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candidates. It’s not as if La Raza Unida were the only protest avenue. The truly disenchanted voter can still protest Briscoe-Grover-Muniz by voting for the American Independent or Socialist candidates or by just not voting at all in the gubernatorial race, which is what Muniz threatened to do in the presidential voting. OF COURSE, none of this goes to the root of the problem, which is La Raza Unida’s own distrust and discontent with white liberals. For years, liberals have courted the Mexican-American vote, calling on chicanos to follow the leadership of great white liberal leaders Kennedy, Yarborough, Farenthold in recent times. And now that chicanos are offering their own candidate, the great white liberal leaders are off supporting someone not-so-great, not-so-liberal but certainly white. Muniz is espousing almost exactly the same platform that Ms. Farenthold ran on a corporate profits tax, regional governor’s offices, upgrading public education to equalize educational opportunity, economic development of sub-par areas of Texas. Yet, who is Sissy supporting? None other than that bowl of pablum, as she herself described him, and her reasoning is that she is committed to reform within the Democratic Party the party of Connally, Barnes, et al. , that has been in power since the days of Reconstruction and throughout the chicanos’ last century of misery, despair, discrimination and injustice. Those have been the more observable gains for Mexican-Americans during Texas Democratic rule. But back to La Raza Unida and Saturday afternoon, the second day of the convention, after Gonzales and Gutierrez finished their keynote speeches. Then came a spontaneous chant . “We want Ramsey, We want Ramsey.” It continued for several minutes and Jose Angel, still at the podium, appeared disturbed. He finally explained that Muniz would be introduced, along with all other party candidates, at a later time. But the chant only became stronger. At last, Jose Angel walked off the stage to confer with Muniz, who was at the rear of the hall. Then, in one of his briefest speeches to date, about a minute long, Muniz acknowledged the delegates’ tribute and said he would speak that night. At a dance that night, Muniz spoke to about 1,000 Mexican-American workers striking against the Farah Manufacturing Co. The night before, he had spoken to a few hundred delegates at a rally in a city park. Both times, however, he spoke late and received little coverage from the wire services and three of the state’s largest newspapers covering the convention, the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. Then, too, there was the local media, New York Times and Los Angeles Times correspondents, a stringer for both the Washington Post and the Boston Globe, with copy placed on the Post-LA Times wire service. And add to that crews from CBS and the National Public Affairs ON SUNDAY, Muniz left El Paso, having spent much of his time alone at the convention or in a hotel room, and resumed his campaign in Lubbock where he spoke to several thousand Mexican-Americans attending the state convention of Cursillos de Cristiandad, a re-Christianization of Catholics group. He returned to El Paso Monday where he thought he would address the convention along with the Most Rev. Patrick Flores, auxiliary bishop of the San Antonio diocese, and a long-time chicano civil rights leader. Neither Muniz nor Bishop Flores were allowed to speak. Several state delegations objected to hearing Bishop Flores because of his public support for some Democratic candidates in other states. Gutierrez, elected both chairman of the convention and chairman of the party, explained to Muniz’ press relations man that he felt he could not impose his will on the rest of the convention. The snub to Muniz and Bishop Flores, as it was widely interpreted, was perhaps indicative of what farm labor leader Cesar Chavez might have faced, had he attended the convention. Delegates adopted a . resolution supporting the farm workers’ effort, but never once was Chavez’ name mentioned. The most noticeable omission came on Saturday when Gutierrez, during his keynote address, recognized and praised the movement’s leaders. Convention organizers said Chavez had been invited to speak at the convention some time ago but that he had failed to acknowledge the invitation. Finally, during the last-minute, pre-convention planning, party leaders telephoned Chavez, who was told he could still attend the convention but only with “special’ conditions,” according to Mario Compean, the Texas state chairman of the party. Among these conditions were that Chavez no longer would be a guest of the national convention itself but of the Texas delegation and that Chavez would have to restrict his talk to his farm labor efforts and the chicano movement, meaning no talk of McGovern, whom Chavez already has endorsed. Compean said Chavez had decided not to come under those conditions. Interestingly enough, several Texas delegates who attended a closed-door caucus of the state delegation say the delegation was told that Chavez himself imposed conditions that party leaders could not accept. IN THE PAST, Chavez has been privately criticized by some Raza Unida leaders for keeping his longtime ties with the Democratic Party and for failing to assist La Raza Unida in its organizing efforts in California. A few Raza Unida leaders have even accused Chavez of now having more in common with George Meany and other labor leaders than with the average Mexican-American. In an interview last month, Compean said he felt there was no orchestrated effort to alienate Chavez. “We’re not castigating Chavez nor saying we don’t support his movement,” Compean said. “We are saying that we have serious disagreements on how things are going to be accomplished . . . I understand why he is motivated the way’ he is, but there are a lot of chicanos who can’t see it and are being turned off by Chavez.” And throughout the convention, party leaders stressed unity and harmony among all factions of La Raza Unida. Even after the long floor fight between Gutierrez and Gonzales for leadership of the party, both met at the center of the stage with an “abrazo” and raised each other’s arms in a show of party unity. So much for the party’s birth. What happens from here on may indeed make La Raza Unida the cutting edge of the chicano movement as well as a force to be reckoned with in state and electoral politics in the Southwest. There is no question that La Raza Unida has become the dominant political force in numerous South Texas towns nor that it will continue to be so in other communities where there are large numbers of Mexican-Americans. The question is what kind of impact can it have in urban areas where even large numbers of Mexican-Americans are a small percentage of the population Houston and Dallas, for example. There is no doubt that La Raza’s potential has been untapped in places like El Paso and San Antonio. It indeed could become the balance of power and maybe even more, should there be a serious, sincere effort to open the party to more than just the Raza Unida-or-nothing chicanos. This is the question that may be answered by Muniz’s candidacy, which undoubtedly is somewhere to the right of the political air blowing at the party’s national convention. “I know where I stand and I know where the party stands,” said Muniz in a late week interview. “None of us can say who is one of us, who is Raza Unida and who isn’t. Once we start doing that we’re right back alongside the Republicans and the Democrats and it’ll be a choice between tweedle-dee, tweedle-dum and tweedle-d a.” Castro is a staff reporter for the Dallas Morning News and a correspondent for The Washington Post. September 22, 19 72 5