On The O'Reilly Factor, Michelle Malkin declared that Latinos protesting the recent House bill aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration believe in "reconquista," or the theory that "the American Southwest belongs to Mexico." Malkin added that "the intellectual underpinnings of reconquista are embraced by the vast majority of mainstream Hispanic politicians."
Echoing the Washington Times during the March 30 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin declared that Latinos protesting a recent House bill aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration believe in "reconquista," or the theory that "the American Southwest belongs to Mexico." Malkin added that "the intellectual underpinnings of reconquista are embraced by the vast majority of mainstream Hispanic politicians." Malkin also claimed the protesters were advocating "militant ethnic separatism" and "Chicano power," and are "try[ing] to sabotage our sovereignty."
Reconquista is a term associated with El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, the founding document of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (Chicano Student Movement of Aztalan, or MEChA), a group with affiliates at numerous college campuses and several high schools that claims to work toward "improving the social and political situation of the Chicano/Latino community." In an August 20, 2003, column, Malkin called MEChA "an identity politics indoctrination machine on publicly subsidized college and high school campuses nationwide that would make David Duke and the KKK turn green with envy." Critics claim that El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán outlines a plan of recapturing the southwestern United States for Mexico.
But Aztlan and reconquista are concepts promoted by "white supemacists and neo-Nazis" more than by Mexicans or Mexican-Americans, according to a March 30 column by Alex Koppleman, a columnist for Drexel University's biweekly online magazine Dragonfire:
"Aztlan and reconquista these days aren't, for the most part, ideas held by Mexicans: they're ideas held by white supremacists and neo-Nazis. The myth of reconquista stems from a misreading of one of the founding documents of the Chicano movement, "El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan."
A simple Google search shows that the people talking about Aztlan and reconquista are predominantly not Mexican (though there are some radical fringe groups) but white supremacists.
Like the Barnes Review, whose article on reconquista is popular enough to make it the second entry on a Google search for the word. When it's not discussing reconquista, it's publishing books of Holocaust revisionism and screeds by a former SS General, who wrote on the site,
"Is it just -- is it decent -- that those who foresaw the danger clearly -- those who from 1941-45 blocked the gory path of Soviet tanks by hurling in sacrifice all their youth, the tender ties to their families, their young energies, and their desires -- that they are treated as pariahs unto the day of their death and even beyond the grave?"
Then there's the Pilgrims Covenant Church, whose Pastor Ralph Ovadal wrote, "the Roman Catholic Church has its own plan of reconquest. She is determined to reestablish the power she once exercised over the civil governments and populations of the world. The pope, along with the Reconquista cadre, views South, Central, and North Americas as being one 'from Argentina to Alaska.' On several occasions, Pope John Paul II has 'consecrated' this 'America' to 'Our Lady of Guadalupe.' The Mexican people streaming across America's porous southern border are Roman Catholics. It is in the interest of the Vatican to establish as many Roman Catholics as possible in the United States of America. The pope and his partners in spiritual crime care little how the job is done -- whether illegally or legally -- just so it is done."
Malkin's March 29 nationally syndicated column-- in which she claimed the nationwide immigration protests were "militant racism from another protected minority group" -- also addressed the issue of "reconquista." Malkin suggested that the majority of the protesters were followers of the idea:
Aztlan is a long-held notion among Mexico's intellectual elite and political class, which asserts that the American southwest rightly belongs to Mexico. Advocates believe the reclamation (or reconquista) of Aztlan will occur through sheer demographic force. If the rallies across the country are any indication, reconquista is already complete.
Malkin pointed to two examples. The first was a 16-year-old student from Los Angeles who allegedly told the Los Angeles Times: "This is unjust. This land used to belong to us and now they're trying to kick us out." The second example Malkin highlighted was a purported protest sign in Milwaukee, Wisconsin which read: "If you think I'm 'illegal' because I'm a Mexican[,] learn the true history because I'm in my HOMELAND." As Media Matters for America noted, Malkin also claimed in her column that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and California Lt. Gov. Cruz M. Bustamante are "Latino supremacists."
Among other outlets, Malkin's column was reprinted on VDARE.com, an anti-immigration website that describes itself as "white nationalist" and is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. Further, as noted by Koppleman, "VDARE contributor Juan Mann is one of the principal contributors to the immigration blog on Malkin's own site." In a March 27 VDARE column (also posted on Malkin's immigration blog), Mann described the immigration protests as follows:
An estimated 500,000 reconquistas took to the streets in Los Angeles over the past weekend to demand illegal alien amnesty. There were over 30,000 people in Denver, and more in other American cities....cities that are currently American, that is.
Mann is also the owner and administrator of DeportAliens.com.
From the March 30 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Joining us now from Edmonton, Canada, Dr. Raul Hinojosa, who teaches international development at UCLA, and from Raleigh, North Carolina, syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, the author of the book Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores [Regnery, 2002]. All right, Michelle, begin with you. The rhetoric is getting ratcheted up. Now, Ms. [The Nation editor Katrina] vanden Heuvel, who you saw, or heard, on the ABC News program, is an extreme left-wing person. But you know, the personal attacks fast and furious -- and then there's the Mexican flag. What say you?
MALKIN: Well, Katrina vanden Heuvel is a shameless smear merchant, and she's also very clueless and blind. She underscores something that I've noted for a long time about the far left, and that is their own blindness towards racism and ethnic separatism on the part of politically incorrect minorities within their own ranks. While she was smearing Congressman [Tom] Tancredo [R-CO], who has done nothing -- nothing more than insist that we enforce our borders and that the federal government fulfill its obligation to provide for the common defense, while she was doing that, take a look at what was happening in Los Angeles. Just open your eyes, Ms. vanden Heuvel.
It was the far left, the open-borders activists, who were the ones who are the extremists, who were the ones advocating militant ethnic separatism. This is our stolen land. Chicano power. You had folks with Aztlan T-shirts mugging for the cameras in front of city hall. These are people who believe that the American southwest belongs to Mexico, that we don't have a right to enforce our borders, and who do nothing more than try to sabotage our sovereignty.
O'REILLY: We are going to be as fair as humanly possible here on this whole issue. But what did the Mexican flag say to you, Michelle?
MALKIN: Well, first of all, do not buy Dr. Hinojosa's spin. He sounds very reasonable. He sounds very benign, but the kind of quote-unquote "pride" that a lot of these illegal alien activists are touting now goes much further than just being proud about one's heritage and one's roots. The idea, the intellectual underpinnings of reconquista are embraced by the vast majority of mainstream Hispanic politicians, as well as the international --
O'REILLY: How do you know that, Michelle? How do you know that?
MALKIN: Because I've read -- because I've read the history. And look at it -- can I --
HINOJOSA: Not true.