Antonio Villaraigosa Educational
Villar(aigosa) – UCLA MEChista
Media Blackout on Villar’s Past
For a youth
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.
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." 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.
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
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.
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.”
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.
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.
“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