permanent director be found. Dale Barker, editor of the Zavala County Sentinel \(which strongly opposes La Raza points out that part of the problem is that in Washington, where such projects are funded, $13,000 or $18,000 a year is not considered a princely salary. In New York City, it would barely qualify the recipient as middle class. But in Cristal, if you’re earning over ten thousand per, you are considered to be chopping in tall cotton. Gonzalez’ penchant for Cadillacs has also raised hackles. He points out that he had a Cad when he first came to Cristal four years ago \(from a good job with the gotten three new ones since then, but he says it’s because he wears them out, being constantly on the road to San Antone or Austin on school business. Gonzalez does seem to have some difficulty relating to the teachers who work under him. One, L. F. Villarreal II, who was fired after his first year, reinstated after a hearing and resigned after his second year, wrote a letter to the Sentinel eulogizing Gonzalez as, among other things, “a disgustingly hideous excuse for a human being.” Gamez, who is somewhat more objective, says, “Noe knows what grants are available and know to get them. That’s his strong suit, hustling money from the foundations and in Washington. He’s really very good, very forceful at that and has brought in many good programs. But he has a terrible problem getting along with the teachers. In fact, they all hate him. Armencio Candi [his assistant] has to do all the people work.” If the question of politically-motivated hiring in the Cristal school system is touchy, the matter of political firings is even worse. This spring, the Gutierrez-approved slate of Raza candidates had primary opposition from a group called La Raza Libre. According to Gutierrez, Reyes and everyone else in Raza Unida, the Raza Libre slate was simply the same tired old group of middle-class chicano vendidos who have opposed Raza Unida from the beginning. But there is some evidence that indicates the Raza Libre folks are what they claim to be former Raza Unida supporters who have become digusted with the way Gutierrez is running Crystal City. One of the Libre candidates had been previously elected on a Raza slate and the others said they had voted and worked for La Raza in the past. The anglos have at least become politically sophisticated enough to deny to a man that they ever had anything to do with Raza Libre. Dora Graza, one of the unsuccessful Libre candidates for the school board, takes a grim and sardonic view of Gutierrez’ claim that she and her colleagues are nothing but middle class sellouts. “Huh, I read that story about Angel in the San Antonio Light last Sunday,” she said, coming very close to snorting. She is a native of Cristal and added, “All my life things were bad under the gringos, but not as bad as they are now. It seems to me that all those people want is power. They get rid of everybody who doesn’t agree with them. Angel said in that article, was quoted as saying about how he had worked in the fields and he understood the problems of the migrants. Huh. I was to school with Angel. He was a rich boy. He was the middle-class Mexican, not us. We were the ones who really went to work in the fields every summer. “Angel,” she continued, “his father was the doctor. In school, he was always with the gringos. He hung around with them. All his friends were gringo. He was elected president of the student body and all that because his gringo friends wanted him to have it. He took all the gringo courses, like algebra and physics. We were the ones who worked our way up, got some education by fighting and scratching for it. Now he tells us that we’re not really for the people because we’re too middle class. Because we worked and got some education, suddenly that means we’re not really with our people.” AGAINST the very real rage of Dora Graza and chicanos like her, one must set the kind of perspective offered by John Shockley in his excellent and recently published book on Cristal, Chicano Revolt in a Texas Town. Whatever else Angel Gutierrez may be, he is one hell of a good political organizer. And as such, he does not simply manipulate the politics of Cristal, as so many anglos seem to think; he must, of necessity, respond to the political realities of Cristal. Shockley compares the town to South Africa a vast majority of long-oppressed semi-literate, politically-inexperienced people. If one is politically active in such an environment, one is either seriously committed to participatory democracy, i.e., “radical” enough to give some of the semi-literate, politically-inexperienced majority ‘ real responsibility, or one chickens out to one degree or another and lets the “qualified” chicanos effectively control the “rabble.” While it is exhilarating to play with political theories about what the revolution The Texas Observer Publishing Co. 1974 Ronnie Dugger, Publisher A window to the South A journal of free voices Vol. LXVI, No. 13 July 5, 1974 hicorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin ForumAdvocate. Editorial and Business Offices: The etas Observer, 600 W. 7th St., Austin, 01. Telephone 477-0746. THE TEXAS OBSERVER ,4111113-V.: Contributing Editors: Steve Barthelme, Bill Brammer, Gary Cartwright, Joe Frantz, Larry Goodwyn, Bill Hamilton, Bill Helmer, Dave Hickey, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Larry Lee, Al Melinger, Robert L. Montgomery, Willie Morris, Bill Porterfield, James Presley, Buck Ramsey, John Rogers, Mary Beth Rogers, Roger Shattuck, Edwin Shrake, Dan Strawn, John P. Sullivan, Tom Sutherland. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it.. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of humankind as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who arc associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with her. Writers arc responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that she agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. BUSINESS STAFF Joe Espinosa Jr. C. R. Olofson The Observer is published by Texas Observer Publishing Co., biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the ACt of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Single copy, 50c. One year, $8.00; two years, $14.00; three years, $19.00; plus, for Texas addresses, 5% sales tax. Foreign, except APO/FPO. 50c additional per year. Airmail, bulk orders, and group rates on request. Microfilmed by Microfilming Corporation of America, 21 Harristown Road, Glen Rock, N.J. 07452. Change of Address: Please give old and new address, including zip codes, and allow two weeks. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Texas Observer, 600 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701. EDITOR Kaye Northcott CO-EDITOR Molly Ivins ASSOCIATE EDITOR John Ferguson EDITOR AT LARGE Ronnie Dugger
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