First Data's Polly Baca: Conquistadora Chicana-ry
by Terry Graham
17 November 2004
While I was being checked by paramedics after being assaulted by a Mexican national at First Data/Western Union's Immigration Reform Forum in Denver on July 22, 2004, Polly Baca took the podium microphone to assure the largely Latino audience that my attacker would have a lawyer.
Baca, a Director of First Data/Western Union's Foundation (www.firstdatawesternunion.org), also heads Denver nonprofit LARASA ("The Race") an open-borders nonprofit advocacy group funded by the Foundation.
A high profile spokespiece for Mexican illegal and legal immigrants, Baca has built a reputation as one of the nation's most successful "Chicanas," a term coined in the 60s meaning females of Mexican descent born in the United States.
But the truth is, Polly Baca is no Chicana; she is pura Espanola descended from Spanish Conquistadors. The Baca family is among elite Spanish land grantees who expanded Spain's empire by seizing land from North American and Mexican Indians.
BACA'S SPANISH WAYS
A fourth-generation Coloradan born in Greeley in 1943, Baca was taught by her parents to be mindful and proud of her Spanish lineage. Her family celebrated its sophisticated, civilized Spanish-European heritage as distinct from that of barbaric colonial Mexico -- where Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortes found human sacrifice and cannibalism rampant. When Spanish-owned land folded into America, Baca's family chose to stay rather than move to Mexico.
In a frank interview, (www.bookrags.com/biography/polly-baca-barragan), Baca reveals a deep-seated resentment that her Spanish-American family was often mistaken for Mexican-Americans. She recounts that as a child, she wanted to sit with "Anglos" at her church, but that her family was ushered to the side aisles. "They assumed we were Mexican Americans from the other side of the tracks,"she sniffs.
When her mother forces the Baca family to move to a "low income, racially mixed neighborhood' in Northern Colorado -- "not the Spanish neighborhood" -- Baca recalls that, "We called it the Spanish American colony because we were from Colorado and from the old Spanish families."
MEXICAN MASQUERADE BEGINS
Perhaps Baca's job in the late '60s with the Ford Foundation-funded National Council of La Raza ("The Race") -- a leader in the ethnic hustling trade -- taught her that a transformation from Conquistadora to Chicana would serve her well.
Over the coming years, Baca deliberately cultivated a false identity, posing as a struggling yet successful-against-the-odds Mexican-American, an identity she had once found repugnant.
In her 1991 speech entitled "Silent No More -- A Chicana's Vision for Leadership" at Stanford University's Center For Chicano Research (SCCR), Baca shamelessly misrepresents herself as a Mexican-American "Chicana." Speaking of stories that Mexicans tell their children about their struggle with invading Spaniards, she sighs: "Oh the stories *we* were told." Decrying her Chicana victimization, she becomes champion of her charade asserting that "If Chicanas continue to be relegated to this second class status, *we*...." blah blah blah. Ironically, she warns of "the corruption of leadership that Chicanas must guard against, lest *we* fall prey to that against which we have struggled for generations." Corruption of leadership, indeed.
In his preface to Baca's remarks, SCCR Director Luis Ricardo Fraga Director repeats Baca's lies, stating that, "...[Baca] served as the only Chicana in the Colorado state senate,"...adding that ... "It was not surprising that Ms. Baca chose as the topic of her lecture the distinct perspective that a Chicana can provide to public leadership," he says. Surprising? No. Deceitful? Yes! (http://ccsre.stanford.edu/pdfs/6th_Annual_Lecture_1991.pdf)
Fraga probably did not know that Baca was simply following in the footsteps of her great-great uncle, el estimado Senor Don Felipe Baca, who served as a Spanish-American Senator from Trinidad in the Colorado Territorial Legislature in 1870, more than 100 years before poseur Polly was elected to the same body as a "Chicana." Fraga's observation that "Polly became the first -- and only -- minority woman to be elected to the Colorado Senate" belied her European ancestry. (www.jsri.msu.edu/RandS/research/ops/oc66.pdf)
Baca continues her self-serving Mexican masquerade as she describes her unsuccessful run in 1986 for the US Congress, saying, "I had hoped to change the makeup of Congress by adding a Chicana to its ranks..."
In October 2000, authors Jose Angel Gutierrez and Rebecca E. Deen laud Baca's achievements in "Chicanas in Texas Politics," published as part of the University of Texas-Arlington, Latino Studies Series. Reiterating that Chicanas are "women of Mexican ancestry", they note that "...several Chicanas held high level state agency appointed positions; and one state senator in Colorado, Polly Baca Barragan, had been elected."
ETHNIC IDENTITY THEFT -- TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES?
Identity theft is a profitable crime and Baca's Chicana-ry has helped her gain clients, credibility and prestigious positions such as Director of the multimillion dollar First Data/Western Union Foundation -- which focuses on funding open-borders causes and non-profits. Baca la Chicana has held many powerful positions in the DNC, and her recent appointment to Burger King's Diversity Action Council surely was not made because of her Spanish land grant lineage.
Resume fraud is a serious matter. Polly Baca's claim to being a Chicana with minority status -- a claim purposefully designed to further her political and professional ambitions on the backs of Mexican-Americans -- is a deception that cannot be ignored or tolerated.
2004. Terry Graham, an American Citizen, was attacked and brutally beaten by a Mexican national while speaking out at a public forum on immigration held by First Data/Western Union in Denver, Colorado USA on July 22, 2004. She has filed a civil lawsuit (www.freespeechforum.org) seeking damages from her attacker and First Data/Western Union. She can be reached at email@example.com.