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I am pretty shocked to learn from Liberal Oasis that CNN's Lou Dobbs ran a scare story about "Aztlan" last night that featured a map sourced to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist group.  Dobbs evidently used the map to suggest that Mexico intends to retake "Aztlan," defined by the CCC as the states that were in whole or in part annexed by the USA after the Mexican-American War.  I'm shocked that CNN would run information provided to them by the CCC on immigration -- it is exactly like running some negative slur against African-Americans sourced to the KKK.  It also demonstrates extreme ignorance about the concept of Aztlan.

"Aztlan" refers in the Nahuatl language to the "place of the herons" that was the home of the Aztec people before the historic migration of the Aztecs from wherever Aztlan was to Lake Tenochtitlan, the site of Mexico City.  Speculation places Aztlan anywhere from the state of Nayarit in western Mexico to as far north as Utah (where I have, in fact, noticed a few herons).  
There are a lot of different views of Aztlan out there, but I would say this myself:  Aztlan figures prominently in Chicano culture, but not as part of some European-style irredentist urge to reunite the southwestern states with Mexico.  Totally to the contrary, the concept of Aztlan is used to place Chicanos as natives of the United States and is a reaction to a dominant narrative that describes people of Mexican/New Mexican origin as foreigners regardless of how many generations their family has lived north of the border.  The message is we are here to stay and we are not going "back" to Mexico -- the United States, not Mexico, is our homeland.  

The point is that if CNN believes a discussion of the concept of Aztlan is appropriate in the context of a visit by Mexican President Vicente Fox to the United States (which I would seriously question) there are plenty of reputable Chicano Studies professors out there who I am sure would have been pleased to give a better dissertation on the topic than I just gave.  Shame on Lou Dobbs and CNN for using a white supremacist group as their source to explain Aztlan to the public.

Originally posted to Colorado Luis on Wed May 24, 2006 at 06:49 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good Morning Aztlan (16+ / 0-)

    I have to say, googling Aztlan is pretty depressing.  I know there is an Aztlan group that like the CCC is described by the ADL (I'm sure correctly) as a hate group.  I doubt CNN would cite them for a story, though.

  •  Dobbs & His New Friends (10+ / 1-)

    Steve Gilliard has more about Dobbs & his new buddies at the CCC, courtesy of the ADL:

    The St. Louis-based Council of Conservative Citizens traces its roots directly to the racist, anti-integrationist White Citizens' Councils of the 1950s and 1960s.

    CCC's online "wanted" poster of Abraham Lincoln

    Its current leader, attorney Gordon Lee Baum, was an organizer for the WCC and built the Council of Conservative Citizens in part from the old group's mailing lists. Like its predecessor, the CCC inflames fears and resentments, particularly among Southern whites, with regard to black-on-white crime, nonwhite immigration, attacks on the Confederate flag and other issues related to "traditional" Southern culture. Although the group claims not to be racist, its leaders traffic with other white supremacist groups and its publications, Web sites and meetings all promote the purportedly innate superiority of whites. Despite its record, the CCC has been successful in drawing southern politicians to its events: the 1998 revelation that then Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott had been a frequent speaker before the group drew substantial media attention. Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, Mississippi state senators and several state representatives have appeared in recent years.

    I also recommend Dave Neiwert's post on this as well, Mainstream extremism.

    Neiwert also has a good summary of what Aztlan/Reconquista is all about:

    This seems to be the upshot of the current drumbeat coming from the Sensenbrenner/Tancredo wing of the conservative movement, thrummed most prominently by such luminaries as Michelle Malkin ("Welcome to Reconquista" reads her headline). Having already characterized the current wave of Mexican immigration as an "invasion", she is more recently making the unsubstantiated claim that:

    Aztlan is a long-held notion among Mexico's intellectual elite and political class, which asserts that the American southwest rightly belongs to Mexico. Advocates believe the reclamation (or reconquista) of Aztlan will occur through sheer demographic force. If the rallies across the country are any indication, reconquista is already complete.

    Liberal: "I still think it's a respectable word. Its root is "liber," the Latin word for "free," and isn't that what we are all about?"--Mary McGrory

    by mini mum on Wed May 24, 2006 at 07:01:03 AM PDT

    •  is Dobbs really their 'friend?' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickBoston

      again, I'm really asking- has he used CCC as a reference before?

      Believe me, some of the people he has on his program on the anti-illegal-imm. side are people with whom it would end in fisticuffs if I were a man (with a good lawyer) & talked with them in person on many other issues.

      And if Dobbs really does cross the line into racism, I'll sell him down the river (speaking of incredibly politically incorrect phrases!) without hesitation.

      For me, he gives a rare voice to many middle-class concerns, and he slices Bush to ribbons and has been doing so since it wasn't 29% approval open-season.

      Granted, I think he goes overboard with the flag & English language stuff, and I don't get the stuff about Hugo Chavez, but I consider it part of the same old guy cantankerous boldness that enables him to expose many more crucial issues before other journalists decide to take a cautious "dip."

      The press has gotten so f___ing weak that, although he's by no means perfect, I'm grateful for Lou Dobbs.

      •  Here's some links. (5+ / 0-)

        La Queen Sucia debunks many of his common assertions.

        Including this:

        The CNN analyst who said today "Keep in mind, Latino voters are LEGAL immigrants, not illegal immigrants" should be FIRED for sloppy thinking. MOST LATINOS ARE NOT IMMIGRANTS AT ALL, PINCHE CABRON.

        That is the key point to remember -- most Latinos are NOT immigrants at all.

        A My Left Wing user points out that Dobbs never complains about, say, illegal Irish immigrants.

        The SPLC points out that Dobbs almost always omits facts linking Minuteman leaders to White Supremacist beliefs.

        •  points (0+ / 0-)

          That is the key point to remember -- most Latinos are NOT immigrants at all.

          hey, i grew up in Texas. Believe me, I am well aware!
          In Texas, to be Native Texan, which I am not, is to be revered.
          Many Latinos, on the other hand, can lay claim to this title.  

          i went to the La Queen Sucia link, and I respect her statistics, but her generalizations about Lou Dobbs are way off. He distinguishes between legal, illegal, immigrant, native-born, and Latino groups carefully and consistently. He makes the point that Hispanic/Latino people are not a monolithic group several times a week.

          I would provide a link, but anoyone interested needs only to go to the one you used- she simply puts his picture on the screen with "How stupid are the U.S. media?!?!" as a headline, and that is supposed to "say it all."

          as to the My Left Wing link, yes, I read that when s/he wrote it.
          Her leap to calling him a "stone cold bigot" is unsubstantiated other than the minuteman mentions, which I have addressed in other comments here today on this same thread.

          the third link you use sounds like the same kind of thing.

      •  To a certain extent (0+ / 0-)

        I think Dobbs doesn't care where he gets the information from as long as it proves his point.

        Dobbs has run amok before on undocumented immigrants.

        Dobbs: Radical groups taking control of immigrant movement

        Just how significant is the impact of leftists within the illegal immigration movement? It is no accident that they chose May 1 as their day of demonstration and boycott. It is the worldwide day of commemorative demonstrations by various socialist, communist, and even anarchic organizations.

        Dobbs: "I support the Minuteman Project"

        Dobbs falsely claimed to host more open-border supporters than opponents.

        Liberal: "I still think it's a respectable word. Its root is "liber," the Latin word for "free," and isn't that what we are all about?"--Mary McGrory

        by mini mum on Wed May 24, 2006 at 12:46:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I respectfully disagree but link 3 is accurate. (0+ / 0-)

          on your first link- From what I read (& saw that week,) he was objecting to the symantics surrounding the protests, the increasing prominence of some more extreme protestors, the way news organizations were portraying the events and the framing the issue and the debate.

          Now when he gets all into the leftists and the date May 1st, he does start to lose me, since there is some inherent conflict in arguing for the plight of the (American) worker, while dismissing all leftist organizations. If he were here he'd probably distinguish it as a matter of degree, but I get your point, and mention some of this elsewhere in this thread (his Hugo Chavez stuff, for example.)

          The Minuteman stuff- I have given my take on this so many times that please forgive me if I don't do it again right now. I did a bit in this thread, and my history & past diaries are all full of Minuteman. shortest oversimplified summary- there are some racists, but I don't think the group itself is racist.

          as for your third link:
          Dobbs falsely claimed to host more open-border supporters than opponents.

          It looks like you're absolutely right.
          To be fair, they only went back a few months. A full year would have been more convincing. But for the time they traced his interviews & guests, that sounds accurate enough for me, and does show some error in Lou's perception and his assertion.

          I still don't feel that what you've said fully supports your statements (below,) but I respect your opinion and tip my hat to your third link.

          To a certain extent
          I think Dobbs doesn't care where he gets the information from as long as it proves his point.

          Dobbs has run amok before on undocumented immigrants.

          •  That's your right (0+ / 0-)

            I'm standing by my opinion, and given that CNN is trying to pass this off as an isolated mistake, makes me think that I'm not far off: Dobbs's true nature is leaking out.

            That, and the shout-out from the St. Louis CofCC Blog:

            Welcome Lou Dobbs

            I knew you were one of us all along.

            Also, thanks for the proper citation, on CNN, no less.

            Liberal: "I still think it's a respectable word. Its root is "liber," the Latin word for "free," and isn't that what we are all about?"--Mary McGrory

            by mini mum on Fri May 26, 2006 at 06:34:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  CONSERVATIVE citizens, not Concerned citizens (5+ / 0-)

    While they may be concerned, you should change the CCC to Council of Conservative Citizens.

  •  digby weighed in (8+ / 0-)

    as well.

    Lou Dobbs pops an aneurysm any time somebody says that this debate might just be a teensy bit racist. I would suggest that any time someone goes on his show they mention that only a racist would use information from the CCC, the progeny of the White Citizen's Councils, and not recognize it for what it is.

    Here's the contact info for CNN.

    Dobbs is an ignorant moron.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Wed May 24, 2006 at 07:12:38 AM PDT

  •  I emailed him about it (10+ / 0-)

    Wrote a short, sweet, and simple letter, basically "I always saw you as a principled man concerned about the little guy; why would you ally yourself with a hate group?"

    You guys can do the same: www.cnn.com/lou

  •  dobbs is an asshat and CNN is trying to fox it up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope, Warren Terrer, rgdurst

    He's worse than glen beck and the rest of the lunatics.  The logic and mental capabilities of a 1st grader, Dobb's and the program is the worst type of fear monger.  Appeal to the visciral fear in people rather than discussing the issue at a cerebral level.  

    Frames not Names!!!!

    by bikko100 on Wed May 24, 2006 at 07:24:56 AM PDT

  •  Lou Dobbs = a Daily Kos troll? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope, hhex65, fairfax

    they both like to quote/cite hate groups and their propaganda to reinforce their position on immigration.

    Do Republicans hate Latinos?

    by diplomatic on Wed May 24, 2006 at 07:38:51 AM PDT

  •  John McCain called him out recently... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hind, Eternal Hope, fairfax

    Part of his speech in New York talked about how people like Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh, and Michael Savage were inflaming the immigration debate.

    http://www.observer.com/...

    So at least McCain got one thing right.  Of course they constantly harp on his co-sponsored immigration bill so he has reason to be mad at them.

    Do Republicans hate Latinos?

    by diplomatic on Wed May 24, 2006 at 07:40:58 AM PDT

  •  CCC graphic? (2+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    Mason6883, phemme texxii
    Hidden by:
    musing85, Warren Terrer

    What's racist about that graphic? The reconquista group has a similar graphic, so if Lou's producers used that one would that be OK then? Geez, its not as if there ISN'T a fringe latino group that Lou's show is pointing out, and I heard NOTHING racist in that segment.

    "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

    by Skid on Wed May 24, 2006 at 08:07:53 AM PDT

    •  It's been documented: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rita in DC, wiscmass, fairfax

      Here.

      Read the link and tell me what you think.

      •  Its a GRAPHIC! (5+ / 4-)

        It points out the Aztlan "claim" of north american regions. Google "Aztlan" and a number of similar maps show up from a myriad of sources. If Lou's show sources the same graphic from Wikipedia or any number of other sites, would they all be racist too? Did Lou or Casey Wian quote any CCC agenda? No.

        "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

        by Skid on Wed May 24, 2006 at 08:35:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't play dumb with me. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musing85, diplomatic, rgdurst, fairfax

          Read the next section on the ADL's findings about the CCC. Here, I'll help you:

          The St. Louis-based Council of Conservative Citizens traces its roots directly to the racist, anti-integrationist White Citizens' Councils of the 1950s and 1960s.
          wanted poster for Abraham Lincoln

          CCC's online "wanted" poster of Abraham Lincoln

          Its current leader, attorney Gordon Lee Baum, was an organizer for the WCC and built the Council of Conservative Citizens in part from the old group's mailing lists. Like its predecessor, the CCC inflames fears and resentments, particularly among Southern whites, with regard to black-on-white crime, nonwhite immigration, attacks on the Confederate flag and other issues related to "traditional" Southern culture. Although the group claims not to be racist, its leaders traffic with other white supremacist groups and its publications, Web sites and meetings all promote the purportedly innate superiority of whites. Despite its record, the CCC has been successful in drawing southern politicians to its events: the 1998 revelation that then Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott had been a frequent speaker before the group drew substantial media attention. Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, Mississippi state senators and several state representatives have appeared in recent years.

          Considerably more polished than traditional extremist groups, the Council of Conservative Citizens propounds its bigotry in the guise of hot-button conservative advocacy. Striking hard-right positions on such contentious issues as immigration, gun control and affirmative action, the organization has insinuated itself into the mainstream successfully enough to attract a number of prominent conservative politicians to its gatherings. However, an examination of the origins, membership and publications of the CCC suggests that it remains, despite its assertions to the contrary, squarely within Southern racist traditions. While not every CCC chapter may be equally extreme, all are founded on anti-minority bigotry.

        •  Would you consider it legitimate (5+ / 0-)

          To use graphics provided by the KKK, John Birch Society, or American Nazi Party?

          The CCC is every bit as bad as they are.

          Think maybe those graphics are, you know, dishonest in what they purport to represent?

    •  What 'reconquista group'? (10+ / 0-)

      Cite please.  If you mean some wacko outfit with twenty members, I would suggest they too are an inappropriate source for CNN.  The reality is that there is no serious "reconquista" movement and that is not what "Aztlan" is about.  If Dobbs himself is not making nice with white supremacists, he or someone higher up the CNN food chain should fire whomever was responsible for putting CCC propaganda on the air.

      Do you think it would be fine for CNN to cite a graphic to the KKK if you believed the graphic contained accurate information (which this one didn't)?

  •  Using the reconquista myth (6+ / 0-)

    inflames the racist groups, who are growning rapidly.

    Read this report:

    http://www.splcenter.org/...

    and tell me that the Dobbs and Malkins are not fueling the racists.

  •  Unbelievable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope, Warren Terrer

    CNN's credibility has been going in the toilet for the past few years now, but things like this just remind you that they don't seem to have a clue what they are doing over there.

  •  Breaking: Skid hijacks yet another diary (6+ / 0-)

    in order to mislead, distort, and agitate on behalf of people that are not Democrats.

    His entire reason for being on this blog seems to revolve around popping up in every immigration or race-related diary to defend and make excuses for peddlers of hate.

    •  he's not the only one (0+ / 0-)

      as you can see here.

    •  Yeah, and the fact that he's actually gotten (0+ / 0-)

      some positive ratings leads me to suspect that he's brought some accomplice racist trolls with him.

      •  You are Out of Line (3+ / 3-)

        To automatically assume this person is racist based on these rather innocuous posts is bad enough, but to call others racist for rating him up is beyond the pale.

        The positive ratings I give are because you are distorting his position and unfairly troll rating him.

        I have no opinion as to the veracity of the poster's views nor make any claim to agree with him in substance.  I do know that he is trying to make a relevant point about the topic of this diary.

        I also know that you and others do not agree with him, and by twisting his words and applying extremely convoluted logic, you attempt to smear him and troll rate him out of your cramped and intolerant view.

        Shame on you.  

        •  No, you are out of line. (0+ / 0-)

          People are not entitled to their own facts. I troll-rated him for repeating Malkin's smear that the immigration protestors were somehow trying to reconquer the Southwestern US for Mexico.

          Here is how this started.

          •  Not the point (0+ / 0-)

            However you believe it may have started.

            The poster I responded to  casually, irresponsibly, and without any  justification whatsoever slurred not only the poster but also anyone who has rated him up as a racist.

            If you don't see a problem with that EH, I really feel sorry for you.

            •  Well: (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musing85, diplomatic

              I don't know about racism -- only Skip knows whether he is or not in his own mind.

              But it works both ways -- if he was out of line for saying that, then Skip is out of line for spreading a right-wing smear casually, irresponsibly, and without any justification.

              If you can see a problem with what he says, but not about what Skip says, then I really feel sorry for you.

              •  Skip Never called anyone a racist (0+ / 0-)

                neither a specific person nor a larger group (including, by implication, me).

                And somehow I bet you would not be so forgiving of Drumwolf's post were it directed at you.

                •  Don't play dumb. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  musing85, diplomatic

                  Just answer the question -- what do you think about Skip's right-wing smear that the immigration protestors were bent on "reconquestia" and linking to a fringe hate site to "prove" his point?

                  Read the links.

                  •  Dont Change the Subject (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Rita in DC, phemme texxii

                    unless you have nothing more to defend drumwolf's obnoxious and offensive comment with.

                    But to respond to your rather loaded question:

                    I think you have made quite a leap of logic to assume Skid is spreading 'right wing smears' as you call it.

                    I read the substance of  Skid's comments pointing out that the map shown by Dobb's is available from other sources other than CCC.  

                    Indeed his point makes intuitive sense as any map of the North American continent circa 1830 is a reasonable facsimile of the so-called 'Aztlan' map.  And I'm suree the intellectual braintrust at CCC collectively couldn't devise something like that on their own.

                    What you chose to read into Skid's comments after that, however, is based on your own interpretation and inference, which I neither share nor consider reasonable based on a fair reading of his posts.

                    Simply because CCC or Dobbs or Malkin or whatever rabid right wing nativist happens to refer to that map does not mean others who likewise refer to it share their beliefs.  Indeed, skid himself said as much in  more than a few of his posts, which, you unfortunately chose to ignore.

                    Now, let me be clear.  I don't know what skid feels in his heart about all of this, nor do I really care, but based on the what he has put on this board, I see very little cause for the vitriol you have so eagerly thrown his way.

                    I also know that you have a habit of jumping to conclusions about people and posts and then looking for subsequent rationalizations to prove your initial faulty judgement.  That is what I think happened here.

                    Oh and by the way, I never 'play dumb'.

                    •  He's engaging in a smokescreen. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      diplomatic

                      He's creating a smokescreen over the fact that Dobbs is mainstreaming the CCC, a right-wing hate group.

                    •  You are making this (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Rita in DC, Eternal Hope, diplomatic

                      needlessly complicated because you do not understand the basic problem. I will repeat it for you since another post I made about it disappeared since it was in reply to Skid:

                      If what Dobbs has to say about Atzlan, etc is legitimate then he could easily have got the map from a credible source. That's the whole point. If you are presenting a good argument and white supremacists just happen to agree with you, you still don't site the white supremacists as proof of your argument. It's just that simple.

                      •  And Your Argument Is 100% Valid (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        phemme texxii

                        It's just doesn't have anything to do with the point skid is making.

                        Skid is criticizing Dobbs use of this generic map as a blatant attempt by Dobbs' to promote an organization that does not deserve ownership.

                        His point is that Dobbs could have picked any  number of groups to source for the map, yet he chose a WS one. That is as intelligent an indictment of Dobbs obvious bias as any I've seen on this thread.

                        So while Skid questioned the diarist labeling of the map as exclusively the province of a single group (a valid factual argument), he was in no way promoting nor defending Dobb's sourcing to the CCC.  On the contrary, he was criticizing it.

                        Skid's point, like yours, is thus a valid contribution, and hardly troll ratable in my view.

      •  I was rating up what I took to be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hhex65

        civilly expressed dissent with no intrinsically trollish agenda, but as I continue to read the thread, I'm concluding that I was mistaken.

  •  Aztlan (0+ / 0-)

    Totally to the contrary, the concept of Aztlan is used to place Chicanos as natives of the United States and is a reaction to a dominant narrative that describes people of Mexican/New Mexican origin as foreigners regardless of how many generations their family has lived north of the border.

    We Europeans really can't claim to be natives.

    /snark

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