Disclaimer: I’d like it to be perfectly clear to readers that I don’t intend to imply that ALL right-wingers, College Republicans, Gauchoholics and, most definitely, all white people are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.

What does it mean to be American, as opposed to being “ethnic?” “Regular,” not “different?” When I was in high school I discovered that I didn’t have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Why did I stop doing so? What is it that makes me continue to reject the concept of being American in spite of having lived my entire life in this country? Unfortunately, I think I know. To be “regular” I have to stop being so darn Mexican. My love, my heart, my language, my roots and everything under the roof of the house I grew up in is Mexican. So how can I abandon that? I would abandon myself.

I’ve learned to live with it, but sometimes the hypocrisy of this country still burns like hot embers inside my head. Ana Rizo and Eneri Rodriguez, two of my closest friends and your external vice presidents for local affairs and for statewide affairs respectively, recently had their offices robbed and vandalized by some racist, supremacist, greedy and emotionally constipated wannabe elementary school bullies. All items were targeted with anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-hate and the like. They also stole money raised for a family who lost a father and a son in a fire here in I.V. What they couldn’t take, they whited out. Outside the offices they wrote: “Racism? Homophobia? How about hating a group because they have different ideas from yours? It isn’t the Gauchoholics with the problems. Someone is tired of the most racist person, Ana, accusing others. Said by a white male. Right!”

For simplicity, I’ll refer to the criminal(s) as Timmy. Timmy, let me break it down for you. What we hate is the suppression of the liberty of others. Racism does this. Capitalism usually leads to this. Homophobia results in this. Your actions were an example of this. You robbed my friends of their right to decorate their personal space with that which defines who they are. You say the Gauchoholics aren’t the ones with the problems. However, they gave us a perfect display of this kind of behavior in our Legislative Council, but this time those whose rights were stolen are the general UCSB student body.

The Gauchoholics, bitter about the whopping and unsurprising victories SAC candidates had during these last elections, came up with a new budget that they strategically forced into effect and walled off from any possibility of future revision. One of the authors, Jonathan Kalinski, (“I May Be A Lame Duck, But Now Everyone Else Is Too,” Daily Nexus, May 6, 2002) made it very clear that the concern of the Gauchoholics party is not to represent the interests of anyone but themselves! You wanna play hardball politics, Kalinski? Well I don’t think we even need to make an effort now because by making your views as corruptly obvious as you did, you basically branded the Gauchoholics as selfish assholes! Thanks!

The A.S. funding initiative didn’t pass, leaving our government low on cash. However, don’t be fooled by bull-feces logic about there not being enough. The amount they allotted for tech support is three times what the current A.S. president had planned! There wasn’t a lot, but the budget didn’t have to be nearly as dry as they made it. You’ve been robbed of the A.S. executives you voted for and of any funding for student groups! (This includes the College Republicans, but they’re backed by everything from the Young Americans Foundation for Freedom, the National Rifle Association, at least one bank account containing an unknown sum of money, to even the GOP!) But hey, buck up everyone! At least we’ll be able to count on lighting connections when we check e-mails!

The bottom line I’m trying to get across with all this is that racism, homophobia, greed and hate are alive and well, and, unfortunately, great at hiding and being hidden. Recently, two women at Francisco Torres were told, “Niggers, go back to your floor!” I didn’t hear any noise about it. What if it had been a couple of white kids visiting friends in a majority black dorm and someone had yelled, “Hey you saltine-ass crackers! Go back where you came from!” Instant registration to Lynching 101. In spite of there having been money stolen and extensive property damage, by the way, the cops didn’t classify the hate crime in the A.S. offices as a crime, only an “incident.” The College Republicans website proudly claims membership in “the vast right-wing conspiracy.” But there’s no conspiracy, right? Racism is dead, right? That’s why we have Martin Luther King Day, right? That’s the right way to think.

Ivan Perez is a fourth-year cellular and developmental biology major.