Mexican American group MEChA eyes name change amid furor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — MEChA (MEH’-cha), a Mexican American student group founded 50 years ago, is considering a name change, highlighting the divisions between older and younger activists.

Student leaders voted Sunday in Los Angeles to drop the reference to “Chicano” and “Aztlan” from the group Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan over concerns the words are “homophobic” and “anti-black.”

Chicano, which refers to Mexican Americans, gained popularity during the militant Chicano Movement of the 1970s. Aztlan is the mythical home of the Aztec, which some activists say is the present-day American Southwest.

Proponents of the change say it would make the student group more inclusive to transgender and black students.

But former MEChA members say the change is shortsighted and unfairly places homophobia on the term Chicano since homophobia exists among all ethnic groups.

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