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Chicnano Nationalism: The Freedom To Choose

1801 words - 8 pages

President Woodrow Wilson once said "National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. Self determination is not a mere phrase; it is an imperative principle of action. . . .” (1918). The use of nationalism is a call for the freedom of choice. This ideal, the freedom to choose, rings loud and clear in El Plan de Santa Barbara as well as El Plan de Aztlán. While self determination has two working definitions, and the ability to create complications, the freedom to govern one’s own people, and the general freedom to choose, are both manifested at different times throughout the documents. Due to the racist structure of society, La Raza ...view middle of the document...

As a result of oppression from greater society, the necessary liberation of the Aztlán people, was presented in the context of complete authority by Chicanos over all decisions and policies that affect their lives and their communities. As discussed in both plans of liberation, nationalism was key to developing political action and mass mobilization.
The organization of political thought and action was at the forefront of both declarations in the fight for liberation of the community and highlighted the desire for control over policies impacting La Raza. El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán calls for nationalism to be “the key or common denominator for mass mobilization and organization” because it has the ability to “transcend all religious, political, class, and economic factions or boundaries” (El Plan de Aztlán 2). In the context of the movement, political action means “influencing the decision-making process of those institutions which affect Chicanos” (El Plan de Santa Barbara 1). By rallying all groups of Mexican-American people, into political action, the plan works to strategically demand power over the progress of their community. By separating them from the impacts of larger societal influence, through a nationalist framework, the plan works to focus on the formation of political conscious and mobilization through the tool of Chicanismo.
Chicanismo embodies the necessary self determination of Chicano community, as part of a new cultural identity for La Raza. As discussed in El Plan de Santa Barbara, Chicanismo embodies the “ancient truth that a person is never closer to his/her true self as when he/she is close to his/her community” (El Plan de Santa Barbara 1). As seen in El Plan de Aztlán, all levels of Chicano society are included in the cause. This is significant because it highlights the growing solidarity among the community as well as “the development of a common social praxis” (El Plan de Aztlán 1). The cultural identity called for by Chicanismo calls for an “objective analysis of our communities needs” (El Plan de Santa Barbara 1). and is manifested in its sister, El Plan de Aztlán, when it is concluded that only “social, economic, cultural, and political independence is the only road to total liberation from oppression, exploitation, and racism” (El Plan de Aztlán 2). Chicanismo, as a form of cultural nationalism, mobilizes La Raza through the essence of a tight-knit community, aware of their needs of liberation from greater society and mobilization of their people through their common solidarity.
By including all in a new cultural identity revealing a “rebirth of pride and confidence” of the community, both plans recognize the necessity of education to realize their destiny (El Plan de Santa Barbara 1).
While the extent to which education is discussed differs, both plans view education as a tool and goal used to implement Chicano command in the barrio and liberation from a previously oppressive system. Before the...

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