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Monday, January 31, 2011

Arizona's cultural genocide law UK Guardian

Legislators in Arizona are pursuing a white supremacist campaign to erase Mexican American presence from teaching

Roberto Cintli Rodriguez
Activists in Arizona protesting against immigration law
Activists protest against Arizona's anti-immigrant laws. Via HB 2281, the state has banned the teaching of Mexican American studies. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America


The onslaught in Arizona of reactionary and immoral racially-based laws has managed to attract worldwide attention. The brown peoples of this state are being relentlessly persecuted by a majority population that wants to forcefully remove us and suppress our rights and deny our humanity. Here, the state has even gone so far as to, via HB 2281, to prohibit the teaching of ethnic studies in Arizona schools.

Unquestionably, the brown peoples of this state are treated as less than human. Not everyone treats us this way – just the majority: mostly conservative Republicans, many of them with a supremacist ideology. Their general attitude is: if you're brown (read Mexican), get the hell out of our God-given country. And for those of you who remain, either assimilate and abide by our [contrived and unconstitutional] laws or face the full wrath of the state.

There is embedded hate against brown peoples in Arizona – the kind associated with the 1800s, a time when the United States forcefully annexed half of Mexico. All of it is thinly veiled under the guise of opposition to "illegal immigration" and "border enforcement". However, the battle here is actually civilisational: brown peoples, many of whom have been here for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, represent the unfinished business of Manifest Destiny. For conservatives, we represent a return to a past in which we are viewed as a conquered, subhuman species. This brazen attitude informs all the recent anti-Mexican and anti-immigrant bills, proposed laws that long for a return to an idyllic past, which, in fact, never existed.

Aside from HB 2281, other bills include : SB 1070 – the racial profiling law; SB 1097 – the proposed law that will require children to identify the immigration status of their parents; and HB 2561/SB 1308 and HB 2562/SB1309 – bills that seek to nullify birthright citizenship (guaranteed by the 14th amendment ) to children whose parents cannot prove their legal status.

And now, state legislators have introduced the most reactionary bill of them all: SCR 1010 (pdf). This bill seeks to exempt Arizona from international laws. With this bill, these legislators are acknowledging that all their anti-Mexican laws are also outside of international law.

The most onerous and under-reported of all of these bills has been HB 2281; its key component is thought control and the enforced teaching of a master narrative. The former state superintendent of schools, Tom Horne, crafted an Inquisition-style law in 2010 that forces Arizona school districts to eliminate their ethnic studies departments. Despite the rhetoric of claiming that these programmes teach hate, racial separation and the overthrow of the US government, the actual target is the highly successful Mexican American studies K-12 programme in Tucson because its philosophical foundation is a 7,000-year maíz-based curriculum. Students are taught indigenous [Mayan] concepts such as: In Lak Ech (you are my other self); Panche Be (to seek the root of the truth) and Hunab Ku (we are all part of creation). Students are taught to see themselves in all human beings, to be critical thinkers, and that they are all equal to other human beings. Not coincidentally, this programme boasts a 97.5% high school graduation rate.

Horne, whom is now attorney general and so in charge of determining the legitimacy of the law he wrote, believes that such indigenous concepts are unAmerican and anti-western civilisation. Instead, he believes that only Greco-Roman concepts should be the basis for Arizona schools and that the nation's narrative should begin with the pilgrim fathers.

And so the civilisational clash.

As a result, a 2010 lawsuit by 11 educators against the state charges that HB 2281 interferes with their ability to teach. There is also a strong possibility of filing a court case with the Organisation of American States (OAS) and/or with the UN, charging Arizona with attempted cultural genocide. All these bills violate virtually every international human rights treaty and covenant, all of which protect the rights of peoples from discriminatory treatment and forced assimilation, and their rights to education, history, language and culture.

This international showdown is long overdue.

Rodriguez is a professor at the University of Arizona and can be reached at:

Please feel free to comment directly at the UK Guardian as they have right wingers there also:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In Defense of Raza/Indigenous Studies: Five sentenced, but not guilty!

                                                       Supporter in Tucson Courtroom

It is the law that is illegal

By Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez

Four students and I were just sentenced to 10 hours of community service for a crime we did not commit. More importantly, our act of civil disobedience was in response to an illegal, immoral and unconstitutional law: hb 2281 – a piece of legislation that makes the teaching of Ethnic Studies in Arizona illegal.

Back in May, 15 of us were detained as a result of refusing to leave the 2nd floor of the state building because the state superintendent of schools refused to speak to our community. About a thousand of us – mostly middle, high school and college and university students, plus community members – had been awaiting his arrival earlier at TUSD headquarters where he had come to gloat because Gov. Jan Brewer had just signed an Inquisition-style law that made it illegal to teach Ethnic Studies. Rather than showing, he opted to have an impromptu press conference at the state building instead. Using Martin Luther King Jr. as a prop, he continued, and he continues, to claim that his actions to destroy and eliminate ethnic studies, comply with MLK’s dream of a color-blind society.

Despite the 15 of us doing the same civil act of disobedience, we have all been treated differently.  Two were outright acquitted. Of the original 15, three  remain. They will be tried March 3.

As far as many of us are concerned, the battle over hb 2281 has just begun; the teaching of ethnic studies became illegal on Dec 31 and Mexican American Studies-TUSD was ruled out of compliance on Jan 3. We are not only convinced of the law's illegality,  we are certain of it because of the unambiguous actions of the state legislature. The same day the president came to Tucson, a new Republican-introduced bill (scr 1010) called for Arizona to be exempt from international law. As written, it will go to the voters in 2012. The thing is, this issue has already been litigated in U.S. courts. But since when has that stopped our 19th century state legislature?

Yet, state legislators' attempt to nullify international law in Arizona is outright proof that the forces of hate in and out of the legislature are fully aware that hb 2281, sb 1070 (the legislation that promotes racial profiling) and the efforts to nullify the 14th amendment (HB 2561/SB 1308 and HB 2562/SB1309) all are illegal, immoral and unconstitutional. Beyond being unconstitutional, all the Arizona anti-Mexican laws, under the rubric of anti-immigrant laws of the past 10 years, violate virtually every international human rights treaty and convention. Under such treaties, in regards to hb 2281, the right to education, history, language and culture is sacrosanct. These treaties are in place in order to protect small nations, peoples and cultures from being swallowed up by hostile larger ones (

At the moment, there is a lawsuit against the state over hb 2281; this involves 11 educators who are challenging the constitutionality of the law (

It is also not out of the realm of possibility that a case(s) will be taken to the Organization of American States or the United Nations. What’s at stake here is not simply the right of 11 teachers to teach, but rather, the right of all peoples (students) to education, history, language and culture. In Arizona, everything has been flipped upside down. Things Greco-Roman are deemed to be American and part of Western Civilization, whereas things Indigenous (MAS-TUSD Indigenous-maiz-based curriculum) are deemed to be un-American and alien.

That’s why many of us were arrested. In one sense, it’s a 42-year struggle; the same battle – one over legitimacy – that’s been waged since the creation of Ethnic Studies. At another level, it’s a 518-year clash of civilizations, even though it needn’t be (the civilizations can absolutely co-exist). Yet in actuality, this is part of a battle to preserve and maintain (and to teach and learn about) a 7,000-year AmerIndigenous maiz-based culture. Nothing less.

That’s why many students walked out in May. That’s why many were arrested. That’s why many continue to run, walk, vigil, protest and why others in the future – in the actual tradition of MLK Jr. – will commit to further acts of civil disobedience. We are not satisfied with hiding our culture in the home. And that’s why we welcome the OAS and the UN to examine Arizona’s lunacy in their forums and courtrooms.

At the moment, TUSD has until April 16 to be in compliance (i.e. eliminate MAS). One thing is certain, if it ever came to that, many of us will teach MAS/Indigenous Studies in front of the state building and/or the state capitol until the courts fix this symbol of the new Inquisition.

Rodriguez, a professor at the University, can be reached at: The column is also posted at:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

5 Defenders of Raza/Indigenous Studies Sentenced to 10 Community Hours

5 Defenders of Raza/Indigenous Studies Sentenced to 10 Community Hours

Whereas the County asked for six months probation, a civics responsibility class and a fine, the five of us instead received 10 hours of Community Service. As the defendants, we can volunteer at any non-profit we choose. It appears that everyone will volunteer at Derechos Humanos and Raza Studies... though we all still procliam that we did nothing wrong, arguing that it is hb 2281 that is illegal, immoral and unconstitutional.

Our struggle is predicated on the idea that the right to history, culture and education is an inalienable right of all human beings. It is protected by virtually every international human rights treaty and convention. That is why AZ state legislators have introduced SRC 1010 -- an attempt to exempt Arizona from international laws.

There are three others whose cases have not been tried. Their court date is March 3. 

See columns below.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


By Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez

Last week I wrote that after the cameras left Tucson, the Arizona hate that is focused on Mexicans/migrants – on brown peoples, which is about 95% of all the hate in Arizona – will be back to normal. I was wrong. The massacre helped to obfuscate that hate; the cameras have not yet left Arizona and already we are being treated to a feel-good national narrative, predicated on denial, this while this war against brown peoples continues unabated.

The latest salvo is an attempt by the legislature to nullify international laws in the outlaw state of Arizona. Yes. You read this correctly.

This past week, the national narrative has been crafted as a story about heroism and healing. And it is a true and uplifting story. Yet, Arizona’s actual hate has generally been off the radar. And again, this hate isn’t necessarily about right-left, Republican vs. Democrats, conservatives (Tea Partiers) vs. Liberals. Instead, most of the hate – as manifested in the state legislature and in the public discourse – is about Mexicans/migrants and the border. And it is ugly.

Perhaps an argument can be made that this massacre is not the appropriate time to address this hate. So the question then is: when is the right time? Since 2000, thousands of migrants have died along the border. And since 2,000, the anti-Mexican legislation has steamrolled through the state legislature. And since 2000 (actually, 2001), the hate rhetoric against them has ratcheted up to unprecedented levels -- equating Mexican/Central American migrants with terrorism, and now, with drug cartels. Most of the world knows about the 2010 racial profiling sb 1070. Less known is the 2010 anti-Ethnic Studies hb 2281 – an attempt to impose upon Arizona schools – a Eurocentric Master Narrative of History. On Jan. 3, Mexican American Studies-TUSD was declared illegal by the outgoing state schools superintendent. The only remedy is its elimination. This year, at least two more outrageous measures are being added to this list; one would nullify the 14th Amendment and the other will require children to turn in their parents [immigration status] to school authorities.

          Maria Brummer, Mexican American Studies-TUSD , Tucson High school teacher

Worse, last week, members of Arizona’s state legislature wasted no time or did not let the tragedy get in their way of addressing Arizona’s actual hate… in their own peculiar way. Just a mere 4 days after the Jan. 8 massacre – and on the same day that the president was attempting to heal the nation – a 2012 proposal (SCR 1010) to nullify and exempt Arizona from International Law was introduced. It is not certain whether the legislators are engineering Arizona’s secession from the United States, from the community of nations or from humanity.

It was introduced by: Senators Gray, Allen, Antenori, Gould, Griffin, Nelson, Pearce R, Pierce
S, Reagan, Smith; Representatives Burges, Weiers J: Senators Barto, Biggs, Bundgaard, Crandall, Klein, Melvin, Murphy, Shooter, Yarbrough. Here is the full text of SCR 1010:

Be it resolved by the Senate of the State of Arizona, the House of
Representatives concurring:
Article VI, section 1, Constitution of Arizona, is proposed to be
amended as follows if approved by the voters and on proclamation of the
1. Judicial power; courts
Section 1. A. The judicial power shall be vested in an
integrated judicial department consisting of a supreme court,
such intermediate appellate courts as may be provided by law, a
superior court, such courts inferior to the superior court as
may be provided by law, and justice courts.
2. The Secretary of State shall submit this proposition to the voters
at the next general election as provided by article XXI, Constitution of

One feature of extreme conservative philosophy is its innate disdain not simply of the federal government, but their demonization of the United Nations and international laws. A question to ask; why would a state propose that the state courts “not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures.” Because they are conscious of, and have examined, their own rogue legislation? It very much appears to be the same tactic of the W. Bush administration, in the prelude to the Iraqi invasion, which attempted to exempt itself from the International Criminal Court.

Again, why this preemptive move, and why the attempt to wash its hands and pass the blame on to the citizens of this state? Perhaps because the legislators have little doubts about the mood and passion of the electorate?

A cursory examination of international laws, treaties and conventions that focus on human rights should convince the average person that Arizona’s laws this past decade, directed against Mexicans/migrants, are absolutely outside not simply of international law, but also outside of the U.S. Constitution (see: Virtually all international human rights laws are designed to prevent bigger nations, peoples and cultures from eliminating, dis-empowering or swallowing up smaller nations, peoples and cultures. Perhaps Arizona’s legislators are preemptively reading their own tealeaves? The recent Arizona pieces of legislation clearly appear to be aimed at forcibly removing [brown] populations [ethnic cleansing] and at forced assimilation. 

In May, five UN rapporteurs issued a report warning that Arizona's laws would lead to discrimination. Human Rights Watch has also stated that sb1070 violates the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which the United States ratified in 1994. Amnesty International has similarly weighed in.

For the international and national media that is still here in Arizona, please take heed: In this state, a reinstatement of slavery would probably stand a good chance of passing; maybe not if directed at African Americans, but at brown peoples, probably.

Rodriguez, a professor at the University of Arizona, can be reached at:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

That Indian man you see on the hospital bed

UPDATED: “Horne’s Law” or Horne’s Great Deception:

·      This column is not related to the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, though it should be noted that the Cesar Chavez building at the University of Arizona was also attacked at about the same time: 10am Sat. Jan 8.

Glass door of the main entrance to the Cesar E. Chavez Bldg at the University of Arizona was shattered by a large rock a little bit before the sat. jan 8 shooting spree in Tucson. Six were killed.  Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, along with 13  others in Tucson were also injured, some critically.             Photo by Sal Baldenegro

“Horne’s Law” or Horne’s Great Deception:
Cultural Genocide and The Attempt to Kill Ethnic Studies

By Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez

If there ever was a doubt that there is a full-scale assault on brown peoples in this country, with Arizona at its epicenter, the first week of the year has dispelled it. To say that war has been declared upon us would only be partially accurate because these attacks can actually only be understood as a continuation of a 518-year war against Indigenous Peoples across this continent.

In just the first week, right wing forces have once again gone for the jugular, attacking the body, the mind and spirit of peoples whom continue to be blamed for the woes of this nation. For instance, Tucson’s highly successful Mexican American Studies program (MAS-TUSD) – with a maiz-based curriculum at its philosophical core – was declared illegal Jan 3. At the same time, troglodyte legislators from 40 states, including here in Arizona, unveiled plans to nullify the 14th Amendment and return the nation to the 19th century. And in a few days, legislation will be introduced in Arizona where schools, via their students, will be required to identify the citizenship status of their parents. In effect, children will be turning in their parents. What’s next: the criminalization of migrants and profiting off of their misery (Operation Streamline)?

This is where that old adage is appropriate: For every action, there is an equal an opposite reaction. Well, not quite. Those resisting this outright declaration of war against our humanity want little to do with reaction. Those resisting, affirm our humanity on a daily basis by not forgetting to celebrate who we are. We are guided by beautiful Indigenous principles of what it means to be human: In Lak Ech (You are my other self), Panche Be (To seek the Root of the Truth) and Hunab Ku (We are all part of Creation). And when need be, we protest, we march, we rally, we vigil, we run, we walk – always guided by principles of creation, rather than reaction. This we call a creation/resistance culture. We continue to create and celebrate, despite the war in our midst. This is why many of us, in fact, recognize no artificial man-made borders and why we continue to openly challenge the right of any governmental entity anywhere to dehumanize and declare any human being “illegal.” This is something we don’t hide from, but instead, affirm.

The only thing right about the extreme political right wing forces in this country is that they are correct that this is a civilizational war. It is a war between the forces of creation vs. the forces of reaction – those who believe in supremacy and dominance vs. those who believe in equality and justice for all. This is the only way to understand what is happening. This has nothing to do with what is “legal” or “illegal.” This is truly about what is moral vs. immoral – what is humane vs. what is inhumane. The truth is, supremacists in this country – whether of a racial, cultural, political or spiritual nature – have stepped up their war against what they see as the “invading brown hordes” – peoples whom the supremacists believe are less than human and have no business in this country – regardless of how long they/we’ve been here.

Brown peoples in this country, in effect, constitute the unfinished business of Manifest Destiny. To the adherents of this antiquated and discredited philosophy, brown peoples represent defeated and conquered peoples – peoples in the way of the triumphant march of so-called Western civilization. Yet, they/we also represent a reminder. Memory. Also, they/we represent peoples who have managed to scale and cross impregnable barriers: walls and metaphorical moats. In the eyes of supremacists, the Indigeneity of these brown peoples are not even acknowledged but denied; instead, they are viewed as dehumanized mongrels who represent the despoiling of all things pure and divine – definitely not White nor Indigenous, and most assuredly, not truly human.

Despite that view, many of these peoples do not actually make it across those walls; thousands upon thousands of bodies are strewn across the deserts, mountains and riverbanks. But its not even bodies that are scattered; often, it is but remains that are recovered (253 bodies recovered this past year: In an irony of history, not to be forgotten is that the racial profiling in question is Indigenous. Historically, most people caught in this profile by the migra are peoples who crossed no borders – artificial or otherwise; many of us actually have roots to this country and continent going back many, many thousands of years. The controversy regarding sb 1070 is that local police are also now being given the same right to profile as their border patrol colleagues. And truthfully, they already profile and cooperate with the migra, even without sb 1070 and even without 287g agreements.

From a moral standpoint, the notion of conferring and imposing an illegal status on peoples Indigenous to this continent by peoples whom barely have at most a 518-year presence here is mind-boggling. It is also a crime against humanity to infer an illegal status upon anyone. Yet, if they want to enter into a debate regarding the legal realm, perhaps the appropriate questions are: how did peoples from across the ocean establish their legal presence on this continent? Which document conferred upon them their “legal” status? Which document transferred legal title to them, to the land we are standing upon? Or was it simply accomplished by force of arms? Still waiting…

In 2011, in Arizona, the first salvo in this civilizational war was fired by the outgoing state school superintendent, Tom Horne, finding (in a 10-page document: ( and declaring Tucson’s highly successful Mexican American Studies program as illegal per a clearly unconstitutional hb 2281 piece of legislation . Never to be forgotten is that it is not a moral or constitutional law. He made his theatrical declaration minutes before he was sworn in as Arizona’s new attorney general. His successor, John Huppenthal – who has endorsed Horne’s decision to eliminate MAS-TUSD – campaigned on a platform against La Raza… not the program, but La Raza. This is not accidental. The right wing claims La Raza means the race. This means he openly campaigned against “The Race” [brown peoples]. Can anyone imagine him successfully running against another race: Blacks, Italians or Jews, etc? (He definitely could have also gotten away with running against Muslims and Arabs). Does anyone who campaigns to eliminate a people [or a program] have any credibility or moral authority to decide the future of this program?

                Horne actually has not ended Ethnic Studies. It's not going down without a fight.

The most grotesque aspect of Horne’s finding is that he obscenely claims he is an adherent of Martin Luther King Jr. – and that his effort and the efforts of the state legislature and the governor to eliminate Ethnic Studies in general, and Mexican American Studies in particular – is driven by MLK Jr’s ideal of judging a person “by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.” And yet, it is precisely Horne, who through his incessant and dehumanizing campaign to eliminate Mexican American Studies since 2006, who has already caused harm to peoples and communities under siege, precisely because of the color of their skin. He has also wrought harm to them precisely because he has attempted to delegitimize not just the program but the discipline, this while attacking their history, identity and culture. To flip MLK Jr’s ideals on their head – in support of his position that in effect promotes a supremacist and ultra-nationalist and chauvinist ideology – is akin to the devil quoting the Bible. To be sure, what he advocates is good 'ol-fashioned "Americanization" programs. Indigenous people recognize that as part of the same philosophy that led to boarding schools and also the philosophy called reducciones - a European policy of cultural decimation and forced assimilation upon Indigenous peoples of this continent.

Few people on this planet will consider Horne, Huppenthal, Gov. Jan Brewer, State Sen. President Russell Pearce and Sheriff Joe Arpaio to be adherents of MLK Jr. Quite the contrary. In the realm of human rights, they are the proverbial foxes guarding the hen house (Pearce and Arpaio have never hidden their association with extremists, including neo-nazis... though to be truthful, in this state, these five, along with other politicos, are the extremists!). Also, not to be forgotten is that Arizona had the longest opposition and was the last state to accept the MLK Jr. national holiday.

       Arizona Senate Pres. Russell Pearce is the author of most of the anti-immigrant bills in Arizona

Equally grotesque is the claim that Horne’s findings are based on a law (hb 2281), as if it were sacrosanct, as if it were divinely engraved in stone. Essentially, he created hb 2281 – a statewide measure designed to eliminate ethnic studies at the K-12 level. To claim that he is following the law in finding MAS-TUSD out of compliance is beyond absurd circular logic. HB 2281 prohibits classes that:

1)    Promote the overthrow of the United States Government.
2)    Promote resentment toward a race or class of people.
3)    Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.
4)    Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.

How does one debate nonsense? To say that the above four points are false is not enough. The very existence of this law is what is absurd. Nothing about Mexican American Studies at TUSD is unique. It is similarly taught at the University level nationwide. The same holds true for African American Studies, American Indian Studies as well as Pan Asian Studies. All classes are open to all and the fact that most students in MAS are Mexican Americans – and that the classes target them [successfully] is not a bad thing. To object that students are taught the truth about the history of oppression, about discrimination and the history of segregation is the equivalent of “killing the message and the messenger.” It is to promote a pedagogy of whitewashing as the only acceptable curriculum in this state. Horne leaves little doubt that the actual reason he objects to MAS is that its philosophical foundation is Indigenous and resides on this continent, as opposed to “Western Civilization.” Even a geographic dislocation takes place in Horne’s mind. Indigenous America apparently is not part of the West.

Above and beyond the political and philosophical dispute, MAS-TUSD boasts a 97.5 percent graduation rate and more than a 70 percent college going rate. Students enrolled in the program also score much higher than other students in standardized test on all subjects. At a time when the dropout rate for people of color is from 40-60 percent nationwide, one would think that the state would be bending over backwards to expand and export this program. Not only is there nothing illegal about it, but the Indigenous or maiz-based curriculum teaches its students to see each other in everyone and to be good human beings. What is illegal or immoral about that? Where is the hate? Actually, we know where the hate is, particularly in this state.

In May of 2010, five UN special rapporteurs denounced both the racial profiling measure sb 1070, and hb 2281 as potentially subjecting immigrants, minorities and Indigenous peoples to “discriminatory treatment.” In regards to hb 2281, they wrote: “such law and attitude are at odds with the State’s responsibility to respect the right of everyone to have access to his or her own cultural and linguistic heritage and to participate in cultural life. Everyone has the right to seek and develop cultural knowledge and to know and understand his or her own culture and that of others through education and information.” (

For example, HB 2281 is in clear violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989): Specifically, it violates Article 29:

1.     States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
( c ) “The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own.”

The convention states this: “These basic standards—also called human rights—set minimum entitlements and freedoms that should be respected by governments. They are founded on respect for the dignity and worth of each individual, regardless of race, colour, gender, language, religion, opinions, origins, wealth, birth status or ability and therefore apply to every human being everywhere. With these rights comes the obligation on both governments and individuals not to infringe on the parallel rights of others” (

While some will argue that the cultural rights of Mexican-origin peoples are guaranteed by the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo – the treaty that was signed under duress (the illegal 1846-1848 war against Mexico),  the truth is, the rights of all human beings, including the right to history, culture and identity – we are born with. Unless people expressly agree to give up their rights on a legal document or treaty, we keep our rights. In this instance, no such document exists that has taken away these rights [“reserved rights doctrine”]. Incidentally, article IX of the Treaty, which explicitly spelled the guarantee of civil and political rights, was deleted from the final version (Also deleted outright was article X, which specifically spelled out land rights.)

That Horne claims otherwise is but a self-delusional assertion based on his own narrow ideology; it is certainly not based on any established civil or human rights law. The four points in Horne’s 10-page document are not simply ludicrous – because MAS-TUSD does none of the above – but it is also immoral and in clear violation of the U.S. Constitution, and in complete and total violation of the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights, specifically:

Article 26.
  • (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
  • (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
  • (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

HB 2281 is also in direct violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Adopted by General Assembly Resolution 61/295 on 13 September 2007.

Perhaps Horne might want to argue that Mexican Americans are not in fact Indigenous peoples (good luck with that argument) because otherwise, virtually every article within the 2007 declaration protects their right to learn, study and develop curricula that teaches their history, culture and identity. For instance:

Article 8:

1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.

Article 13:

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons. (

The hb 2281 piece of legislation also appears to be in violation of the 1948 American Declaration of the Rights of Man ( From the preamble:

         “Since culture is the highest social and historical expression of that spiritual development, it is the duty of man to preserve, practice and foster culture by every means within his power.

            And, since moral conduct constitutes the noblest flowering of culture, it is the duty of every man always to hold it in high respect.”

This is precisely what Horne has attacked; the right of peoples to teach/learn their culture, history, identity and also the right to free association. A perusal of the declaration, will lead an observer to conclude that hb 2281 may be in violation of several of the articles, including Articles II, IV, V, XII, XIII, XVII, XXII. For example, Article IV reads:  

"Every person has the right to freedom of investigation, of opinion, and of the expression and dissemination of ideas, by any medium whatsoever."

Hb 2281 appeals to also violate the 1969 American Convention on Human Rights. It appears to be in direct violation of Part 1, Chapter II (Civil and Political Rights) Article 13. Freedom of Thought and Expression. This includes several sections, including sec. 1:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and expression. This right includes freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing, in print, in the form of art, or through any other medium of one's choice.”

The anti-ethnic studies law also appears to be in violation of several other sections, including sec. 16 that protect the right of association and the right to culture, etc.

Truth is, in addition to hb 2281, sb 1070 is also not simply in violation of the above declarations, but most assuredly with virtually all international human rights treaties and conventions. Most such treaties are in place to prevent cultural genocide -- to prevent majority cultures from decimating and disappearing "minority cultures."

Rather than comply with a clearly immoral hb 2281, a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of 11 plaintiffs late last year that challenges the constitutionality of the law itself – specifically the 1st and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. And thus the courts will decide. A problem for Horne in the courtroom will be one of definitions. He will have to be forced to define words/concepts such as ethnic and ethnic studies, Western Civilization, Indigenous, American and Un-American – words that have not been previously  litigated in a courtroom. Primarily, he will have to define and defend why some disciplines fall under his ban, while others don’t, such as MAS vs. European History, etc.

What is already clear is that Horne’s finding in fact is a direct attack and challenge to the Indigeneity of Mexican Americans. That the MAS program stresses their Indigeneity is seen as an example of the program being out of compliance (page 3). The inquisitional aspect of the finding is that it continues to isolate books such as Occupied America (Acuña), Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Freire), The Mexican American Heritage (Jimenez)… and two hip-hop groups: Aztlan Underground and El Vuh.

As of Jan 3, TUSD has 60 days to bring the program into compliance (by March 3), but according to Horne: “The only way in which compliance can be effective within the next 60 days is by elimination of the Mexican American Studies Program.” This is proof that this immoral hb 2281 was not designed to “fix” the program, but rather, to eliminate it outright. As noted, Horne’s successor Huppenthal is demanding that TUSD dismantle MAS immediately. If not, TUSD will lose some $15 million, an amount the district can ill-afford to lose, and an amount that the new TUSD superintendent has stated he will not sacrifice. At best he has spoken of a possible compromise. Should we look forward to an Inquisitional “auto de Fe” – a modern mass book-burning? Incidentally, he has also said he will next target Ethnic Studies at the University level.

Details aside, this struggle indeed is civilizational. Witness a speech Horne gave before the Heritage Foundation: It is noteworthy for 3 reasons.

1) That he delivered this speech (Lecture #1023, Heritage Foundation, May 14, 2007) to the premiere ultra-right wing think tank in the country is telling; historically, they have always been hostile to public education and are not particularly known for the defense of the civil and human rights of anyone, particularly people of color.

2) Here’s a quote from the speech: “I am a proponent of a curriculum developed by E. D. Hirsch, called Core Knowledge. Students get a content-rich curriculum in American history, the Greco-Roman basis for Western civilization, and science beginning in kindergarten, first and second grades.” Apparently, things Indigenous – which is the philosophical foundation for Mexican American Studies – do not jibe with things Greek and Roman. And things Indigenous, such as maiz culture – as taught in MAS – are considered un-American. And he has long proclaimed this in his battle against MAS.

3) Amazingly, his drive to have the state impose its view on a local district – TUSD - goes against not simply conservative values and principles [local control], but against his very own! From the conclusion of his speech: “And let us finally learn our lesson. There is an iron law of nature that transcends all nationalities. You can call it Horne's Law if you wish. If you permit a bureaucracy to micromanage a continent-wide, complex system, extreme dysfunction will result. Just ask the Russians.”

Why don’t we just ask Horne: Can you please reread your conclusion and can you elaborate on the micromanaging thing and its consequence?

Lastly, the move to nullify the 14th amendment by 14 states is nothing short of amazing, but again, nothing surprising in these times.  The body, the mind, the spirit… memory. And now newborns. And now, children turning in their parents.

And thus a return to the idea of Creation in a time of Resistance, in a time of repression… and can I say it: a time of oppression? (this is strictly prohibited by hb 2281 – page 7).

These battles in Arizona are not new, nor unique: just perhaps more intense. They are stressful, but the affected communities are resilient. Why else would hundreds of thousands come out to protest racial profiling in Phoenix? Why would people run through the desert in 115-degree heat to defend their programs? Why would Indigenous people risk their lives and take over a Border Patrol Station in Tucson? Why would students and community members get arrested and why would high school students walk 13 miles across Tucson?

Perhaps because they/we know that our very existence is threatened.

* A caveat regarding this conflict is that 5 of 15 protesters who were arrested in May have been found guilty in defense of this program (this includes myself). A date for sentencing has not been set. Three others are still awaiting their trials.

* A second caveat: The judge killed Sat. in Tucson, John M. Roll, had also been assigned to handle the hb 2281 lawsuit.

Rodriguez, a professor at the University of Arizona, can be reached at:

* For more on the lawsuit, go to:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Tucson Massacre: After the cameras are gone…

By Roberto Dr.Cintli Rodriguez

As a journalist/columnist of nearly 40 years, I can tell you what will happen in Tucson in a few days. Better yet, I will tell you what the media will do in the next few days; the cameras will leave.

It’s called parachute journalism.

The whole country is exposed to or gets a glimpse of Arizona, and then it’s off to the next rampage. Blood and gore sells, but it only has a shelf life until the next crisis.

What will the country have learned from the saturated and instantaneous coverage (much of it unverified, expectedly wrong or exaggerated)? They will have learned that there’s a lot of hate in Arizona... that the inflammatory and incendiary political rhetoric – with subliminal and even blatant calls to violence – from the right and left have to be toned down… that we all need to be civil and we all need to be positive…

Nice try. But that is not a description of Arizona, nor the nation. With very few exceptions, only the right wing engages in this constant talk of targeting and taking out their opponents and of 2nd Amendment solutions.

The rampage is/was the rampage. It was carried out by what appears to be a right-wing lunatic. He may have had a co-conspirator. His target appears to have been first, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords… and secondarily, with his weapon of choice, anyone else who was in the vicinity. Giffords, a conservative democrat, was literally in the crosshairs of the Tea Party and the Sarah Palin wing of the conservative movement. Everyone knows that.

Yet in Arizona, most of the hate here is directed specifically at Mexicans/immigrants. That cannot be left unsaid by all those who have discovered Arizona overnight. All the hate that Arizona is famous for emanates not simply from right wing hate radio but from the state capitol itself. Here, Mexicans/immigrants and Indigenous peoples are fair game for the loudmouth talk show hosts and their cult followings, but also from the highest officials in state government. Here, Mexicans/immigrants are daily demonized. The viciousness and dehumanization here has become normalized. There’s a consensus that everyone is conscious that we need to be civil… that we need to respect each other’s rights… except when talking about “illegal aliens.” Racial profiling (read Indigenous) is a way of life here in Arizona… and truthfully, when it comes to brown peoples, it has been normalized across the country. That’s what sb 1070 is about. But it’s also about hb 2281 – the effort to kill ethnic studies.

There is no leftwing equivalent to the Rush Limbaughs and Glen Beck’s of the world… and there’s plenty local ones in Arizona who revel perversely every time their names are mentioned. They preach unadulterated hate because “illegal aliens” are not human to them. It is not uncommon to hear people talk on the radio about killing Mexicans along the border… as if they were speaking of flies or cockroaches.

 The hate here is deafening. We have been sending signals for years now and the hate continues. It is relentless, whether from minutemen, hate-radio loudmouths or from state legislators.

To the parachute journalists and all those that have discovered Arizona overnight… don’t forget that. Long after you leave, long after this massacre has ceased to be headline news, we will continue to have to contend with the normalized bigotry and hate against brown peoples that continually comes out of the state capitol and that is nowadays prevalent throughout the state. Please remember this and look at your own communities to see if all this hate is already festering there. I can almost guarantee you that it is. Bring it to light before the next massacre. Perhaps you will prevent the next massacre. For in-depth look at Arizona hate, go to the column below: "Horne's Law."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

5 Guilty Verdicts - In Defense of Raza Studies - 3 more to be decided

In May, 15 students, professors and community members were detained and cited for criminal trespass as a result of an action in protest to the signing of HB 2281 - the anti-ethnic studies law. Since May, some of the defendants cases have been dismissed. On Jan 5, we learned that 5 of us have been found guilty. The sentencing date of Jan 24 has been postponed. There is no new date yet. There are three others whose cases have not been tried. 

Will keep you posted re this development.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Raza Studies supposedly Out-of-Compliance

Here's the Hornewellian document we've all been waiting for...
Minimally, what Horne attacks are lyrics from Aztlan Underground and El Vuh... Occupied America and Pedagogy of the Oppressed  and The Mexican American Heritage...

His ruling, less than 2 hours before he left office, found that Mexican American Studies-TUSD is out of compliance with the law. His solution; to be in compliance, TUSD must eliminate MAS or lose $15 million.

As of today, TUSD has 60 days to appeal. March 3, 2011.

stay tuned for the response, etc.And the response will be national. No international.

War has been declared against us as peoples; the new superintendant ran against not La Raza Studies... but against LA RAZA.

Go figure.

Page 1 of 10
PURSUANT TO A.R.S. § 15‐112(B)
I. Philosophy of the Applicable Statute.
I make the findings contained in this document as the Arizona Superintendent of Public
Instruction. I also was the author of the first draft of the applicable statute, A.R.S. § 15‐112(A).
It was amended somewhat in the legislature. The following is the philosophy which underlay
the statute:
People are individuals, not exemplars of racial groups. What is important about people is what
they know, what they can do, their ability to appreciate beauty, their character, and not what race into
which they are born. They are entitled to be treated that way. It is fundamentally wrong to divide
students up according to their racial group, and teach them separately.
In the summer of 1963, having recently graduated from high school, I participated in the civil
rights march on Washington, in which Martin Luther King stated that he wanted his children to be
judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. That has been a
fundamental principal for me my entire life. I believe it is a principle adopted by the legislature and the
governor when this statute was passed. The Ethnic Studies courses in the Tucson Unified School District
teach the opposite of this principle.
The United States in general, Arizona in particular, are enriched by the contributions of many
cultures, very much including Mexican‐American culture. I myself have studied the Spanish
language diligently for the past several years, and have learned enough to do my interviews on
the Univision and Telemundo television stations in Spanish. In the process, I have learned
about Mexican history and culture. As a history buff, I have enjoyed very much being able to
read Mexican history books in Spanish.
The standards promulgated by this Department of Education, including a number of specific
performance objectives, require that students learn about the contributions of different cultures,
including Mexican‐American culture. But the point is that all students should be learning together, and
they should be learning about the contributions of different cultures. Students should not be divided by
race, with each race learning about only its own contribution. School is a place to broaden horizons, not
narrow them.
II. The Language of A.R.S. § 15‐112(D)
Section 15‐112(A) of the Arizona Revised Statutes (“A.R.S.”) prohibits a school district or
charter school from including in its program any courses or classes that include any of the
Page 2 of 10
1. Promote the overthrow of the United States Government.
2. Promote resentment toward a race or class of people.
3. Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.
4. Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.
Please note that the violation of any one of the above four items constitutes a violation
of the statute. A program could be in compliance as to three of the four, and in violation of one
of the four, and that would constitute violation under the statue. This finding is that there is a
violation of all four criteria, but the focus will be on criteria three and four.
Under paragraph B of A.R.S. § 15‐112, either the Superintendent of Public Instruction or
the State Board of Education may make a finding. This is a finding of the Superintendent of
Public Instruction.
Tucson Unified School District (“District”) has four courses under the heading of Ethnic
Studies. Three of the four programs could be found in violation under criterion three, courses
designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group. However, all of the complaints
received by the Superintendent of Public Instruction have been as to one of those programs:
Mexican American Studies, previously known as Raza/Mexican American Studies. Therefore,
this finding is as to that program alone.
Section 15‐112(B) provides that if the State Board or the Superintendent determines
that the district has failed to comply within 60 days after a notice has been issued, then 10% of
the school district’s budget may be withheld. The only way in which compliance can be
effective within the next 60 days is by elimination of the Mexican American Studies program. In
view of the long history regarding that program, which is set forth below, the violations are
deeply rooted in the program itself, and partial adjustments will not constitute compliance.
Only the elimination of the program will constitute compliance.
Pursuant to Section 15‐112(D), the determination under this statute is subject to appeal
pursuant to Title 41, Chapter 6, Article 10, which is a determination by an Administrative
Hearing Officer.
III. Category (3): “Are Designed primarily for Peoples of a Particular Ethnic Group”
The Mexican American Studies program is not populated exclusively by students of
Hispanic background. Other students attend the course. However, the percentage of students
in the course that are of Hispanic background greatly exceeds their overall percentage in the
relevant schools. As noted, I wrote the first draft of Section 15‐112(B). The language in
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subsection 3 was deliberately not “are designed exclusively for pupils of a particular ethnic
group,” but rather was “are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.”
(Emphasis added.) The evidence shows this to be true.
For example, Augustine Romero was the Chairman of the Ethnic Studies Department at
TUSD for many years, and is still involved. In a debate against the undersigned on CNN, he was
asked the following question and gave the following answer:
Q [by the reporter]: And, Mr. Romero, I want to begin with you. Why not just
call the class Mexican studies or – like you would have – Mexican‐American
studies? Why did you put the word la raza in there, which as you know, too
many people connotes a political movement, as opposed to an educational
ROMERO: …so that our students could recognize and connect to their indigenous
side, just like the word “dine” for the Navajo translates to ‘the people,’ like the
word ‘o’odham’ for the Tohono O’odham translates to ‘the people.’ The word
‘yoeme’ for the Yoeme people translates to ‘the people.’
It was an attempt to connect to our indigenous sides, as well as our Mexican
side. (Emphasis added.)
If one of the purposes of this course is “an attempt to connect with our indigenous
sides, as well as out Mexican side,” then obviously the course is designed primarily for pupils of
a particular ethnic group.”
Furthermore, the page of the District’s website describing the program states that the
components of the model under which the program was developed is specifically designed for
Hispanic students: “For Latino students, each of [the model’s] components creates both a
Latino academic identity and an enhanced level of academic proficiency. The end result is an
elevated state of Latino academic achievement.” And, “The Mexican American Studies
Department has found that its curriculum, because of its inclusiveness and its critical nature,
offers Latino students the opportunity to engage in a learning process which transcends the
depth of any previous experience.” Finally, the page includes a graphic indicating that the
purpose of the Mexican American Studies Model is “Increased Academic Achievement for
Latino Students,” “Academic Proficiency for Latino Students,” and “Academic Identify for Latino
Students.” The District’s official description on its website leaves no room for doubt that the
Mexican American Studies program is “designed primarily” for Hispanic students.
Additional evidence set forth below will support the satisfaction of this criterion, as well
as the other three criteria in the statute.
Page 4 of 10
IV. Testimony by Witnesses
A. Teacher Number 1
Doug MacEachern, a columnist for The Arizona Republic, ran a series of investigative
reports on ethnic studies. One of his sources was a former TUSD teacher named John Ward,
who despite his name, is Hispanic. Ward reports:
But the whole inference and tone was anger. (They taught students) that the
United States was and still is a fundamentally racist country to those of Mexican‐
American kids.
Individuals in this (Ethnic Studies) department are vehemently anti‐Western
culture. They are vehemently opposed to the United States and its power. They
are telling students they are victims and that they should be angry and rise up.
. . .
By the time I left that class, I saw a change (in the students), he said. An angry
tone. They taught them not to trust their teachers, not to trust the system.
They taught them the system wasn’t worth trusting.
MacEachern further found:
In the past several weeks, messages have filtered out from teachers and other
TUSD employees (some directed to Horne; others who have contacted me,
following two previous columns on this subject) about what an officially
recognized resentment‐based program does to a high school.
In a word, it creates fear.
Teachers and counselors are being called before their school principals and even
the district school board and accused of being racists. And with a cadre of selfacknowledged
‘progressive’ political activists in the ethnic‐studies department
on the hunt, the race transgressors are multiplying.
The director of the TUSD Ethnic Studies Department, who keeps a portrait of Ché
Guevara on the wall of his classroom, spoke to MacEachern: ‘Our teachers are
left‐leaning. They are progressives. They’re going to have things (in their
courses) that conservatives are not going to like,’ he told me.
Page 5 of 10
Ward eventually wrote his own column. He describes how the TUSD administration
intimidated him by removing him from his class, and calling him a “racist,” even though he
himself is Hispanic. This tactic, he writes:
…is fundamentally anti‐intellectual because it immediately stops debate by
threatening to destroy the reputation of those who would provide counter
Unfortunately, I am not the only one to have been intimidated by the Raza
studies department in this way.
Ward has written further on this subject:
Condition: TUSD uses tax payer funded programs to indoctrinate students, based
primarily on ethnic divisions, in the belief that there is a war against Latino
culture perpetrated by a white, racist, capitalist system.
Cause: TUSD has hired a group of radical socialist activists who promote an anticapitalist
and anti‐Western Civilization ideology. They use ethnic solidarity as
their vehicle of delivery. A climate of outright intimidation has stopped many
from standing up to this group for fear of being labeled racists. Further, there is
a collective action problem on the part of concerned Arizonans to make TUSD
feel the financial pain of continuing these programs.
Effect: Impressionable youth in TUSD have literally been reprogrammed to
believe that there is a concerted effort on the part of a white power structure to
suppress them and relegate them to a second‐class existence. This fomented
resentment further encourages them to express their dissatisfaction through the
iconoclastic behavior we see—the contempt for all authority outside of their
ethnic community and their total lack of identification with a political heritage of
this country.
B. Teacher Number 2
Teacher Number 2 wrote as follows:
I heard him [an ethnic studies teacher] tell his students that the U of A is a racist
organization because only 12% of students are Latino and they do not support
the Latin students there. I heard him tell students that they need to go to
college so they can gain the power to take back the stolen land and give it back
to Mexico. He personally told me that he teaches his students that republicans
Page 6 of 10
hate Latinos and he has the legislation to prove it. When I asked him about
Mexican American Republicans who are against illegal immigration, he said this
is an example of ‘self‐racism.’
C. Teacher Number 3
Teacher Number 3 wrote as follows:
I have, during the last two years, been attacked repeatedly here at Tucson High
by members of the Ethnic Studies department because I question the substance
and veracity of their American History and Social Justice Government classes. I
have been called racist by fellow Tucson High teachers, members of the Ethnic
Studies department, and students enrolled in the departments’ classes. These
charges come simply because I ask the department to provide the primary
source material for the perspective they preach. The teachers of these classes
not only refuse to stop the name‐calling but openly encourage the students’
D. Teacher Number 4
Teacher Number 4 wrote, as recently as October 21, 2010, as follows:
I applaud your keen and daring actions against La Raza studies at TUSD. Over the
years I began noticing an “open” resentfulness by the Hispanic students. I clearly
have been accused by Hispanic students of “not liking Mexicans”. That is a
quote. I have had Hispanic students tell me that this is NOT the United States of
America . . . it is “occupied Mexico”. . . I have made simple comments as a
substitute such as “please pick up the paper under your desk” only to receive an
immediate response of “You don’t like Mexicans?” My response was to repeat
my request of picking up the papers and calmly add that they must be REALLY
confused . . . because I am also of Mexican descent.
E. Teacher Number 5
Hector Ayala was born in Mexico, and is an excellent English teacher at Cholla
High School in TUSD. He reports that the director of Raza Studies accused him of being
the “white man’s agent,” and that when this director was a teacher, he taught a
separatist political agenda, and his students told Hector that they were taught in Raza
Studies to “not fall for the white man’s traps.”
Page 7 of 10
V. Written Materials
As noted earlier, the name of this course has been Raza Studies or Raza/Mexican
American Studies. The very name “Raza” is translated as “the race.” On the TUSD website, it
said that the basic text for this program is “the Pedagogy of The Oppressed.” The author is
Paulo Frere, a Brazilian Marxist. Most of these students’ parents and grandparents came to this
country, legally, because this is the land of opportunity. They trust the public schools with their
children. Those students should be taught that this is the land of opportunity, and that if they
work hard they can achieve their goals. They should not be taught that they are oppressed.
During the hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Ethnic Studies bill, the
school sent a number of students to testify how much they loved Ethnic Studies. A senator
asked a girl whether she could have learned the things she spoke about in other courses. She
responded: “No, before I took this course, I didn’t realize that I was oppressed. Now that took
this course, I realize that I am oppressed.”
One of the textbooks is Occupied America (5th ed.). One of the leaders it talks about is
described as follows: “José Angel Gutiérrez was one of the leaders, and he expressed the
frustrations of the MAYO generation. His contribution was indispensable; it influenced
Chicanos throughout the country.”
One of Gutiérrez’s speeches is described as follows:
We are fed up. We are going to move to do away with the injustices to the
Chicano and if the ‘gringo’ doesn’t get out of our way, we will stampede over
him.” Gutiérrez attacked the gringo establishment angrily at a press conference
and called upon Chicanos to ‘kill the gringo,’ which meant to end white control
over Mexicans.
The textbook’s translation of what Gutiérrez meant contradicts his clear language. In
describing the atmosphere in Texas where Gutiérrez spoke, the textbook states: “Texans had
never come to grips with the fact that Mexicans had won at the Alamo.” (P. 323.) It is certainly
strange to find a textbook in an American public school taking the Mexican side of the battle at
the Alamo.
Another textbook is the Mexican American Heritage (2nd ed.).
One of the chapters is “The Loss of Aztlan.” Aztlan refers to the states taken from
Mexico in 1848: Arizona, California, New Mexico and Colorado. This chapter states:
“Apparently the U.S. is having as little success in keeping the Mexicans out of Aztlan as Mexico
had when they tried to keep the North Americans out of Texas in 1830.” (P. 107.) In other
Page 8 of 10
words, books paid for by American taxpayers used in American public schools are gloating over
the difficulty we are having in controlling the border. This page goes on to state: “…the Latinos
are now realizing that the power to control Aztlan may once again be in their hands.”
Materials for the course include a sheet titled “Chicano Resistance Vocabulary Squares.”
The students are given an example of student writing including the sentence “we are
slowly taking back Aztlan as our numbers multiply.” The students are taught poems illustrated
by the following:
“Going Back” – Victor E “El Vhu”
We’re going back, back to where we came from, back to where the truth dwells,
AZTLAN…,We suffer colonial incarceration so we foster resistance of our own
“Decolonize” – “Aztlan Underground”
Some feel this oppression no longer exists Well here’s something they missed – Self D
means self determination…Stranger in your own land under exploitation…This is the state of
SETTLER NATION LIVES IN DISGUST! The American dream only for some WASP – White Anglo
Saxon Protestant…the frame of mind that keeps our oppression constant…Cihuatl is
reclaiming…We have returned to Aztlan!!! We have returned to Aztlan!!!
They are taught an essay called AZTLAN The Lost Land, “The Chicano Homeland” by
John R. Chavéz which includes the following:
But to Chicanos the Southwest is more than just their place of residence; it is
their homeland, their lost homeland to be precise, the conquered northern half
of the Mexican nation…In the mind of the Chicanos, this immense territory
remains their patrimony…Mexicans are indigenous to and dispossessed of the
region…Chicanos view Southwest as an extension of Mexico and Latin America, a
Mexican region spreading beyond what is regarded as an artificial boundary.
A worksheet in association with this essay has a map at the top showing Aztlan as all of
Mexico, and some American States, including Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado,
California and Nevada. Among the questions asked on this worksheet are: “What are the four
areas in the southwest that have had a Mexican cultural and demographic influence since the
United States imposed its present boundary on Mexico?...In order for Chicanos to have cultural,
political, and economic self‐determination, what must Chicanos have control of in order to do
Page 9 of 10
In a section of materials called “Conquest and Colonización”, the students are taught
“We will see how half of Mexico was ripped off by trickery and violence. We will see how
Chicanos became a colonized people. In the process of being colonized, we were robbed of
land and other resources.”
The students are taught “Critical Race Theory.” A part of the “Critical Race Theory” is
defined by the materials taught to the students as follows: “Unlike traditional civil rights,
which embraces incrementalism and step‐by‐step progress, critical race theory questions the
very foundation of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment
rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.” (Emphasis added.)
The materials for this class include “A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in School.”
These materials include: “We often hear people referred to as being privileged, which usually
is a comment pertaining to the individual’s financial or economic status…In Courageous
Conversation, however, privilege takes on a different meaning: it refers to the amount of
melanin in a person’s skin, hair, and eyes. (This is followed by a table which promulgates racial
stereotypes by detailing the differences between “white individualism” “colored group
collectivism.”) “White people tend to dominate the conversation by setting the tone for how
everyone must talk and which words should be used. All of these “White ways” must be
recognized, internalized, and then silently acted on by people of color”. (This is an example,
referring to the statute, of subsection 2, “promote resentment toward a race or class of
people”)…The aforementioned White cultural characteristics, such as individualism, blur into
the consciousness of Whiteness, which becomes not only a way of behaving but also a way of
thinking….White people depend on the overwhelming presence of other White people in
positions of power and influence to maintain a system of racial advantage. At the same time,
many White educators believe that gains in school, as in their own lives, come from individual
effort and accomplishment.”
At page 200 of these materials, there is a table setting forth in detail the difference
between “White Talk” and “Color Commentary.” These materials go on to state: “Anger, guilt,
and shame are just a few of the emotions experienced by participants as they move toward
greater understanding of Whiteness”. [If one were to substitute any other race for
“Whiteness,” it would be obvious how this promotes resentment toward a race or a people.
The materials go on to state: “White Americans often feel a unique sense of
entitlement to Americanism, partly because many never travel beyond the borders of the
United States.” All of these kinds of racist propaganda are fed to young and impressionable
students, who swallow them whole, as illustrated by the rude behavior of some students
during an address by Margaret Garcia Dugan and subsequent demonstrations. The education
they are receiving, to deal with disagreements in an uncivil manner, will be dysfunctional for
them as adults. It becomes the duty of the people of Arizona, through their elected leaders, as
Page 10 of 10
authorized by A.R.S. § 15‐112, to put a stop to this, and to be sure that taxpayer‐funded public
schools teach students to treat each other as individuals, and not on the basis of the race they
happen to have been born into.
These are some examples, that and are not an exhaustive list of the ways in
which this course violates ARS § 15‐111.
VI. Conclusion
The Superintendent of Schools finds that the Tucson Unified School District is in
violation of A.R.S. § 15‐112 and A.R.S. § 15‐843, and, pursuant to those statutes, the
school district has 60 days to eliminate the Mexican American Studies courses, however
they are named, and has 90 days to eliminate the race‐based discipline rules. Failure to
comply within those time periods will subject the Tucson Unified School District to
having 10 percent of its budget withheld.
Tom Horne Date: December 30, 2010
Superintendent of Public Instruction