The Reality Dysfunction

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Dr. Ernesto Todd Mireles

March 26, 2021


Ernesto Mireles is a Professor of Social Justice Studies

Prescott College.

He is the author of the award winning book 

Insurgent Aztlan.

He is a filmmaker, and the creator of

The Reality Dysfunction Podcast.

Follow him on Twitter.

Get his thoughts on Xicana/o/x political power at

La Xicanada Blog


I learned to be an organizer the old fashion way: knocking doors, visiting workers protesting the police, building grassroots organization. My organizing education was front line, hands on, and experiential. My formal education centers on the same, organizing and researching  indigenous insurgency, national liberation and anti colonial resistance at the intersection of political sovereignty, mobilization and party building.

I started this podcast because I want to work with people who are passionate about social justice and the preservation of Xicano Indigenous culture through political action, people who are ready to take on the challenges of being on the front lines of the battle against socio-economic inequalities, and political repression. Working closely with intellectuals, artists, activists, and organizers to bring the full force of cultural resistance to bear on the problems RAZA faces every day.

It is not that the Xicano/Indigenous community lacks organization, but rather lacks a clear path to building mass organization directed toward challenging the prevailing “common sense” of the settler state. Within the context of the contemporary Xicano/Latino/Indigenous movement organizations that espouse ideas of national liberation or even much more simply community autonomy are often viewed as simple and naïve. I don’t think this is true at all.  I would argue that to continue to believe after 500 + years that we are constantly on the verge of acceptance into settler society is much, much more naïve. Building political power within Xicano and other Indigenous communities is an expression of belief and hope in the future. Trying to fit into settler society is accepting defeat. 

Over the past three decades, I have trained and helped to train countless young Xicanos and Xicanas in the basics of community mobilization and organizing  across the country in a variety of settings. I was skeptical that learning to be an organizer could be done effectively in a classroom setting. My response was to create organizing laboratories where students become immediately involved in the leadership of respective campaigns under the tutelage of experienced local organizers. This podcast is an outgrowth of that work. Thank you for listening.