"It’s in the blood now and not just my blood… Someone has to answer to all the smothered lives of all the fighters who have been forced to carry on, chained to a war for freedom just like a slave chained to his master. Somebody has to pay for the fact that I’ve got to leave my friends to stay whole and human, to survive intact, to carry on the species and my own Buffalo run as long as I can." -Zeta
A man stands in front of a group of students in a classroom with theatre style seating. His back is to the audience as he stretches his arm up towards the projection of two pictures of a man on a white screen. Two men actually. His palm is adjacent to the wall and his long fingers spread out as if he, through some form of telekinesis, where holding up the four walls in the classroom. He is tall and wiry, brown with and arrowhead nose. He wears a blue suit and a tie stars and stripes. He looks gaudy.
On the left, the a black and white picture of a young man in with jet black hair dark frames standing proudly staring ahead him and away from the camera. He is surrounded by students that look just like him, undeterred, staring straight past an invisible line of scrimmage into the eyes of an opponent who is everywhere, the uninviting future. We are told that this is the same man in the picture on the right, though I have my doubts. The man on the right stands by idlely with an overfed look in his eye. He stares straight ahead at the camera and rests his conjoined hands on his belly. Underneath this photo, after his name it reads "PHD."
Arrowhead nose continues with his sermon; "Notice the transition, the transformation from…activist student to a professional Chicano. A Doctor no less. This is what this organization is about, helping Chicanos focus their energy in positive ways, to put you in these seats of power. At this moment all of you, my brown brothas and sistas of Aztlan, are making this transformation as you choose to accept the challenge of a college education." I shudder. I quiver.
What happened to our anger, the kitchens where two parts gasoline where mixed with one part oil and one part soap, chasing money changers out of churches, protecting ourselves and protecting each other. Lives are still being smothered under the hot sun where an invisible line dictates life or death, the cold nights where the barefoot venture out onto the sides of dark highways, children being shot in the back for pulling their pants up. No wonder there has always been a mistrust of the academic sector. These theories of self-improvement and gospels of solidarity conceal more or as many subliminal messages as the Evening World News or a fucking State of the Union address. It somehow stings more when it’s through the lips of "one of our own". No wonder I’m on my one. We are currently undergoing the process of being fixed, that is castration from ourselves and each other, and are to numb to feel a thing.
A man in the front seat interjects, "Well, when I think of MECHA, I there seems be a negative connotation to the name. I think of low riders." FUCK. That’s what that is. Mentally I’ve checked out, but I stay in my seat to not attract attention to myself. "What will I become?", I think to myself. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see a College Professor. I’ve already learned to adjust my inflections and speech patterns, perhaps I should grow my hair and change the way I dress if nothing more, as a subversive act. I could shave of my mustache and goatee. Maybe I should allow the woman at the barber shop to trim my eyebrows. She says a trim would make me look less angry. I certainly wouldn’t want to upset anyone with the way I look, let alone my thoughts. Maybe I could go by my middle name, Brian, that sounds much more acceptable. Maybe I should smash this mirror. Maybe I should tell these Chicano professionals that they’re full of shit.
Maybe for, just for now, I will hold my peace. One day I will be in front of the classroom with my palms in the sky and I will give my sermon, I will cause tension in the mind by distorting the distortions, altering the shape and characteristic of the seat of power. I won’t even sit in that arm chair.