Eliezer Joaquin Risco Lozada’s June 15 passing marks a watershed in an important, not only historical, but cultural psyche of Chicano movement people who operated on this universal truth: You win the hearts and minds of the citizenry not by the barrel of the gun, but the Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King universal truth that “the pen is mightier than the sword.”
I can’t say I knew “Risco” very well, but I had the pleasure of debating and absorbing knowledge from him in a platonic level. In the late 1960s, as a brash student activist, I listened to his mostly gems of opinions about resources and the practical insider methodologies, vis-à-vis government, for funding of community needs. We students were blown away by his extensive awareness of reality existential politics. He certainly had a pedigree and a charm like no other.
Risco, as we knew him, clearly will be dearly missed by many community people, not only by those to whom he dedicated his works, but also, with sadness, by his children. He was certainly ahead of his times on health care issues. And as an Episcopal minister, surely, he guided those with troubled souls toward enlightenment.
Jess Sanchez Barroso, Fresno