What Does Hispanic Heritage Month Mean to Me?

By Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval (October 6, 2021)

Hispanic Heritage Month initially came into being in 1968 during the height of social unrest in the United States and around the world. 1968 was year that Chicanx high school students in East LA walked out of their classes to demand what we would call Chicana/o Studies today and that same year, more than five hundred people were killed in Mexico City who were pushing for democratic change in Mexico. 1968 was also the year of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, the year that Dr. King and Senator Robert Kennedy were assassinated, and the year so many other things happened.

Hispanic Heritage Month starts on September 15, the day that many countries in Latin America became independent from Spain. However, while one form of imperialism ended, a new form of imperialism soon emerged, with the United States becoming a new imperial power in the region. The U.S. intervened regularly in Mexico, Nicaragua, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and many other countries, toppling democratic governments for decades. Our role in these countries generated tremendous instability, prompting many to flee here where they once again mistreated. Despite systemic racism and widespread discrimination, “Hispanic” peoples, who are often Indigenous and Afro-Latinx, have organized, fought back, and demanded change. Those people–along with so many more, including my grand-grandparents, who left Mexico during the Revolution in the early 20th Century–have transformed the United States–they often sacrificed their lives so their children could have a better life. Those dreams have been elusive for many, but change has occurred and it continues, as Latinx people continue to demand dignity and respect in all social institutions.

How can people continue to listen to and amplify and honor Chicanx/Latinx and Hispanic voices?

Latinx voices are still marginalized in our popular culture–on television and in Hollywood. Despite some advances, most newsrooms, television shows, and films do not highlight Latinx voices and actors. Moreover, the publishing industry still does not publish enough books by Latinx authors, despite the fact that amazing writers such as Cherrie Moraga, Reyna Grande, Sandra Cisneros, Roberto Lovato and many others continue to release tremendous books that raise consciousness and awareness about the broader Latinx community.

One must therefore be diligent and seek these authors, writers, and actors out–they are doing amazing work, sometimes on platforms such as Hulu, Netflix, and other outlets, but they are out there. Once you find them, you can “spread the word,” as we used to say.

Professors like myself can include new and older Latinx authors in their class syllabi. We can also focus on iconic Chicana artists such as Yolanda Lopez who recently passed away and was most well-known for her work on decolonizing la Virgen de Guadalupe.

Chicanx/Latinx voices do exist, but sometimes one must search hard to find them–and so once we do, we must talk about them with our students, family members, friends, and even strangers.

Who are some Hispanic/Latinx leaders that I admire?

I will mention two here. I have always been inspired by Salvadoran Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero. Romero became the leader of the Catholic Church in El Salvador in the late 1970s, just as the country was slipping into a violent, decade-long civil war. Monsenor Romero was installed as Archbishop because was a safe, apolitical choice; he was somebody who would not “rock the boat” or cause any waves. However, shortly after he became Archbishop, one of his closest friends was assassinated by a death squad who had ties to the military government and he started to speak out against repression and torture. Soon people were threatening to kill him, but Monsenor Romero said, “If I die, I will again in the Salvadoran people.” And he did–after he was assassinated in March 1980, his spirit moved people to seek out change in El Salvador and all around the world.

The second Latinx person who inspires me is Luisa Moreno. Moreno was a Guatemalan-born woman who was raised in an affluent family. She was also very light-skinned but had a transformation of sorts. She moved to Mexico City in the 1920s and then to New York City during the Depression in the 1930s. She became politicized and joined radical political organizations and labor unions. She once said, “One person cannot do anything; it’s only with others that things can be accomplished.” Moreno went on became very active in civil rights issues in Los Angeles, but the government targeted her as part of the Red Scare in the late 1940s and she was forced out of the country.

Moreno, along with other Chicana/Latina women, such as Lucy Parsons, Emma Tenayuca, Francisca Flores, Dolores Huerta, Antonia Fernandez, Magadalena Mora, Sylvia Rivera, and so many more inspire me as many of them struggled against all forms of injustice, namely, capitalism, racism, heterosexism, sexism, and imperialism.

Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval is Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Americans Can Learn About How to Make Social Change From Chile

By Marc Cooper (November 21, 2019)

As most of you know, as a young man I worked for President Salvador Allende as a translator so I could literally write a book on this month’s dramatic developments ( I already wrote one on Chile https://amzn.to/376G5Hn ). But I’ll keep this relatively short. In any case, this Al Jazeera piece is an excellent primer for beginners.

“Chile Has Awakened” is one of the slogans resounding in the streets this past month. For 40 plus years Chileans have been inundated with government propaganda, from Pinochet and then by his civilian successors, that Chile was special, that it was an oasis, that it was a miracle, that it was a global model, and so on and so on. Chileans have tired of the BS as their average salary is stuck at around $100 a week while the prices rival those of the U.S. The outcome: the most unequal economy among developed countries!

In 1980, dictator Pinochet imposed an abortion of a “constitution” that restricts many civil rights (like collective bargaining) and other anti-democratic measures. After Pinochet was forced from power a succession of “center-left” administrations tinkered with the constitution and, worse, accepted their roles as managers of an economic system forced on Chileans at the point of bayonets covered in blood.

The current administration led by right wing billionaire Sebastian Piñera (his second time in power), as expected, conducted no reforms. Ironic it is that the military-written constitution just died as it should have two decades ago during the first post-Pinochet civilian government — one that lacked the cojones to make the changes. I suspect that Piñera will also be forced to reform some of the more odious aspects of the economic model, probably in the area of education, pensions and labor law — all of them currently horrific for the average person.

Why will these changes be made under a right wing regime? Simple. Millions of Chileans escalated protests over metro fares a month ago into something resembling a wholesale uprising topped off by a general strike earlier this week. It’s a civic rebellion that garnered support from a whopping 80 percent of the population.

The ballon had finally burst and on Thursday night, really at 3 am Friday morning, a cross-ideological agreement was reached among the political class to capitulate to protest demands and to green light a two-step constitutional plebiscite and eventual re-write.

That’s a pretty stunning victory and, frankly, the major political parties of the opposition– including an emasculated Socialist Party (of which I was a member)– can claim no credit for this turn of events. The street protests were spontaneous and leaderless but somehow could bring a million people into the streets of Santiago.

There are lessons here for Americans who whine a lot but to whom it has never occurred that street protest and, yes, peaceful disruption and/or civil disobedience are indeed legitimate tools of any citizenry.

If you have followed the Chile story, you also know that not all the protests were peaceful. The initial repression was fierce. Tanks and troops in the streets, and one of Latin America’s most brutal police forces, the Carabiñeros were fully unleashed. Rubber bullets and even live ammo were fired point blank through the tear gas barrages and the cops stooped to targeting the eyes (!) of dozens of protesters. Two dozen people were killed. Hundreds injured. About 7,000 arrested.

The Chileans, especially the youth, fought back. They threw rocks at the cops, built barricades, lit bonfires, and smashed windows. Others took to looting. How amusing it has been to watch more comfortable and conservative Chileans express horror at these outbursts of street violence and called upon the govt to smash the “delinquents.” These are in great part the same sectors who sat silently as Pinochet murdered and tortured thousands and saddled Chile with two generations
of economic aggravation. No violence there, you see.

My point: with enough hard work, organizing and risk taking in the street you can stare down whomever is in power. Chileans know what real dictatorship feels like and they lost their fear a long time ago. When one “democratic” admin after another punted on deep reform needed and so many dreams were deferred, they awoke and vigorously took their destiny into their own hands. And they have won an important political and social victory. They did it in spite of a supposedly democratic political class, not with it.

Americans ought to try the same one day. They might be surprised by what they could accomplish.


Lynching Was About Race, But Also About Land and Power

By Teka Lark (October 1, 2019)

They lynched Mexicans.

“They” being white people. Texas has always been home to nightmares. It is where my half my family who didn’t go to LA from Louisiana ended up. It is where my great-great aunt was burned alive. I read in Manitowoc, Wisconsin this weekend. I love Manitowoc, but somehow I ended up watching PBS and this show about the Porvenir massacre came on. The state (the US) under the guise of outlaws under the guise of Texas Rangers killed Latinx people for their land; they killled women, children, men. 

But I want to stress they killed people who owned land. Why do I stress this? Because really there is nothing white nationalism hates more than empowered people of color who don’t need their help. This PBS show made it seemed like it was a battle and sort of implied they did stuff too and I said to Charles’ parents, “That is bullshit they killed them for their land, they are thieves! This show is bullshit I am from California. I have friends whose families were here before the white people stole it!”

The story of lynching is that it is just about race. It is, but it is also about land and power. The people who they lynched Black and Chicano owned land, had businesses. White nationalism is not random in its viciousness.


Violence Against Mexicans in Texas as a “Habit of Whiteness”

(Image of Hayden Edwards and the Republic of Fredonia)

By Joseph Orosco (August 6, 2019)

Irene Sanchez reminds us that white supremacist violence against Mexicans is not a new phenomena in Texas. She charts it to beginning of the Texas Revolution in 1836, when Anglo Mexican settlers seceded from Mexico to form the Lone Star Republic.

But I think the use of violence by white supremacists against Mexicans in what is now Texas is even older.

Almost 200 years ago, the newly independent nation of Mexico opened its borders to US American settlers. Northern Mexico was a sparsely populated region and the Mexican government believed that immigrants from the United States would help it to develop economically. Many of the immigrants that took advantage of the invitation were from Southern States where slavery was allowed, so they brought with them many Black slaves. This also meant a lot of white supremacist attitudes. Anglo settlers would become Mexican citizens as long as they agreed to convert to Catholicism and swear allegiance to Mexico.

In 1826, one of these Anglo Mexicans, Hayden Edwards, called for a violent overthrow of the Mexican government. Edwards had started legal proceedings against Mexican residents in the Nacogdoches area, forcing them to prove title to their land. He intended to displace them and sell their land to other wealthy Anglo settlers. When the Mexican authorities caught wind of this scheme, they ordered him to be deported. He then rose up with several of his friends, and the nearby Commanche tribes, and announced he was forming an independent nation—the Republic of Fredonia.

The Mexican government sent regular army troops, along with militia from among the Anglo Mexicans in the area, and put down the rebellion. Edwards escaped back into the United States and stayed there until other Anglo Mexicans followed his lead about ten years later and formented the Texas Revolution.

The Hayden Edwards Revolt demonstrates that violence against Mexicans is what my colleague Terrance MacMullan calls a “habit of whiteness” or I have called (see my essay here) an aspect of “los estadounidos profundo” (the Deep United States)—it is one reaction among the many “practices and institutional policies of exclusion, marginalization, and eradication of non white peoples; these are the ready-to-hand tools that are reached for in moments of fear and crisis for white Americans.”

If you read the manifesto of the El Paso terrorist, you can clearly see the fear that is part of what social scientists are calling “white replacement theory”—the idea that white Americans are being displaced as the majority of the population by demographic shifts. As Black and Brown people become the majority, the theory goes, there will be social decay, economic downturn, and environmental catastrophe.

These are all ideas that one can find among the writings of Anglo Americans who were settling Northern Mexico from California to Texas—they were quite mainstream at the time. The El Paso shooter might be elated to find out that the poet Walt Whitman agreed that Mexicans had no capacity to run their own political and economic affairs:

“What has miserable, inefficient Mexico—with her superstition, her burlesque upon freedom, her actual tyranny by the few over the many—what has she to do with the great mission of peopling the New World with a noble race?” 

And the shooter’s concerns with “race mixing” come right from the work of notable writers, such as Thomas Jefferson Farnham (who was one of the Oregon Trail pioneers). In 1851, Farnham wrote:

No one acquainted with the indolent mixed race of California will ever believe that they will populate, much less for any length of time, govern the country.  The law of nature which curses the mulatto here with a constitution less robust than that of either race from which he sprang, lays a similar penalty upon the mingling of the Indian and white races in California and Mexico.  They must fade away…the old Saxon blood must stride the continent…and in their own unaided might erect the altar of civil and religious freedom on the plains of California.”  (Life, Travels, and Adventures in California, 1851)

As the late Toni Morrison pointed out in 1993, there is what she termed a “profound neurosis” among white Americans that needs addressing: “If you can only be tall because somebody is on their knees, then you have a serious problem…My feeling is that white people have a very, very serious problem. And they should start thinking about what they can do about it.”

Realizing that the use of violence against Mexicans in Texas (and even before Texas was Texas) is one of the classic go-to responses of white Americans in crisis would be step toward dealing with this profound problem of white supremacist terrorism.

Suffering at Orwellian Mexican Detention Centers Indicts the Governments of the Americas

By Joseph Orosco (June 28, 2019)

The UK Independent picked up a horrendous video from the Mexican news outlet El Universal.  It shows a Haitian immigrant at a Mexican detention center in southern Mexico, screaming in Spanish for the news cameras.  She pleads for help for herself and her child of five years old, saying they have received no food or water in the last ten days.  It is extremely disturbing:

Ever since Mexico agreed to the Trump administration’s coercion, there has been a lot of attention on the condition of the detention centers at Mexico’s southern border.  Remember, in June, the US threatened Mexico with import taxes up to 25% if it did not take active steps to stop immigrants in the South.  Mexico had already agreed to do so, stepping up detention and troop deployments.

News outlets have reported extreme overcrowding at the centers.  The Associated Press reported that the Orwellian named center “Twenty First Century” has over 2,000 detainees in a facility designed only for 960.  The Haitian mother in the video is reported to be at a nearby center named “Mesoamerican Fair”.

It should be obvious now that the United States’ immigration policy is fostering a hemispheric humanitarian disaster, outsourcing the policing power of border security to other American nations and increasing the suffering of thousands.

The Responsibility of the Writer

By Octaviano Merecias (June 26, 2019)

The responsibility of the writer

Is to measure the rising poison into our soul by reminding us of
our numbness of distraction into the apathy of oblivion
as the dissolving heart of our neighbor lingers in our pupils

Is to face evil with a piece of pen and ink as mighty weapons
And biting the metal fences as their saliva screams…
For the freedom of God, queens, and saints facing administrative agony
because when peace is crucified and hope remains caged
only faith loiters into the roads of our past, present… and future.

Is to scribble angels of water and shelter with a stroke of feeling
Is to draw photographs of rising waters and cadavers
to imprint into our memory the legacy of banana republics
and colonial interventions for our gold comforts and fake peace

What is the responsibility of the writer then?
It is to remind us that it is your river, is my rio, is our Rio Grande too;
Is to remind us that his name was Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramirez
and Valeria was 23-months-old.


Direct Action Will Work Against ICE

By Teka Lark (June 24, 2019)

Direct action is a tool that should only be used when it needs to be used. Protesting with a permit is not direct action. Anytime you appeal to authority in a way that puts them in the position of reasonable, you’re not doing direct action.

What is direct action? When you resist with your body or with your wallet. The Montgomery Bus Boycott is an example of direct action.

The most effective direct actions understand that the system is corrupt and unreasonable, not parts of the system, the ENTIRE system and people resist accordingly. i.e. You can’t call the police on ICE.

I have been involved in three direct actions in my life, both involved law enforcement and children. I taught little kids in the fall, but in the summer I taught bigger children. When I went from teaching in the wealthiest schools in LA to some of the most economically oppressed, I realized I needed some kind of code to guide me, one of them was I don’t help the police and I don’t help LA Migra (now ICE), because I was not in education to make things worse.

One time I refused to let the police interrogate my student, even after the police got in my face and told me I was “a ‘stupid’ woman for dealing with ‘thugs’ and to not call them when I found that out who I was dealing with.” I told the police and my principal that they weren’t going to violate my student’s rights and they explained, “We can interview minors without a parent present.” And I said, “The laws of this stolen country don’t guide me and I do not consent to a searching of my classroom.”

I didn’t know whether that was within my rights or not, but I just knew they weren’t questioning my student alone while I was in charge. We already know what happens to teenage Black boys when the cops think they did something. To my surprise the police actually left, they left pissed, but they left, all because I said no, because they so rarely hear no, at least from a Black woman with a college degree, who was supposed to be vetted to be “one of the good ones.”

Another time was when I was teaching poetry at a community day school. The police came in my classroom for a student who was in the bathroom. They said, “Where is James?” And I said, “He didn’t come to school today? Is there a message you have for him?”

The third involved La Migra and a parent and I can’t discuss it.

I do not believe in the prison industrial complex and I will not cooperate or abet in putting someone in the hands of the police.

In my life I have always thought if I could just convince more people to stand up with me, we could really do so much to prevent injustice.

This brings us to current day. The #ICERaids are delayed, but they aren’t stopping, they never will. The point of #ICERaids is to terrorize people into shutting up, so they can be exploited. As Adam Serwer said in regards to Trump, “The cruelty is the point.”

What I really want you to do now is to understand your power. When you are on social media, when you watch the news, what they are trying to do is take away your courage, take away your power, to convince you that YOU CAN NOT make a difference. I know for a fact that is a lie.

If we all understood our power, we could stop injustice. When ICE comes for your neighbor (regardless of who is president), I don’t want you to go on FB Live and record them taking your neighbor away, then edit music into it, and share it with thoughtful words of how angry you are, what you need to do is to STOP them.

We all occupy different spaces in oppression, currently your job is this, if ICE comes for someone in your physical space you need to do whatever you can to stop them from taking away the person in their custody. Get creative, but we need to all mentally prepare ourselves that ICE doesn’t work, because we’re not going to let it work.

We all say:
If it was during Jim Crow, I would have…
If it was during Slavery, I would have…
If it was WW2, I would have been fighting the NAZis like Josephine Baker…

Here is your chance to put on your best lipstick and do something. They can’t arrest everyone, not if we all decide that no one is going anywhere.

Direct action, it will work, if we all agree that is what we’re doing.

So you agree, right?


The Past Is Never Truly Past: We are Still Imprisoning Indigenous People in Deadly Conditions

By Arun Gupta (June 23, 2019)

Take a good look at these faces. What do you see?


They are all indigenous peoples.

527 years after the conquest of the Americas began, we are still penning, brutalizing, kidnapping, and killing indigenous people.
Asylum-seekers are 100% legal, protected by U.S. law as the signatory to international agreements such as the Fourth Geneva Convention protecting civilians in 1949 and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Yet 12,000 children of indigenous descent are in concentration camps in which the government is arguing before judges this week that denying children — children! — access to soap, dental hygiene, blankets, and even sleep are not needed to ensure the safe and sanitary conditions they are required by law to provide.

Deprivation of sleep is one of the cruelest forms of torture, yet children are being forced to sleep on cold cement floors under fluorescent lights on 24/7 with a thin aluminum blanket as their only bedding.
We have essentially recreated the 19th reservations for Native Americans that existed somewhere between concentration camps and death camps.

The conditions in these modern concentration camps are designed through malice and indifference to be hothouses of disease. Just today, officials from Central America who toured the concentration camps were warned they should wear surgical masks because of the prevalence of respiratory diseases.

The past is never truly past.

We need to stop this. It’s not going to happen through memes. It won’t happen through social media or online petitions.


We need to start organizing Caravans of Hope and flood the border cities with thousands of people to record, to witness, to vigil, to protest, to blockade, to force such an outcry that these camps are all shut down and that we give these people, our indigenous brothers and sisters, the compassion, care. and respect they deserve and that is long, long overdue.

Stay tuned for updates on what’s next.


“Three Mexican countries” is About Controlling the Narrative

By Teka Lark (April 3, 2019)

When I see things like, “Three Mexican countries…” often I hear people discuss how ignorant people are.

“How can you have power and be so ignorant to not know the name of countries?!”

I am not sure if the people saying these things are saying them because they too are playing the game. I hope that they are, I hope they know this is not just a game, but a war.

The war of grasping the narrative. The Internet has made most facts pretty easy to obtain, but they have always been easy for the privilege to obtain, but some facts the rich, don’t care about, because they feel they don’t need to.

Part of the US right’s playbook is controlling the narrative.

The narrative is you are not a human being. The country you are born in is not real. Your culture is not real. You are not human and you exist to serve. And not even serve like a dog, they like dogs, but you, they don’t like you. They view you as a broom, a hammer, a sex toy, a soda dispenser. You aren’t real. We aren’t real. We are things to them. We are when we get out of line broken toys or collateral damage.
They are not ignorant when they call El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras –Mexico, they are calculated.

They are not even being funny, not funny the way we view funny. Their humor is part of how they swing their power. Like a bully tripping you in the hallway or calling you a racial slur and then saying, “I didn’t know or it was an accident or a mistake.”

They do it to show that they can disrespect you, to tell everyone else, to not respect you. They demonstrate to their base how they can call you out your name and how you will still accept their apology by accepting them in a position above you.

Every “joke,” every comment that is hidden under the guise of ignorance is them demonstrating their power over you to take it and to keep taking it.

It’s a signal to the people who admire them –of their power and a signal to their minions who to harass, discriminate against, and murder with few consequences.

The white, rich, and powerful, they are not ignorant, they know exactly what they are doing, they always have.


The Wall is a Symbol of Isolation and Racism

By Rachel Wagner (January 8, 2019)

Has anyone else noticed that Trump only talks about one issue at a time, like for months?

For a while it was Hillary. For a while North Korea. Healthcare for a while. There were others.

Now it’s nothing but wall wall wall. This successive “single issue” approach is likely intended to just keep us fighting with one another. It’s a well-known divisive tactic, to reduce all difference down to one oversimplified thing and people feel compelled to yay or nay and define their opponents based on that.

The truth is, many of us are OK with the wall we have. We don’t oppose walls in principle, though they would depict us that way. What we oppose is rank racism and indifference to the poor and a lack of responsibility for past damaging foreign policy. But they’ve pushed us to to holler “no wall!” And then they flip around and say we don’t care about security at all because we want “no wall” which of course isn’t true for most people. They are “for” the wall, which means what exactly?

I think for them it’s purely a symbol of isolationism and generalized racism. And Trump, or perhaps his handlers (because I think he does listen to the likes of Hannity) laugh while we battle over a symbol that means different things to each of us and fight with one another.


Bush 41: The Graceful and Polite Oligarch

By Marc Cooper (December 1, 2018)

Good grief! I just love the way liberals –and others– are now slavishly and shamelessly canonizing Bush 41 — one of the most mediocre presidents in history. And the very embodiment of POLITE Elitist, Corporate and Oligarchic Rule.

Driving home last last night I had the misfortune of tuning into MSNBC and almost driving off the road as I heard Steve Kornacki, Lester Holt and the insufferably pious John Meachum impersonate a North Korean newsreel in glorifying dear Leader Poppy. Gawd! Who knew he had walked on water?

The emerging official line on GHWB is what a nice, pleasant, and noble chap he was. I never met him but I have no doubt that is true. But Guess what? I spent a LOT of time with his son and candidate George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 and found him amazingly charming, chummy, jovial and even funny. Sort of like Alfred E. Neuman! But what’s that got to do with policy? Has the disgusting personal character of Trump and how they treat their staff become the current primary metric for judging presidents ??

I hope not. I am going to give credit to Bush 41 for a few minor accomplishments. I applaud him as a bona fide oligarch who took the great risk of signing up as a combat pilot in WWII. As President, he gets a couple of points for raising taxes knowing it would probably be lethal to his career (it was), for supporting the ADA and for his willingness to occasionally compromise. And he publicly quit the NRA after it flipped out over Ruby Ridge.

On the other side of the scale: 41 was heavily backed and supported by Dick Nixon. We can note his 1964 vote against the Civil Rights Act while serving as a congressman. He supported Nixon during Watergate up until it became impossible to do so. He was CIA chief (what the media calls a Spymaster when it refers to any of his foreign counterparts) at a time when The Agency was up its neck in cooperating with a South American network of death squads known as Operation Condor. There is more than credible material that he had some advance notice of the plot by Pinochet’s secret police to murder Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffett with a car bomb in Washington DC. While he was Spymaster for only a year, that period overlapped with the zenith of killings by the intel agencies in Operation Condor, all of them in communication (and more) with the CIA.

I remember GHWB as the toady VP to one of the most damaging of U.S. Presidents, Ronald Reagan. This was a pivotal presidency whose main accomplishment was turning Blatant Greed and Disregard for the Poor into American virtues.

I remember GHW Bush as the VP who, somehow, miraculously, escaped the maws of the Iran-Contra racket. Only Dan Rather had the balls to confront him directly on that murky chapter of his history and was crucified for doing so by his chicken-hearted peers.

I remember Willie Horton.

I remember his nomination of Clarence Thomas to SCOTUS.

And who can forget that early incarnation of Sarah Palin when Poppy elevated Dan Quayle (or is it Quayl?) to VP?

And, of course, I remember 41’s theatrical and totally pointless invasion of Panama that accomplished nothing except killing about 600 Panamanians. And there was, last but not least, Operation Desert Storm and the massacre of the Iraqi Army to absolutely no lasting effect — except for the horrendous US betrayal of the Kurds and the Marsh Arabs who were butchered after being abandoned.

And, just as a kicker, it was Mikhail Gorbachev, not Reagan and/or Bush that ended the cold war. That was something handed to them.

Yes, I remember George HW Bush failing in his 1992 re-election and winning only 38 percent of the vote — I think the worst showing in history by an incumbent president. I guess the American people hadn’t fully noticed his awesome job while in office.

But, I am sure, just like his son Dubya, the old man on a personal level was charming, humble and genteel. That’s what good breeding produces.