Saturday, October 13, 2007

Raza Unida Letter 10-12-07

An email letter I wrote to my friends who are members and supporters of La Raza Unida...

I hope you are well on this day that reminds us of human tenacity and resilience. (Please excuse any duplicate emails.)

As many of us take time to reflect on the destruction, decimation, and disrespect brought to our continent five-hundred and fifteen years ago we can choose to reject the values of colonization: violence, hierarchy, and coercion; and stick to our traditional values. We can take today to begin to reclaim our family values – REAL FAMILY VALUES!

We know that we are still in many instances still under attack culturally, physically, and mentally – not just those of us with roots on this continent but all of us. We can move beyond this to a real civic wellbeing by being involved in collective work. Almost all of our ancestors have a tradition of collective work – regardless of where your origins are. Because working collectively has been a traditional human value around the globe.
Through collective work we can build the world we wish to see. Collectively we can construct a better future for our children. Working together we can be the architects of our communities.

Many of us still retain much of our traditional values. That seems to be the commonality of Raza Unida members and supporters. We are grounded in the best values humanity has developed. We realize that we may be extended family, but we are family – somos familia.

Our continent’s traditional value system saw the entire world as our family. We are not only related to those who live in our home and gave us birth; we are related much more widely through extended family; many of our ancestors understood that all living things are our family; and thus the Earth herself is our mother deserving of our respect and protection.

That is why La Raza Unida can be an organization that grew from the Chicano Power movement and become a broader organization. We can do this because family, and, by extension, community are broad concepts in our traditions. Even the original values and concepts of Christianity saw this and there still are churches supporting those values.

How can we put REAL FAMILY VALUES into practice? One is to be in touch with each other. Relationships are central to the world we wish to see.

We can work together to leverage the little time, energy, and other resources we have. We can encourage each other to do what we can, because we all know that society is not arranged to allow us to have lots of energy and time to participate in a social movement. Every little bit helps – even just registering as a Raza Unida voter helps.
If we can put REAL FAMILY VALUES in place we would organize work lives to support families and civic wellbeing. Imagine 30 hour work weeks, real living wages where one person working fulltime could support a family, and democratic workplaces where we have control over our work. If REAL FAMILY VALUES were in place women would be paid equal to men, leave to take care of our families would be easy, and all workers would be guaranteed four or more weeks paid vacation in any job! Picture having the time and resources to really interact with your family and be involved in the community. What would it feel like to live in a society that encourages many parties and real democracy?

If we put REAL FAMILY VALUES in place our families would be allowed the freedom to practice our cultures and speak our languages. People would be allowed the freedom to marry who they wish. We would have the time, energy, and money to encourage our family members and communities to be civically engaged and taking their place in constructing a better world. We would have the time and energy to learn our histories, engage with elders and youth, and learn about the political processes that we need to be an important part of.

If this message touches you in any way please forward it to three or more New Mexicans you think will appreciate it. The few minutes that it takes to forward this to someone right now is important and appreciated.
And it does make a difference.

If you value a diversity of voices in the democratic process – register to vote as a La Raza Unida voter – many of you already have. You can contact Reyna who is a voter registrar at
reynaluz@comcast. net and set up a time to register – if you live in Albuquerque. If you share these values let people know.

There is much to be done but working together we can do it. The best part is by working together we can make it fun, and also grow healthier and wiser together!

Amor y Rebeldia,
Enrique Cardiel, member La Raza Unida – Albuquerque

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