LULAC Marks Cinco De Mayo With A Call To Defend Our Civil Rights In The USA
Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says the Battle for Civil and Political Rights Continues this Cinco de Mayo
Washington, DC - Domingo Garcia, National President of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) issued an open letter to America and Puerto Rico in commemoration of Cinco de Mayo, 2021:
“It’s been just a few months since we came dangerously close to losing our democracy at the hands of anarchists and extremists among us ignited by racist hatred and xenophobia. I never thought that such an open attack on our nation’s Capitol could take place in my lifetime, and by some of our very own neighbors. Now, in Georgia, Arizona, Florida, and Texas, voter suppression campaigns are being mounted to take away the right to vote from veterans, seniors, students, solely because of their color.
It is clear now that just like at the battle of Puebla in 1862, our younger leaders today are the ones who are taking up the battle cry in defense of our country’s freedoms and liberties. These men and women are just like a young Tejano General, Ignacio Zaragoza who defied the odds facing him that fateful day when he held history in his hands. Our communities are confronting police abuse and seeing children put in cages and baby jails by immigration officers. So too, our essential workers are bravely venturing out daily beyond the safety of their homes into the battlefield of a pandemic, to pick our crops, work in meat packing plants, construction sites, and serve in our hospitals. They are nourishing our nation even as elected leaders deny, delay and dilly-dally with ineffective vaccination outreach that has cost our Latino community dearly. Latino hospitalizations and fatalities are the highest of any ethnic group in America, yet the vaccines and resources are lagging that of white America.
The sinister, primarily Republican legislative forces we are facing, are maneuvering, manipulating, gerrymandering and rigging the electoral process to disenfranchise the Latino community. We will meet them head-on, in the ballot box, the courts, and the streets. We know the odds are against us, but they were against us our forefathers and mothers too. They faced the poll-tax, white-only primaries, literacy tests as requirements to vote, and Jim Crow laws. More recently, we are confronting rampant gerrymandering and blatantly discriminatory voter ID laws.
Indeed, even to the US Army, we remind its leaders, there was once Vanessa Guillen. She was a lone, young Latina soldier who endured sexual assault, abuse and finally death. To the Army we say, deny it as you might, today we are Vanessa, millions stronger, ready and resolved. We will demand and compel the Army to respect and protect every woman who wears our country’s uniform within their own enlisted and officer ranks. Hear our battle cry: Vanessa Vive! This battle continues.
At Puebla, the long bloody day finally came to an end. Slowly, the smoke from the battle cannon cleared and the agonizing sounds of dying soldiers went silent. Only then, did it become clear that the Mexican defenders led by that Tejano general had won and defeated the European French invaders. Yes, the Mexicans were scrappy, fewer and fighting only with crude weapons and their hands. Yet, they prevailed because there was no other choice. They were defending their families and their homes. So are we. All across this great country and Puerto Rico, Latinos and our allies are joined in an historic fight for civil rights and social justice. LULAC can and will prevail because we have and we must with our eyes on the future.
So on this Cinco de Mayo, 2021 let the Grito de Libertad go forth in every barrio, colonia, bodega, university, military base, and wherever Latinos live, serve and work. Our battle for equality within the American dream and for JUSTICE AND LIBERTY FOR ALL shall continue until they become a reality for each and all of us! Hasta La Victoria!
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/