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‘Historian’ James Joseph Sanchez Finds 42,732 Reasons to Denounce the Mythical Aztlan Conspiracy

Question: What do the National Chicken Council, AT&T Corp., the Seattle Police Department, the Petroleum Club of Houston and the Korean Acupuncture Association of Illinois have in common with the infamous Middle Eastern terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi?

Answer: They’re all key players in the Aztlan conspiracy, a secret plot to reconquer the seven Southwestern states and merge them with Mexico.

At least, that is, according to James Joseph Sanchez, creator of Who’s Who in the Aztlan Movement, a two-volume compilation set containing the names of 42,732 “individuals, organizations and incidents.” According to the second volume inside jacket copy, it represents “the largest open source, cross-referenced named-persons index to the Aztlan movement and their allies.” Although Sanchez doesn’t explain it — the volumes contain no introductory or explanatory material at all, just a seemingly endless list — Aztlan is a term sometimes used by Latino nationalists to describe the part of the United States once controlled by Spain and/or Mexico. Nativist conspiracy theorists and white supremacists have seized upon a few statements by Latino radicals to claim that Mexico is really secretly planning to take over much of America.

The conspiracy, apparently, is massive. In tiny, hard-to-read type, Sanchez lists as members of the alleged “Aztlan Movement” more than 1,000 Latino street gangs, 29 members of the “California State Assemby” [sic], a dozen United Auto Workers union locals, Catholic churches, Unitarian churches, a Somalian organic coffee company, McDonald’s Corp., and Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili.

Casting a net that’s perhaps just a smidgen too wide, Sanchez also lists You Don’t Speak For Me!, a Hispanic anti-immigration front group for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a nativist hate group that has itself plugged the Aztlan conspiracy theory.

Nowhere does Sanchez say what part all these alleged individuals and organizations (full disclosure: they include the Southern Poverty Law Center and several of its employees) have in the Aztlan conspiracy. It is enough, apparently, to know they are on the list.

Who’s Who in the Aztlan Movement is the latest of Sanchez’s bizarre, self-published tomes. The Seattle-based “historian” is also the creator of five volumes of Who’s Who in Al Qaeda & Jihadi Movements Worldwide. His “Nuremberg War Crime Trials Online,” a CD-ROM containing erratically footnoted transcripts of 126,000 pages of transcribed proceedings of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, has been added to the collections of more than 50 major American university libraries. Sanchez also personally donated a copy to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., despite his own flirtations with Holocaust denial.

Beyond the two Aztlan volumes (a third is due out in September), Sanchez’s recent work includes a book review in the most recent edition of The Occidental Quarterly, a racist journal published by the radical-right Charles Martel Society.

In an otherwise glowing review, Sanchez briefly chastises the author of Saxons, Vikings and Celts, a study of the genetic history of Britain and Ireland, for “denounc[ing] Saxon racial supremacism for rewriting the Magna Carta as a ‘declaration of Saxon independence,’ for victimizing Blacks, and for the Holocaust.”

The author, Sanchez writes, “ends his review of the mythic origins [of the Saxons] mawkishly, with the ‘smoke rising from the chimneys of Belsen and Dachau, Treblinka and Auschwitz, presumably from the modern, smokeless crematoria at those camps.”

“It is always sad to see the grimly necessary ritual of European self-abasement degrade fine intellectual products like this book,” Sanchez concludes. “Sadly, to do science nowadays, a person of European descent must apologize for Auschwitz.”

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