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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Racial Profiling in Arizona: SB 1070 2(b) & Not to B

 Racial Profiling in Arizona: SB 1070 2(b) and Not to Be

 Friday, 29 June 2012 13:11 By Roberto Cintli Rodriguez, Dr. Cintli's Blog | News Analysis

If Gov. Jan Brewer and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio are cheering and excited about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on Arizona's SB 1070, then you know something is wrong. And when both promise that there will be no racial profiling, that’s akin to the proverbial foxes promising to take real good care of the hens.

So let's cut to the chase; despite ruling against three of its provisions, this ruling, which compels law-enforcement to cooperate with immigration authorities (Arizona’s SB 1070 2(b),) was not a victory. It represents a green light  for law enforcement -- based on "reasonable suspicion" -- to engage in racial profiling, a license to harass and destroy families, not simply in Arizona, but nationwide. As we all know, in Arizona, and in this country generally, brown skin is "reasonable suspicion."

Despite that, it also affords people nationwide to support organizing efforts in Arizona, because while the battles will continue in the courts, it would be literally in the streets where this decision will be played out. It'll be the same place where organizing will continue to take place. These organizing efforts include Tucson’s upcoming Freedom Summer.

To read more articles by Dr. Roberto Cintli Rodriguez and other authors in the Public Intellectual Project, click here

In regards to the decision that upheld the 2(b) section of SB 1070, the green light, compliments of the Supreme Court, is for the states that can now follow Arizona's example. Reasonable people would see the striking down of the three provisions as an affirmation of the supremacy of the federal government on immigration matters. However, legislators from Arizona and the copycat states, will instead see that green light and they will not be stopped, unless halted by voters or a future court.
The small comfort is supposed to be that if it can be proven that SB 1070 causes abuse and rampant discrimination, etc., then the court can revisit and later strike it down. The Supreme Court no doubt is leaving it up to Brewer and Arpaio to compile this documentation. This actually places the burden on human rights organizations to do this work.

Before continuing, it's time for a reality check. That, which everyone fears, has already been our reality in Arizona, precisely because of the likes of Brewer and Arpaio. But even beyond them, with thousands of dead bodies and remains strewn about the desert, with deportations at record levels and the continued militarization of both homeland security operations and the border itself, it is worse than people imagine. This was true even before SB 1070. The overreach of the federal government, especially since 9/11/2001, via homeland security, has enabled racial profiling to take place not simply along the border, but in the entire country via agreements such as 287G and Secure Communities, etc.

Something that most of the country is still unaware of is that several weeks before SB 1070 was enacted, some 800 federal law enforcement officers descended upon Tucson, conducted a mass dragnet raid, and ended up arresting barely a few people involved in a shuttle bus smuggling operation. Again, this was prior to SB 1070.

In the midst of a presidential campaign, people will be choosing between two candidates, hoping that one is a little bit better than the other one. Enter Arizona.  Enter the US-Mexico border. Enter Alabama. Enter the Dream Act. Sure, one candidate is a little bit better than the other one. But basic dehumanization characterizes how this and previous administrations deal with the issue of immigration.

As long as this issue is defined as that of too many brown people, too many Mexicans and too many people from Central and South America, there will never be a humane solution.

Within the context of the current makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court, the only surprise about the ruling is that they didn't simply outright affirm Arizona's leap back into the 19th century.

Civilizational War

In Arizona, the issue is not about “illegal immigration,” as the right-wing loves to proclaim. It is in fact part of the same civilizational war that the “West” has carried on since 1492. It is driven by the same ideology; the idea that God is commanding, that God has granted permission for Europeans/Christians to civilize this continent. In history this has been known as Providence, and Manifest Destiny; both were “legitimated” by the “doctrine of discovery.”

In this philosophy, red-brown peoples are simply in the way, have always been in the way, and not quite human. Only in Arizona do politicians actually verbalize these thoughts. They are brazen here because they don't see the need to mask their thoughts and attitudes. To them, "illegal aliens," are not quite human, not worthy of being afforded their full human rights. Of course, this simply means that many politicians nationwide hold the very same views and attitudes, but they are little more subtle and sophisticated, ensuring that they only keep their scorn against so-called illegal aliens; they have learned the art of obfuscation or skillfully speaking with euphemisms.

To understand that this is beyond “illegal” immigration, one needs to examine Arizona's other regressive state measures; namely, the anti-ethnic studies HB 2281. This measure has enabled the Tucson Unified School District to ban the district’s Mexican American Studies (MAS) curriculum, to ban its books and more importantly to ban a [Indigenous] worldview.  The rationale, according to Tom Horne, the intellectual author of HB 2281, for doing this since 2006 has been that the curriculum is purportedly outside of Western civilization. The measure, in effect, criminalizes not simply teaching and learning Indigenous Knowledge, but thinking itself. Horne’s objective has always been to place Mexican-American [Indigenous] culture under house arrest. It cannot be coincidence or it cannot be a surprise that this measure was birthed in Arizona.

There are plenty of other regressive measures, too many to name. Suffice to say that this is the state where birthright citizenship also continues to be attacked by ways of attempts to effectively repeal the 14th amendment. In reality, these same politicos attack the very presence of red brown peoples in this state and country; mind body and spirit. SB 1070 attacks the body, thus, racial profiling; HB 2281 by banning a worldview, attacks both the mind and the spirit.

This is not news for those who have not been asleep or MIA the past several years. The real news is the amazing organizing that has taken root in Arizona, in spite of these regressive measures. The author of SB 1070, Russell Pearce, president of the State Senate, was successfully recalled. The Justice Department is all over Arpaio for civil rights violations. And Horne is also under investigation.

Organizing Efforts

What the Supreme Court ruling does is simply point to the need to support the organizing efforts of people on the ground.  It does make a difference. The outrage is there locally, statewide and nationwide; what is needed is material support for those who work tirelessly to ensure human rights for all human beings, regardless of their legal status. And as a reminder, those of us in Arizona will never accept any immoral and inhumane measure as a law, regardless of what the Supreme Court says.

Living in Tucson, I will recommend supporting five different organizations or causes from there:
  • Derechos Humanos
  • Raza Defense Fund
  • Save Ethnic Studies
  • U.N.I.D.O.S
  • Indigenous Alliance Without Borders
All do incredible work.

To be blunt, most or all need support, resources, volunteers or money to support their work. The ACLU recently announced that they have amassed nearly $9 million to fight SB 1070 and related state measures in court. That's a very good thing. What organizers on the ground need is a similar kind of support and commitment from supporters nationwide. Communities in Arizona have already been tapped dry from the constant and intense organizing efforts of the past few years.
Derechos Humanos has for years documented abuses and deaths along the border. In the Tucson sector, they along with several other organizations will take the lead in documenting the abuses that will stream forth as a result of the flawed SB 1070 Supreme Court ruling. They've documenting and organizing for years. -

Raza Defense Fund: This fund has been established in support of Sean Arce and Jose Gonzalez from a frivolous $1 million lawsuit, meant to attack the leadership of the now dismantled Mexican American Studies.

Save Ethnic Studies is the group that has filed a lawsuit against the state  in support of Mexican-American studies. Formerly the group was representing the 11 teachers when they were litigants in the same lawsuit. This group continues to challenge HB 2281 in the courts, with several students as litigants.

U.N.I.D.O.S: These youth organizers have led the organizational resistance the past 2 years against the efforts to dismantle MAS. Beyond taking over the school board, they along with student organizers from Social Justice Education Project and MEChA, have organized not simply protests but also educational and organizational workshops and conferences. UNIDOS is currently competing a video project titled “BANNED!” about the MAS struggle in Tucson: Contact info:, @UNIDOSPORVIDA or find them on Facebook.

Indigenous Alliance Without Borders: For more than a decade, the Alianza has defended the rights of indigenous peoples to cross the border safely, free of abuse and discrimination.  For decades, the increased militarization of the border has desecrated sacred lands and has prevented elders from Indigenous nations that straddle both Mexico and the United States from attending ceremonies. Contact Jose Matus

I should also add two organizations out of Phoenix that do critical work:

Tonatierra-Nahuacall (from their own mission statement): To create and sustain a Cultural Embassy of the Indigenous People that will support local-global and holistic indigenous community development initiatives in education, culture, and economic development in accord with the principles of Community Ecology and Self Determination. They have carried out this work for decades, which is included creating consciousness of migrants migrating into the United States are not immigrants, but rather, indigenous to this continent.

Puente Arizona (from their own mission statement) is part of the global movement for migrant justice and human rights. As a grassroots community-based group Puente promotes justice, non-violence, interdependence and human dignity. Puente Arizona works to empower the community and build bridges by working collaboratively with various organizations and individuals. For contact:

Both organizations have done incredible work, both at state, national and international levels, and of course, in Phoenix, organizing against Arpaio and the state’s power brokers.

Tucson Freedom Summer

Finally a word about whether people should be boycotting or not boycotting Arizona. To my knowledge, most organizations do not feel comfortable with anyone coming to or spending their money in Arizona, especially tourism dollars. However, organizers, willing to work with local organizations, have always been welcome.

In fact, in Tucson we are but a few days away from Tucson’s Freedom Summer: July 1-Aug 7. There's a national callout for people nationwide to descend upon Tucson in support of Mexican American Studies. For a schedule and for further information:

 Ernesto Mireles – 517-­‐881-­‐6505 ph; Sean Arce – 520-­‐975-­‐4780; Curtis Acosta – 520-­‐891-­‐7327; and

Rodriguez can be reached at: XColumn@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Empowering Young People to Be Critical Thinkers

This is an awesome article on the Mexican American Studies Program in Tucson:

Empowering Young People to Be Critical Thinkers: The Mexican American Studies Program in Tucson 

By Curtis Acosta and Asiya Mir

 It came out of the Annenerg Institute for School Reform at Brown University's, Voices in Urban Education Journal.

A teacher and a student in Tucson’s acclaimed Mexican American Studies program, recently shut down by state and district officials, describe how the program has transformed the lives of its students and teachers.

For the article, go to:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tom Horne, Death Threats and the US Constitution

Friday, 22 June 2012 00:00 By Roberto Cintli Rodriguez, Truthout | News Analysis

 Ethnic StudiesStudents walk into the Tucson High Magnet School in Tucson, Arizona, on January 4, 2011. Tom Horne, Arizona’s newly elected attorney general, declared the Mexican-American program at the school illegal under a law that went into effect on January 1. (Photo: Jill Torrance / The New York Times)In the year 2006, labor leader, Dolores Huerta, told Tucson high school students that Republicans hate Latinos. While it caused a controversy, Arizona school's then-superintendent, Tom Horne, unleashed what would become a six-year campaign to dismantle Tucson's highly successful Mexican-American studies (MAS) department. In 2010, the anti-ethnic studies bill HB 2281 was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer. In 2012, under threat of the loss of 10 percent of the district's annual budget, Tucson Unified School District dismantled the MAS department. Despite this, the battle is not over as there are a number of legal issues and court cases still to be litigated. In the meantime, much hate has been unleashed, including death threats.

The recent Arizona Republic column ("Race-based studies can't be justified: Students must be seen as individuals, not as groups," June 10) by Arizona state Attorney General (AG) Tom Horne - previously the state's superintendent of public instruction - is nothing short of a masterpiece in the art of obfuscation - by commission and omission.

This is especially troublesome because AG Horne was responding to my column ("Demonizing Mexican-American studies is unjust," Opinions, May 28), which concerns a series of death threats and calls to violence that I, along with students, have received as a result of defending Tucson Unified School District's (TUSD) Mexican-American studies department.

After receiving the threats against me at my university office phone in May of 2011, I transferred them to my recorder, which I subsequently played at one of the TUSD school board meetings. The threats were so vile that within seconds, the board wanted me to turn off the recorder. I refused because I wanted them to listen to what our community is being subjected to. That resulted in the board cutting off the electricity to the microphone.

To read more articles by Roberto Cintli Rodriguez, click here.

In a sense, that's what Mr. Horne has once again done with his recent column. Rather than denouncing the person issuing death threats against the students and myself, he exhibits indignation at me by changing the topic and calling for me to receive the "Hypocrisy of the Year Award."

While I would not expect the AG to accept responsibility for the massive amounts of hate that have been unleashed in this state as a result of his role in the attempted destruction of Mexican-American studies, I do expect him, as the state's top lawman, to unequivocally denounce and fully support the prosecution of those issuing such death threats. Failure to do so appears to absolutely send the wrong message.

He appears to be completely oblivious to the extraordinary amount of hate that has been unleashed in the state subsequent to SB 1070 and other dehumanizing state measures. He cannot but be aware of the many zealots and mentally unstable gun owners in this state who are prone to violence after the Giffords shootings last year.

Additionally, if the AG is given a public forum to attempt to educate the public about Mexican-American studies, then he should have a better command of the topic at hand before exhibiting his limited knowledge, or before writing about incidents or events he did not attend.

Exhibit A: He wrote: "MAS used to be called 'Raza' studies ('la raza' means 'the race' in Spanish)." Here, Mr. Horne makes a common mistake by those who are unfamiliar with the language or culture, arriving at a literal and incorrect translation. He assumes Raza or La Raza means "The Race." The concept is actually short for a larger concept known as "La Raza Cosmica" or "The Cosmic Race." It is traced to Mexican educator, Jose Vasconcelos, who wrote a book of the same title in 1925. The concept is the exact opposite of what Mr. Horne alludes to; it speaks of Mexicans not as a pure race, but rather, as a mixture of all the races of the world. While it is the antithesis of purity, the original idea was not necessarily positive as it actually was predicated on indigenous erasure. However, as it evolved in popular usage, it generally embraced indigeneity fully, especially in the United States.

Exhibit B: With respect to MAS, he wrote: "It was found by an objective administrative judge to be in violation of Arizona's law prohibiting dividing students by race, teaching ethnic chauvinism, or teaching resentment toward other races, and was then canceled by the Tucson Unified School District governing board."

This is at best disingenuous. What he omits is that since 2006, it was he, as the state superintendent of schools, who plotted the legislative demise of Mexican-American studies, culminating with the 2010 passage of HB 2281. While it is an anti-ethnic studies measure, it was designed specifically to destroy MAS-TUSD, not any other department. This state measure, in effect, paved the way, by threats of crippling economic sanctions, for the elimination of TUSD's MAS highly successful department. TUSD, rather than challenging the state measure in court, complied and finally dismantled the department this year.

Without question, MAS is a model department that graduated close to 100 percent of its students and sent the vast majority on to college, this at a time of nationwide sky-high dropout rates. The way HB 2281 was written, it also conjured up the notion that MAS was inculcating students to overthrow the US government. For his information, MAS-Raza studies has been in existence for some 43 years and to this date, not a single teacher or student anywhere in the country has been brought up on such charges.

While Mr. Horne cites the findings of an administrative judge (not an actual judge from the judiciary branch), what he conveniently omits to reveal is that an independent study, commissioned by Horne's successor, John Huppenthal, resulted in the 2011 Cambium report. The findings, as he well knows, found the exact opposite of what Horne and Huppenthal had been alleging and trumpeting and what the administrative judge, with no expertise in education, concluded.

The Cambium report concluded: "A majority of evidence demonstrates that the Mexican American Studies Department's instruction is NOT designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group." (p 59, Cambium)

In fact, the Cambium report went further and praised Mexican American studies, recommending its expansion. (p. 69, Cambium) Not happy with the unexpected findings, Mr. Huppenthal then turned to this administrative judge (Lewis Kowal) for the skewed results he required.

As someone who attended the Kowal hearings, I can attest that rather than an impartial hearing, it descended to the level of a modern Inquisition in which "inappropriate" books, curriculum, student essays and even art and posters were examined. The work of the MAS teachers was also mischaracterized and demeaned. Amazingly, the expert that Kowal relied upon for his decision, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, is a scholar who never set foot inside of an MAS classroom, is not an expert in MAS, ethnic studies or critical race theory and she neither once spoke to an MAS teacher or student. Case closed.

Exhibit C: Horne wrote: "Rodriguez complains of alleged death threats. Obviously, we would all condemn any such threats. But he did not object loudly when the students in the program performed a street play called 'The Killing of Tom Horne,' in which a student wore a mask made of my picture and was 'killed' by the other students."

This response has to be divided into two parts:
The actual, not "alleged death threats," are no trivial matter. It is remarkable that politicization of academics in this state and this country has become so severe that my role as university professor should cause me to fear for my life. I should be reassured that legislators, law enforcement officials and the judiciary take such threats seriously. Precisely because of Arizona's political climate, there should be no tolerance of death threats at any time.

Rather than unequivocally condemning these threats, Horne obfuscated the issue by injecting into the discussion street theater that I personally witnessed, and he did not. "The Killing of Tom Horne," as he called it, was indeed a street play by MAS students/alumni in reaction to Gov. Jan Brewer signing HB 2281. However, the play itself had no such title. Additionally, an observer who had nothing to do with MAS, got so excited that she spontaneously injected herself into the play and tackled the person to the ground who was acting the part of Mr. Horne. At that point, Mr. Horne "died." The objective of the play was to demonstrate that it was Mr. Horne, while acting as an inquisitor, who had destroyed MAS, banished the curriculum and metaphorically burned its books.
It seems trite and not befitting our highest law enforcement official to conflate these two actions, and worse, to be wrong and petty about something he did not witness. Without question, this form of expression and protest is protected speech. In no way can that be construed as a threat to his person.

The column that AG Horne responded to was not meant to be a rehash of the same issues that have been endlessly debated in the state legislature, the TUSD school board and in the media for the past six years. Instead, it was written to highlight the death threats and the hate that we are facing in Arizona as a result of these dehumanizing measures. If one doubts this, one only need to read the letters to the editor anytime this issue is raised or when immigration issues are discussed in Arizona, or anywhere in the country.

However, there is one point that has not been debated enough in public, that is, the issue of individualism versus collectivism. At best, this is a conjured up leftover from the cold war debate. In reality, it is a debate going back to 1492 that he has invoked, claiming that MAS resides outside of Western civilization. Mr. Horne appears not to be able to comprehend the implication of what he is saying; historically those viewed as outside Western civilization have met with dehumanization and denial of full human rights. Mexican-Americans are still being subjected to this charge and treatment after 520 years. Cultural assassination, certainly describes his effort to ban MAS.

For example, as a result of a series of district directives, former MAS teachers are no longer permitted to teach things that lead back to "a Mexican-American studies perspective." For example, after TUSD dismantled MAS earlier this year, TUSD-MAS colleague Norma Gonzalez was told to take down the image of the Aztec calendar because it was now illegal to teach it in the classroom because it depicted Mexican history and culture. This incident provides a further example of how MAS teachers and the discipline have been constricted: the teaching of Columbus and things thereafter is permissible, but the teaching of that which existed prior to Columbus' arrival (indigenous culture) is not.

This is an example of how the state and district are now micromanaging classrooms, which includes officials coming into classrooms and taking student work away; outlawing curricula; banning books; and even more importantly, banning a (indigenous) worldview. However, the discussion regarding individualism versus collectivism is a false one. At best, this appears to be an attempt by Mr. Horne to legislate an ideology or a futile attempt at legislating forced assimilation. Even the Cambium Report, which he managed to ignore, refutes his allegation: "No evidence as seen by the auditors exists to indicate that instruction within Mexican American Studies Department program classes advocates ethnic solidarity; rather it has been proven to treat students as individuals." (p 63, Cambium)

This issue is too large to elaborate in one column, but the notion that both ideas necessarily conflict is to negate that all human beings are individuals as well as members of peoples, communities, cultures or nations. If he doubts this, he need look no further than the US Constitution, which begins with: "We the people ... "

But let me return to the primary focus of the original column: the elimination of MAS and the death threats. HB 2281 was always Mr. Horne's effort at mass indoctrination at a state level. The courts and Justice Department investigations will decide its fate. Regarding the matter of death threats, I invite Mr. Horne and all public officials to condemn them. They should never be part of permissible discourse in any civil society.

This article may not be republished without permission from Truthout.

Roberto Cintli Rodriguez

Five of Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez's books and one video are on the banned curriculum list. The video is: “Amoxtli San Ce Tojuan.” The books are: “Justice: A Question of Race,” “Gonzales/Rodriguez: Uncut and Uncensored,” “The X in La Raza,” “Codex Tamuanchan: On Becoming Human,” and “Cantos Al Sexto Sol.” This last book is a collection of more than 100 Raza/Indigenous writers, writing on the topic of origins and migrations. These bans highlight that virtually the entire cultural production of the past generation of Raza/Indigenous writers/artists has been criminalized.

Rodriguez teaches at the University of Arizona and can be reached at:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Of Dreams and King: Dehumanization begets dehumanization

By Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez

After 10 years of Congress stonewalling on the Dream Act, the president has now acted. For the students and families affected, the president’s new immigration policy directed at young undocumented students is akin to a modern-day version of an Emancipation Proclamation.

Of course it's a political move, just as everything the president does, and just as everything his opponents do, is political. But so too is dehumanization. Only when people are dehumanized can they be treated as less than human, as peoples less deserving of full human rights.

The death of Rodney King reminds us of this.

While seemingly unrelated, dehumanization is the common denominator. The lack of justice for King triggered an urban rebellion, unprecedented in U.S. history in its scope and rage. What could trigger such unadulterated violence?

The answer is very simple. King’s beating was not at all uncommon; people of color understand that violence. It is historic and it is systemic, and it has always been utilized as a means of control. That it was videotaped is what made it unique.

Such kind of violence can only be employed successfully if a people or population is considered less than human. In history, this was usually accomplished by use of religious or “God-mandated” ideas; i.e., Providence and Manifest Destiny. The Doctrine of Discovery served the same purpose. Since no human beings (read Christians) existed on this continent, Christians were free to violently take the land, etc.

Not being Christian was the same as not being human.

In examining history, can we actually say that these ideas have gone away?

In 1992, the King beating trial confirmed the common complaints of men of color, of always being beat down and always been treated as less than human sans justice.

Like many, I am no stranger to that reality. I lived through something similar in 1979 in East Los Angeles. What made my case unique is that despite being brutally beaten and falsely arrested, I actually won my trial, not once but twice.

What would permit officers to beat King, to regularly beat down men of color, as if indeed we were less than human? The answer: Dehumanization.

At the moment we're all digesting Pres. Obama's news. It appears that one of the ugliest chapters of modern human history is about to end. And yet those very familiar voices, those commonly heard on talk radio and increasingly in the halls of power, are shouting at the top of their lungs, accusing the president of committing treason. They are determined to not only derail the president and his plan, but also oppose anything that treats undocumented immigrants with dignity and respect and as full human beings.

Only when dehumanization becomes normalized can inhumane policies and decisions be justified. Those that are opposed to the president’s announcement long ago normalized the view that undocumented immigrants are either criminals or terrorists and certainly something less than human.

Their refrain of those familiar voices has always been: “what don't you understand about the word ‘illegal’.” Apparently, their own lack of humanity blinds them to this concept. Many of these young students, who will now be able to continue on with their studies and work in two-year increments, were brought to this country as infants or very small children. They know no country other than this one. But forget compassion; let's examine the law. To commit a crime, one needs to be conscious that one is committing a crime. A three-month old infant cannot legally commit a crime therefore, it is impossible for that child to ever be prosecuted or branded as a criminal.  

In making his announcement, the president also made the mistake of saying that these young people came to this country through no fault of their own. Implicit is that it is the parents who are at fault. The moral lesson of history, is that parents attempting to better the lives of their children are not committing a crime, but rather, following the natural laws of survival.

Congress will again have the opportunity to treat both the students and their parents as full human beings by passing the Dream Act later this year. To do something less, is to abscond from their responsibility. It's actually time for Congress to resolve the nation’s immigration issues. But here's a hint; human beings, not walls or the military, have to be at the center of any proposed solution. Failure to do so will simply prolong the human crises.

Rodriguez, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona, is the author of Justice a Question of Race and can be reached at:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Race-based studies can't be justified

This appeared today in the Arizona Republic:

by Tom Horne
Race-based studies can't be justified
Students must be seen as individuals, not as groups

Professor Roberto Rodriguez should get the Hypocrisy of the Year Award for his column "Demonizing Mexican-American studies is unjust" (Arizona Republic Opinions, May 28).

MAS used to be called "Raza" studies ("la raza" means "the race" in Spanish). It was found by an objective administrative judge to be in violation of Arizona's law prohibiting dividing students by race, teaching ethnic chauvinism, or teaching resentment toward other races, and was then canceled by the Tucson Unified School District governing board.

Rodriguez complains of alleged death threats. Obviously, we would all condemn any such threats.
For rest of column, go to:

You will note that in the entire column, aside from being incorrect about virtually everything, he actually does not denounce the death threats. The trial for the death threats has been rescheduled for Aug 7 in Tucson. Of course, I will respond to Horne's falsehoods (all of them).

The Huehuetlatohli of Frank T. Gutierrez

The Huehuetlatohli of Frank T. Gutierrez
Feb 16, 1930-June 5, 2012
By Roberto Dr Cintli Rodriguez

The book of Chilam Balam reminds us that

Everyone has their day

Everyone has their time

And everyone has their place

Perchance is this the moment that the Chilam Balam speaks of?

It must be…

for this is the moment

that his family, friends

and neighbors are gathering.

Yet, had we not gathered many times before?

Even before the days, even before the times

of the 4 directions?

To the east, to the west, to the north and to the south

But also

to the skies above, to the cosmos,

and below, to our sacred mother Earth,

and to the center, where our hearts reside

Before the 4 directions,

before the 7 directions,

you were part of the Movimiento

The Movimiento Chicano.

And before the 4 directions,

there was also Anahuac

Something about Anahuac

always called you home;

it was the sacred stones

the stones that still speak to us till this day.

I never accompanied you to the

sacred cities of the South;

those cities aligned with the skies,

those cities aligned with the cosmos.

But that's how I first heard of you.

Before others, you knew the sacredness of those stones

Those monolithic stones that still speak to us till this day.

And then, indeed the 4 directions came to us,

after The Longest Walk

The 4 Directions

came to our center, to our part of the world,

and you connected and we connected

with all the directions.

You made that special connection

with our Hopi relatives of the North,

especially with Hopi elder, Thomas Banyacya,

the ambassador of peace to the world.

You came to know that connection,

you came to understand that connection,

long before many of us

understood it,

a connection between the North and the South,

that to this day

eludes mainstream society.

The less they know, the better.

Later, years later you/we fought

because of the sacredness of Big Mountain

and for its sacred integrity.

We fought because of the assaults

against the peoples of that mountain,

who knew no borders,

who know no borders.

Again, long before others,

you understood the sacredness of the land

and you too recognized no borders.

Frank, Paco:

Your life is a history book,

an Amoxtli

but also a ceremony.

You lived your life as both a story

and a ceremonia.

Just as you knew and understood the importance of running,

and just as the Aztlan Run was ahead of its time,

so too the East LA Pow Wow.

To East LA, you brought the Raramuri (Tarahumara),

the world’s greatest distance runners.

And with the Pow Wow’s,

akin to the Peace and Dignity Journeys, 

you connected the North and South,

part of fulfilling the prophecy of the eagle and the condor.

Your life, Huehue Frank

Elder Frank,

indeed was a ceremonia.

You had knowledge,

you had memory-memoria.

Many remember you

as a counselor at East LA College.

Others remember you

as one of the first

Chicano Studies professors in the nation.

I wish to remember you as both,

a friend and fellow warrior.

Yet you were more than that;

Mentor is not the apt description.

You were both Temixtiani and Tlamintini

A great maestro

and absolutely, a wise elder.

“We’re in the middle of the biggest reservation

in the United States,” you once told me,

while pointing across the Eastside landscape.

How many times did I hear others repeat that,

who first heard that from you,

who first saw you point to our ELA urban reservation

of over 100,000.

Never a city, and never a part of LA.,

patrolled and governed by the East LA Sheriff's.

Or did you mean,

or did you also include

the additional one million on the east side of LA?

Don't know that the boundaries matter

because when you pointed,

I knew you were pointing

at the sea of red and brown faces

all around us in our midst.

Huehue Frank

You knew

You understood

You guided

Like a true elder,

you had wisdom.

You instructed


and you guided hundreds-thousands,

including me.

How can I ever forget

that you passed a little piece of paper to me,

that you once passed that same little paper to others.

With that same little paper,

you sent me and my compañera

on a very special journey,

on a decade-long project.

At that time you told me:

“I not only know we come from here,

But I can prove it.”

Funny thing, is you told me we didn't need proof, 

but you had it for those that doubted.

That little piece of paper

was a section of the 1847 Disturnell Map,

the map attached to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo,

the treaty that ended the war of aggression against Mexico in 1848.

The section of that map read:

“Antigua Residencia de los Aztecas.”

That led us to find more than 200  similar maps,

from the 1500s to the 1800s,

all made the same or similar reference, 

tracking a southward migration.

The Four Corners region is where the first map pointed:

Salt Lake, the others.

And so I went there,

We went there.

And on that journey,

we met many other elders

and they too pointed

and they told us:

“If you want to know who you are,

If you want to find your roots,

follow not the maps,

instead, follow the corn,

follow the maiz.

And sure enough,

that journey took us, took our community

to the south, to the north, to the east and to the west.

Most of all it took us to our heart.

As you know, it is what resulted in the documentary:

Amoxtli San Ce Tojuan

Nosotros Somos Uno

We are One.

It is you, Huehue Frank,

and a few other elders,

that sent our community on this most special journey.

What you taught us Frank,

is that indeed, we don't need proof

to tell us who we are

or where we come from.

And yet we know the truth exists for those that doubt…

That truth is inside of us

because truly,

Somos macehuales,

We are people of the corn,

People of the maiz.

Maiz is where we come from,

what we are made of.

It is our sacred sustenance;

it is who we are.

It is what tells us,

it is what affirms

that we have always been here,

that we belong.

Huehue Frank

Tlazocamati huel miac

Muchas gracias

Thank you very much

For those teachings,

For those guidances.

If ever there is to be a book about you

about your life and your teachings,

It should be called:

The Chilam Balam of East LA

for you have influenced not just a generation

but six more generations to come

Huehue Frank



June 10, 2012

* When Peace & Dignity comes through Southern California later this year, a portion of it will be dedicated in his honor.

Dr Cintli:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cross Cultural Festival to Save Ethnic Studies

Run in Support of Ethnic Studies San Fernando Valley June 2, 2012

Running to defend ethnic studies
By Roberto Dr Cintli Rodriguez

As a result of the battle to defend ethnic studies, an incredible support nationwide has been created for Tucson’s embattled Mexican American studies department. As far as TUSD is concerned, the department no longer exists.

However, the state as well as the TUSD school governing board should know, MAS cannot be killed because beyond being a department, it is also a discipline, but even more importantly, it is an idea. This past weekend, Chican@ Studies and MEChA (Movimieto Estudiantl Chicano de Aztlan) from Cal State University at Northridge. the LA Save Ethnic Studies Committee and community members from the San Fernando Valley held a festival, including a 5K run, for the purposes of defending MAS and opposing the efforts to bury it.

approximately 75-100 runners participated

The message of the festival and run went out nationwide: that MAS does not belong to TUSD, nor to the state of Arizona and that it will be supported and defended, and contrary to the expectations of TUSD, there is no end date nor geographic limits for that support.

signs along the run route
 What the state of Arizona, has done is galvanize the nation. The state has underestimated its actions. Censorship is the hallmark of totalitarian societies; there is no defense for banning curricula, books, departments, and most importantly, a worldview.

The maiz-based philosophy of MAS is at the heart of the conflict

That’s why if one asks the students, or anyone associated with the MAS-TUSD department past or present, one will see that the department is not dead. Amazingly, as can be seen via this run, the support is nationwide and comes from all sectors. the run attracted between 75 and 100  runners from throughout Southern California. But the event was not limited to the run. There was much cultural, educational, and political awareness that took place.

Of note, over the past several years, many of us have defended MAS, in different ways. From rallying, marching, protesting, all-night vigils, runs in support of the department, in Tucson and then runs from Tucson to Phoenix in 2009 and 2012. In 2009, there was a walk across the city, and there have been festivals, concerts, art shows, and all forms of creative expression to show support for the MAS department.

This latest run, is another example and another manifestation of that nationwide support. That is why MAS will never die; because its underlying philosophy and message is that we've always been here and we will continue to be here, always.

A question that some people have is, why do we run? The simple answer is that it is part of a spiritual tradition going back thousands of years on this very continent. When we run, we don't run against people, or even against causes per se. What we do is run for ourselves; we run for the spiritual health of our communities. Despite everything, what could be seen in the San Fernando Valley is a very healthy community, in support of Tucson’s Raza Studies community.

This event is affirming. It is also indicative of what Arizona appears not to understand; the nation supports MAS. The nation abhors censorship, banned curricula and banned books. We know the nation is on our side about these matters; it is but Arizona that cannot see the nopales from the nopalera. 

The run and festival was not limited to support for Raza Studies-TUSD, but also, in support of Dream Students nationwide and also against Arizona's draconian SB 1070, a state measure that has been copied by states across the nation.