Both the Marxist and Neocon defenders of big government have come after Jack Hunter with knives sharpened. Apparently, it’s unacceptable that Senator Rand Paul have a staffer who was once in a secessionist organization:
Prior to his radio career, while in his 20s, Hunter was a chairman in the League of the South, which “advocates the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern States from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic.”
“The League of the South is an implicitly racist group in that the idealized version of the South that they promote is one which, to use their ideology, is dominated by ‘Anglo-Celtic’ culture, which is their code word for ‘white’,” said Mark Pitcavage, the director of investigative research at the ADL.
As we all know, Hunter has renounced many of his views, though that hasn’t calmed down his detractors (has it ever?).
But let’s take a look at another political activist with a similar history — yet very different reception from the media.
Tony Villar joined the UCLA chapter of MEChA, the “Movimiento Estudiantíl Chicano de Aztlán,” or Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan and became that group’s leader. MEChA’s founding statement asserts:
In the spirit of a new people that is conscious not only of its proud historical heritage but also of the brutal “gringo” invasion of our territories, we, the Chicano inhabitants and civilizers of the northern land of Aztlán from whence came our forefathers, reclaiming the land of their birth and consecrating the determination of our people of the sun, declare that the call of our blood is our power, our responsibility, and our inevitable destiny.
We are free and sovereign to determine those tasks, which are justly called for by our house, our land, the sweat of our brows, and by our hearts. Aztlán belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans. We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent.
Talk about your idealized version of history! The organization’s goal is to recover “lost Territories” of the Southwestern United States and form a Chicano country called Aztlan.
A youthful indiscretion? Maybe — but Tony Villar never denounced MEChA’s goals. And later, when Villar changed his name to Antonio Villaraigosa and ran for mayor of Los Angeles, no one one challenged him about his former advocacy of Latino secession. Nor was the issue raised during his tenure as mayor from 2005 to 2013.
When Villaraigosa chaired the 2012 Democratic National Convention, his secessionist past was not so much as whispered in the national media.
Two similar pasts, and two very different outcomes. It makes you wonder if some secessionist movements are more equal than others.