On May 23, 2010 I served as parliamentarian during the election convention of the California League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). LULAC is the nation’s oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization.
In my own community (Jewish) we have the term “mishagas” to refer to intrigue and infighting in families or other forms of social organization. Amongst African-Americans, a term which fundamentally means the same thing is “Nigashit.” In the Latino community, the best term for the concept is “movidas.”
In all the years and all the organizations I’ve worked with, I have never seen a situation with so many individuals and factions that are constantly–I mean CONSTANTLY–engaged in movidas against all the other rival individuals and factions. What’s so unique about it is that from election to election, meeting to meeting, the various factions keep changing sides and alliances. Case in point: about seven years ago, at my very first board meeting of California LULAC, the immediate past state director leveled a denunciation of a former state director that fundamentally insinuated that he had embezzled funds. Now, years later, they find themselves on the same side, because they apparently decided that they hated the incumbent administration of LULAC more than they hate each other.
Anyway, one faction shows up with fees for 40 delegates paid by one individual by corporate check. This block of delegates becomes the kingmaker and keeps changing sides from moment to moment. As a result of this “jefe” changing sides and telling his delegates how to vote, he winds up not being elected to anything he ran for personally. So what happens after the election: he puts a “stop-payment” on the check that paid the delegate fees for the 40 kingmaking delegates.
So of course, I’m in the middle of all this. As parliamentarian I’ve had to rule it like I see it. Those delegates didn’t have the right to vote at the convention. The election for officers is null and void because those votes made the difference between winners and losers. So, no matter how honest and accurate a parliamentary call I’ve made, I know that I’m a lightning rod to be attacked with a combination of movidas, mishagas, and nigashit all wrapped up into one.