Bruin Alumni Association
Antonio Villaraigosa Educational Campaign Archives

Chapter 1
“Born to Raise Hell” – at UCLA

Chapter 2 - A Media Blackout on Villar’s Past

Chapter 3 - What Tony Villar Wrought

Understanding MEChA - Introduction

Understanding MEChA - El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan

Understanding MEChA - El Plan de Santa Barbara

Understanding MEChA - The Philosophy of MEChA

Press Release Announcing Victory in Antonio Villaraigosa Educational Campaign

Press Release on Antonio Villaraigosa Educational Campaign

Antonio Villaraigosa Educational Campaign

Antonio Villar(aigosa) – UCLA MEChista

Chapter 2
A Media Blackout on Villar’s Past

    For a youth who displayed such ambition and achieved such lofty goals – removing a UCLA professor who would not, under his directorship, subsume the Chicano Studies Center to the cause of Chicano radicalism – Antonio Villaraigosa has shown surprisingly little interest in talking about his time as a UCLA MEChA leader.

    In a comprehensive search of every major news database, even passing references to Villaraigosa’s affiliation with this radical, violent and separatist organization are few and far between.  Direct acknowledgement of his association is almost nil.
During the controversy over Cruz Bustamante’s MEChA alumni status during the 2002 gubernatorial recall campaign, Villaraigosa airily remarked, "Most of us attended a meeting or more. Nearly everybody was involved with it some way."[1]   But more telling is that during the 2001 campaign for Los Angeles mayor, Villaraigosa was asked at the final mayoral debate live on ABC 7-TV and KNX 1070-AM if he still adhered to the group’s goals, and refused to give a direct yes or no answer.[2]

     More instructive about Villaraigosa’s acceptance of the goals and philosophies of MEChA are his public affiliations with MEChA and student radicals at UCLA.  Most significant would be his appearance on April 12, 1998 at the MEChA National Convention, held that year on the UCLA campus. 

     MEChA held a banquet that night honoring, among others, Sal Castro, organizer of the East Los Angeles School Blowouts of 1968, and featured a speech from Villaraigosa, then the president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

     Villaraigosa also came to the UCLA campus and spoke glowingly about the actions of student radicals (including many MEChA members) the very night that they shut down a 2001 Los Angeles mayoral debate at Royce Hall.  Villaraigosa also spoke personally to the radicals, blasting the University of California anti-preference statutes SP-1 and SP-2: “This is not Mississippi in 1960; this is not Alabama! This is California, the golden state; people from every corner of the world come here to realize the American Dream.” 

     Villaraigosa’s strong feelings about racial preferences are not just the product of a fevered mind that viewed a Communist Chicano splinter group as a reasonable community partner, but a matter of bald self-interest as well.  While speaking to those students, Villaraigosa also admitted that as an affirmative action admit to UCLA, “some people have said I got in through the back door, but I left through the front.”  What Villaraigosa failed to mention is that he left campus in 1975 to take a job and didn’t meander back to any graduation doors, front or back, until many years later.[3]

     Those who benefit from an unequal system usually have the most interest in preserving that inequality.  The rabid beneficiaries of affirmative action like Villaraigosa are prime examples of this maxim.

Chapter 1
Chapter 3

1  “Politicians defend Chicano student group linked to Bustamante,” by Chelsea J. Carter, September 4, 2003, AP Wire
2  May 31, 2001 ABC 7/KNX 1070 simulcast, detailed at
3 “His 'Second Chance' Shaped Villaraigosa,” by Matea Gold, May 31, 2001, Los Angeles Times