The president of the League of United Latin American Citizens’ (LULAC) Santa Ana chapter has been the target of a smear campaign by a fanatically anti-Semitic Chicano website based in Whittier, the Weekly has learned.
Zeke Hernandez, president of the Santa Ana LULAC chapter, sent the Weekly an e-mail that shows him to be the latest victim of La Voz de Aztlan’s yearlong efforts to sully the reputations of prominent OC Latinos.
Over the span of a week in early November 2001, Hernandez and La Voz engaged in a one-sided Net flame war. Hernandez sent 11 requests via e-mail asking that Santa Ana LULAC be taken off La Voz’s mailing list, but La Voz webmaster Roberto Cruz refused. Cruz accused the Santa Ana chapter president of trying to censor La Voz’s content and claimed that Hernandez had no authority to remove LULAC from La Voz’s list despite the fact that Hernandez moderates Santa Ana LULAC’s website. It got uglier: in his final e-mail to Hernandez, dated Nov. 11, 2001, Cruz accused Hernandez of being a Jew four times within the same message. “Are you a Hispanic judio, too?” the e-mail concludes. “We mean to sic offense in asking this question.”
Ten days later, all was seemingly forgiven. La Voz published an article on its site (www.aztlan.net) titled “LULAC Questions Zionist’s Attack on La Raza” that congratulated LULAC for criticizing Proposition 227 author Ron Unz (whom La Voz refers to as a “Jewish Mogul and Zionist”) after Unz wrote a National Review piece comparing bilingual-education activists to terrorists.
But LULAC wasn’t happy with La Voz’s pat on the back. Four days later, Hernandez took the extraordinary measure of issuing a national press release condemning La Voz for its commendation of LULAC.
“LULAC finds the commentary of La Voz de Aztlan repugnant,” read the statement, “and disassociates itself from the inappropriate and racist commentary made using the LULAC press statement.”
Seven months later, La Voz still has not forgiven Hernandez for his stand. In a June 10 e-mail that Hernandez provided to the Weekly, La Voz’s editor, Ernesto Cienfuegos, tells Jeffrey H. Brody, an associate professor of communications at Cal State Fullerton, that Hernandez had written “objectionable e-mails” concerning La Voz’s Unz/LULAC article.
“Mr. Hernandez’s views on freedom of speech and of the press, I am happy to report, are not shared by the general LULAC membership,” Cienfuegos wrote, vowing to expose Latinos like Hernandez that seek a huesito–a selling out of their community.
Such is the way of La Voz, whose editorial philosophy is a fascinating combination of rabid Chicano nationalism, blatant homophobia, and a perverted Catholicism that considers Judaism the root of all evil. Most disturbing to them, though, are Latinos who they suspect have fallen under the influence of los judios–the Jews.
The Hernandez incident wasn’t the first time La Voz Jew-baited local Latinos. In a letter dated Aug. 8, 2001, La Voz publisher Hector Carreon accused Santa Ana-based immigrant-rights group Hermandad Mexicana Nacional of falling under the influence of Jews in using taxpayer money to promote “the deviant, perverted, sinful and decadent homosexual lifestyle.”
The catalyst for this allegation was a letter written on Hermandad stationary by Hermandad’s public relations director, Katy Perez, to La Voz criticizing the website’s homophobic editorializing (which blames homosexuality on Jews). Commending Hermandad for “the courage that you have demonstrated in the past in standing up against the bigots at the Anaheim Police Department,” Carreon nevertheless felt that “it Perez’s letter is a highly improper way to use the name, legacy and time of Hermandad.”
Furthermore, according to Carreon, Jews and jotos (Spanish for “fags”) caused Hermandad’s apparent deviation from its mission of immigrant rights. “We know that Bert Corona Hermandad’s founder was married to a Judia Jew , and we are now wondering how much this has to do with Hermandad also pushing the homosexual issue,” the letter states.
Carreon demanded an apology for Perez’s letter. But what the letter actually said remains a mystery. Perez refused to fax over a copy or reveal its content at the time of its release, saying that Hermandad national co-director Nativo Lopez was “not interested. We are going to respond to La Voz’s letter, and you are welcome to read it on their website,” Perez said in a voice mail. Nothing ever came of it, as La Voz never posted a letter by Hermandad and Lopez refused to comment on what course Hermandad took.
La Voz has not been content with merely harassing OC Latino leaders, though. In addition to their blackballing of Lopez and Hernandez, La Voz nearly got an Orange County social worker fired from his job last year for writing an e-mail on company time. The man (whose job entails tracking hate groups) wrote an e-mail asking La Voz to tone down its rhetoric after Cienfuegos, writing via e-mail, blamed the 2001 Central American earthquakes on homosexuality. La Voz responded to the man’s complaint by employing a tactic it has successfully used before to silence other critics: they called the man’s employer and demanded his termination for “creating hate crimes.”
“La Voz got in contact with my boss and questioned his sexuality because he wouldn’t fire me,” said the worker, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal by both La Voz and his employer. After that, La Voz went to that man’s supervisor, who was not as caring. The man was severely reprimanded but was able to keep his job.
Carreon, who graduated from Long Beach State with a degree in civil engineering and worked during the 1970s for the city of Buena Park, offered little explanation for his site’s persecution of OC Latinos. Instead, he responded to my repeated offers of an interview by calling me and Hernandez a mamon (homosexual), saying I’m a candidate for their “Little Judas Award” (he did not specify what the qualifications are) and accusing me of being bought by Jews for a few “shekels.”
“You have been totally ‘judaized’!” Carreon’s final e-mail excitedly claimed. “You continue to contact us for interviews even though we have told you time and again to fuck off. You are acting like sic scorned bitch.”
La Voz’s rants would be a sick pleasure and dismissed by all but the ADL if not for today’s postmodern publishing world, where anyone with a modem and an issue can publish their opinions in mere seconds to a worldwide audience. Since its first issue in January 2000, La Voz has been cited by papers such as the Houston Chronicle, the Jerusalem Post, and the online World Net Daily as proof of the inherent intolerance of Chicanos. And this power to influence unwitting minds is what frightens those that have been targeted by La Voz the most.
“You get people who want to learn about Chicanismo and type in ‘Aztlan,’ and they find this,” the anonymous worker said. “The reader is immediately going to think all Chicanos think like that, ruining it for the rest of us. What’s most frightening is the realization that if La Voz, like Hitler, actually got the power they seek, their site is a good indication of what they would do with it.”