Lalo Alcaraz and Jim Gilchrist on the Arellano-Tancredo Debate

Courtesy Lalo Alcaraz
Much as it pains Gustavo that we keep blogging about this, we've got one more round of embarrassment for him about his debate yesterday evening in Denver with former Congressman Tom Tancredo. (Follow that link for the video.) We asked some local luminaries to tune into the debate and give us their take on who got the best of whom. A pair of Gustavo's pals--Lalo Alcaraz and Jim Gilchrist--stepped up. After reading their reviews after the jump, you might just start clamoring for a debate between these two guys...

Lalo Alcaraz, cartoonist, creator of the syndicated strip "La Cucaracha," pretended to be Gustavo once.
Courtesy Lalo Alcaraz
Assimilate this!
I was struck by the civility of it all. I'm sure spectators wanted more fireworks, but it's hard to be "in your face" for 90 minutes at a stretch.

I found it fascinating to watch one of "us" try to explain how all the "La Raza" conspiracy crap is just that, and to see Tancredo kind of genuinely refuse to accept that brown people just want to be left alone--just like all other Americans.

Fearmongers like Tom Tancredo are usually hiding in their dark little corners and mental bomb shelters when they make their outlandish claims about a full-blown brown invasion conspiracy. Supposedly, Chicanos and armies of undocumented immigrants from Mexico are hellbent on "taking back" Mexico/the Southwest/Aztlán by the shadowy "La Raza" cabal.

Aside from yelling back at a few pickets & protests, we really have never seen a time when a reasonable fella like Gustavo gets to tell a wacko like Tancredo that his rants about the dastardly La Raza are merely an alarmist fantasy meant to scare people about brown-skinned immigrants.

Tancredo's and others' misgivings about MEChA [Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán] are misplaced--many MEChAs are just places to meet and make friends, like most college clubs and activities. They also help high-schoolers envision a shot at college. Most Chicano politicians I know were in MEChA or in similar groups in college. There's your threat! Educated Latinos progressing in America!

They lost me a bit during the jobs part, I find it hard to accept that Tancredo sympathizes with any immigrant workers.

Gus is more than a match for Tancredo, smarter and wittier--maybe he held back. But he was always on-point.

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