What reconquista? This reconquista:

Advocates of an open border between the U.S. and Mexico do their best to present a mellow American flag-waving image to the public. But when they gather in semiprivate, they communicate much differently to each other. Perhaps they need to be even more careful.

How do I know this? On Tuesday, I attended a panel discussion entitled “The New Immigrants Movement,” part of a “Take Back America” conference convened in Washington, D.C., by the left-wing Campaign for America’s Future. The event was open to anyone, although fewer than 100 people showed up. But to give you a flavor of the meeting, here are the surnames of the people on the panel: Lovato, Salas, Contreras, Lopez, Ramirez and another Lopez. All Hispanic – and some quite angry.

Consider the words of Roberto Lovato, identified as a writer for New American Media, describing itself as “the country’s first and largest national collaboration of ethnic news organizations.” Speaking first, Lovato declared that he had problems with the words “civil rights.” Why? In part because that phrase had been used by black Americans half a century ago – it was their term. But mostly, he continued, the term is inapt because today “a lot of the members of the movement were political revolutionaries in countries such as Nicaragua and El Salvador.” And that’s why, he concluded, “this is not just a civil rights movement – this is the northernmost expression of a continental rights movement.”

How about a kicker?

In fairness, no others on the panel were as vehement as Lovato – although none took issue with his radicalism. More typical was Rudy Lopez, from the group Wellstone Action, based in St. Paul, Minn. “In spite of the makeup of the panel,” Lopez told the audience, “this is not only a Latino movement.” But then he proceeded to discuss key electoral states, providing the robust Spanish pronunciation of California, Texas and “La Florida.”

That’s the moderate. He probably wouldn’t demand to fly the Mexican flag above the Lone Star. He’ll just call the whole state “Te-has.”