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JOSE ANGEL GUTIERREZ Printer Friendly Page
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Mexican Racist Prof Calls for Reconquista
By Allan Wall
June 7, 2004

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  • Political science professor and Director of the Mexican-American Studies Center at the University of Texas
  • Co-founder of the Mexican American Youth Organization
  • Founder of the militant Chicano activist group La Raza Unida
  • “We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to the worst, we have got to kill him.”
  • “Our devil has pale skin and blue eyes.”

Born in 1944, attorney and longtime Chicano activist Jose Angel Gutierrez is a political science professor and Director of the Mexican-American Studies Center at the University of Texas’ Arlington campus. Gutierrez has also served as President of the School Board for the Crystal City Independent School District; as the Urban Renewal Commissioner for Crystal City, Texas; and as a county judge for Zavala County, Texas. He received a B.A. from Texas A&M University in 1966; a Master's Degree from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas; a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin; and a law degree from the University of Houston's Bates College of Law.

In the 1960s Gutierrez worked to revolutionize public education, demanding equal treatment for Chicano students in U.S. schools. By 1967, however, his call for equality had been transformed into a doctrine of Chicano supremacy which led him to help establish the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO). According to the April 3, 1969 Congressional Record, Texas Democratic Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez said the following about this organization and Gonzalez: “MAYO styles itself the embodiment of good and the Anglo-American as the incarnation of evil. That is ... drawing fire from the deepest wellsprings of hate. The San Antonio leader of MAYO, Jose Angel Gutierrez, may think himself something of a hero, but he is, in fact, only a benighted soul if he believes that in the espousal of hatred he will find love. He is simply deluded if he believes that the wearing of fatigues . . . makes his followers revolutionaries. . . . One cannot fan the flames of bigotry one moment and expect them to disappear the next.”

In a 1969 speech in San Antonio, Gutierrez said: “We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to the worst, we have got to kill him.” On another occasion he said, “Our devil has pale skin and blue eyes.”

Animated by such worldviews and ideals, Gutierrez established the militant La Raza Unida (“the Unified Race”) in the late 1960s. Both Gutierrez and this organization view illegal aliens as "migrants on their own continent” and support an open-borders immigration policy. Moreover, they advocate amnesty, civil liberties protections, and expanded rights for those who have already entered the United States in violation of its immigration laws. 

Despite a waning of interest in the Chicano activist movement through the 1980s, the 1990s saw Gutierrez once again advocating unfettered migration rights for Chicanos throughout North and Central America, and making radical predictions about the future of race relations and population demographics. Speaking in California in 1995, Gutierrez said:

"The border remains a military zone. We remain a hunted people. Now you think you have a destiny to fulfill in the land that historically has been ours for forty thousand years. And we're a new Mestizo nation. And they want us to discuss civil rights. Civil rights ... law made by white men to oppress all of us of color, female and male. This is our homeland. We cannot -- we will not -- and we must not be made illegal in our own homeland. We are not immigrants that came from another country to another country. We are migrants, free to travel the length and breadth of the Americas because we belong here. We are millions. We just have to survive. We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. It’s a matter of time. The explosion is in our population."

In 1999 Gutierrez was the keynote speaker at a banquet for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). At this event, Gutierrez toned down his rhetoric but reiterated his call for Chicanos to seize the U.S by means of population growth. "We have this bright future because we have the critical mass," he said. "We have the means now to take government and to lead. We have to get busy to work on our skills, our abilities, our competency to build that social capital, so we can be excellent leaders . . ."

In April 2004 Gutierrez was invited by the Mexican government to attend the binational Reconquista jamboree. According to columnist Allan Wall, the theme of this event was “Los Mexicanos de Aquí y de Allá -- ¿Perspectivas Comunes?” (“The Mexicans Here [in Mexico] and There [in the United States] -- Common Perspectives?”). The featured speakers at the event stressed their belief that Mexican emigration to the United States should increase, and that Hispanic Americans ought to use their escalating numbers as a means of gaining political advantage.

The day after the Reconquista festivities, Gutierrez spoke at the “Latino Civil Rights Summit” in Kansas City, where he stated: “We are the future of America. Unlike any prior generation, we now have the critical mass. We’re going to Latinize this country.”

Gutierrez has penned a number of books about Chicano activism, including The Making of a Chicano Militant and Making of a Civil Rights Leader: Jose Angel Gutierrez. He is also the author of A Chicano Manual On How To Handle Gringos. According to the publisher, this book's objective is to help facilitate “the conversion of Latino demographic power into educational, economic and political power . . . especially . . . those who want to be activists for themselves and their communities.”

In 1994 Gutierrez received the “Chicano Hero Award” from the National Council of La Raza; in 1995 he received the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education; in 1996 he was named “Distinguished Texas Hispanic” by Texas Hispanic Magazine; and in 2000 he was named one of the “100 Outstanding Latino Texans of the 20th Century” by Latino Monthly.


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