Twenty-one years ago, responding to concerns about human rights abuses in Latin America, President Carter banned the sale of attack jets and other high-tech items to governments in the region. Other suppliers eventually followed the US lead; as a result, Latin America currently has one of the world’s lowest levels of military technology. But last year, at the insistence of military contractors, the Pentagon, and members of congress who received aerospace PAC funds, the Clinton Administration abandoned this relatively successful moratorium and made plans to sell $1 billion in jet fighters to Chile.
Rarely do we actually witness how one individual can change the world, even if it’s only the biggest barrio in the US, "La Raza." Jaime Escalante is that genuine American hero. He achieved his fame, depicted in the movie Stand and Deliver, by transforming a gang-ridden school and community into one that began to produce the nation’s top mathematicians and scientists. He did it at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles in the 1980s through the language of math and simple words such as "you’re the best." More importantly, he taught us that there’s no such thing as an insurmountable obstacle. Today, however, some people from that same community are calling him a vendido, or sellout, because he has endorsed California’s anti-bilingual initiative, slated for 1998. We disagree with his stance, but he’s far from being a sellout.