May 31, 2013

Aztec dancers support liberal causes

Dancing Aztecs step up for leftist causes

Dancing to support gay rights or oppose police brutality is all part of the routine for the hardest-working group in Southern California's leftist protest circuit.

By Hector Becerra
Aztec dancers have shown up to support gay rights and oppose police brutality. They've been invited to protests by African American groups and Asian ones, including the Korean Immigrant Worker Assn. They've protested Christopher Columbus. Three years ago, they danced and beat drums in Westwood at a pro-Palestinian rally.

"Aztec dancers at a protest for any leftist cause in Southern California are as ubiquitous as 'si se puede' chants and posters of Emiliano Zapata and Che Guevara," says Gustavo Arellano, editor of the OC Weekly and author of the syndicated "Ask a Mexican!" column.

They also frequently dance at antiwar protests, which might seem a bit strange, seeing as the Aztecs weren't exactly known as peace-loving lotus-eaters.

Alexei Hong, 30, an activist for the antiwar, anti-hunger group Food Not Bombs, says the thought sometimes occurs to her when she sees the Aztec dancers.

"I think of war and empire, and then it's funny to see them at these anti-imperialist and antiwar protests," says Hong, who rode her bike at the May Day protest.

The Aztecs, Garcia says, get a bad rap.

"The myth is that we are a bloodthirsty people, but that's not true," she says, picking at her salad at a Denny's the day before the big march. "It's one of the struggles we've had as an indigenous people, the image that has been forced on us to justify all sorts of things that have been done."
Comment:  For more on the Aztecs, see Humboldt Republic's "Chief Life" T-Shirts and Aztl├ín the Board Game.

Below:  "Costumed members of the Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc political Aztec dance group perform on Broadway in downtown L.A. earlier this month. (Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

One part of it is, the Aztecs of today are more than aware that cutting people's hearts out isn't the only thing keeping the sun alive, and that in fact that thing has another 5 billion years to go.

And it's good that they weren't "peace-loving lotus-eaters". I hate lotus-eaters, imagining the perfect world and doing nothing to bring it about. Nothing is worse than inaction.

(Too bad about the mention of Guevara. He was fairly paternalistic to the Congolese.)

dmarks said...

Guevara was a man in the mold of Columbus. He heralded a new wave of European colonial brutality in Latin America. He is actually on record saying that the Soviets weren't brutal enough. And why make a liberal icon out of someone who proposed putting gay people in death camps???

Che is an emblem of extreme genocidal fascism.

dmarks said...

Anon: Yes, of course. The Soviets were the last, and one of the worst, European colonizers. The "paternal" aspect they presented to those they perceived as racially inferior was obvious.

Anonymous said...

Everybody has commemts on us, Aztlan Mexica Nation, yet they are always misconstrue in there views on us. We never sacrefice anybody, we don't were costumes or pretend to be something we are not. We are Not hispanic, latino or latinas, nor anglos. We are the true soveriegn people of this land proud Mexicas true warriors showing who we are in our clothes