Ramsey Muniz: 'The world is not going to let them bury me in the prisons of America'

As supporters of Ramsey Muniz gather today in Houston, we share a recent letter forwarded by his wife, Irma.–gm

Dear Friends:
I share a personal letter sent to me by Ramsey.
–Irma Muniz

Your father has given lectures like you have no idea or thought. He takes me all the way back to when we, the roots of our Chicano cultural, political, and spiritual movement, would speak about freedom, justice, and about having a voice in America’s process like never ever before in our history. I would ask why it was that we, Mexicanos, were the majority of population in the entire South Texas and we would at times not even have one city council or school board member.

The conservative establishment was against me because I was arousing the consciousness of our people like no other in history. Before they knew it, Mexcianos, Chicanos, and Hispanic candidates were stepping forward in the life of democracy like never ever before. That is a history that was created with the help of God. Now we have Latinos, Hispanics, Chicanos, Mexican American U.S. Congressmen and Congresswomen and even Republican women as governors in New Mexico and in Nevada and all because we had a vision that one day we would be the majority and counted in this world. I sought happiness, peace, love, equality, and family love like never ever before and all of that has now gradually come to pass.

Even our young people are going to witness changes in the entire Southwest of the United States like never ever before in our history and they can mark that down because it is going to happen. How do I know? Well, they would have to communicate with the spirits who are in heaven and those spirits only communicate with those that God has chosen.

We will forever keep our hearts open and our souls ready to forgive those who never ever gave me a drink of water for my thirst, a piece of bread for my hunger, or a blanket to cover my body which was naked for days, weeks, and months shackled and chained the entire time.

The world is not going to let them bury me in the prisons of America which is what they desire to do. Otherwise they would be up front seeking my freedom. We do not wish to die in the prisons of America and we are going to do everything possible because my freedom is the freedom for the masses of humanity out there in the so-called free world


Whitewashing Election Fraud

By Greg Moses

IndyMedia Houston / North Texas / Austin / NYC /
Michigan / Atlanta / DC /

ILCA Online / Portside / CounterPunch / DissidentVoice / OpEdNews

Racism is best

known among white folks for the overt
ways that bigotry chooses to abuse. This is what

white liberals to excuse themselves from
charges that they are racist, because (God bless ’em)

they don’t set out to hurt anybody. But Ralph Ellison
titled his classic novel Invisible Man,

because racism
is a grim problem also of what white folks do not see.
And this problem persists

insufferably, right down to
this morning’s news.

On this day after the election-fraud

hearings led by
John Conyers and his Democratic colleagues at the
Judiciary Committee, I am

beginning to feel the
effects of racism’s one-two punch. On the overt side,
we have the written

testimony of Judith A. Browne,
acting co-director of the Advancement Project in


For Browne, whose testimony to the Conyers committee
is posted online, “voters

of color” have been targets
of Republican-led disenfranchisement in the elections
of 2000 and


Click to access brownevotestmt12804.pdf


2004,” writes Browne, “it became clear that there
were efforts underway to dust off Reconstruction

statutes in order to disenfranchise voters,
particularly minority voters.”

“There were clear warnings that challenges would be
used to disenfranchise voters,”

says Browne. “Prior
to Election Day in Nevada and Ohio, 17,000 and 35,000
challenges were

filed, respectively,
disproportionately in urban areas. (Over 17,000 of
the Ohio challenges were

filed in Cuyahoga County.)
In addition, poll observers registered in
unprecedented numbers in

Florida and Ohio, with the
intent to engage in massive challenges inside


Browne is referring to laws that allow pollwatchers to
act as

self-deputized vigilantes at voting precincts,
thrusting their bodies between ballot boxes

voters, demanding proofs of identification and

If you have never

seen this process at work, then you
might not feel the nausea. But I have seen them, the

shaven, starched-pants Republicans who show up
on election day to a black community center and

over old women with their dirty questions. Makes you
want to spank them on their freshly

cut heads. Didn’t
their mothers teach them no manners?

“The targets,” Browne

reports, “were new voters in
urban areas.” Or to put it more plainly, new Black
voters, the

“Vote or Die” crowd that P-Diddy was
trying to mobilize.

Add to this the “felon

purge” technique, in which
Republican Party officials, knowing that they are
working with

“felon” lists “tainted by racial
discrimination”, set out to challenge thousands of
voters by

the batch.

“This,” says Browne, “is voter suppression in 2004.”
And this is what

we may call racism of the overt
bigotry kind. Racism type one. On this form of

Browne’s statement continues for several more
pages at the Conyers hearing


Which brings us to racism type two, the invisibility
maneuver. For this type

of racism, it’s best to begin
with liberal columnists. Scan their morning-after
reports for

words like “minority”, “black”, “civil
rights.” Or try this Google test. First do a

search for Conyers hearings. Very good, lots of fresh
hits. Now try a news search for

Judith Browne
Advancement Project under “News.” See there. Your
search did not match any

documents (at 9:25 am CST).

Overt racism by right-wing Republicans is the core

at work here, but it is aided and abetted by
invisibility racism found in left commentators

media reports, who fail to center the civil rights
struggle. An issue that is clearly about

racism and
civil rights has been whitewashed into “voter fraud”
generica. Type one racism

answered with type two.
Browne’s careful citation of race-based discrimination
followed by

Browne’s invisibility in the press. The
one-two punch continues.

There may not be

much that can happen to change the
results of the presidential election, so the
whitewashing of

“election fraud” may not have an
immediate consequence for those who are focused on the

machine today. But here in Texas, Republicans
are taking three newly elected Democrats into a

process of hearings before a Republican-controlled
chamber. “Election fraud” is the

allegation that
Republicans are bringing against the Democrats.

In Texas, therefore,

the generic cry of “election
fraud” will very likely make invisible the crucial
civil rights

component that ties together the fates of
three would-be state legislators with racist powers

Ohio and Florida.

In particular, take the case of Hubert Vo, a

immigrant who beat a Republican powerhouse
by about 30 votes. If the Vo election is

by a Republican-led Legislature on whitewashed charges
of “election fraud”, then the

losers will be a
coalition of urban voters who worked hard on this
grassroots coup. And the

winners will be white
suburban voters, again.

Yet, if the pattern of injustice in

“voter fraud” is a
pattern that seeks to favor white suburban voters over
struggling urban

voters, wherever they are, then
making this pattern visible, for once, could tip this
30 vote

scale in Vo’s favor, and reverse for the first
time in more than 30 years a steady trend

Republican domination of Texas politics.

The white left is meaningless without

a civil rights
coalition. The sooner the white left embraces this,
in deed and word, the sooner

we’ll be able to see a
real future in front of us. The sooner, also, that a
national movement of

progressives can make a real
difference in the


Opinon: Perfect Backlash


November feud between the Texas A&M University administration and the Young Conservatives of Texas over

the impropriety of an “affirmative action bake sale” reveals that the concept of “diversity” need

not entail a commitment to civil rights. Soon after the president of the university appealed to the

YCTs for civility and diversity, he suspended civil rights in admissions.

Whether one

opposes civil rights loudly and uncivilly, as with the bake sale, or loudly and civilly, as with the

suspension of affirmative action, the common bond is opposition to civil rights as we know them in the

21st Century….
The administration’s emphasis on a strategy of “diversity” without civil

rights serves to frame the process of admissions as something the University confers solely by its own

good graces. This construction of the matter evades recognition that some applicants, as members of

protected classes under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, hold civil rights that the University is bound to


At “Sections,” the Texas Civil Rights Review provides the essential history

of how Texas pledged to undertake affirmative action as a way to meet its responsibilities under civil

rights law. The decision to suspend affirmative action breaks that promise and declares that Texas A&M

will serve as its own authority in matters of civil rights enforcement.

(I don’t know

where these recent developments leave the athletic department, which has been quite vocal in its

opposition to the YCT bake sale antics. Now the coaches and recruiters work under a president who is

telling the state’s elected leaders of color that he’s not going to respect their demands for civil

rights at Texas A&M.)

Adding all this up, it is tempting to conclude that the

administration is mostly irritated by the YCT lack of tack, presenting the Aggie attitude in ways that

make the administration’s policies much more naked than they otherwise might have seemed. The YCTs

also serve as a more scary alternative to leadership that at least recognizes the importance of


The YCT’s opposition to “diversity” policy as such reveals that attitudes

of racist supremacy still thrive. They could not even tolerate the administration’s appointment of a

“diversity officer.” In this context, the administration’s promise to provide “diversity” without

civil rights may be viewed as a way of pandering to a climate of racist opinions.


dramatized tensions displayed between the YCTs and the president over the question of holding an

“affirmative action bake sale” served to keep the focus of the community mired in reactionary

alternatives to the status quo.

Thanks to the YCT flap, the president is able to swoop

in to “defend” his new diversity chief, announce a “bold new program” of pure salesmanship, and

never mention that he is deliberately breaking commitments made by the state of Texas to federal

offices of civil rights.

140 years after the emancipation proclamation the party of

Lincoln returns triumphant to the South, so Southern that Lincoln is surely wincing at the meaning of

it all. Whether we consider the “affirmative action bak sale” by the YCTs or the unilateral

suspension of affirmative action by the administration, Texas A&M provides evidence that it is still a

pre-eminent incubator of racist leadership. Keep an eye on those YCTs as their careers blossom before

your eyes.

(Gates taught the YCTs a lesson all right: Looks kids, stop pushing

cookies. Watch a real pro at work.)

In the end, the showcase dispute over the value of

“diversity” does not mask the fact that there is no disagreement between the YCTs and the

administration about the substance of civil rights. And without any clear commitment to civil rights

there can be no “excellence in leadership.”

If we sum together Texas A&M’s suspension

of its civil rights commitments and the Republican-driven redistricting plan that is now under judicial

review, then we come up with an image of perfect backlash in Texas.

gm–last revised

Dec. 12, 2003

Dallas Morning News: A&M Sticks to Stand

Several minority lawmakers on Monday urged Texas A&M University officials to reverse their

decision to not consider race in admitting students, but university President Robert Gates told them in

a private meeting he opposes using race as a