sellout, someone pretending to be ďpure Spanish,Ē which  Chicanos ridiculed as ludicrous fantasy. A fratricidal situation developed that is recognizable to this day. Maybe thatís why weíre here right now??

 

Chicanos laud their Indian blood, which is fine, but at the same time they denigrate the Hispanic past. Put succinctly, Chicanos became as virulently Hispanophobic as any racist Skinhead racist who hated Spain and its Catholic Church. For example, in Albuquerque some so-called Chicanos worked against honoring Juan de OŮate in observance of New Mexicoís 400th anniversary. Thatís a historical fact.

 

Despite the fact that Indians donít consider Chicanos to be blood brothers, Chicanos, seemingly omniscient, promote the idea that Hispanos are more Indian than Spanish. How do they know? ďWell, one drop of Indian blood makes you an Indian, thatís how.Ē Thatís American racism, pure and simple.

 

Like American racists who fancied they were fighting for purity of the white race, Chicanos have made demands in favor of the ďmestizo raceĒ where race mixture is the all important reality. Land grant swindles, failing public schools, the hell of drug abuse, grinding poverty, illiteracy, poor academic achievement, all are subordinate to acknowledging race mixing. And in the mixture the Aztec Indians, who by the way came from Siberia if you have studied anthropology, not some fabled Aztlan, are claimed and lauded as progenitors of Chicanos. How is it possible that Chicanos from everywhere came only from Aztec people? What happened to the hundreds of other tribes? There was no mixing with the other tribes who lived all over Mexico and the Southwest?

 

The truth be told, the Aztecs were conquered by Spanish-led Indians who hated the Aztecs. Why isnít that historical fact acknowledged? Why do we ignore historical realities like the fact that the many Indian tribes in the Valley of Mexico hated the Aztecs as war mongering cannibals who believed in daily human sacrifice? Why arenít we aware that the flesh of sacrificial victims was sold in the market place as food? The Aztecs are now often portrayed as heroic while Cortťs and his Christian handful of men are villainized, the latter of which fits nicely into ďTree of HateĒ American psychology which has always been used against us. Are Chicanos in league with American racism?

 

Speaking historically, the people of California referred to themselves as Californios, those of Texas as Tejanos, the New Mexicans as Hispanos. Genome testing has now proved that human DNA is 99.9% exactly the same throughout the human race so racist ideas of ďpurityĒ or ďmixingĒ are invalid, in reality more social than science. Furthermore, use of the label Chicano was doomed from the start because there is not now nor has there ever been historically a Chicano community. The effort came from individuals at various universities, especially in California, and never became the fabric of community life. Latino is still the preferred label in Texas, as is Hispano in New Mexico. Take a quick look at the various organizations in Albuquerque:  the Hispano Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Roundtable, the Hispanic Culture Preservation League, American G.I. Forum. None of them employ the Chicano in their organizational name.

 

Individuals can use whatever name they wish. My feeling is that hate should not be fomented by anyone. Live and let live. We all hate war, disease, ignorance, racism, and all those ugly things, but we should not hate each other or we could wind up in crematoriums, one group at a time. I invite you to read the short story, THE WALL, which has been published on various websites. Thank you.

 

 

PART  II

NARRATOR:  Thank you, Hispano. Now we will have a short rebuttal periodó

 

HECKLER:  (seated in the audience area and yelling) WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO DISCUSS THE NAMES THEY REALLY CALL YOU??

 

NARRATOR:  (startled but peering into the direction of the voice) Excuse me?

 

HECKLER:  I said why not discuss the names they really use?

 

NARRATOR:  (trying to be accommodating) Sir, I donít know what you mean. Like what?

 

HECKLER:  Like GREASER. Donít tell me youíve never heard it!!

 

NARRATOR:  Well, yes, of course, but sir, at this juncture you would have to be on stage in order to raise such questions.

 

HECKLER:  (Taking it as an invitation he strides onto the stage and into the spotlight.) OKAY, itís time to tell it like it is. When are you going to face reality?? You say youíre Chicanos, Latinos, Mexicans, Spanish and all the rest, but what you really have to confront is when they call you a greaser, a spic, a pocho, a surumato, a hodge-podge of mixed-blood mongrels of the human race but little removed from savagery, on par with Indians and blacks.

 

NARRATOR:  Sir, I meant to say we will open it up for questions at the end. And the first thing I would require is respect for all people.

 

HECKLER:  Letís not waste anymore of my time. Address the real issue:  why do Americans think of you as degenerate GREASERS?!

 

NARRATOR:  Sir, youíre going to have to leave the stage but let me say that we are not responsible for racist societies that have targeted Amerindians, Africans, and Mexicans.

 

HECKLER:  There you go again, avoiding reality. Why not say redskins, niggers, and greasers? Afraid to look the situation in the face?

 

NARRATOR:  Sir, thatís enough. (Looking to the wings.) Some one get this person out of here.

 

HECKLER:  Face American reality:  a white skin symbolizes the light of knowledge, religious purity, the beauty of innocence, faith, true joy, and life itself. Thatís what people believe and you guys havenít even touched upon it. Integrity is the key, along with humanity and high chastity in women.

 

CHICANO, ABOVE-IT-ALL, LATINO, HISPANO:  Are you kidding me?!

 

HECKLER:  A dark skin is the sign of darkness, wicked mongrelism, punishment and suffering, ignorance and superstition, a lack of hygiene, pervasive squalor, laziness and misery, decadence and death. Those are the real issues that you have to discuss if you really want to face reality.

[Two burly stage hands come on stage and forcibly drag the Heckler away to the wings while he continues to express himself until his voice is suddenly silenced.]

You stand here and laud your mestizo mongrels?! [To the stage hands as they drag him offstage.] GET YOUR GREASY HANDS OFF ME!! Youíll hear from my attorney!! When will you people ever learn?! Youíre nothing but rejects like everybody says! Youíll hear from real AMERICAN LAW!!

PART  III

NARRATOR (slightly shaken):  I apologize, ladies and gentlemen. We didnít intend that scene, itís not part of the program. Weíre back to normal again. As I was saying before we got interrupted, we will now have a short rebuttal period in which our presenters can clarify their commentary if they wish. We will maintain the order of presenters by beginning with our Chicano.

 

CHICANO:  Thanks. As you have seen ladies and gentlemen, thatís what we have to confront. How are we going to do it? The racist practices  witnessed on this platform are symptomatic of stubbornly held ideas that include, first, denying there is a war at home along with todayís wars abroad, and the two are intimately connected. Second, denying that both are racist wars, as well as apparently forgetting that U.S. foreign policy is fundamentally rooted in American racism. In 1500 the invaders arrived to take the land and the woman, and then  systematically worked to destroy the culture. The Europeans came from Spain and later from England. Then came the Dutch to sell slaves, and even   the Russians came.

 

The Chicano has a history of activism and cultural survival or we wouldnít be here. It was the Chicanos who organized the Mexican American Civil rights movement during the late 60's and early 70's.
 

So how should we activate today? The same as yesterday:  youíve got to have huevos. Do you really think these eunuchs here tonight are capable of providing you with leadership to face the realities of this country? You have to come to grips with who and what you are. Only then can you face reality and work for your goals. And let us admit that we have to study our history if we are to succeed in American society, despite its penchant for fantasy as reality. But you donít have to be Euro-clones to be happy or fulfilled.

 

Chicanismo always was, and is, an idea. We all know, of course, that you cannot kill an idea. Today, in widespread educational circles, the idea lives. We see the elements of El Plan de Santa Barbara bearing ripening fruit, such as bilingual education, multicultural perspectives, and the recognition that Chicano history is very relevant for today's well-rounded education and for the self-esteem of Chicano and Chicana students. Chicanismo, therefore, is not dead. It is our best weapon against American racism. Thank you.

 

ABOVE-IT-ALL:  I believe in American progress. I believe in improving what went before. This does not include being ďdifferent,Ē not even being perceived as different. When you belong you want to be like everybody else. Being different is antagonistic, a threat to security of the whole. It is dangerous and calls for incarceration, deportation, or being put on a reservation. If you want to be happy, if you want salvation, ACCULTURATE. If that means being Germanic in the British sense, so be it. The professor at UCLA had it right when he said acculturation, through education or the work place or whatever, was the key. ITíS WHAT ALL OTHER IMMIGRANT GROUPS HAVE DONE. Why should you people be the exception?

 

Furthermore, itís time we started talking like AMERICANS to everybody here present and the rest of the world.  You know what I would like to hear coming out of Americans from here to the White House? That America is for AMERICANS. Itís time to hear that since Congress does not want to spend any more money on the current war, that our mission is complete. All American forces and personnel will be out of the war zone within 30 days!

 

We should create two lists that include all of the industrialized nations of the world. The short list contains the names of countries who went into the war zone with us. The longer list contains the names of countries who did not. So be informed that, effective immediately, countries who did not help us in time of war will no longer be eligible for any kind of foreign aid from the USA. We figure the money saved will pay for the war on terror, which we thought all countries wanted to combat.


In the future, together with Congress, American leaders will work to redirect this foreign aid money toward solving the heavy social problems we still have at home. On that note, a word to terrorist organizations. Mess with us and we will hunt you down and exterminate you from the face of the earth, along with all your friends. Thatís a promise!


It is time for America to focus on its own welfare and its own citizens. Some will accuse us of isolationism. I answer them by saying, "damn right."  America should be first and foremost for AMERICANS.

 

Nearly a century of trying to help people like you and around the world has only earned us the undying enmity of just about everyone on the planet. The world can now take care of itself. It is time to eliminate hunger in America. It is time to eliminate homelessness in America.  It is time for America to take care of its own. And if you donít like it, no one will stop you at the border when you move out.

 

If you want to progress, be an American. If you donít want to be one, thereís plenty of transportation out of here.  If we want the same rights and privileges as every other American we have to be true Americans. When in Rome, do as the Romans. Well this is America and weíre as American as anybody else. GOD BLESS AMERICA. This is my country and no one is going to take it away from me. NO ONE! And that includes everyone here.


MARÕA:  We ARE here. The United States finally took count and
found out that within the last ten years our people have crossed the borders into America not only fulfilling the American dream, but more
importantly fulfilling the destiny of our becoming the entire majority in the Southwest There is nothing on this earth that can stop a movement of
people whose history revealed that they would once more govern not only their lives, but their land.

We must have the heart, courage, and concern for the well-being of our people. We must never forget that in some fashion or another we are related. We are all Mexicanos -- different names, different places, different native languages, but at the end we are Mexicanos. The states within the borders know that it is a matter of time before we become the majority. Those who doubt this may study the U.S. census of people at the borders. The battle cry for many centuries has been about life and death for justice, liberation, and land. As a people and a race, we have returned to those times once again. The land itself cries for us.

 

It is our responsibility to undo the mental brain washing imposed on us, making us believe that we who reside in the United States of America are different. We are not different but we are one. "Nosotros somos uno."

 

We are the same Mexicanos/Mexicanas that at times we see at the borders -- barefooted, hungry, and chained. They are our sisters and brothers. These Mexicanos are related to all of us. We are one, and there is no river, no border, no agents or Minutemen that can ever stop the process of evolution.

 

Being a woman hasnít absolved me from any responsibilities to God, country, family or community. I call for all women and men to join together to pay respect to mother earth and to women for being life givers and keeping our cultural traditions alive. Thank you.

 

LATINO:  We need to learn to appreciate each other. Most people do not realize that many doors were opened for la Raza because of the sacrifices of many of our past leaders. Corky Gonzales was one of those leaders and a personal inspiration to me. I remember him fondly because he told me once If there ever was a fight for rights, to invite him and he really meant it.

 

Corky was one of the leaders during the Mexican American Civil Rights Era during the late 60's and early 70's. He did much to improve conditions in Colorado and to promote communications. Cťsar ChŠvez improved conditions in the farm fields. Others worked valiantly to improve conditions in the cities in California, Arizona, the Mid-West, Oregon and Texas. There were leaders like Josť Angel Gutiťrrez and Reis Lůpez Tijerina who also did much for the people, even if the ordinary Fulano doesnít know it.

 

An organization that has not received its due is the Brown Berets. The Brown Beret National Organization of 60 chapters had to take a lot of the reactionary flack, but because of its sound structure, they contributed to much of the youth development and safety in the field. The Berets were able to organize many events across the nation despite disruptors, and police provocateurs. The Berets went to jail more than anyone because they were effective and not afraid to practice their civil rights on the streets.

 

We must ORGANIZE. You canít wait for white activists to do it for you. We all know that white activists can wage passionate campaigns against oppression and human rights abuses in Chile, El Salvador, South Africa and such, but NOT in the ghettos and barrios of their own cities. WE have to do it. Thank you.

 

IMMIGRANT:  I am shocked beyond belief at what I have witnessed on this stage. What is wrong with you people?! In my native country poor people donít get their kicks by fighting each other. They realize the oligarchies and global corporations are keeping them underfoot and poverty stricken. Why do you hate each other so much?!  Do you really think that blood is the thing that matters? So you are Chicano or Hispanic or Spanish or Mexican or Indian, so what, if youíre poor and uneducated? So youíre a mestizo! What of it?! So youíre Indo-Hispano or Mexican American or Spanish American.  Iíve heard one person say he was no longer a Chicano but rather an Aztlano! Who cares if you can hardly read or write English or Spanish? Iíve met tons of ordinary people who donít respect anybody and numbers of university professors who think theyíre gods!

 

You are the only people I have ever met who fight each other over labels  or blood instead of oppression, crime, poverty, exploitation, lack of education and all those things which most people value. What planet have you people been living on?

 

You have millions upon millions of brothers and sisters in this country but for you people I guess they are just someone to fight with instead of for. I have lived next to Indian villages and there isnít a single person on this stage whom I would consider to be an Indian. Neither are you Spanish unless you were born in Spain, and I doubt that too. The people I have met in this country are German, Irish, Italian, Polish and all the rest from all over the world. They came here for a better life but all you people want is to fight each other. Get ready. We, all of us, will soon be obsolete, irrelevant, or dead.

 

HISPANO:  I donít believe that everything that came before is ďdead, obsolete, and irrelevant.Ē Neither do I believe that Chicanismo is the only key to ďthe good lifeĒ because we all have a right to pursue whatever we believe is the essence of happiness. Acculturation is ďone size fits allĒ but so is ďChicanismo,Ē whatever that is. Maybe Aztlanismo is next?! Maybe the Chicano will tell us. For my money, all its done is fragment our communities with all kinds of animosities. Look at whatís happened right here on this stage.

 

NARRATOR:  We will now open up the discussion to any presenter who wishes to add something by way of summation.

 

CHICANO:  El Movimiento is who and what we are, beyond our
heart into our very soul and being por vida. Like Che said, every true revolutionary is motivated by LOVE, and that is what the Movimiento is, was and will always be, about eternal love.

 

Yes, there are many vendidos and tapados among us but whatever they are, they were never Chicanas or Chicanos, in the first place. Race, color, nationality, culture and tradition do not a Chicana or Chicano make; Chicanismo comes from the heart, and it grows from there, outward throughout your mind forever. Anyone who thinks you can quit the Chicano Movement was never in it in the first place.

LATINO:  I believe the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo has to become a basic factor in our reality. In that treaty, signed after years of war between the United States and Mexico, Mexico was forced to cede about half of its territory, the lands that would become the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and parts of Colorado, Nevada, and Utah, ceded to the American government in exchange for $15 million in hypocritical reparations, conscience money probably, for war damage.


Our people in 1848 were Mexican citizens, and the U.S. promised to respect their rights as such, whether they chose to remain Mexican citizens and relocate, or if they chose to stay where they were and eventually become citizens of the United States. The federal government also set about determining how much land belonged to Indian peoples under the terms of the Treaty. In California, they asked the people in 1851 to provide proof of their land grants and pretty much accepted all of the land claims that were filed. The federal government lost half of California and realized that it had made a mistake. If you really have Article VIII rights, real property rights, you as individuals and as a people have superior rights. If we can establish that you have Article VIII rights, you are the sovereign. If you are the sovereign, you can say, 'I don't care what you pay; we will not sell.Ē Indians are in a good position for court cases. All Latinos have the obstacle of proving they were defrauded out of their lands. The crux of the struggle is for the LAND. If you donít see it, your head is buried in the sand.

 

MARÕA:  Our basic focus has to be the family and especially our children. The military are trying to sign up our kids to go fight poor people from some other nation. We must recognize reality. Across the country, parents, teachers, and activists are taking action to protect students from the lies, manipulation, and abusive tactics of military recruiters who are going into the poorer communities and trying to recruit our young people to fight their hateful wars. Rich kids arenít targeted, just the poor.

 

Recruiters have no place in public schools. They are predators who
lie to young people and manipulate their economic situation in order
to drag them away to fight bloody wars of conquest and occupation. We have a right and an obligation to demand that they not be allowed to use schools to recruit cannon fodder for their illegal, immoral wars.

 

HISPANO:  Itís time to act. If you lived through the struggles the 60's and 70's you know what price has been paid. It's our youth that doesn't know.  They have it easier than we did, thanks to all those paladins that opened the doors of opportunity. To continue the struggle is the ultimate sacrifice. We must combat historical amnesia. It's more complex than just plain amnesia. Perhaps it should be characterized as cultural amnesia or cultural schizophrenia because the fatal flaw in our armor is the fight over European or Indio roots. This fight is destroying all of us, whether we admit it or not.

 

IMMIGRANT:  Education is the key. According to the U. S. Department of Education, 37% of Hispanics do not finish high school, compared to the national average of 15%. In fact, overall statistics show that Latino students do not succeed as well as non-Hispanic Whites, African Americans or Asians. They have higher dropout rates, lower test scores, and fewer college graduates, leading to less involvement in community affairs. We must stress education to all our people. Without education we will always be viewed with contempt and we wonít be able to defend ourselves.

 

NARRATOR:  I am privileged to be able to draw this dialog to a close. Like everyone here present, I too have something to say by way of summation, even though that really isnít a Narratorís role. I have my commitment to our people so let me just state this generation is being put into competition with workers from all over the whole globe by the giant corporations. The trend is a race to the bottom for the young of  the world, including the USA, and especially the barrios and ghettos. What you did for your kids estŠ a todo dar.  My entire family has achieved lots and I assure you, not one of my children, nieces or nephews has ever had to shine shoes in downtown Los Angeles to help the family make ends meet.

 

I hope I'm not speaking for myself, that I'm not the only one  that made a better life for my children and the children of others.  That would be a disappointment. But the next generation will likely have a  harder time doing the same for theirs over time. My hope is that whatever we do to make a good life for ourselves -- whether we become  teachers, or social workers, or business people, or lawyers, or poets, or scientists, or artists Ė my hope is you will devote part of your life to making this a better world for your children, for all children. My hope is that the next generation will demand an end to war, that future generations will do something that has not yet been done in history and wipe out the national boundaries that separate us from other human beings on this earth.

 

I will now give our presenters a brief moment for one short, final comment.

 

PART  IV

[The four males step forward boldly, each wanting to make his last comment before the others. They jostle and push each other disrespectfully until finally each one has the following to say.]

 

ABOVE-IT-ALL:   When I write the Chicano version of ROOTS, you know what Iím going to call it? GRASS!

CHICANO:  I am a Chicano from Califaztlan and Iím going to nominate each one of you for a ďPurple Shaft with Barbed Wire ClusterĒ!

LATINO:  If Iím a Pachuco from PachucovilleÖŅal cabo que anyway what?

HISPANO:  Get rid of the confusion and fratricidal blood letting. Get a life!

 

ALL Four Males:  WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY [each one pointing at the others] AND THEY ARE YOU!!

 

NARRATOR:  (Trying to prevent the four from coming to blows.) Please:  let us maintain our composure. Think of what kind of example you are setting!!

 

[The lights flicker in a strobe effect as the men begin fighting in slow motion, punching and kicking, the Narrator, Immigrant, and Maria in the middle but unable to stop them so the women scream. There now enters into the front of the audience  the Policeman, Immigration Officer, Army soldier, Sheriff, and FBI Agent, all brandishing lethal rifles. The lights go up in strobe surrealistic fashion and remain throughout the following scene.]

 

POLICEMAN:  Everybody STOP WHAT YOUíRE DOING or you will suffer the full force of the law. You characters know I mean it. I SAID STOP!!

[Everyone on stage stops and peers confusedly toward the audience.]

FBI AGENT:  [Addressing the audience.] This audience is under protective custody until everything can be sorted out. [The lawmen point their weapons at the audience.] Donít try to leave the scene without prior approval.

[The lawmen now focus on members of the audience, pointing their weapons at individuals. They respond in character to whatever comments are made by individual audience members.]

SHERIFF:  You, let me see your IDÖI said let me see your ID.

ARMY SOLDIER:  Of what nation are you a citizen? What proof do you have?

IMMIGRATION OFFICER:  Do you have a passport? What do you have to prove your identity?

POLICEMAN:  Do you speak English? Speak up now! What kind of an accent is that?

NARRATOR: (Addressing the lawmen.) Hey, this is not part of the program. What are you doing?

 

ALL MALE PRESENTERS:  (Standing in a row on stage.) You canít do that. THIS IS AMERICA! This isnít a police state. Weíve got rights!

 

[The lawmen all turn toward the stage, form a straight line, lift their rifles and when the POLICEMAN hollers ďReady, Aim, FIRE!Ē all rifles boom out in unison. All presenters and the Narrator fall down dead. The entire theater goes to black and we hear the song ďMaŮanaĒ by Peggy Lee, sung in its entirety, as the finale.

 

At the end of ďMaŮanaĒ the house lights come up and all characters in the play engage the audience, with NARRATOR as MC, in a commentary-question-and-answer session.]

Rubťn SŠlaz M.

10401 Central N.W. #131

Albuquerque, NM

839-4849

saljustin@msn.com

 


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