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Thursday, June 8, 2017


Twenty years ago, I wrote “The X in La Raza,” a political essay I referred to as an “anti-book.” I did so at a time when people were beginning to write Chicano or Chicana with an X as in Xicano or Xicana.
Though “The X in La Raza” was not a response to this development, rather, it was a response to myself, an essay I had written in 1981, titled “Who declared War on the Word Chicano? For the rest of the column, go to: ” 

(Part 1 of this essay is at: Affirming a Macehual or Gente de Maiz Identity:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Affirming a Macehual or Gente de Maiz Identity. Part I of 2

A couple years ago, someone from California wrote me to tell me that: “Mexicans are taking over Chicano Studies.” 

Apparently, the person did not know I was born in Mexico. And they knew less about what this topic triggers within me. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, I did become part of the Chicano Movement, and thus identified as such during that time, though throughout most of my life, my constant identity has been Mexicano. At times: Me-Xicano. For the rest of the column, go to:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Arizona Court to Decide What We Can Learn

by Roberto Rodriguez

Not sure that most people know that as a result of draconian legislation, it has been in effect “illegal” to teach ethnic studies in Arizona since 2010. It is one of the twin laws that we in Arizona will never recognize as laws, regardless of what anyone says or however the courts rule.
However, in about a month (June 26-30 and July 17-21), the constitutionality of the anti-ethnic studies HB 2281 legislation will be put to a test. At that time, the long-anticipated trial will be held to determine whether there were racial motivations in terminating Tucson Unified School District’s highly effective Raza Studies Department. For rest of column, please go to:

Friday, May 12, 2017

Diaz Epitomizes Education and Responsibilty

by Roberto Rodriguez

How time flies. Watching Cynthia Diaz at this year’s Centro Guerrero convocation at the University of Arizona brought back memories of when I first saw her. I did not actually meet her at the time. I first saw her on an “I miss my mom” poster when she was 15 and fighting in Phoenix to bring her mother back from Mexico as she had been inhumanely deported (whisked away from her home under false pretenses at the crack of dawn) by the migra that year.
The next time I saw her was at UA. She told me that a mutual friend had sent her my way. This was the fall of 2013. At the time, she still looked the same age as the young girl in the poster.
For the rest of the column, please go to:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

HEMISPHERIC INDIGENOUS CONSCIOUSNESS SUMMER CLASS: University of Arizona graduate students can enroll themselves in the class. For everyone else, anyone in the country can take classes at the UA so as long as you apply to become a non-degree seeking student. You would need to apply for that (quick application), then once accepted you can enroll in classes. For more info, please contact Indira Arce at UA-Mexican American Studies: or (520) 626-8103 Please share/post, forward, etc. to any prospective graduate student who may be interested.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Teaching, Selling or Consuming Cinco de Mayo

It is that time of year: it is either time to teach, sell or consume Cinco de Mayo.
If one decides to teach it, then people come to learn of a great anti-imperialist struggle (1861-67) fought by poor peoples, and a day that memorializes a heroic battle in Puebla on May 5, 1862, that eventually culminated with the kicking out of the French from Mexico in 1867.
If one decides to sell it or consume it, then one becomes part of that capitalistic practice of debasing anything sacred and turning it into a tragicomic holiday where drinking and white sales become the norm.
It is a time when the media will go to the local bar and then ask drunk gringos (and nowadays even drunk Mexicans,) the meaning of Cinco de Mayo and the response is usually: “It’s Mexican Independence Day” or “who cares … it’s just a time to party.
For the rest of the column, go to:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


LIBERATION OR SOCIAL JUSTICE: Was the early Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 1970s involved with social justice issues? That is what one of my students excitedly wanted to know, after returning from a national conference in which the primary theme was social justice.