L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: A Chicano Lobster
by Joe Olvera
Posted on July 6, 2007
I wonder if Hillary Clinton will disavow Antonio Villaraigosa’s endorsement, now that his extra-marital affair has been made public. Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, who opted to support Hillary Clinton for President because he doesn’t feel that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is “electable,” is embroiled in an affair that has gone public and rumors are that the lady reporter/anchor, Mirthala Salinas, isn’t the only one.
Shades of Bill Clinton. It must be tough for Hillary to have to face up to Villaraigosa’s betrayal. The problem now is what to do about his endorsement. Should she toss it out the window? Should she accept it in good faith, or will she somehow find the way for Villaraigosa to be exonerated. What will happen to his political future? Will the California public forgive and forget if he decides to run for Governor in 2010? Will they look the other way, as they have with countless other politicos?
Villaraigosa – who had been married for more than 20 years – was once so enamored of his wife, that he changed his last name by combining it with hers. He was Villar, she was Raigosa. So, the two joined forces and became Villaraigosa. Okay, that’s cute. That’s something not too many Chicanos would do. But, he felt that it was important to connect with his wife. What better way to join the two families by combining the two names. While it was a good move, it seems rather hypocritical now with his affair out of the bag.
Unfortunately, politicos are people too. They have extramarital affairs, they get involved in corruption, they accept bribes or campaign contributions that are out of the ordinary. Should Californians forgive Villaraigosa? Should Chicanos forgive him his indiscretions? After all, he was a member of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MECHA) – a nationalist group that fought for the rights of Chicanos and Mexicanos in the late 1960s, early 1970s. MECHA was an organization that came up with the Plan de Aztlan – a tome that some whites reviled as being anti-white.
The whites’ greatest fear where Mexicans and Chicanos are concerned, however, is what they refer to as “La Reconquista (The Re-Conquest).” The premise here is that Chicanos who belong to MECHA or any other Chicano civil rights group, are intent on retaking the American Southwest by force if necessary and return the land to Mexico.
Some people might not be aware that the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which ended the trumped up war between the U.S. and Mexico in 1848, resulted in Mexico losing more than one million square miles to the United States. Since then, however, there has been a fear, perhaps even some guilt over the way the land was stolen in what is considered one of the biggest land-grabs in world history. That fear is unjustified, because Chicanos don’t think like whites. I know that I, for one, would never consider returning the land to Mexico. If it ever would revert back to us – which I doubt – I would rather create a new state – a new nation to be called Aztlan.
Oh, oh, watch those whites scramble for cover, watch them start blasting me because I dare suggest such a thing. Okay, so this MECHA is one of the reasons that Villaraigosa wasn’t elected the first time he ran for L.A. Mayor. He was defeated because of this fear. Eventually, however, he won the seat by never giving up and by never disavowing MECHA as the organization that made him what he is today - a tough Chicano who should stand by other tough Chicanos, instead of giving his endorsement to someone who has never done much for Chicanos or other Hispanics.
But, again, that’s his prerogative, just as it’s my prerogative to blast him for his turncoat ways. The question now is, however, how will Hillary react to the fact that Villaraigosa is seeking a divorce from his long-suffering wife? Will she be reminded of the way Bill Clinton played her? Will she be reminded that men are basically scumbags who don’t care where they lay their hat, as long as they receive their satisfaction?
Hillary willingly accepted Villaraigosa’s endorsement when he made it about a month ago. He made no bones about his support for her, and now this. How will she react? Only time will tell. But, actually, I want to hear what she has to say now. She must be trying to figure out a way to disentangle herself from this mess. And, Villaraigosa? Does he have a chance to be elected Governor in 2010 despite his marital struggles? Again, only time will tell. I wouldn’t vote for him if I lived in California.
I consider Villaraigosa’s rejection of Bill Richardson almost as treacherous. It reminds me of the old story about the Mexican lobsters and the Anglo lobsters. It seems that a fisherman had two buckets filled with lobsters. One was closed with a lid, and the other was wide open. A passer-by asked the fisherman why the disparity. Well, the fisherman said, the bucket that has the lid on is filled with Anglo lobsters. They would get out and escape if we left it open. They help each other get out.
Well, what about the other bucket, asked the passer-by. Oh, them’s Mexican lobsters. We leave the lid off because anytime one of them tries to escape, the others pull him back down. See, that’s Villaraigosa. He doesn’t want Bill Richardson to be elected President, so he pulled him down, rather than helping him up and out of the bucket. It makes me wonder, however, which lobster is going to pull Villaraigosa down when it comes time for him to make his escape into the Governor’s Chair? It’s so sad, the way we Chicanos tend to destroy each other.
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