Alberto Gonzales and the Race Card

Caption anyone?

Like Speedy, Alberto Gonzales, lost the accent mark and the final “z” in his surname long ago. So it seems odd that González, I mean Gonzales, has decided to pull out the race card. Now, I’ve no doubt that discrimination exists — and especially against this country’s largest “minority” population as I’ve noted in this blog before — but the Attorney General is surely missing the point: it’s not racism that has him in hot water, it’s his politics.

I reproduce Nuestravoice’s piece here:


“As predicted here first on Gonzales is playing the race card in his own defense. After a couple of weeks of White House and RNC inspired snake oil salesmen trying to find buyers for a race based defense of Alberto Gonzales they found a couple of rubes: Ruben Navarrette and Rush Limbaugh. First of all I am flabbergasted that columnist Rueben Navarrette bought the Gonzales racial defense and swallowed the elixir in one single gulp. (BTW Rueben I have a pinata full of Aztec gold I want to sell you-I got it from a guy named El Dorado). As far as Rush is concerned he is obviously carrying the water again for another person he doesn’t believe in. As we know Rush has admitted lying to his audience for political reasons in the past and apparently old habits die hard.

I had Rueben Navarrette on my radio show on Sunday to discuss his own race based defense of Gonzales. Navarette who I mostly disagree with but have always found well reasoned and respectable was good enough to come on the program and defend his ideas. The interview stands on its own you decide what you think of it. I will link to it later today.

I am however left wondering what a legitimate columnist like Navarrette thinks now that he finds himself in the company of Rush Limbaugh. Navarrette is not a political side show like Rush and he is positioned to be a political and social columnist of great stature. Navarrette therefore must be surprised to find he is using the same weak arguments as the King of radio delivered racist spin. In fact one can observe that the Navarrette column provided the political cover needed for Rush and his radio mini-me’s to use race as a Gonzales defense.

The racial defense of Alberto Gonzales has no merit. Gonzales has in fact been either asleep at the wheel of Justice or an accomplice in using the department for blatant political purposes. That being said Gonzales lost any right to use a race based defense forever when he failed to support affirmative action for Latino and African American students or fight racist gerrymandering in his home state of Texas. While the Gonzales defenders now see race as a factor when it comes to Betito’s career they did not see that race was a factor in Tom Delays’ lone star state gerrymandering. Even the Supreme Court found the Texas gerrymandering blatantly and illegally racist.

It is embarrassing that Gonzales is the first Latino to lead DoJ. But we as Latinos cannot make matters worse by using the real issue of racial discrimination to protect his shoddy, incompetent, immoral, and perhaps illegal management of the Justice Department.

The anti-immigrant, anti-minority right needs Gonzales like they need Clarence Thomas. Those stuck in the past by racism and mired in the present with Bush cronyism will use any means necessary in order to protect the embattled AG. Their tactics will include using lies, playing the race card, and manipulating well meaning- book smart, but politically naïve, op-ed writers.”

See “Ex-aide contradicts Gonzales on firings.”

And, well, because this posting warrants it: see William Anthony Nericcio’s brilliant “reading” of Speedy in his Tex[t] Mex.

Alberto Gonzales and the Race Card

Vapid is Back: Delta Zeta Seek Damages from DePauw University

Has the national chapter been sued by the ignobly dissed ladies? If so, has it then provoked this lawsuit?

Delta Zeta files a lawsuit against DePauw and “seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages, a public apology, its return to the university’s Greek system and a retraction of certain statements about the sorority. It also asks that DePauw acknowledge ‘that Delta Zeta did not make any decision based on appearance and race.'”

Previous post here.

Vapid is Back: Delta Zeta Seek Damages from DePauw University

Free Shaquanda Cotton

Shaquanda Cotton, a 14-year-old African American student, was “convicted” and sent to a youth prison for up to 7 years for shoving a hall monitor at her high school in Paris, Texas. The same judge, Chuck Superville, then convicted a 14-year-old white girl of arson for burning down her family’s house. Her sentence? Probation.

See Howard Witt’s piece here.

A blog has been set up on Shaquanda’s behalf: Shaquanda’s Blog.

Free Shaquanda Cotton

On Jacques Derrida

Brilliant self-authorship by the very smart and provocatively self-named “The Hooded Negro”

His rejection of Deconstruction seems more gut-felt and intuitive than reasoned but, then again, what would be the point of engagement (if not discipline) when the end result would be understanding that that the big D misread Saussure? Would somebody help me understand: What’s driving this generation’s disdain for the academic discourses that democratized American universities from the 1980s onward?

On Jacques Derrida

Fallout of the Gibson Maya Debacle As Viewed by Students

The way knowledge get parsed out in these debacles is almost as interesting as the conditions that lead up to them. See “Mel Gibson lashes out during ‘Apocalypto’ screening” as reported in the Cal State University, Northridge, student paper The Daily Sundial.

I’d like to hear student reaction when it comes out that “Aussie” Gibson was born in Schenectady, N.Y., and taken to Australia by his father after the elder refused to pay taxes. Now that the two plan on building a “New Christian” church in southern California, it would be interesting to proffer connections regarding how they understand “civic engagement,” Christianity, respect, misogyny, antisemitism, and the like.

Fallout of the Gibson Maya Debacle As Viewed by Students

Mel Gibson Attacks Professor Alicia Estrada

Alicia Ivonne Estrada, an assistant professor of Central American Studies at Cal State, Northridge, asked Mel Gibson yesterday night if he’d done his homework on ancient Mayan culture before filming “Apocalypto.” Clearly it was a rhetorical question rife with opportunities to set the proverbial record straight but it was an opportunity not taken by Gibson. He reportedly told Dr. Estrada, “Lady, fuck off.”

I’m glad somebody finally took Gibson to task for the historically inaccurate depiction of “blood-thirsty” Mayans (among other things). Now, of course, we all know about “filmic license” but it seems clear to me that portraying, say, Athenians as pedophiles and misogynists would be missing the point as much as painting the Maya as a blood-and-gore civilization; which is what makes Gibson’s poetic license not only historically inaccurate but abhorrent for the type of Amerindian violence that it reproduces.

When you consider the Maya legacy, as one of the greatest world civilizations, in relation to the ignorance that abounds about the other Américas, an ignorance that Mr. Gibson seems bent on reproducing, then Dr. Estrada should not only be commended, but also given a public opportunity to let Gibson know why he is so damn ignorant.

Here is the complete text from the SF Gate: Daily Dish:

Gibson Loses His Temper Over Professor’s Comments

Mel Gibson has been caught up in a new controversy after telling an Central American Studies professor to “[bleep] off” during a tense press conference.

The movie mogul, who made headlines last summer for anti-Semitic comments he made during a drunk driving arrest, was addressing a film class at Cal State University at Northridge Thursday night when the professor questioned the accuracy of his “Apocalypto” film.

Alicia Estrada asked Gibson if he had read about the Mayan culture before shooting the controversial film, suggesting that some of the bloodthirsty, sacrificial scenes in the film were both wrong and racist.

According to, Gibson suddenly exploded in anger, responding, “Lady, [bleep] off.”

Gibson also became angry when members of the Mayan community protested on how they were portrayed in the film during the lecture. They were escorted out of the room.

See anthropologist Traci Arden’s reaction to the film last year here.

Mel Gibson Attacks Professor Alicia Estrada

Mitt Romney’s Paso Doble Makes Cuban Right Do a Double Take

Patria o muerte, ¡venceremos! is not the rally-cry to drop anywhere near the Cuban American right if you’re trying to ingratiate yourself with them. You see, it’s Fidel Castro’s ending byline after his speeches and, often, the only thing those who aren’t dozing remember about them. So why did Mitt Romney think it would cozy him up to the Cuban American right by dropping it? See Beth Reinhard’s piece and Blabbeando’s short take on it.

Mitt Romney’s Paso Doble Makes Cuban Right Do a Double Take