July 24, 1973, 12-year old Santos Rodriguez, from Dallas,TX was shot was shot by police officer Darryl L. Cain in the head while sitting quietly handcuffed in the front seat of the squad car. Santos and his 13-year old brother had been TAKEN from their grandparent’s home by police – who claimed both brothers had burglarized a gas station. The unjustified murder of young Santos was termed “illegal and unjustified” by the Dallas police chief, and sparked massive protests by Dallas Chicanos, and Brown Berets alike. Although officer Cain was later convicted of murder, he received a measly five-year sentence. One year after the killing of young Santos, officer Cain was still free while appealing his sentence. No evidence or witnesses were ever found to place young Santos or his brother at the scene of the gas station burglary.
In this archived 1977 photo, Santos Rodriguez and others slain in police-involved shootings are remembered in a street march in Dallas.
Jon “Juanito” Burns is continually dispersing his same lies and smear campaigns. For anyone trying to refute or research just the tip of the iceberg on this guy, check out www.brownberetsnewmexico.com. Carnalismo is also putting it out there that Jon “Juanito” Burns, and “Los Brown Berets La Hermandad,” (a group open only to men) ARE NOT Brown Berets! They are a regurgitation invented by Jon “Juanito” Burns after he was kicked out of the BBNO for sexual harassment findings. Those Burns has lied to, and who align themselves with “La Hermandad (a group with NO historical ties to El Movimiento whatsoever) are ALSO not observed as Brown Berets by the Carnalismo, as well as other groups. Examining their bizarre rantings in their statements, one cannot help but realize they are trying to turn the Brown Berets into some sort of occult religion, being run like a prison gang. Just look at the facebook post below. They lament on how Ricky Gonzales is an “internet warrior,” and on how they are “..real soldados.” Which is very funny, since they chose FACEBOOK of all places to prove that they aren’t “internet warriors!” Bua ha ha ha!
All unmistakable humor aside, “Los Brown Berets de La Hermandad..” are NOT Brown Berets, no matter how much they lament that they are. They something Jon “Juanito” Burns made up after being kicked out of a second Nationally recognized Brown Beret organization. Burns has disrupted so many Brown Beret organizations in less than five years that he has no credibility – except among the men who tried to bury his sexual harassment scandals. (Sounds a lot like the Sandusky Incidents).
It has been seen played out so many times by seasoned Brown Berets, this concept of unity amongst major Brown Beret organizations. And yet, any seasoned Brown Beret knows that while the best of intent is sought in these attempts at affiliation, rarely does it work out, and often it leaves one or more organizations obliterated with distrust, off shoot groups, and mass confusion.
It is often a misnomer to think that such conglomerations would be beneficial to El Movimiento, and that will be explained here. This article is not meant to portray Carnalismo Brown Berets as “haters” or being stand offish. This article is meant to shed light on why such ambitions to cross affiliate may seem appealing on the surface, but often carry unforeseen hurdles and volatility.
For starters, many Brown Beret organizations hold some philosophical differences. Either in how they best see we Chicanos realize our goals, or what political affiliations we subscribe to, or how we manage our ranks. There are some organizations who impose their will on their members, imposing yet more institutions on their own people. Carnalismo doesn’t do that. Carnalismo encourages independent thought. There are some Brown Beret organizations who micro manage their members, inventing bizarre titles and ranks, sometimes changing as often as people change their chones. Some of these organization use this rank and file system to reward their devotees, or psychologically punish them by imposing demerits. This behavior is imposing, cult like and abusive. Carnalismo doesn’t do that. While we do have ranks, we generally treat one another as equals, and run by consensus, facilitation, and understanding of one-another.
Another reason that conglomerizing different organizations rarely pans out has to do with the under pinning of those calling for it. While some are whole heatedly sincere in their intentions (hey, we would ALL love to see unity) there are others who involve their egos, personal agendas, and vendido complexes. It is these individuals who bring the very corrosive seeds of corruption in almost everything they touch. We have seen mutations of Brown Beret groups who organize in a way that defies the very premise of Brown Berets; groups who deman their members swear their solidarity to individuals, rather than El Movimiento- men who behave like supreme pontiffs, and carry some twisted sense of self entitlement as if they should be bestowed with praise and devotion.
There are many, many, many, individuals who should never have been allowed to be Brown Berets, who weren’t properly vetted, or we’re hastily recruited in some effort to pump up their numbers. Again, Carnalismo Brown Berets don’t do this. We don’t ask people to join. They ask us. Carnalismo is not concerned with pumping up our numbers, or amassing power by conglomerizing. Often one productive, honorable individual can be far more effective than ten non productive, low calibre individuals.
This statement isn’t being put out to say Carnalismo is better than other organizations. This statement is being put out to explain what we have seen works and what hasn’t worked en El Movimiento. It is far more unifying to give the nod to one-another, to have a loose understanding of our unspoken bonds with our Gente, and to try to be intrinsically helpful in all ways that we can.