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Memo From Middle America | Los Tigres Del Norte—Reconquistas, But WASHINGTON POST Didn’t Notice
VDARE.com has already noted the scandalous presence of a Reconquista band, Los Tigres del Norte, at the October 8 rally that illegal aliens and their Treason Lobby supporters were permitted to hold on the National Mall in D.C.—subsidized, as Van Esser of NumbersUSA pointed out, by the National Park Service a.k.a. you.
The rally was billed as the “Camino Americano: March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect”. (Does “Americano” here refer to “American” as in the English-language designation for U.S. citizen, or “Américano” as in Spanish, referring to the inhabitants of the entire Western Hemisphere?) But whereas tens of thousands had been touted, only a few thousand showed up. After Los Tigres’ performance, the crowd reportedly thinned even more. [Marchers urge Congress to pass immigration reform; several congressmen arrested, By Pamela Constable and Carol Morello, WaPo, October 8, 2013]
Long-time VDARE.COM readers will remember an article I did about Los Tigres eleven years ago ("SOMOS MAS AMERICANOS" – We Are More American!)
They were adopted by British impresario (and non-Spanish speaker) Art Walker, who encouraged them to electrify, modernize and commercialize their music.
The Tigres are an enormously successful, 32 million record-selling band. They have won five Latin Grammy awards and tour extensively in the U.S., Mexico and other Latin American countries. They’ve even been flown over to perform for U.S. military personnel in Japan and South Korea—an ominous sign about the loyalty of our armed forces.
Now, all the group’s members but one are American citizens, the other a legal resident.
Yet, like U.S. congressman Luis Gutierrez, who also spoke at the rally, the Tigres’ only apparent loyalty is to the immigrant community – make that the unassimilated Latino immigrant community.
All this was apparently news to the Washington Post, which used Los Tigres' appearance at the Treason Lobby rally as the occasion for a massive puff piece: Los Tigres provide soundtrack for immigrants’ lives (by David Montgomery, October 8, 2013):
The rally for immigration reform became a singalong Tuesday afternoon for thousands on the otherwise shutdown Mall. Los Tigres del Norte—the biggest, most beloved band that many English-speaking Americans have never heard of—were onstage, and almost everyone in the audience seemed to know every word.
“The biggest, most beloved band that many English-speaking Americans have never heard of”? Why is that?
It’s because, as I wrote back in 2002,
“One of the results of the creeping bilingualism in the U.S.A. is the growth of a parallel Spanish media—practically unknown to most clueless English-speakers. .. If you haven't heard of Los Tigres del Norte, well, they aren't singing songs for you anyway. But they are singing about you.”
Montgomery’s Washington Post piece hastens to explain why the Tigres are so popular—it’s not just because they are a beloved musical group, there’s something else going on:
Enraptured participation is typical fan behavior the world over, of course, but the explanation for the phenomenon at a Los Tigres show is a little special. Their lyrics are like news bulletins from the lives of immigrants. Some members of the San Jose-based band—whose name translates as “the Tigers of the North”—were once undocumented immigrants from Mexico.
Well, it’s a puff piece, so there’s nothing negative or contradictory about the Tigres and their phenomenon, nothing is even questioned.
Montgomery tells his readers that the Tigres “maintain courtly, old-world manners” and talks about their show outfits: “black boots, shiny gold pants and tiger-print blazers”. He discusses the group’s many fans, principally of Mexican and Central American origin, and also this interesting fact:
A parade of nearly a dozen members of Congress came to ask for photos with the band—an excellent trophy for appealing to Latino voters.
So members of our country’s supreme lawmaking body are paying homage to the Tigres.
In fact, to kick off their concert, the Tigres were introduced by none other than Nancy Pelosi.
So why does the group strike a chord with the Hispanic immigrant community?
Mexican singer Lila Downs, who performed a song with the Tigres at the Mall (and whose father was American, in case you were thinking her surname didn’t sound very Mexican) has an explanation:
“Basically they’re like historians, musical historians, who really explain in very simple words the immigrant experience.”
And the Tigres have been singing about “the immigrant experience”—that is, the illegal Mexican/Central American immigrant experience—for decades. They now have a repertoire of about 30 immigration-related songs, some of which served them well at the National Mall.
Well, that’s pretty clear, isn’t it?
In Mis Dos Patrias [My Two Countries], an immigrant and newly-naturalized U.S. citizen denies being a traitor to Mexico, asserting that “I’m still as Mexican as pulque and nopal”—i.e. despite having just taken the U.S. oath of citizenship.
To their credit, the Tigres do recognize the travails of Central American illegal aliens in Mexico. Their song Tres Veces Mojado [Three Times a Wetback] is about a citizen of El Salvador who travels through Guatemala and Mexico to reach the U.S.
But the Tigres don’t share my solution—which is to close off our border and stop tempting Central Americans to risk their lives to get here.
In La Jaula de Oro [The Cage of Gold], the persona of the singer is a Mexican illegal immigrant who has made a lot of money in the U.S., yet who still feels oppressed (“Even if the cage is made of gold, it’s still a prison.”).
And consider the names of other Tigres albums: Gracias América…Sin Fronteras [Thank you América …Without Borders] 1986; Uniendo Fronteras [Uniting Borders] 2001.
Then of course there is the Reconquista anthem I wrote about in 2002, Somos Mas Americanos, in which the Tigres boast that
We are more American
Than any son of the Anglo-Saxon…..
We are more American
Than every last one of the Gringos
The message could not be blunter: Mexicans have more right to live in the U.S. and call themselves Americans than historical white Americans in the Anglo-based United States of America.
The Tigres del Norte have done well in the U.S. They have made a lot of money and are very successful by any worldly standards. They are richer than most white Americans—certainly than yours truly, a “son of the Anglo-Saxon” whose family has been scratching out a living from the soil since colonial times.
Yet, according to Los Tigres, I’m less American than a Mexican illegal alien who just crossed the border!
Consider too that all except one of the Tigres are now American citizens, having taken an oath of citizenship in which they had to swear that
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen…”
Yet they assure their fans that they are still Mexicans—and that, actually, Mexicans have more right to be in the country than Americans!
Needless to say, the Tigres also oppose attempts to control the border, and in 2010 they joined a boycott against Arizona because of its SB 1070 law.
Nevertheless, this is the band that was chosen to headline the U.S. government-subsidized pro-Amnesty rally on the National Mall during a supposed shutdown in which parks weren’t supposed to be spending money.
At least the just-concluded “Shutdown” made the Obama Regime’s priorities crystal clear: Electing a New People at the current People’s expense. Remember, it had already tried to keep veterans away from war monuments,
Electing a new people? Isn’t that how the Tigres, their fans and government sponsors, see it?
Aren’t they right?
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) moved back to the U.S.A. after many years residing in Mexico. Allan's wife is Mexican, and their two sons are bilingual. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here ; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here