Monday, January 16, 2012

More Arizona craziness: Tucson schools ban books by Chicano and Native-American authors

Can you imagine a school district anywhere banning the writing of Sherman Alexie, Leslie Marmon Silko, William Shakespeare, Roberto Rodriguez, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Sandra Cisneros and Henry David Thoreau?

This is what the Unified Tucson School District board did when it ordered the removal of "Rethinking Columbus" and other books from the curriculum. This was in response to the Arizona State Legislature's banning of ethnic studies classes in all public schools.

The Know Nothings in the Arizona Legislature are an international embarrassment. They have the upper hand now, but it won't last forever. The voices of these talented authors will outlast the barking of the bigots. Authors such as Alexie and Silko and Baca and Rodriguez and Cisneros are writers of the West. They write about the struggles that go on every day in Wyoming and Utah and New Mexico and Arizona. Their voices are loud and clear. Too loud and too clear and too popular for close-minded bigots in state legislatures across the West.

Read more here: Tucson schools bans books by Chicano and Native American authors | the narcosphere

P.S.: When the Arizona Legislature was first considering banning ethnic studies classes in May 2010, I penned a modest satire on the subject, "Ethnic Studies 212: The Superiority of the Irish." The post has received thousands of hits in the past 18 months and remains one of the most popular pieces on Hummingbirdminds. Read it at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Digging deeper, I found that the ethnic studies program in Tucson was court ordered, to overcome racial bias in the schools.

Listen here:

The curriculum is effective in raising graduation rates among students enrolled in the program. Wow, now that's a problem, having educated brown people living in Arizona.