Smith v. Gutierrez Lubbock The chicano in Texas has a legitimate complaint against the entire system political, social and economic. The chicano, along with the black, has been victimized by the casual, almost unconcerned racism of the Texas establishment. But the aspiration of the chicano for a voice in the counsels of the major parties have received the support of all liberals. Who has called more effectively for meaningful chicano participation in all levels of government than Frances Farenthold? Sen. Ralph Yarborough was consistently the most effective leader for the chicano in the Senate. He was working to pass, and did pass, bilingual education bills and migrant health care bills 12 years ago. His courage in fighting for the poor, the black and the chicano earned him many enemies in the camp of special interest and privilege. We were proud of Sissy Farenthold for asking for dissolution of the Texas Rangers, the mercenaries of feudal land barons. We were proud when Ralph Yarborough cast the last vote against the racist Harold Carswell. The establishment remembered these actions. It spent millions of dollars to defeat these two friends of Cesar Chavez and all of the downtrodden. Have their friends remembered as well? Yes, by and large, they have. Cesar Chavez and Dr. Hector Garcia and most chicano leaders endorsed and helped both Ralph Yarborough and Ms. Farenthold. Only a few vendidos went over to the enemy camp by either not voting or casting a negative ballot. Who were some of the vendidos? During the desperate fight to elect Sissy Farenthold, a true liberal, as governor of Texas, La Raza Unida begged and pled with the chicanos not to vote. La Raza particularly urged the people not to vote in the primary in which Ralph Yarborough, Sen. Joe Bernal and Reps. Tom Moore and Paul Moreno were fighting for their political lives. Ramsey Muniz steadily and consistently attacked Sissy Farenthold in a bitter assault that was based upon nothing more than falsehoods and false emotions. His media appearances were repeated in every possible way by conservative supporters of other candidates. It taxes the credulity of the most politically naive to believe that very conservative elements did not contribute the money necessary for La Raza Unida’s media message. Many people believe that conservative Democrats and Texas Republicans financed Muniz’ campaign. 14 The Texas Observer Communication How can it possibly aid the liberal wing of the Texas Democratic Party to defeat liberals such as Sissy Farenthold, Ralph Yarborough, Tom Moore and the many chicanos who went down to defeat by very narrow margins? I labor the obvious, but I find that many people are still unaware that the votes of each precinct for the Democratic candidate for governor determine the representative of that same precinct in the Democratic Party convention. A vote for the Raza Unida Party, and particularly a vote for Ramsey Muniz in the governor’s race will take away the voice of the chicano in Democratic Party councils. This already muffled voice could be silenced completely in the Democratic Party and all efforts to create a two-party state will be ended, perhaps forever. Seventy thousand votes will give La Raza Unida a permanent place on the ballot and the fight of the liberals to take over the Democratic Party in Texas will be weakened. There will be no need for the conservatives to switch to the Republican Party, for they will control the Texas Democratic Party completely, without one person of statewide stature to raise his voice in opposition. It is said that La Raza Unida asked for $200,000 from the Democratic Party or it would not endorse George McGovern. This is indicative of La Raza’s lack of knowledge of the state of Democratic Party finances, for the McGovern campaign has no funds to bribe anyone and no desire to do so. The failure to endorse George McGovern and the slanderous attack on him can only injure our first liberal presidential candidate. A vote for La Raza Unida and against Barefoot Sanders and Dolph Briscoe is nothing more than a vote for destruction of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party in Texas. It can only result in destroying any hope for a two-party state in which the Democratic Party is representative of the voice of the people and their aspirations for justice. Every Democrat , must tell people why we cannot support La Raza Unida and the vendidos. This year we must hold our noses and vote the straight party ticket. To vote La Raza in any race, particularly in the governor’s race, would give support to those who would blackmail the people who give us all hope for the future. Mark Smith is a lawyer from Lubbock. He is a long-time activist in liberal politics. Mark Smith has not read the following letter from Jose Angel Gutierrez, one of the Raza Unida Party’s chief political strategists. Nor has Gutierrez read Smith’s letter. They wrote to the Observer independent of one another. Ed. It used to be that the white right in Texas, \(the dominant Democratic Party chicanos, blacks, labor and liberals to vote for the lesser of two evils in November. Alas! Now defeated Tom Moore of Waco and sorry Sissy strategists posit another electoral formula for chicanos: chicano best interests lie in voting for white liberals in the primaries. The gringo paternalism and racism implicit in this formula is obvious. We are called “dumb bastards, dumb —” for signing our petition, for our party in order to qualify our candidates. Tom Moore of the Dirty Thirty displays anger that Ramsey is “running around gettin’ the Mexicans all stirred up, voting against their own best interests.” I suppose we should feel bad. It never occurred to us to ask your permission and approval since you never asked ours. White liberals, historically have lost every statewide election save two. R. W. Yarborough managed to win because East Texas white folks voted for him. Now the Moores and the Sissy strategists argue that last June a white-led, white-organized, white-dominated and white-oriented “coalition” could have made Sissy the Democratic nominee. The vote-lucrative days where chicanos turned out in record numbers for white candidates of the right, middle or left are gone. Chicanos now increasingly turn out in record numbers only for their own candidates. The politics of the 70’s will reveal that only white liberals who hitched their wagons to brown stars from the South survived. Furthermore, Moll Ivins is in grave error regarding the presidential election. Our problem as chicanos is not to convince George of our manpower or voting strength. That is his problem. Our problem with George, as with any white liberal, is that chicano votes have always been taken for granted. \(Remember, it is in our best McGovern truly wants to govern, not only must he publically seek the support of chicanos but publically endorse the priorities of chicanos as his own. McGovern, because the Moores and Sissy strategists are running his local campaigns, will carry Texas for Nixon. Liberals like right wing racists won’t vote for a Mexican. The Raza Unida Party is not
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.