About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

In the last years of the Porfirio Diaz dictatorship, Bishop Banegas y Galvan of Querétaro made the following observation, inteded to chasten the wealthy in Mexico: “You rich men, there is no other way open: either you must open your hearts to charity and reduce the hours of work and increase wages, or you are accumulating hatred and resentment . . . and your riches and yourselves will be buried.” It isn't like we're talking about a flood of Liberation Theology in Mexico in 1900 - even the very conservative Catholic church recognized a disaster coming down the pike when they saw it.

The recent disaster in the Pena Nieto campaign for the presidency of Mexico has given Mexicans another taste of Porfirian-style disdain (let's face it, it is pura PRI-ista, but a historian has to eat, no?). In response the mocking that fluff-boy PN got for his inability to talk about books that have shaped his life, PN's daughter re-tweeted a comment saying "hello to all the idiots in the proletariate that only know how to crticize those they envy." No shocker that a PRI-bot has created a nasty well of anti-worker / anti-peasantry / anti-most-people-in-Mexico sentinment in his home. This is a dangerous time for the PRI to be engaged in such hijinks. With violence in Mexico beyond intolerable levels making the PAN non-viable in 2012, there could be a political response to dig AMLO's credibility out of the ground and "bury" the men of wealth ... and their petty daughters.

Lest the US get smug, spend five minutes on Faux News or looking at the pictures of the Wells Fargo "Homeless" themed party of foreclosure and PN's daughter looks down-right charitable.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Freedom University - F.U.[,] Georgia.

Lorgia Garcia Pena, Pamela Voekel, Bethany Moreton, and Betina Kaplan are four professors at the University of Georgia in Athens that have decided to take on the the not-so-peachy state and the UGA Board of Regents' decision to ban undocumented students from the state's top three campuses. Freedom University is a clandestine (at least the classroom is Bat-Cave secret to protect the alumnos) school for undocumented students where the four profesoras teach on Sundays at no cost to the students and for no benefit to themselves. And I will give my (FWIW) plug for the group: Voekel was my undergraduate advisor and Moreton was a teaching assistant (both at the University of Montana) that I had the benefit of learning from. Voekel is a top flight writer and a PhD out of UT Austin. Moreton is a Yale PhD and the author of a fantastic book on Wal-Mart. Both of them are incredible thinkers and great teachers, and the students at Freedom U. are getting one heck of an education - for free.

Huffington Post did a bit on Freedom University a few months back, and now CNN has run a piece in English and Spanish on the group. CNN does a great job of crunching the numbers and showing that even though the undocumented might be tax payers AND still paying 3X the price to attend a Georgia school, the regents have banned the "flood" (27 students in all) of undocumented students to make sure that every seat in the class room goes to a Georgia citizen. Seriuosly? Watch the CNN interview and see what kind of students Georgia is excluding.

If you feel like donating to the cause (either books or money), visit the group's web site see here. Freedom University.

To see the CNN bits, visit here for Spanish. Visit here for English. To read the HuffPost piece, see here.

And, hey, go F.U. [,] Georgia.