One Hundred Years of “Imposed Ignorance” by the Commercial Media
Zapata’s Struggle Lives in Latin America: Contribute to Narco News and Help Spread the Truth
By George Salzman
Narco News Contributor
November 28, 2007
Mexico’s a-cookin’. Columnists contemplate a popular explosion just three years from now. How come? Well, the hundred years will be up. On September 16, 1810 Miguel Hidalgo called on his parishioners in the town of Dolores to rise against the ruling Spanish regime in Mexico – his famous “cry of Dolores” that marked the start of the War of Independence, now celebrated as Independence Day. A hundred years later, on November 20, 1910 Francisco Madero published his “Plan de San Luis” (supposedly in San Luis Potosí, but actually from his refuge in the United States) repudiating the fraudulent reelection of tyrannical President Porforio Días. This date is celebrated as Revolution Day, the start of the bloody, decade-long struggle that gave Mexico perhaps its most inspirational martyr, Emiliano Zapata, who sought not a seat of power but ‘Land and Liberty!’ for the campesinos. So, predict the numerologists, 2010 will mark the next great social explosion. Who knows? Sure as hell not the New York Times and the rest of the fat-money corporate media.
Here in Oaxaca, the daily newspaper Noticias on November 18, 2007 ran a near-full page reprint of an article from the national magazine Proceso with the blazing headline, ¡...Es una revolución! (“...It’s a revolution!”). The Washington correspondent of Proceso, J. Jesús Esquivel, knows very well that Mexico today is a seething volcano. He wrote his article in the context of his understanding that now, just as a hundred years ago, the so-called mainstream U.S. press doesn’t provide a clue of what’s happening here. Although a casual reader might see his account as nothing more than a nostalgic reminiscence about the revolution of 1910, it is in fact an indictment of the U.S. corporate media’s intrepid pursuit of its task: to keep the American people ignorant.
Esquivel wrote, “The first signs of the  revolution in Mexico surprised the United States press. It disseminated confused, contradictory, decontextualized, at times without any source, plagues of rumors and speculations as news. Apparently it neither knew nor understood what was happening further than its southern frontier when the revolution exploded… At the end of November the editorial pages of the Washington Post and the New York Times gave assurance that Madero’s movement would have no future.”
We see the same thing today, in the commercial media’s efforts to insure that Americans remain ignorant of the Zapatista 1994 uprising and continuing struggle, and of the popular current struggle for liberation in Oaxaca. Calculated ignorance for the bulk of the population is the principal product of the corporate media, in the U.S. and everywhere.
Our best strategy for countering the imposed ignorance lies in a global truly grassroots news and information network, made by ordinary everyday people like ourselves, individually neither wealthy nor powerful but numerous, a network coming, as Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos would say, from below and from the left. The struggle to realize Emiliano Zapata’s great dream – “Land and Liberty!” for the campesinos – is alive and growing throughout Latin America, though you’d never know it from the corporate media. One of the best, most honest and upbeat sources for following these inspiring developments in this part of the world is The Narco News Bulletin. That’s why I pitched in to the matching fund drive now underway to keep the Narco News team going full steam. Because I need their tireless work. And so do my grandchildren’s children, as do you and yours. So I hope you’ll send in a contribution right away, if you haven’t already done it. “Zapata vive!” is our common cry.
You can make that contribution online, at The Fund for Authentic Journalism website:
Or you can send a check to:
The Fund for Authentic Journalism
PO Box 241
Natick, MA 01760
Oaxaca City, Oaxaca
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