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Tuesday, May 09, 2006 

Comments on "Hispanic Quebec" Makes Its Entrance by Pierre Dubuc

Yesterday morning I ran across this article on MRZine. Very good, it wrongly identifies the Chican@ nation in the US south-west as the first instance of "ethnic" concentration in a specific region, but still very good. Below is the comment I posted on MRZine.

Comment posted on MRZine:
Bonjour Pierre, and thank you for this very important article. Questions of nationality and national rights (something more than "race" or "ethnicity") is an area of political work, both theoretical and in practice, that the organized left in the US (which is so overwhelmingly white) rarely takes up with any kind of vigor. The perspective you bring as an oppressed nationality comrade in this hemisphere, but from a people (le Québécois) that many folks in the US seem to easily forget, is so very refreshing.

I think that most of your conclusions are right on. I draw one major difference with your insistence that Latin@s in the Southwest constitute the first "ethnic" group to be concentrated in one region of the US. This point, coupled as you did with the role of US aggression and outright land-theft, is very important. But we must not forget about the south's Black Belt which stretches from southern Virginia and North Carolina to eastern Texas, including South Carolina, portions of Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.

The Black Belt south was home to the vast majority of Africans in America for nearly 300 years prior to the great migrations north. Even then, many southern counties still had Black majorities or near majorities inside white-defined county boarders. And this is after 30 decades of post-Reconstruction intense class struggle, lynching, bulldozing and other forms of Klan terror. A must read work, in my opinion perhaps the seminal presentation of this regions unique political economy and the importance of the Black National question, is Harry Haywood’s 1948 work Negro Liberation. In recent years the Black population density in many of these same states and counties is rising as grandchildren and great-grandchildren of former migrants return to their families’ form communities.

(To see this illustrated with maps and charts, the US Census’s American FactFinder and the Historical Census Browser are great sources for data)

That said, again I think that your article is very sharp, and should be read by anyone who wishes to better understand this movement in its own words, on its own terms and in its proper historical context.

Also, to the author of the previous comment: this class reductionism nonsense hasn't helped our movement yet. So can we please just drop it? Our movement must realize that without a strategic alliance between oppressed nationalities inside the US (Blacks and Chican@s, and other minority nationalities) and the US multi-national working class we're doomed to fight the same defensive battles in perpetuity. Lacking such an alliance, the use of words like "solidarity" in the above context aren't just trite, they are actively white-supremacist in form and content.

¡Se ve, se siente, Latinos estan presente!

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