Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Is the Mexican American Studies fight killing the ‘new civility’? (video)

no hateFollowing the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, little Christina-Taylor Green and others at a Tucson Safeway in January, there was a nationwide call for civil discourse. President Obama, the First Lady, and others came to Tucson to help us heal.

Ron Barber, one of Giffords’ aides, spearheaded local efforts to promote civility and humane medical treatment for the mentally ill. Memorials and civil discourse projects began popping up. The Fund for Civility, Respect, and Understanding was established in Tucson. The National Center for Civil Discourse was established in Tucson. A star-studded concert for “Civility, Respect & Understanding” brought many Tucsonans together to celebrate life and mutual understanding.

It seemed as if as a community we were taking President Obama’s words to heart when he invoked the memory of little Christina and said, “I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it to be.”

That memorial event in January and the civility concert in March seem so long ago. Our community which was pulling together just a few short weeks ago is now being torn apart by violent hate speech, bullying, and mob action by the supporters of the Mexican American Studies (MAS) program in Tucson Unified School District (TUSD). These are dark days for our community when people with moderate voices are not allowed to speak or are afraid to attend public meetings– forcing increased security.

With the mob takeover of last week’s TUSD board meeting; the takeover of a University of Arizona economics class taught by School Board President Dr. Mark Stegeman; threats from Unidos that protests at yesterday’s TUSD board meeting would surpass the previous week’s protest; the public and online bullying of anyone who dares to have a different opinion from the MAS supporters; and the relentless smear campaign against Dr. Stegeman and TUSD Superintendent Dr. John Pedicone on the the pages of the Tucson Citizen, on facebook,  and in a e-mail blasts– our community has sunk to a new low.

This spring civil rights activist and Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West gave a lecture to a packed house on the UA campus. Dr. West challenged the audience in the epicenter of hate (AKA Arizona– thanks to the Arizona Legislature) to practice radical love. He challenged us to look beyond race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender and work together against the real enemy of the people– the corporatists who control the wealth of our country and who want to control our government.

The vote on the reorganization of Ethnic Studies didn’t happen at yesterday’s TUSD board meeting, although public comment was heard. The school board will hold a public forum on the proposed plan and vote after that.

In the meantime, I challenge everyone— MAS supporters, MAS detractors, and questioning moderates who support ethnic studies but want transparency and true civil discourse on this important issue– to practice radical love and respect for each other. This is the way to protect democracy and free speech. All voices should be heard at the public forum– not just those who shout the loudest.

 

52 comments on “Is the Mexican American Studies fight killing the ‘new civility’? (video)

  1. Three Sonorans
    May 4, 2011

    Please name which state standards Mexican-American History does not satisfy, which is the only reason a class should be demoted to elective status.
     
    If you cannot, and you look the other way while Stegeman demotes Mexican-American history while leaving AP European history in tact, then you will understand how powerful white privilege is.
     
    Too bad you had to side with Stegeman on the wrong side of history…

    • seriously
      May 4, 2011

      American History Strand 1, Concept 4, PO 1-5.  

    • seriously
      May 4, 2011

      Oh, and AP European History is a World History credit, not American History.

  2. shane
    May 4, 2011

    I will always come down on the side of love and civility. I deeply regret that you two (Powers and Morales) are going at each other. This is what the Left does too often…instead of working together,  the Left turns on each other and starts tearing away. Pamela, you are overreaching to call a good old American protest action as “mob action.” And Morales, you INSIST that you have the only politically correct perspective and everyone must follow it in detail 100% or else you attack them. Too bad – when the revolution is over, you’ll need friends to build a new and better world for all of us. And who will be left standing after all this bickering?  Those Nazis in Phoenix, that’s who!

    • Pamela Powers
      May 4, 2011

      You are spot on, Shane. Horne and Huppenthal are getting great laughs out of all of this squabbling amongst the Tucson lefties, I’m sure.

      BTW, the first definition of mob on dictionary.com is: a disorderly or riotous crowd of people. I have watched about 6 You Tube videos of the April 26 board meeting (primarily made by MAS supporters). That was no Sunday school class who took over the board room; I’d say it was a “disorderly or riotous crowd of people”.

      • MD
        May 4, 2011

        Pam, you are using the language of the virulently racist right wing when you refer to a non-violent civil disobedience action by students as “a mob.”

      • Ernie McCray
        May 5, 2011

        Ah, this is so sad, a prime example of how racism works: The group who is discriminated against finds something that works for them, something that makes them feel like they belong and they settle in and one day what they love and respect and what they have struggled for is taken away from them by the powers-that-be. And they react and every act they engage in to turn the situation around is left for others to critique and the name calling begins; they’re a “mob,” they’re “unruly,” they aren’t willing to “compromise.” They can’t win for losing. But just a few months ago, in the larger scheme of things, they were doing fine (if we want to call “second-class citizenship” fine) – and now they might go from “core” to “elective” and they’re supposed to just accept that. Of course, when the economy is bad, in a school system, what are the first courses to go? ELECTIVES. Basket weaving, badminton, opera lab, MEXICAN AMERICAN STUDIES. People show up in protest and they’re a MOB.
        When people feel they don’t have a voice they will chain themselves to a chair in a board room: a non-violent action, by the way. These kids need people to stand up for them. Firmly, without compromise. The people who banned their courses didn’t compromise their hateful beliefs and outlooks on life.

  3. DesertJim
    May 4, 2011

    TUSD serves no purpose IF & When children and Illegals control all the issues and scheduling and rule making. What a Joke.
    Conduct a meeting of the Rule Makers, create rules & live with them.
    It becomes OBVIOUS that the Hasslers are getting thier way what 85% of the public ( per the latest poll) want “Ethnic” studies either reduced or elimated.
    If ya can’t drive the Bus–Get away from the Steering wheel,,,IDIOTS

    • Fraser007
      May 4, 2011

      Who the hell would sent their kids to TUSD.

  4. Tigere
    May 4, 2011

    And just when have the Mexican fringe lunatics demonstrated “civilty” – were it not for the “race card”  Grijalva would still be a waiter at a local mexican food resturant and Gallardo would be working at Weise Guys car wash … it’s like kicking the lid off a septic tank ..

  5. Verdugo
    May 4, 2011

    If you cannot, and you look the other way while Stegeman demotes Mexican-American history while leaving AP European history in tact, then you will understand how powerful white privilege is.

    Wrong side of history? According to who? You? I don’t understand why MAS should be elevated to a status of equality with US History. The establishment of the US constitution, the Bill of Rights, and our system of government is something every American student must learn. The contributions of Mexicans, South-Americans, Canadians, African-Americans, Asians, Irish, and Muslim peoples are important, but as electives, not required courses for those students who are interested.

    • MD
      May 4, 2011

      Because Arizona and the Entire Southwest was once part of Mexico, with Indigenous and Mexican people living here for generations, and  was invaded by the United States.

      • Fraser007
        May 4, 2011

        Mexican populations never went farther north than Tucson. They couldnt because the APACHES fought them every inch of the way. The Pimas revolted in 1751. They didnt like the Spanish. The Pueblo Indians revolted in the 1600’s. So dont give me that crap about the local Indians. They hated your sorry asses.

      • Ricardo
        May 6, 2011

        I agree with everything you said except one. Mexicans were settled as far north as Santa Fe, a good distance farther than Tucson. But yes, this whole “occupied Mexico” thing is nonsense. The U.S. took the land after the Mexican American War and then paid for it by overpaying for the land given from Mexico in the Gadsen Purchase.

  6. Plain Ol' B.O.
    May 4, 2011

    I still have my pep rally tee shirt and little rubber band around my wrist, I have been lectured at the time by at least TWO Shamans…. 

     Why oh why can’t these children get a grip on their own reality and what their futures look like?  There simply are not enough “victimhood” jobs  that the folks inspiring them now will get out of the way so they can have them- And  live off the largeese  of the taxpayer/citizen/employers. 

  7. cruz
    May 4, 2011

    Pamela I almost never agree with you but this time you got it right, and in regards to Morales there is no hope from him, in his eyes because I’m  Hispanic I should side with him regardless, not happening I think for myself and make my own choices – to him I’m a sell out because I refuse to be a follower. I’m sure that this forum that is being planned by TUSD will get more of what took the last two weeks because what I’ve seen from these young adults who have been led astray by likes of Morales and Isabel Garcia won’t allow to be any other way.  I’m sure if I attend the forum and was given the opprotunty to speak I’m positive I’d get heckled and would be interrupted.

    Once again Pamela good job – I didn’t think I’d ever say that.

    • Ernie McCray
      May 5, 2011

      Why is it that people think when kids get involved and stand up for what they believe in and care about that they were led astray by adults. They are very capable of thinking for themselves. If I were a kid and had something taken from me like these kids have I wouldn’t need a grownup to tell me what to do. My activism, due to Old Jim Crow when I was growing up in the Old Pueblo, began when I was in elementary school.

      • Ricardo
        May 6, 2011

        People assume this because kids don’t inherintly know how the system works or how to organize people, it’s a learned skill. Also, as a whole, kids don’t care about government or politics. If they do, as I did, then they probably know the proper channels to go through and how our system works as a Democratic Republic.

  8. James
    May 4, 2011

    Its funny how they leave their filthy, disgusting, poorly ran country, come to a MUCH better one, then refuse to be a part of it, then cry the community wont come together. This is literally irony at its best.

    • MD
      May 4, 2011

      Well, at least this  uneducated racist slob is on your side.

      • Fraser007
        May 4, 2011

        Make that two….. “uneducated racist slob”, Lets see if I can come up with terms that describe your background.

    • Ernie McCray
      May 5, 2011

      These kids have, in no way, refused to be part of our country. They’ve shown how much they care, at the expense of being attacked by people like you who don’t give them a hand but condemn them for doing what one is supposed to do in a democracy: take a part, take a stand.

  9. jim hannley
    May 4, 2011

    Well done, Pamela. I found all of the comments to be thoughtful and serious, too.

  10. Carlos Romero
    May 4, 2011

    Pam you are once again playing the victim, as white people do when they are trying to oppress another people. To blame people for acting out the results of their own oppression, is itself an act of oppression. Please report the truth. You were not there last night or April 26th. Now you are putting out blatant lies about what happened. There was no mob because there was no violence, look up the word, you sound like the corporate media. There was no hate speech, nobody threatened anyone’s life, no one threatened anyone with violence because of their opinion or the color of their skin. You are consumed by white privilege and don’t understand the history of TUSD nor the racist context in which this resolution was proposed. You nor anyone supporting Stegeman’s position have not supplied us with any facts or studies that support his distorted claims. You can’t play the victim when you don’t supply facts to support your opinion. It is also extremely disingenuous of you to say the Tucson community is destroying civility, when you haven’t provided any facts. You started the name callin when you couldn’t support your opinion with facts. Stegeman is being called out because he refuses to listen or provide facts. If he is not a racist than he is the most ignorant appeaser of the racists in Phoenix. Don’t cloak yourself in civility when you began the name calling. Don’t cloak yourself with Dr. Cornell West when you are doing the very opposite of what he called for. There were black, brown, red, yellow, and white faces standing in support of MAS and against Stegeman’s resolution at both meetings, they spoke at the podium, and they have been at previous Board meetings. Dr. West said “ethnic studies is the search for truth.” Sadly you are trying to stop that search. Stop calling yourself progressive. A progressive stands for progress, which would mean expanding the courses, NOT sending them back to elective status where they began in the late 1990s. You clearly have no understanding of TUSD’s history of institutionalized racism, the IC program in particular, nor do you even see the moral corruption of your and Stegeman’s position. You don’t “compromise” with racists just because they run and control one of the major parties. And in case you don’t know civility, free speech, and transparency were suppressed last night by the police. Never knew a “progressive” to side with fascists like the SALC, made up of Jim Click, Don Diamond, Si Schorr, and their henchman John Pedicone. Never knew a progressive to be in support of a fascist police presence that attacked elderly women and peaceful students. The only violence last night and last Tuesday was perpetrated by the police. Its not too late to admit you are wrong and join the community in our fight against racism.

    • Joe
      May 4, 2011

      Wow Carlos that was one of the dumbest and most disgusting things I’ve heard an American write. You think progress is teaching students history of a failing country? You said you want PROGRESS right?

      • MD
        May 4, 2011

        Joe, you are uninformed. Americans of Mexican ancestry, who have lived here, in Tucson, for generations, deserve to learn about their history, Arizona’s history, America’s history, with their perspective taken into consideration for a change.    Do yourself a favor and read up on the history of Tucson.

      • Fraser007
        May 4, 2011

        Go buy a book. Just dont make me pay for it. By the way James Officer’s “Hispanic Arizona” is pretty good.

    • Cathy Goodman
      May 4, 2011

      Well said, Carlos!

  11. Plain Ol' B.O.
    May 4, 2011

    Carlos
    You are a riot (as it where)… “Fascist police presence” is a nice touch; You would think these little “scholars” were being put in railroad cars. Your arguements are so persuasive that I just can’t think of any other arguements beside basic human civility to use.

    For myself, this is the end…I’m taking off my little civility rubberband from my wrist, not reading any more of the daily updates on our Congress person, and no longer hiring anyone who can’t read a simple measuring stick or understand fractions. 

  12. leftfield
    May 4, 2011

    Let’s go back and look at how we got here in the first place.  HB2281, SB 1070, the “Stegman Compromise”, Arpaio’s neighborhood sweeps; none of these came from the students, the parents or the community.  None of these are isolated from one another either.  These are all integral components of a larger campaign on the part of right-wing, white supremacist conservative extremists in Phoenix, pandering to a racist element of voters.  

    So, let me ask you, who is not being “civil” here?   Does something racist and oppressive become “civil” simply because old guys in suits in a fancy office building take a vote on it and write it down on paper?  Is it more “civil” to attempt to disappear an entire people’s history from the educational system than to protest that effort?   Is it more “civil” to have your boot firmly on someone’s neck than for the victim to protest that his neck hurts?  There’s nothing “civil” about what they are doing.  Using the power of the State to oppress and marginalize a people does not make the action “civil”.  Tell them to be “civil”.  

    Civil disobedience is “civil”. 

    BTW – I agree with Dr. West about joining together to fight the “real enemy”, but don’t get your hopes up that the people behind the campaign of hate here in Arizona will decide to hop aboard the Love Train and join us in the fight.     

  13. Carlos Romero
    May 4, 2011

    Right on leftfield! Apparently some people forgot what civil and progressive means. When brown people protest for a cause they’re called a mob and met with police. When white people protest for a cause they’re called patriots and protected by police as they spit on and slur those against them. When brown people learn about white people they are called American. When brown people learn about brown people they are called racist agitators. When the brown community speaks peacefully at meetings and non-violently calls out elected representatives for their factless opinions they are said to be suppressing civil discourse. When the white community shouts down their elected representatives with factless slurs and labels they are said to be fighting the “big governmentt”. When a brown elected representative supports and stands behind a brown cause they’re called racist. When a brown elected representative supports and stands behind a white cause they’re being fair and balanced. When a brown person asks for facts to backup an opinion they are called angry and belligerent, when a white person asks for facts to backup an opinon they are searching for the truth. I could go on for days, you get my point.

    • Plain Ol' B.O.
      May 4, 2011

      I get your point, but wear a hat and no one will notice.

  14. Slice
    May 4, 2011

    Perhaps we might concentrate on teaching kids what is useful so that they don’t end up as call center employees.
    How about Irish American history. Or Polish-American history? 
    Stupid.
    Oh and how about some Border Patrol at these demonstrations?

  15. Cathy Goodman
    May 4, 2011

    The MAS students, UNIDOS, and their supporters understand that Stegeman’s resolution is a link in the chain of racist hate that’s becoming institutionalized in Arizona. As “leftfield” also commented, Stegeman’s resolution, HB 2281, HB 1070, Arpaio’s armored vehicle neighborhood sweeps, and murders of brown youth by border patrol have a common foundation – racist hate, and a common objective – racial oppression. Violent racial oppression. The fight against Stegeman’s resolution is slso a fight against the objective of the resolution. Peaceful civil disobedience is a brave act in this fight against the armed and dangerous monster that is our “civil” institutions.
    The TUSD Governing Board originally planned to hold last night’s meeting on May 5 in a high school auditorium with time ample time allowed for public discussion. The Tucson Police convinced them to not hold the meeting on Cinco de Mayo, and to hold the meeting at their regular small meeting room – knowing there would be hundreds of citizens attending – so that the public could be contained and restrained. TPD sent 100 officers (many in riot gear), set up barricades, required attendees to submit to metal detector screening, etc., not in anticipation of violent protest but to give the illusion that the protesters are violent.  They did this so writers like Pamela Powers would report that “Our community which was pulling together just a few short weeks ago is now being torn apart by violent hate speech, bullying, and mob action….”
    Pres. Obama used the January shooting tragedy to call the people to passivity. “Civil discourse” means “shut up and take it” when millions are jobless, hundreds of thousands of families are losing their homes, $ trillion is spent on war, taxpayers bail out Wall Street while social services are cut, children go hungry and without health care. The opposite of “civil discourse” would be the people standing up and demanding justice. The message from Obama was that if we become agitated then little girls get shot.
    Obama didn’t voice this concern when another 9-year-old little girl, Brisenia Flores, was shot in the face and murdered by Minuteman thugs. He didn’t fly here and mourn her death in a stadium at over-flow capacity. Nor did he fly here and condemn the murder of 19-year-old Carlos Lamadrid, shot three times in the back by a border patrol agent. And of course he couldn’t. Who would dare to trivialize the racial hatred that motivated these killings by calling for “civil discourse”?
     

    • Pamela Powers
      May 4, 2011

      So– lies, intimidation, threats, and bullying targeting anyone who has a different opinion are all OK with you?

  16. chuck freitas
    May 4, 2011

    Racist ??  Nonsense!!!
    the ‘kids’ are exercising the tactics taught in MAS classes. 
    Throw the race card!  Shout down the opposition! Denigrate the establishment!
    An elective class solves a lot ills, plus provides educational flexibilty!!

  17. Plain Ol' B.O.
    May 4, 2011

    Pres. Obama used the January shooting tragedy to call the people to passivity.
    I think you should take to the streets, that should handle the issue. 

    You voted for him.

  18. Donna Gratehouse
    May 4, 2011

    To be honest I haven’t been following this situation closely but the headline about the “new civility” caught my eye.  If this is the thing that killed it, good!  Decorum isn’t the same as morality and all too often lately the admonishments to be civil are coming from people who have never been very tolerant of dissent.  They’ve relished using this newfound cudgel to silence it.  

    IOW, f#%k civility!

  19. PLAIN OL BO
    May 4, 2011

    Ok  Ok…. New civility-

    Close your eyes and LISTEN…No Brown, no white, no colors…..

    Now, listen some more…Get over the broken syntax, parroted speaking points, the volume, the chanting….Listen harder for what is being expressed…..

    Concentrate and continue to LISTEN….Thru the non-sentence structures, the inflections…. Remember the new civility calls for concentrated  listening….

    Feel the ideas, feel the sensation and what is trying to be expressed………….

    Still scary/silly aint it?    

  20. leftfield
    May 4, 2011

    I hope that when Pam talks about the squabbling on the left over this issue, she is talking about strategy and tactics.  That is, I hope there are no differences over the goal(s). 

    If so, for those of you not comfortable with the current approach, what do you suggest?  As a corollary, I ask again, if this is not the place to draw a line, where is that place?  If it is suggested that the Stegeman compromise is acceptable, do you see a new and expanded role for MAS under the compromise?  Or do you see a slow death for the program?   I think the issue can and should be discussed, but that discussion should be about the effectiveness of the tactics in acheiving the desired goals,  not whether they are “civil”.      

    • cruz
      May 5, 2011

      Lefty not everyone gets there way, if had my way gas wouldn’t be 3.60 per gallon and the work week would only two days a week and I would decide how much I pay in taxes.  The Majority rules in this country.

      • Ernie McCray
        May 5, 2011

        That’s so condescending to say “not everyone gets there way.” Of course not. The majority rules in this country is no excuse for what’s happened to the banning of courses that were exciting and inspiring.

    • Pamela Powers
      May 5, 2011

      Yes, I am talking about tactics– not goals. I support Ethnic Studies and the court case agaisnt 2281, but I want transparency and program evaluation across TUSD. Even though the Three Sonorans says I support Stegeman’s proposal because he took me to the opera (WTF?), I have never come out in favor of it, and I’ve never gone to the opera– let alone with Stegeman. (Where does he get this stuff?)

      I oppose tactics that — in the name of civil liberties– squash another groups’ civil liberties. I also oppose silencing free speech; that is what the MAS supporters are trying to do with the put-downs and smear campaigns. What does this teach our children?

      Leftfield, have you read the whole proposal? (I posted it last week.) The vote of the school board will take is not necessarily an all or nothing vote. They can choose to adopt pieces of Stegeman’s proposal. For example, the proposal points out that under the current structure of Ethnic Studies (the umbrella program) there are ethnic groups not being served– most notably refugees and Latinos from countries other than Mexico. It also suggests that MAS develop some individual curricula (tutoring) for students who need more help. (The other Ethnic Studies programs– Native American, African American, and Asian/Pacific Islander– have tutoring.) Stegeman offers MORE MONEY to Ethnic Studies to expand in these areas. I think these are valid suggestions, but the no compromise group wants no changes– not even positive ones. They would rather throw around incendiary terms like “racist vendetta” (which is how the Three Sonorans characterized the plan before I posted it for all to read) than have open dialogue on all ideas.

      My bottom line: How can TUSD best serve all of their students? Using the numbers I have read on the Citizen and in the Star, MAS serves 2000 of TUSD’s 50,000 students. If TUSD is 60% minority and mixed race, what is being done for the 28,800 other minority students who are not taking MAS? What about the non-minority poor students? Poverty is the real enemy of success. Should all-day kindergarten and reading achievement by 3rd grade (2 programs that improve the chances of academic success) be thrown under the school bus in exchange for preserving MAS? The no compromise MAS stance clouds the real issue: there is a war on public education. And so far, we the people are losing.

      • leftfield
        May 5, 2011

        Thanks for taking the time to post a reasoned response, Pam. 

        Many of your points seem to have some merit and do, I believe, deserve discussion: broadening the program to include other groups; increased funding for tutoring; a cafeteria-style approach to the vote.   Your point about poverty as a player that deserves attention is also well taken.  On the other hand, making MAS an elective is a non-starter for me and should not be on the table. 

        It seems to me that you (as well as many others) are making a connection between changes to MAS and the opportunity for an improved education for all students.  Whatever the details, creating a false choice between programs such as all-day kindergarten and MAS sounds like another right-wing canard we should not fall for.  The reasoning behind making this an either-or situation escapes me.   Funding for public schools is another issue and we cannot allow the right wing to starve public schools and then use that to convince us that MAS caused the funding shortcomings.  

        Silencing free speech?  You yourself have certainly been subject to personal attacks; this much is true.  But you still have a platform for your opinions.  Certainly the right wing has not been silenced on this issue, nor are they immune to charges of running a misinformation campaign.  They are creating false connections between MAS, critical race theory and Marxism, intolerance and anti-Americanism that are specious and fear mongering in intent.   It’s perhaps more sophisticated than public demonstrations, but does not carry greater legitimacy.

        Yes, there is a war on public education.  There is also a war on the Latino community; a war between the right and the left and a struggle over the direction of this country.  In my opinion none of them are seperate, but all battlefields in the overall struggle.  I think a victory here would also be a victory for public education and a step in the right direction for the country as a whole.  As a tactical matter, if circumstances dictate concessions, they must be concessions that guarantee a victory.  We must be able to walk away from this fight with a win. 

        All that said, I want to be clear that I do not purport to speak for the movement as a whole, but only for myself when I say this:  I believe that racist and reactionary elements are behind what is clearly an overall agenda to secure the future of white privilege and white supremacy both here in Arizona and in the country as a whole.  Further I hold that those elements are attempting to destroy MAS as a part of this larger agenda.  I do not care a whit about being “civil” or respectful towards those elements.  I do not believe they should have a “seat at the table” on any public issue.  For me, this is akin to saying that a child pornographer has a valid “difference of opinion” with me, rather than saying he is a dangerous exploiter.    We shouldn’t compromise with such types.  If there are to be changes to the program, they should come from supporters of MAS such as yourself and 3Sons.  These changes must represent a victory over the opposition.    

        Again, I cannot speak for all supporters of MAS in Tucson, but IMO one of the reasons behind the intransigence is that we cannot trust the opposition.  Knowing their overall goals, we cannot take their word as to their intentions vis a vis MAS.  It must be obvious that they intend to disappear MAS, nae, Latinos in toto, from visibility and participation in the community.  Their overall goals should not be up for debate or negotiation and must be opposed by any means necessary and all means likely to bear fruit before it is too late.  

      • archcc
        May 5, 2011

        How can latinos ‘disappear’ when they will be the majority population in Tucson in less than 20 years?

  21. archcc
    May 4, 2011

    This town has more racists than any I have lived in.  Racists on the right, racists on the  left.  Worse than Chicago, worse that LA, worse than SF.  You should all be proud of your legacy.

  22. Pingback: AZ Star chides MAS supporters and TUSD board - Tucson Progressive

  23. goiabada
    May 5, 2011

    Students are not required to take ethnic studies classes (Mexican American studies, Asian-Pacific American studies, African American studies, Native American studies), they have the option to choose those classes instead of a mainstream US history class and still get credit that goes towards their graduation. Mexican American, Native American, African American, Asian-Pacific American history is US history. But who writes the “general” history? Unfortunately due to structural and historical racism, sexism, xenophobia, etc. certain aspects of history are left out in mainstream history by those in power who write it, which glorifies those who have forcefully taken control of the land and does not do justice to the marginalized groups that have been colonized and/or instrumental in the creation of the nation-state.
    Prohibiting communities from learning their local history and culture and the contribution they have had in local, regional, and global history in their own schools, is enforcing an outsider perspective as the “correct” norm. When people say Mexican American studies is non-American, that it’s non-American to take a critical look at our country’s power structure, our government, and the oppressive aspects of our history…..what is the definition they are using for “American”?? How different is this struggle from when slaves were prohibited in practicing their own religion, language, and culture and forced to adapt the slave owners’ Western European culture, names, and language? Or from when Native American youth were forced into boarding schools, to cut their hair, to speak only English, and wear Western European-style clothes?
    So what is this definition of “American” that we are imposing on our children here in the borderlands where there has been a much longer history of Mayo Yoeme, Tohono O’odham, Apache, other Native groups, and mestizo groups? Mexican-Americans along with other ethnicities have been a crucial part of US, especially Southwestern history; why are there so many people in the general public who do not recognize this or think it’s “American”? Well perhaps, like me, the Mexican-American story was not given full attention in their history and literature classes. Ethnic and gender studies promote recognition and appreciation of our nation’s diversity.
    So remember ethnic studies is not teaching Mexican history, but Mexican-American history.  Not to say that our educational system shouldn’t also have a more global view, but thats another discussion.
    Finally, this debate has brought many to misrepresent solidarity (defined as: unity that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards) as something dangerous and anti-american. Well solidarity is necessary for a democracy to work. Democracy calls for equality and end to marginalization. Do not tell me that being politically active and community organizing is not democratic, how is a truly representational democracy supposed to work without a means for a community to strongly express its voice.
    Why is solidarity important? Well maybe you’ll like this innovation to a quote that is said many times but in its original manner does not recognize historical and current realities:
    “If you give me a fish you have fed me for a day. If you teach me to fish you have fed me until the river is contaminated or the shoreline seized for development. But if you teach me how to organize, then whatever the challenge I can join together with my peers and we will fashion our own solution.”
    Is what I’ve written anti-American, “revolutionary”? Yes it does criticize our current power political and social structure. But is that un-American? And if so, why?

    • Pamela Powers
      May 5, 2011

      I agree with what you say about the white man’s history, but changing a couple of classes from core course status to elective status is not “prohibiting communities from learning their local history and culture and the contribution they have had .”

  24. chuck freitas
    May 5, 2011

    I agree with Pamela Powers last post.  However, it would not be a ‘win’ for the MAS progressives. They want it all or anarchy!

  25. Pingback: In Mexican American Studies debate, Tucsonans need less spin and more truth - Tucson Progressive

  26. Pingback: Supervisor Richard Elias + TUSD’s Augie Romero = BFF - Tucson Progressive

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About

The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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Chicago blues + surf rock = fun dancing. #tucson #dancing #swing
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