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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Chicano Involvement In The Communist Party
Program #

Armando Gutiérrez
Lorenzo Torres
Mar 23, 1979

Chicano Involvement in the Communist Party

Lorenzo Torres, a labor organizer and Communist Party leader, discusses some of the problems facing the Chicano Movement and the ways in which the Communist Party is trying to achieve equality and reform. Torres analyzes Chicano political history and explains that the Communist Party was the first to try to organize workers unify them against their common enemy: capitalism. He argues that the Communist Party differs from other organizations like La Raza Unida because the party is working from a Marxist-Leninist framework and the experiences of workers throughout the world to help bring socialism to the United States.

Torres argues that ideas of cultural nationalism can be positive because they begins to address the cultural and language barriers that isolate Chicanos. However, at the same time, chicanismo propagates the belief communities can effect change alone, which he believes is not possible. Torres explains that the issue of affirmative action has inspired people to demand a higher standard of rights, including that to work, health and education. He discusses the political alienation of Chicanos, their receptivity to the Communist party and explains the detrimental effects of tokenism and the two party system on the community. He concludes that Chicanos need to move beyond issues of self-determination to promote equality in the working class and help raise the standard of living for the poor in the United States.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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