Regents' Lecturers Speak at the Cross Cultural Center
FORUM: Gonzales and Rodriguez speak on 'Red-Brown Perspective'

UCSD Guardian News
April 23, 1998

Two distinguished Latino journalists began their UCSD visit yesterday at the Cross Cultural Center with the first of a two-part lecture on "Journalism from a Red-Brown Perspective."

Patrisia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez, guests of the literature department, made their appearance at UCSD as Regents' Lecturers.

Gonzales and Rodriguez are the husband-wife team behind the syndicated column, "Latino Spectrum." The column has been distributed by Chronicle Features since 1994.

Gonzales spoke about the "Millennium of the Feminine." She explained that the work of women in the advancement of society had been overlooked for too long.

"We must honor female power so that it will grow," Gonzales said. "Millennia of male domination has sought to destroy the feminine energy and aspects in both males and females because feminine energy is so powerful."

Gonzales said that it is important to create a new culture, separate from one of resistance, against elements that would sequester feminine culture.

"What we are creating in the 'Millennium of the Feminine' goes beyond a resistance culture," Gonzales said. "Instead, it should be a culture of creation, a culture of imagination."

Rodriguez said that he had written a book, entitled On Becoming Human, specifically about UCSD.

Rodriguez explained why he and Gonzales say they are writing from a "red-brown perspective," which is different from the black-and-white perspective, in that it has been portrayed by the mainstream media.

"What is meant by a red-brown perspective is one that includes all colors of the human rainbow, but also one that is also spiritual and one that recognizes every individual in society as legitimate and as a full human being," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said America has never been black and white, and that Indians lived in North America centuries before Columbus arrived.

Rodriguez also said that we are entering an era of "anti-rights," in which people try to take away the rights of others. He cited Propositions 187 and 209, which curtailed many services to illegal immigrants and ended affirmative action in California, respectively, as examples of attempts to take away rights.

In the 1980s, Rodriguez was the victim of police brutality in East Los Angeles. After winning a criminal suit against the police officers involved, Rodriguez launched a seven-year civil suit against the officers.

"There is no such thing as an individual that cannot be redeemed," Rodriguez said. "Outside of Hitler types, I believe that people have a threshold, all people can be redeemed. It's just a matter of reaching that threshold."

Rodriguez has written opinion columns for several newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the Eastside Sun and the Washington Post. From 1987 to 1994, he was a contributing columnist for La Opinion, the nation's largest Spanish-language daily.

Gonzales is the first Latina syndicated columnist in the country. She is also a founding member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and a member of the Native American Journalists Association. Gonzales has worked as a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Tucson Citizen and the Corpus Christi Caller.

The second part of Gonzales' and Rodriguez' lecture will be presented next Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the Cross Cultural Center, and Gonzales will discuss environmentalism in Mexico next Monday at 3:30 p.m. at the Women's Center. Gonzales and Rodriguez will also participate in classes and meet with students during their stay at UCSD.