Some of you may have attended the 20th year Chicano activist anniversary in 1989 en San Antonio, Texas. Maybe some of you went to the activist reunion en Dallas, Texas en 2009. In 2012, we held a reunion here in Austin, Texas of those who were active during the years of the Raza Unida Party. Close to 200 people came from all over. Some said it was going to be, “El ultimo adios.”
And while some say que “la revolución no ha terminado.” it is true we have not seen the kind of activity that once had us in front of TV cameras and on the front page of newspapers in the 1960s and 1970s. Many of us have reduced our profile to raise families, earn a living or focus on a career.
But like that Japanese soldier at the end of World War II, there are still some of us who have
refused to give up or stop being activists. Some of us, like the Japanese soldier, have not heard
the news that the “war” is over. Seguimos peleando la causa. ¿ Por qué?¿ Qué fue la causa?
When we look around us, we still see the same poverty, injustice, discrimination and poor
education that we once stood up and denounced. Granted it, it is not the same people who are
poor today. But what is the same is the injustice, discrimination and the bad education. 40 years
ago the high school dropout rate for Chicanos was terrible! Today the dropout rate hovers around
40%. While it is true that more and more Latinos are going to college and becoming professionals,
it is also true that more and more Latinos are leaving school, filling the prisons and jails and
stuck in poor paying jobs. Where is the outrage? Where is the coraje that once led us to fill the
streets with protest signs and gritos?
What has changed? Did we, who were once the proud Chicano activists change? Or did society change? Does history truly move in cycles and thus the activism that we were once were a part of in the 1970s something that shall return at a future date? I am sure there are many today who ponder these questions often. I am sure there are those who still struggle with how far to push the
envelope in their respective cities and town today.
In the coming months we will hear more and more about who hopes to lead the United States into the future. Will it be Donald Trump? Will it be someone else? A better question is will we be participants in shaping the future? What happened to us?
Copyright 2020 by Alfredo Santos, La Voz magazine. To read the entire issue of La Voz visit: http://www.lavoznewspapers.com