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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tomar una rodilla en Honor de un sordo

Taking a knee for a deaf man
In Spanish below

Beyond cultural and demographic genocide (Are Mexicans Indigenous?) this is about a low intensity genocide against this same community, though it is actually bigger against communities of color as a  whole. Here is the column on this topic in Spanish. Please share as you see fit.

Tomar una rodilla en honor de un sordo
por Roberto Rodríguez

Tomé una rodilla en honor para Magdiel Sanchez, que llevaba un tubo de cuando murió en septiembre 19, por policías de Oklahoma City, por supuestamente desobedecer a sus órdenes. Aparentemente eran inconscientes de que él era sordo.

Hace unos meses, tomé una rodilla en honor de Francisco Serna, de 73 años de edad, con un crucifijo en mano, quien fue asesinado por policías de Bakersfield, CA.. El mes antes, tomé una rodilla para Adalid Flores, quien fue asesinado por un oficial de policía de Anaheim, Calif. Lo mataron con solamente un teléfono celular en su mano.

He estado tomando una rodilla para alguien la mayor parte de mi vida, y cosas que parece ser empeorando, no mejor, a pesar de la prevalencia de grabadas en vídeo evidencia y el acceso a la no letal de armas, tales como tasers etc. Nadie goza de tomar una rodilla, debido a que los asesinatos y las palizas no paran.

Cuando yo tenía 16 años, el periodista Ruben Salazar, fue asesinado por un agente del Sheriff del condado de los Ángeles, adjunto realizada el 29 de Agosto, 1970, en el Este los Ángeles, por la calle desde donde crecí y fue este asesinato de que me inspiró para ir a la universidad y convertirme en un escritor. Así que hoy en día, tomo una rodilla en su memoria.

Tengo la mayor respeto a Colin Kaepernick por lo que ha hecho, y ahora para sus colegas que siguen en sus pasos.

¿Qué se puede decir acerca de un presidente que esquivado el proyecto y luego falta el respeto, a continuación, constituye una amenaza para la mayoría de los jugadores Afro-Americanos de fútbol con sus medios de vida, sin que abordar la cuestión de por qué Kaepernick ha tomado una rodilla, esto mientras que aparentemente ajeno a su entorno, incluida la devastación que ha visitado Puerto Rico?

El presidente de la respuesta parece decir: el respeten a la bandera y el Himno Nacional, porque los símbolos son más importante que la vida de las personas de color estan perdiendo sus vidas diariamenete.

Al final de mi 1er año en la Universidad, todavía me recuerdo las noticias de Santos Rodriguez, 12, que fue matado con un tiro en la cabeza en julio de 1973, estilo Ruleta Ruso, a manos de un oficial de policía de Dallas. Hoy en día yo también tomo una rodilla en su memoria.

Otro muerte de esa época, fue el secuestro, la tortura y de ejecución, de 18 años de edad, David Dominguez, El 28 de febrero, 1977, por otro agente del Sheriff de los Ángeles, adjunto en el Valle de San Gabriel. Cubrí was juicio. Yo tomo una rodilla hoy en su memoria.

Algunas muertes no se olvidan. Cuando me esposaron en la parte trasera de un coche de patrulla después de que mi cráneo había sido fracturado por cuatro diputados del Sheriff de Los Ángeles, y mientras sangraba profusamente en el camino al hospital de la cárcel del condado de Los Angeles, recordé la ejecución de Domínguez. Esa noche de marzo de 1979, tomé una rodilla para mí.

En todos estos años he reunido un sinnúmero de miembros de familias que han perdido seres queridos, principalmente a partir de las comunidades de color. Todos están cansados de tomar las rodillas. En la mayoría de los casos, sus comunidades o sus cuerpos fueron dirigidos racialmente. Esa es definition de “racial profiling”, o sea, la conducción, caminar o de la respiración, mientras ser Raza, Afro-Americano o de pueblo Indijena en Los Estados Unidos.

Psicológicamente, la gente puede sanar a partir de trauma, sin embargo, a menos uno consigue un lobotomía, no hay cierto curativo, porque ¿cómo las familias o los sobrevivientes o comunidades pueden sanar cuando uno está continuamente expuestos o objeto de violencia extrema, año tras año tras año?

Recuerdo que el mundo tomó una rodilla para Rodney King en 1991. después de la paliza, el hermano Afro-Americano nunca recuperó. El se ahogó en el 2012. Lo oficial de la causa de muerte fue drogas, el alcohol y una condición de corazón. Digoyo que su causa de muerte fue: ser de Raza Negra.

Recuerdo que tomé una rodilla para Alicia Sotero en 1996. Su golpiza por isheriffes diputados en el sur de California, fue emitido en vivo por un helicóptero de televisión.

Las palizas y asesinatos nunca paran y sin embargo, a sólo unos reciben cobertura nacional. El problema se detuvo ser parte de la conversación nacional durante muchos años, hasta el 9 de agosto, 2014, la matanza de Michael Brown en Ferguson, Missouri, cuando la nación tomó una  rodilla colectiva en su honor.

Desde esa fecha, muchos de los Estados Unidos han tomado una rodilla para Eric “I can’t breathe” Garner, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, etc. Lo mismo para Luis Rodriguez, un notorio caso casi idéntica a Eric Garner, quien se quejó que no podía respirar antes de morir, cuya demanda por su esposa fue despedido esta primavera, sin su consentimiento. Rodillas también se han tomado  para Andy Lopez, de13 años de edad que murió mientras que llevaba un de juguete rifle, y Valeria Tachiquin, asesinada por una “migra,” vestido comp civil, etc. Nunca se debe olvidar las muertes de personas de Los pueblos originarios de Este pais, tales como: Sarah Circle Bear, Paul Castaway, Daniel Covarrubias, el gran nieto del jefe o “Chief Seattle,” y la lista de estas comunidades es interminable. Cerca de donde crecí,  7 Chicanos han sido asesinados por oficiales de la policía de Lo Angeles en la División Hollenbeck, justo en los pasados 18 meses por sí solo.

Alguien podría pensar que yo, o cualquier persona, podría cansarse de escribir acerca de este tema o de tomar las rodillas, porque nadie debería estar constantemente recordándoles a agentes gubernamentales y los principales medios de comunicación, que han invisibilizado y silenciado a estas muertes. Y si estoy cansado porque estamos en medio de una pandemia; algunos 3500 personas han muerto por el cumplimiento de la ley, muchos atrapados en la cámara, a sólo desde la muerte de Michael Brown y sin Justicia en cualquier lugar a la vista.

Como resultado de esta impunidad, la próxima rodilla que debemos tomar no es ante un sordo en la Casa Blanca, sino ante los Tribunales Penales Internacionales tanto de las Naciones Unidas como de la Organización de Estados Americanos. Para eso se diseñaron estos tribunales; para contrarrestar el sistema judicial cuando no funcionan en sus países.

Rodríguez es profesor asociado en estudios de México Americano en la Universidad de Arizona y puede ser contactado en XColumn@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

LOS MEXICANOS Y CENTROAMERICANOS SON NATIVOS O INDIJENAS?

This column has apparently struck a nerve and gone viral. There is also a forthcoming part 2 to this column. Here it is in Spanish below, translated per what I originally wrote, which is slightly different from what was published in Truthout at: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/42193-are-mexicans-indigenous 

Please read and share.

¿Los Mexicanos y Los Centroamericanos son Nativos o Indígenas?
Por Roberto Rodríguez

Para algunos, esta es una cuestión controvertida debido a cientos de años de mestizaje o mezcla y también debido a cientos de años de colonialismo y pensamiento colonizado. Para otros, esto no es nada polémico porque con pocas mujeres europeas que fueron traídas a este continente, la mezcla no fue igualitaria y consensuada, por lo que la mayoría de los Mexicanos permanecen esencialmente indígenas o son pueblos des-indigenizados como resultado de la colonización (México Profundo, 1996).

Todas las respuestas son complejas porque la categoría de mestizo / mestiza es en realidad un término no científico nacido de un sistema de castas raciales de explotación, diseñado principalmente no como un descriptor racial, sino para privar a la gente de sus derechos humanos. Si se tratara simplemente de una designación racial, en Canadá, un metis o persona de "sangre mezclada" se considera una persona “First Nation,” o Indijena.

Una de las respuestas primarias, sin sorpresa, también nos da una idea de por qué los Mexicanos siempre han sido odiados y despreciados en los Estados Unidos.

En los Estados Unidos, los Mexicanos representan la memoria; un recordatorio del robo de tierras y la guerra injusta. Sin embargo, lo que comúnmente se expresa por omisión y comisión, es que son la antítesis de los estadounidenses idealizados, rubios y de ojos azules. Los Mexicanos son vistos como extranjeros y enemigos “otros” y como mestizos impuros; salvajes tal vez, aunque nunca noble e incuestionablemente ajeno. Ser un recordatorio tiene que ver con el asunto inconcluso del destino manifiesto: los negros debían ser esclavizados y se suponía que los pueblos originarios debían ser erradicados de estas "tierras prometidas".

Los Mexicanos siempre han sido vistos simplemente como pueblos inferiores y "en el camino", y siempre han sido siempre para chivos expiatorios convenientes. Esto ayuda a explicar las campañas de deportación periódica, masiva e inhumana a lo largo de la historia de los Estados Unidos (Decade of Betrayal, 1995), incluyendo campañas de linchamiento de los años 1840-1920 (The Forgotten Dead, 2013). La pregunta es ¿por qué? ¿Porque la mayoría son de color bronze, cortos, hablan español y son Católicos? Tal vez, aunque me atrevería a decir que la razón principal puede ser simplemente su color bronze y lo que representa aquí en este pais.

Durante el auge del Movimiento Chicano, es este hecho el que se afirmó con orgullo. Para este país tratan, afirmaron algo radical; que eran mestizo / mestiza y parte de un continente de bronce que no reconocía ningunas "frontera caprichosas". Estos fueron los orígenes de "Brown is Beautiful" y "Brown Power!" y tales ideas estaban incrustadas en El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, uno de los documentos fundamentales de este movimiento. Muchos también proclamaron una Indigeneidad. Esto era contrario a cómo las generaciones anteriores habían identificado, insistiendo en una identidad blanca, en particular, para emprender batallas legales contra la segregación. Aunque como ha demostrado la experta de la Universidad de Texas Martha Menchaca en el "Chicano Indigenism", nunca fueron tratadas por la sociedad y sus instituciones como blancos, especialmente en la sala de audiencias.

Casi 50 años después de la altura del movimiento, y la pregunta que ahora se plantea es si los Mexicanos / Chicanos /as no son mestizos / mestizas, sino más bien si son nativos, sobre todo porque la población se ha disparado, ya no se limitan al Suroeste de Estados Unidos y también se han unido muchos más millones de personas de México y América Central, que a menudo comparten una raíz Mesoamericana común y que cada vez más provienen de pueblos Indígenas vivos (no simplemente históricos).

En cierto sentido, estas nuevas comunidades de pueblos Zapotecos, Mixtecos, Purpechas, Otomíes, Nahuas y Mayas, etc., complican la cuestión, aunque en realidad, para estas comunidades, su Indigeneidad no está en cuestión, aunque los extremistas raciales cuestionan su presencia aquí. Lo mismo con los pueblos Mexicanos que se han mezclado con Nativo Americanos en todo Estados Unidos.

La pregunta entonces realmente es en general acerca de los des-indigenizados Mexicanos y Centroamericanos, etc. ¿Son nativos? Esa cuestión debe limitarse a los pueblos des-indigenizados, pero incluso los Yaquis, por ejemplo, son vistos por algunos como Mexicanos en pero no nativos. Sumando a esta complejidad, algunos consideran a los pueblos O'odham que viven en Sonora también como mexicanos pero no O'odham.

Durante el movimiento Chicano, los Mexicanos / Chicanos /Chicanas generalmente hablaban de descender de los pueblos Indígenas; Aztecas y Mayas principalmente. Nunca identificaron cuando ellos mismos dejaron de ser Indígenas. Esa es la clave; no el pasado, sino el presente. Y dado que estamos hablando de quizás entre 30 y 40 millones de personas, ¿es posible volver a la Indigenización, más allá de la descolonización, entre una población que es históricamente anti-Indígena -en gran parte debido al auto-odio provocado por esa colonización? ¿Quien decide? ¿Tiene la America de Anglosajones - incluyendo el gobierno de Estados Unidos - una voz en este asunto? El gobierno puede definir la ciudadanía Estadounidense, pero sin duda no tiene ninguna relación con una identidad histórica que precede a la formación de los Estados Unidos y, de hecho, involucra a todo el continente en comparación con sólo este país.

Es una conversación que se necesita tener, especialmente en una sociedad que está empeñada en erigir un muro masivo - el símbolo consumado de la supremacía blanca - para mantener a las "hordas de bronce".

Quienes sin duda tendrían una voz en este asunto serían los pueblos AmerIndigenas - los pueblos originarios de este continente - especialmente dentro de los Estados Unidos. Metafóricamente, los "mestizos" son los "hijos" de la gente original de este continente, y así los padres no rechazan a sus hijos, y viceversa, aunque históricamente, lo contrario no siempre ha sido cierto. Debido al colonialismo y al racismo extremo, los "niños" fueron entrenados o educados para rechazar a sus propios padres y muchos lo han hecho y siguen haciéndolo. Dada esta realidad, muchos pueblos originales nunca los "aceptarían". Otros tienen y hacen, y muchos lo hacen con los brazos abiertos, preguntándose por qué esto ha tomado tanto tiempo "volver".

Estoy sospechando que si alguna vez llega un momento de plena aceptación, se producirá mínimamente, como resultado de mucho diálogo. Y sin embargo, serán estas comunidades des-indigenizados- las que finalmente tendrán que decidir no sólo su identidad, sino también su futuro. ¿Está entrelazada con los pueblos originarios reconocidos de este continente, o eligen un curso diferente? Pero como se ha señalado, no puede ser una decisión unilateral impuesta.

Rodríguez es profesor asociado en la Universidad de Arizona y puede ser contactado en: XColumn@gmail.com

La columna fue primero publicado en Ingles con El titulo: Are Mexicans Indigenous? Truthout.org: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/42193-are-mexicans-indigenous

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Are Mexicans/Central Americans Indigenous and who decides?

As many US states and municipalities have begun to eschew the colonial tradition of "Columbus Day" in favor of adopting Monday's holiday as "Indigenous Peoples' Day," one might wonder where people of Mexican heritage fit in.


For some, this is a controversial question due to hundreds of years of mestizaje, or mixture, and also due to hundreds of years of colonialism and colonized thinking. For others, this is not controversial at all, because with few European women brought to this continent, the mixture was not co-equal and consensual, and thus, most Mexicans essentially remain Indigenous or are de-Indigenized peoples as a result of colonization. For the rest of the column, go to: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/42193-are-mexicans-indigenous

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Indigenous Studies and Consciousness Generationally Delayed

I've long-wondered why an Indigenous consciousness exists among some Mexicans/Chicanos/Central Americans and other peoples from this continent, while not in others, considering that all are generally products of colonization? This phenomenon is often most stark when many reject the notion of celebrating a "Hispanic heritage" at the expense of subjugating their primarily Indigenous-African and mixed heritage. And a related question: Why did Indigenous Studies, counterintuitively, never develop as an academic discipline within Raza Studies, considering that Indigeneity is at its philosophical core?

For the rest of the column, go to: http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/42091-indigenous-studies-and-consciousness-generationally-delayed

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Enriqueta Vasquez: Eminent Historian for "The Women of La Raza"

am going to go out on an (academic) limb and call The Women of La Razaby Enriqueta Vasquez both a treasure and a living codex. I will also say this about Enriqueta herself: Vive en la sabiduria -- she lives in wisdom, wisdom of an elder, wisdom of the elders, an elder who also leaves footprints and also walks in beauty. Her words and generational knowledge are gifts to us, and I will say that her epic book is a must-read, especially for those interested in the history of Chicanos in general, but even more specifically, the history of Chicanas in this country. For the rest of the column, please go to:http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/41899-enriqueta-vasquez-eminent-historian-for-the-women-of-la-raza

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The National Council of La Raza's Name Change: A National Capitulation

The National Council of La Raza's Name Change: A National Capitulation

Thursday, September 07, 2017By Roberto RodriguezSpeakout | Op-Ed

The National Council of La Raza's (NCLR) recent name change to UnidosUS is bizarre and incomprehensible and its rationale that their name was "getting in the way of their mission" strains credulity, especially because it was also purportedly trying to be more relevant to the young. This action, coming from the nation's largest Latino civil rights coalition, simply reeks of outright capitulation -- this at a time when the communities that it seeks to represent are under the most relentless attacks in modern history, compliments of the current White House occupant and his allies. 

For the rest of the column please go to:http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/41865-the-national-council-of-la-raza-s-name-change-a-national-capitulation

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Spanish Inquisition Lives On in Arizona's Ban on Mexican American Studies

The Spanish Inquisition Lives On in Arizona's Ban on Mexican American Studies

Friday, August 11, 2017

I have always viewed Arizona's effort to eradicate Mexican American Studies (MAS) as something akin to an unholy Inquisition. For some, that will sound hyperbolic; not for me.
US district Judge Wallace Tashima is expected to make a decision soon on whether the 2010 Arizona House Bill 2281 legislation, which bans Arizona public schools from offering ethnic studies classes, was passed with the intention of discriminating against Tucson's Mexican American students.

For the rest of the column go to: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/41578-the-spanish-inquisition-lives-on-in-arizona-s-ban-on-mexican-american-studies

Monday, July 17, 2017

Mexican American or Mexican Mexicano?

During a time of changing identities, I remember a student of mine at the University of Arizona once defined himself as a Mexican Mexicano, this in contrast to Mexican American, as was the case for many of his classmates. I understood that identity. For the rest of the column, go to: http://diverseeducation.com/article/99152/ http://diverseeducation.com/article/99152/

Monday, July 10, 2017

Law Enforcement Violence in 2017 "Normalized"

by Roberto Rodriguez

The recent exoneration of the Anaheim and Bakersfield, California police officers, respectively, who killed Adalid Flores, who was carrying a cell phone, and 73-year-old Francisco Serna, who was carrying a crucifix, drives home the mantra of “no convictions” that has been made by criminal justice activists. In three recent high-profile trials involving the officers who killed Philando CastileTerrence Crutcher and Sylville Smith, all officers have walked.
For the rest of the column, please go to: http://diverseeducation.com/article/98756/

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

THE MAS TRIAL: A CIVILIZATIONAL WAR

The Arizona Daily Star:

The Mexican American Studies trial is underway in Tucson’s federal court, and yet the historic trial will never receive the national coverage it merits. The trial will determine whether the 2010 anti-Ethnic Studies HB 2281 legislation, which resulted in the elimination of Tucson’s highly successful K-12 Raza Studies Department, and which was initiated by former state schools’ superintendent, Tom Horne, was motivated by racial animus.
At stake here is whether Arizona can determine what constitutes permissible versus impermissible knowledge in its schools, this within the context of a “civilizational war.”
For the rest of the column in the Arizona Daily Start, please go to:
https://xicanation.com/the-mas-trial-an-arizona-civilizational-war/


Longer version of the article with active links to the study re the hate mail in the Arizona Daily Star and the Arizona Republic between 2010-2012. https://xicanation.com/the-mas-trial-an-arizona-civilizational-war/

Thursday, June 8, 2017

THE X IN LATIN-X


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: ”http://diverseeducation.com/article/97500/ 

(Part 1 of this essay is at: Affirming a Macehual or Gente de Maiz Identity:http://diverseeducation.com/article/97423/

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:
http://diverseeducation.com/article/97423

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: http://diverseeducation.com/article/96870/

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:http://diverseeducation.com/article/96400/


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: iarce@email.arizona.edu 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: http://diverseeducation.com/article/95976/

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

LIBERATION OR SOCIAL JUSTICE:

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.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

RESISTANCE OR A PERMANENT STATE OF INSURRECTION:


I have long wanted to have this debate... so on my part, here is the opening salvo. Comments are welcome:

In Chicano Manifesto (1971), Armando Rendon made the radical claim that the United States and Mexico were technically still in a state of war (1846-1848) because the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo was violated prior to even its signing, and that therefore, a state of war continues to this day.

Rendon’s claim was based on war having been waged against Mexico; half of its territories were illegally seized via war or threat of war during the 1830s through the 1850s; and several of the articles (Article VIII and XI) from the treaty were altered and one (Article X) was outright deleted​. These articles had to do with land rights and the human rights of the peoples that remained in the former Mexican territories.

Here, I am not agreeing or disagreeing, but actually positing something even more radical: that people of Mexican descent (including Chicanos/as) that live in this country, live in a permanent state of dehumanization and thus also part of a permanent state of insurrection that has been ongoing since the days of Columbus, Cortez and Pizarro and other “conquistadors,” one that never ended, and technically, can never end.
For rest of the column,please go to: http://diverseeducation.com/article/95340/

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Do All Lives Matter? inShare Email


by Roberto Rodriguez
April 10, 2017

The question at the Cesar Chavez lecture at a packed auditorium at Sierra College was, do all lives matter?
It was a great forum and a great dialogue, but in a sense, it was the wrong question. The reason is that each time the answer will invariably mischaracterize, misdirect, or at best, deflect. In case there is any doubt regarding this answer, one only need examine Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent ordering of a review of dozens of existing consent decrees between the Justice Department and police departments nationwide. For the rest of column, go to: http://diverseeducation.com/article/95080/

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Beware of Poisoned Orange Tree


by Roberto Rodriguez

The White House appears to be an ethics-free-zone. And it appears to be intentional.

The reason there are few ethical guidelines designed specifically for presidents is because it has always been assumed that the person at the helm of the most powerful nation on Earth would have little incentive to abuse the office of the presidency of the United States of America, precisely because he would be the most powerful person in the world. For rest of column, go to: http://diverseeducation.com/article/94816/

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Re-indigenization is Underway


by Roberto Rodriguez

Fleshing the Spirit: Spirituality and Activism in Chicana, Latina and Indigenous Women’s Lives is a book that I regularly teach. As I was going through my students’ papers this past week, I came to the realization that something radical is happening within these communities alluded to in this book. It is a process referred to as re-indigenization.

This is a huge development, not simply in the history of this country, but on this continent. I venture to say that this process has been going on for at least a generation, though with the rise of this administration, this process appears to be accelerating now even faster. In addition, it is greatly accelerating precisely because of the hostility of the current administration, which actually rises to the level of a full-scale immigration war against these communities.

For the rest of the column, go to: http://diverseeducation.com/article/94065/

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN AMERICAN? = WRONG QUESTION.


by Roberto Rodriguez

It appears that an all-points bulletin has been issued in search of this nation’s soul. It is no secret that the current administration’s policies, including its budget priorities, have triggered a profound questioning of this nation’s beliefs and ethos.
In effect, it is war, over people.
This is not metaphorical, but actual choices being made by the current administration: the Pentagon, Wall Street and the Border Wall versus Meals on Wheels and Sesame Street. Translation: Bombs, prisons and profit versus the needs of human beings, seniors, children, and education.
And yet, it is not so much these anti-human policies and choices, but the very existence of this administration that has caused people to profoundly question everything regarding the roots and foundation of this nation, including what it means to be an American.
For rest of column. please read (and share) http://diverseeducation.com/article/94001/

Thursday, March 16, 2017

THE SMILING BROWN PROJECT March 12






THE SMILING BROWN PROJECT
GENTE DE BRONCE: PEOPLE THE COLOR OF THE EARTH

The Smiling Brown Play/presentation/performance was historic. It was nothing short of amazing. Below is the schedule for March 12. I can say it was intense. The good news is that it was taped. This project is akin to the Vagina monologues. The most important aspect of Smiling Brown is the dialogue. From the discussion held at the end, it was decided that we may do it again for 5 de Mayo in Tucson, but also in Phoenix in April and possibly in San Antonio before the actual premiere in Los Angeles. It will also make for great curriculum. With the footage from Jason Aragon of Pan Left, we will produce, perhaps a mini-documentary and perhaps a 10-12 minute version that can be used in schools and other educational settings. The topic of color and light-skin preference is very powerful and in many cases is taboo. The project is ongoing. Feel free to send in writings/poems, recordings or videotaped testimonios. March 12 at the Tucson Festival of books barely scratched the surface. But also, that is a reminder; Smiling Brown will also be a book. Send to: XColumn@gmail.com More details later. At the moment, a huge thank you to all participated in the Tucson preview and all those who have sent in testimonios to different parts of the country. In the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2018, there will be a Smiling Brown tour. The hopes are for the premier in the Spring of 2018 in Los Angeles. Will keep everyone posted re this.

THE SMILING BROWN PROJECT
GENTE DE BRONCE: PEOPLE THE COLOR OF THE EARTH

Light skin preference and the denial of Indigeneity.
by Roberto Rodriguez.

What this project/book/play examines is light-skin preference in the Mexican, Central American and Andean communities of this nation, particularly in relationship to indigeneity and denial of indigeneity. Perhaps counter-intuitively, this is a taboo topic in these communities. The reason for that is because the play primarily examines the internal dimension to this phenomenon; i.e. how it plays out within family/relatives/friends. The external of course manifests as racial profiling in all of this society's institutions. Part of what the play chooses to examine are the earliest memories when children become conscious of their color and that there is meaning attached to their color, and of course, most of these memories are negative.




PROGRAM SUNDAY MARCH 12

Pre-Program
Somos Mas Americanos – Tigres del Norte

Dulce Juarez (tape)

Why am I so Brown? By Trinidad Sanchez

SMILING BROWN 2:30-4:30pm

Opening Poem: Susana Sandoval 7 min (live)

Susana is a poet, human rights and Indigenous rights activist. She recently spent 3 months at Standing Rock.

Sarah Gonzalez MC
Sarah Gonzales is an artist, community organizer and educator living in Tucson.

Roberto Rodriguez Dr. Cintli: Genesis of the Smiling Brown Project:
Associate Professor in Mexican American Studies at the UA, founder of the Smiling Brown Project and a life-long writer. Currently writes for Diverse Issues in Higher Education.
  
Mictlani Classroom powerpoint re color preference.
As a critical educator my objective has been to interrogate colonization through a decolonizing curricular and pedagogical focus in a K-5 classroom setting; the most decolonizing experience that I’ve provided my students is the opportunity to love their humanity, contrary to the dehumanizing goal of colonization. This self love objective is rooted in the study of this ancient energy of Tezcatlipoca as experienced by my students’ love for the color of their skin, expressed through art and poetry. 

The Vai Se Voi family: Presentation on raising their family right (and importance of Indigeneity to family/community).
Chanequeh Vai Sevoi, Tetaviecti, Cajeme, Sewailo, Gigi Naamu, Tuituli, Marisella Kurues, Chucho, and Maria. Calpollequeh of Teoxicalli Pueblo Tlamanalco. Maria and Chucho are the proud parents of 6 beautiful children, instilling self-love and self-worth through cultura.

Anabel Aguayo: Morena Color de Llanta:
Anabel is a social worker and a graduate of the University of Arizona and Arizona State University.

Alexandria Partida; live testimonio
Alexandria is a University of Arizona graduate and an aspiring doctora.

Monica Contreras - live testimonio
Monica Contreras is a recent graduate from the University of Arizona's Mexican American Studies program. She is a former MEChista, proud Chicana and was born in Arizona.

*Diana Diaz - videotaped testimonio
Diana Díaz was born in Fresno, CA to Mexican and Salvadoran migrants. She graduated from the University of Arizona with my Bachelor's in Art with an emphasis in Linguistics.

Eva Alcalde & Mictlan Alcalde testimonies
Eva (mother) and Mictlan (son) were both born in Tucson. Mictlan is aspiring to be a warrior artist, and his mother is a visual artist. Eva has received her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from Arizona State University School of Social Work. Mictlan attends Roskruge Middle School and is in the 6th grade.
Alfred Chavez taped testimonio
Alfred, a graduate of Northern Arizona University was born and went to school in Tucson. He has dedicated his testimonio to his Nana Nellie.

Timo Padilla poem
Timoteio is a public health educator, poet and emcee working within the anti-violence movement. Timoteio organizes, educates and works to end violence against women, and build solidarity with LGBTQ identified folks, while considering intersections of privilege and power as they relate to masculinity. Timoteio pursues this work through a decolonizing framework, dismantling systems of oppression, while building towards indigenous resilience. 

Ruben Botello: Anglolocation:
Ruben is retired and works at Americas and Caribbean Islands Union & American Homeless Society  

Susana Sandoval & Karizma Blackburn: testimonios
From Chicago, Susana was our opening poet. Her daughter: Karizma Blackburn is a writer, vocalist, activist who has traveled to Kenya and Standing Rock, North Dakota to fight for water rights. 

Juvenal Caporale:
Juvenal is a PhD candidate in the Mexican American Studies Department at the University of Arizona. His research interests include street gangs, criminalization, and youth identity and resiliency.

Tara Truddell: poetry and performance of her works and the works of her father, the late John Truddell. 

Armando Bernal:
Armando, born in Tucson, is a long-time Tucson educator and a retired librarian.  

Leilani Clark poem
Leilani is a Tucson native, long time immigration, human and Indigenous rights activist.She currently lives in Las Vegas.

DIALOGUE WITH AUDIENCE: Moderated by Sarah Gonzalez


Piel Canela
(WHERE NAME OF PLAY COMES FROM)
By Anna NietoGomez

“I grew up believe everyone’s skin color was some color brown.  Perhaps that is because I am brown, and people in my family were either lighter or darker than I. It’s rather funny that of those who are some color of brown, I do not know who is darker or lighter.  I don’t even describe what color of brown I am.  I think it is because it changes from season to season, and it seems to be a different color now that I am older.  But when I see a picture of myself it is a smiling brown, but not the color of a brown crayon… “

For an article on this topic, please go to Nakum Journal: http://indigenouscultures.org/…/smiling-brown-gente-de-bron…

Thanks to all who have assisted in this process, including everyone presenting on March 12, and also: Evelina Fernandez, Jose L. Valenzuela, Andrea Romero, Cathy Gastelum, Marc Pinate, Milta Ortiz, Jose Garcia, Anna Ochoa O’Leary, Ada Wilkinson-Lee, Kyle Peterson, Anahi Herrera, Elizabeth Soltero, Jason Aragon and Brillana Barraza.

Because it is an ongoing project, we are still looking for stories, written, recorded or videotaped: Inquire or send to: XColumn@gmail.com

You can support this project with a tax-deductible donation to the University of Arizona Foundation.