Elevate Difference

NACLA Report on the Americas (Mar/Apr 2007)

Free thinkers must support the independent, alternative publications in this country as a protest against mainstream media’s skewed priorities. Inevitably, news is slanted. With an independent publication, the chance of reading the unvarnished truth is enhanced.

If you wish to embrace diversity and heighten your understanding of our neighbors “South of the border,” read the NACLA Report on the Americas. If you wish to know whether feminism thrives in Latin countries - where machismo is rampant and conservative religious groups oftentimes manipulate governmental officials like puppets - READ this issue.

Be warned, this is not light reading. The articles are stuffed with statistics, historical facts and political jargon. You must think when you read this information. You have to want to read it.

I don’t feel too amiss in telling you about the different chapters inside: Taking Note, Open Forum, Interview, Update, Reviews, ¡YA! Youth Activism and the Report. There are seven separate articles in the Report. While I read them, I thought radical, feminist philosopher Mary Daly’s thesis on the idea of not banging your head against the establishment “wall” and, instead, creating your own empire. If you fight the system, you’re giving your energy to the system, and they will use you. Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega’s betrayal of his feminist compañeras, the women who fought with him to overthrow the former regime, is an example of Daly’s point.

I was also reminded that history repeats itself. The women in the U.S. who fought for our right to vote at the beginning of the 20th century met with violent resistance. We’ve come a long way, baby, indeed; yet, why is the resistance still so belligerent at times? In South America, they actually have a Christian Democratic Party. The Left is quite conservative. Women are involved in the reforms, yet the reforms are not enough, and not all women embrace the proposed feminist changes.

At the same time, Chile has a woman president, Michelle Bachelet, who is an agnostic! Considering Chile’s past, and the infamous bloody military regime, this is an astounding triumph! It makes me wonder. Will the U.S. ever catch up?

The writing in these columns is very clear. The interview with Ruben Martinez, a “trenchant writer on immigration and the migrant experience,” was especially interesting. Women in this country, particularly feminists, should read this report. Our sisters to the South are in a fierce struggle for their rights.

Written by: Patricia Ethelwyn Lang, April 19th 2007

I just wanted to point people to NACLA's website, where you can purchase the issue or read individual articles: it's at http://www.nacla.org.