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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Arizona Court to Decide What We Can Learn

by Roberto Rodriguez

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

Diaz Epitomizes Education and Responsibilty

by Roberto Rodriguez

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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

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

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Teaching, Selling or Consuming Cinco de Mayo

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