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Banning of Books Signals Revolution in Tucson

Banned book includes Leslie Marmon Silko, Buffy Sainte Marie and Winona LaDuke



Updated Sunday with list of banned books and response from banned author and professor Roberto Rodriquez in Tucson



TUCSON -- Outrage was the response on Saturday to the news that Tucson
schools has banned books, including "Rethinking Columbus," with an essay
by award-winning Pueblo author Leslie Marmon Silko, who lives in
Tucson, and works by Buffy Sainte Marie and Winona LaDuke.



The decision to ban books follows the 4 to 1 vote on Tuesday by the
Tucson Unified School District board to succumb to the State of Arizona,
and forbid Mexican American Studies, rather than fight the state
decision.



The banned book, "Rethinking Columbus," includes work by many Native Americans, as Debbie Reese of Nambe Pueblo reports:



Suzan Shown Harjo's "We Have No Reason to Celebrate"

Buffy Sainte-Marie's "My Country, 'Tis of Thy People You're Dying"

Joseph Bruchac's "A Friend of the Indians"

Cornel Pewewardy's "A Barbie-Doll Pocahontas"

N. Scott Momaday's "The Delight Song of Tsoai-Talee"

Michael Dorris's "Why I'm Not Thankful for Thanksgiving"

Leslie Marmon's "Ceremony"

Wendy Rose's "Three Thousand Dollar Death Song"

Winona LaDuke's "To the Women of the World: Our Future, Our Responsibility"



The now banned reading list of the Tucson schools' Mexican American
Studies includes two books by Native American author Sherman Alexie and a
book of poetry by O'odham poet Ofelia Zepeda.



Jeff Biggers writes in Salon:



The list of removed books includes the 20-year-old textbook
“Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years,” which features an essay by
Tucson author Leslie Silko. Recipient of a Native Writers’ Circle of the
Americas Lifetime Achievement Award and a MacArthur Foundation genius
grant, Silko has been an outspoken supporter of the ethnic studies
program.



Biggers said Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest," was also banned
during the meeting this week. Administrators told Mexican-American
studies teachers to stay away from any class units where “race,
ethnicity and oppression are central themes."



Other banned books include “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by famed
Brazilian educator Paolo Freire and “Occupied America: A History of
Chicanos” by Rodolfo Acuña, two books often singled out by Arizona state
superintendent of public instruction John Huppenthal, who campaigned in
2010 on the promise to “stop la raza.” Huppenthal, who once lectured
state educators that he based his own school principles for children on
corporate management schemes of the Fortune 500, compared
Mexican-American studies to Hitler Jugend indoctrination last fall.

http://www.salon.com/2012/01/13/whos_afraid_of_the_tempest/singleton/



Bill Bigelow, co-author of Rethinking Columbus, writes:



Imagine our surprise.

Rethinking Schools learned today that for the first time in its
more-than-20-year history, our book Rethinking Columbus was banned by a
school district: Tucson, Arizona ...



As I mentioned to Biggers when we spoke, the last time a book of
mine was outlawed was during the state of emergency in apartheid South
Africa in 1986, when the regime there banned the curriculum I’d written,
Strangers in Their Own Country, likely because it included excerpts
from a speech by then-imprisoned Nelson Mandela. Confronting massive
opposition at home and abroad, the white minority government feared for
its life in 1986. It’s worth asking what the school authorities in
Arizona fear today.

http://rethinkingschoolsblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/rethinking-columbus-banned-in-tucson





Click to enlarge: Books in classrooms during audit.

Roberto Rodriguez, professor at University of Arizona, is also among the
nation's top Chicano and Latino authors on the Mexican American Studies
reading list. Rodriguez' column about this week's school
board decision, posted at Censored News, is titled: "Tucson school
officials caught on tape 'urinating' on Mexican students." http://drcintli.blogspot.com/



Rodriguez responded to Censored News on Sunday about the banning of his books at Tucson schools.



"The attacks in Arizona are mind-boggling. To ban the teaching of a
discipline is draconian in and of itself. However, there is also now a
banned books list that accompanies the ban. I believe 2 of my books are
on the list, which includes: Justice: A Question of Race and The X in La
Raza. Two others may also be on the list," Rodriguez said.



"That in itself is jarring, but we need to remember the proper context.
This is not simply a book-banning; according to Tom Horne, the former
state scools' superintendent who designed HB 2281, this is part of a
civilizational war. He determined that Mexican American Studies is not
based on Greco-Roman knowledge and thus, lies outside of Western
Civilization.



"In a sense, he is correct. The philosophical foundation for MAS is a
maiz-based philosophy that is both, thousands of years old and
Indigenous to this continent. What has just happened is akin to an Auto
de Fe -- akin to the 1562 book-burning of Maya books in 1562 at Mani,
Yucatan. At TUSD, the list of banned books will total perhaps 50 books,
including artwork and posters.



"For us here in Tucson, this is not over. If anything, the banning of
books will let the world know precisely what kind of mindset is
operating here; in that previous era, this would be referred to as a
reduccion (cultural genocide) of all things Indigenous. In this era, it
can too also be see as a reduccion."



The reading list includes world acclaimed Chicano and Latino authors,
along with Native American authors. The list includes books by Corky
Gonzales, along with Sandra Cisneros’ “The House on Mango Street;” Jimmy
Santiago Baca’s “Black Mesa Poems,“ and L.A. Urreas’ “The Devil’s
Highway.“ The authors include Henry David Thoreau and the popular book
“Like Water for Chocolate.”



On the reading list are Native American author Sherman Alexie's books,
“Ten Little Indians,“ and “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in
Heaven.“ O’odham poet and professor Ofelia Zepeda’s “Ocean Power, Poems
from the Desert” is also on the list.




DA Morales writes in Three Sonorans, at Tucson Citizen, about the role
of state schools chief John Huppenthal. "Big Brother Huppenthal has
taken his TEA Party vows to take back Arizona… take it back a few
centuries with official book bans that include Shakespeare!"

http://tucsoncitizen.com/three-sonorans/2012/01/13/did-you-know-even-shakespeare-got-banned-from-tusd-with-mas-ruling/



BANNED MEXICAN AMERICAN STUDIES READING LIST

Curriculum Audit of the Mexican American Studies Department, Tucson Unified School District, May 2, 2011.



High School Course Texts and Reading Lists Table 20: American
Government/Social Justice Education Project 1, 2 - Texts and Reading
Lists



Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years (1998), by B. Bigelow and B. Peterson



The Latino Condition: A Critical Reader (1998), by R. Delgado and J. Stefancic



Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (2001), by R. Delgado and J. Stefancic



Pedagogy of the Oppressed (2000), by P. Freire



United States Government: Democracy in Action (2007), by R. C. Remy



Dictionary of Latino Civil Rights History (2006), by F. A. Rosales



Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology (1990), by H. Zinn



Table 21: American History/Mexican American Perspectives, 1, 2 - Texts and Reading Lists



Occupied America: A History of Chicanos (2004), by R. Acuna



The Anaya Reader (1995), by R. Anaya



The American Vision (2008), by J. Appleby et el.



Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years (1998), by B. Bigelow and B. Peterson



Drink Cultura: Chicanismo (1992), by J. A. Burciaga



Message to Aztlan: Selected Writings (1997), by C. Jiminez



De Colores Means All of Us: Latina Views Multi-Colored Century (1998), by E. S. Martinez



500 Anos Del Pueblo Chicano/500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures (1990), by E. S. Martinez



Codex Tamuanchan: On Becoming Human (1998), by R. Rodriguez



The X in La Raza II (1996), by R. Rodriguez



Dictionary of Latino Civil Rights History (2006), by F. A. Rosales



A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present (2003), by H. Zinn



Course: English/Latino Literature 7, 8



Ten Little Indians (2004), by S. Alexie



The Fire Next Time (1990), by J. Baldwin



Loverboys (2008), by A. Castillo



Women Hollering Creek (1992), by S. Cisneros



Mexican WhiteBoy (2008), by M. de la Pena



Drown (1997), by J. Diaz



Woodcuts of Women (2000), by D. Gilb



At the Afro-Asian Conference in Algeria (1965), by E. Guevara



Color Lines: "Does Anti-War Have to Be Anti-Racist Too?" (2003), by E. Martinez



Culture Clash: Life, Death and Revolutionary Comedy (1998), by R. Montoya et al.



Let Their Spirits Dance (2003) by S. Pope Duarte



Two Badges: The Lives of Mona Ruiz (1997), by M. Ruiz



The Tempest (1994), by W. Shakespeare



A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America (1993), by R. Takaki



The Devil's Highway (2004), by L. A. Urrea



Puro Teatro: A Latino Anthology (1999), by A. Sandoval-Sanchez & N. Saporta Sternbach



Twelve Impossible Things before Breakfast: Stories (1997), by J. Yolen



Voices of a People's History of the United States (2004), by H. Zinn



Course: English/Latino Literature 5, 6



Live from Death Row (1996), by J. Abu-Jamal



The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven (1994), by S. Alexie



Zorro (2005), by I. Allende



Borderlands La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1999), by G. Anzaldua



A Place to Stand (2002), by J. S. Baca



C-Train and Thirteen Mexicans (2002), by J. S. Baca



Healing Earthquakes: Poems (2001), by J. S. Baca



Immigrants in Our Own Land and Selected Early Poems (1990), by J. S. Baca



Black Mesa Poems (1989), by J. S. Baca



Martin & Mediations on the South Valley (1987), by J. S. Baca



The Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Fraud, and the Attack on America's Public Schools (19950, by D. C. Berliner and B. J. Biddle



Drink Cultura: Chicanismo (1992), by J. A Burciaga



Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States (2005), by L. Carlson & O. Hijuielos



Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing up Latino in the United States (1995), by L. Carlson & O. Hijuielos



So Far From God (1993), by A. Castillo



Address to the Commonwealth Club of California (1985), by C. E. Chavez



Women Hollering Creek (1992), by S. Cisneros



House on Mango Street (1991), by S. Cisneros



Drown (1997), by J. Diaz



Suffer Smoke (2001), by E. Diaz Bjorkquist



Zapata's Discipline: Essays (1998), by M. Espada



Like Water for Chocolate (1995), by L. Esquievel



When Living was a Labor Camp (2000), by D. Garcia



La Llorona: Our Lady of Deformities (2000), by R. Garcia



Cantos Al Sexto Sol: An Anthology of Aztlanahuac Writing (2003), by C. Garcia-Camarilo, et al.



The Magic of Blood (1994), by D. Gilb



Message to Aztlan: Selected Writings (2001), by Rudolfo "Corky" Gonzales



Saving Our Schools: The Case for Public Education, Saying No to "No Child Left Behind" (2004) by Goodman, et al.



Feminism if for Everybody (2000), by b hooks



The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child (1999), by F. Jimenez



Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools (1991), by J. Kozol



Zigzagger (2003), by M. Munoz



Infinite Divisions: An Anthology of Chicana Literature (1993), by T. D. Rebolledo & E. S. Rivero



...y no se lo trago la tierra/And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (1995), by T. Rivera



Always Running - La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. (2005), by L. Rodriguez



Justice: A Question of Race (1997), by R. Rodriguez



The X in La Raza II (1996), by R. Rodriguez



Crisis in American Institutions (2006), by S. H. Skolnick & E. Currie



Los Tucsonenses: The Mexican Community in Tucson, 1854-1941 (1986), by T. Sheridan



Curandera (1993), by Carmen Tafolla



Mexican American Literature (1990), by C. M. Tatum



New Chicana/Chicano Writing (1993), by C. M. Tatum



Civil Disobedience (1993), by H. D. Thoreau



By the Lake of Sleeping Children (1996), by L. A. Urrea



Nobody's Son: Notes from an American Life (2002), by L. A. Urrea



Zoot Suit and Other Plays (1992), by L. Valdez



Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert (1995), by O. Zepeda

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Added: Jan-15-2012 Occurred On: Jan-15-2012
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Tags: arizona, ethnic studies, ban, racism, white supremacy, school district, tuscon, banned books, book ban
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