By Ernie McCray
Last Saturday a bunch of yahoos known as the “Bordertown Patriots” decided to have a “patriot picnic” at Chicano Park because they were under the illusion that the park excludes people who aren’t Chicano or Mexican.
What that says to me is they had never ventured into the park before with their families and just sat down to a regular picnic and enjoyed themselves -– like so many “normal” people of all ethnicities have done for years.
As for me, Chicano Park is one of my favorite places to take friends and family from out of town, folks who after their visit to the site, leave loving the park as much as I do.
I get so weary of narrow-minded white supremacists like these people and their tired off-the-wall “reverse racism” take on the world.
They don’t understand or care how steeped in spirituality and cultural history Chicano Park is. Through their racist ways of thinking they’ve deprived themselves of an opportunity to just take in the sheer beauty of the park’s murals and architecture that were created by some of the most talented artists one could find anywhere – art that has earned the park the honor of being designated as a National Historic Landmark.
I showed up at the park on that Saturday to stand in solidarity with Barrio Logan against the hate that they faced from the Bordertown Patriots.
It was quite a scene. On one side, you’ve got these loudmouth racist zealots, so comically small in number, cordoned off by San Diego’s Finest, under a blazing sun, waving Old Glory and wearing Old Glory and protective vests and helmets and scarves on their faces, singing God Bless America, as though a diety would have time for their BS.
And there we were, in the shade, scarfing down tacos and enchiladas, smiling and hugging and grooving to the drumbeats of native folks who danced to peace and love with some of us joining in.
When we weren’t dancing we were listening to clergy and community folks who reminded us of the struggles for equality people of color have gone through and the resistance that we have to maintain to keep both our spirit and the spirit of the park alive.
I left Chicano Park that afternoon feeling uplifted, hopeful, committed to staying the course as I realized from the day’s experience that the struggle is nowhere near over as the country is rife with hateful emboldened Nazi kinds of rapscallions trying to “Make America Great Again.”
What I sense, in the likes of people like the “Bordertown Patriots,” is an attitude that they’re the only true Americans in America, citizens who feel they’re losing their privileged status in our society.
They’re so ruled by their fears of most anything: People with dark hues; Jews; Muslims of any hue; fake news aka truths; politically correct views; science; women getting their due; shadows in our inner cities and barrios; Prius autos; politically correct lefties; accurate history; evolutionary theories; the thought of “Under God” being eliminated from the Pledge; gay sex; interracial sex; immigrants or affirmative action of any kind; knowing what’s in their DNA; Martin Luther King Day; Kenyan born presidents of the USA; too many African American players in the NFL and the NCAA and the NBA; kneeling when the anthem is played; fair play unless they benefit in a big way; abortions; threats against their guns; confederate flags being obsolete; anyone waving an Aztlan flag proudly…
Well, I’ve learned over time that fearful people need to be watched because fear makes one capable of most anything, like trying to take over a community’s park.
And they need to know that they are, indeed, being watched, closely, and they also need to understand that their interference in our lives will not be tolerated. There, I’ve heard, were about 700 people standing in opposition to them. That’s just a fraction of us.
Of course, if they had any sense they’d lay their hatreds aside and come hang out in the park peacefully sometime and join the fun that is Chicano Park.
But there’s nobody holding their breath until that happens.