Reconquista and Segregation
Another misconception about NCLR is the allegation that we support a “Reconquista,” or the right of Mexico to reclaim land in the southwestern United States. NCLR has not made and does not make any such claim; indeed, such a claim is so far outside of the mainstream of the Latino community that we find it incredible that our critics raise it as an issue. NCLR has never supported and does not endorse the notion of a “Reconquista” or “Aztlán.” Similarly, NCLR’s critics falsely claim that the statement “Por La Raza todo, Fuera de La Raza nada,” [“For the community everything, outside the community nothing”] is NCLR’s motto. NCLR unequivocally rejects this statement, which is not and has never been the motto of any Latino organization.
NCLR’s work as a civil rights institution is about inclusion and participation in the American Dream, including extensive efforts to assist new immigrants in the process of fully integrating into American life. In fact, NCLR and its Affiliates work everyday to provide English classes, support naturalization efforts, and offer other services that help integrate immigrants fully into American society.
Many of these critics claim that NCLR supports dividing up sections or regions of this country by race or ethnic heritage. In particular, this claim was made by one outspoken critic of NCLR, the late Representative Charlie Norwood (R-GA). As the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization, NCLR has a long, proud, well-documented history of opposing segregation based on race or ethnicity. Toward that end, we have actively contributed to the enactment and enforcement of fair housing and other civil rights laws and supported numerous measures to ensure that all Americans have the freedom to choose where to live.
NCLR has also supported:
- Programs supporting gender pay equity and affirmative action for small and disadvantaged businesses and affirmative action in higher education; Rep. Norwood voted against gender pay equity and affirmative action. (See pages vii and viii for descriptions of legislation and page 6 for Norwood's votes.)
- Expanding coverage and toughening penalties in hate crimes legislation, in part because such crimes are often used to deter racial, ethnic, or religious minorities from living where they choose; Rep. Norwood opposed this legislation. (See page 2 for description of legislation and page 11 for Norwood's vote.)
- More funding for affordable housing and programs to combat housing discrimination; Rep. Norwood voted against more funding for these programs. (See page 3 for description of legislation and page 13 for Norwood's vote.)
- Removing barriers to voting for all Americans, regardless of race, ethnicity, or disability; Rep. Norwood opposed the recent extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.