In Lak Ech, Panche Be & Hunab Ku & The Forgotten 1524 Debate
Eagle Feather Research Institute 2010 Collective Copyright
By Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez, Arnoldo Vento, PhD, Vivian Garcia Lopez, PhD, Mixelle Rascon, Pricila Rodriguez, Norma Gonzalez, Crystal Terriquez, Jo Anna Mixpe Ley, Grecia Ramirez & Luis A Valdez
SAVE ETHNIC/RAZA STUDIES
Why did several communities support a run from Tucson to Phoenix through the Arizona desert in 115-degree heat in the middle of the summer last year? Probably for the same reason 15 of us were arrested for criminal trespass at Tucson’s state building this May: We did it to combat the effort to terminate, via HB 2281, Tucson’s highly successful Raza Studies program. This came on the heels of the anti-immigrant bill, SB 1070. One attacks our bodies; the other, our spirits.
While the bill was dropped in 2009, this year, the know-nothing Republican-dominated state legislature passed both bills, whereas the state’s unelected governor, Jan Brewer, promptly signed both “laws.” HB 2281 is particularly onerous because it is a Dark Ages-era law that attacks the thinking/teaching/learning process. It also creates an Inquisition-style mechanism to approve acceptable books and curriculums. Arizona State Schools Superintendent, Tom Horne, who has never set foot in an Ethnic/Raza Studies classroom, first mounted his campaign in 2006 when Dolores Huerta stated at Tucson HS that Republicans hate Latinos. Since then, he has isolated Rodolfo Acuña’s Occupied America and Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, as examples of books that promote hate, segregation and advocate anti-American views while calling for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. He is claiming that Raza Studies is out of compliance of the new law and is now calling on TUSD to force Raza Studies to videotape its classes.
Lost in this “debate” is the nature or contents of Raza Studies and its philosophical foundation. As a result, a collaborative mini-book: Amoxtli X – The X Codex, has been written to provide such an answer. The book stresses the concepts of In Lak Ech – tu eres mi otro yo – you are my other self – Panche Be – Buscar la Raiz en la Verdad – To Seek the Root of the Truth – and Hunab Ku – a view of the world that explains the nature of the universe.
These concepts are part of a maiz-based philosophy and curriculum that stress a human rights ethos. Maiz is the only food in history that was created by human beings, and the peoples of this continent – Cemanahuak or Abya Yalla – are the only peoples to have created their own food. Horne insists that Greco-Roman knowledge – as opposed to the maiz-based AmerIndigenous knowledge taught in Raza Studies-TUSD – should be exclusively taught in Arizona schools. For the past several years, these ethos have been in full display as Raza Studies youths have led the protests against both bills. More than protest, they have fully lived their peaceful meaning.
“This philosophy comes direct from the cereal that was created by the ancient settlers of the continent: maiz… yes, the maiz, that creation of the savage beast, and that thanks to them, lies the hope for humanity.” – Maya Linguist, Domingo Martinez Paredez, 1960.
Amoxtli X – The X Codex, in part, was also created to raise funds to combat HB 2281. Aside from forthcoming trials for the 15 of us, a lawsuit against the state is forthcoming. If you would like a signed copy, please make a $10 check per copy to the University of Arizona Foundation. Send to Roberto Rodriguez PO BOX 3812, Tucson, AZ 85722. If you would like to donate more, either add a greater amount to check or buy more books. (Discounted class sets are available. proceeds will go toward the Dec 2-4 Conference on Hate, Censorship & Forbidden Curriculums. For more info re books: 520-626-0824 XColumn@gmail.com). Panche Be T-Shirts are also available for $20.