Sunday, February 19, 2006

Working Within What We Have - Carlos

I believe, that in order for people of color and other marginalized communities to get ahead, we have to work within the system. It's simple, during my days as a MEChistA, I realized that the reason we never got anything accomplished, was because nobody wanted to work with us (plus, everyone had strong personalities and were not afraid to voice their opinions - a good thing). After exploring more, I realized that it was better for me to branch out and work with community organizations who were using the system we have in place, to try to make a difference.

Here's the way I look at it. We have a couple of parties in place in this country. The Democratic Party, in my view, has always been more progressive in helping folks of color. However misguided that view may be, I believe it. I don't think they've done enough and I think Republicans have done less, but the Democratic party has helped us get some political clout.

However, I am a strong proponent of not only two parties, but three, four, or as many as we need. For instance, when Jose Angel Gutierrez and the Raza Unida Party came around, they were working within the system, albeit on the outskirts. The movement led to changes.

Now, as we face and extremely conservative movement, we must join forces to make sure that our progressive ideals and principles are not displaces, for lack of unity. I can't ask everyone to be part of the Demorcatic Party, because I'm not even a member, but I do ask people to find a cause and work within our establish system to make change. Now, sometimes, we have to go outside the lines, but for now, if we want to make any changes in the political system, we have to work with what we've got.

If we want water for the Colonias, we have to lobby. If we want health insurance for our kids, we have to vote. If we want to stop the War, we have to get this President out. That's the way I see it.


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