Like the dreaded butterfly effect (the phenomenon, not the Ashton Kutcher movie, although that was pretty bad, too), a bizarre decision by an Arizona school official to shutter a Mexican-American studies class means kids won't be reading a few well-regarded books published by the University of Houston's Arte Publico Press.
The Tucson Unified School District had included Message to Aztlan, by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales and Chicano! A History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement, by Arturo (no Corky) Rosales as texts for its Mexican-American studies program, according to a UH press release.
The classes were suspended earlier this month because Arizona Superintendent for Public Instruction John Huppenthal "upheld an Office of Administrative Hearings' ruling that the classes" violated state law, according to a TUSD press release. (The press release was then removed from the District's Web site and replaced with pictures of unicorns sliding down rainbows, because the press release also violated state press release law.)
The law in question, ARS 15-122, bars school districts and charter schools from including classes that "promote the overthrow of the United States government," "promote resentment toward a race or class of people," "are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group" or "advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."
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Uh, okay, fine. But we fail to see how Mexican-American studies meets any of those. For one thing, public school teachers are way too busy indoctrinating kids with the homosexual agenda to somehow use Mexican civil rights as the foundation for a coup d'etat.
The law also states that it's not meant to prohibit "the history of any ethnic group," and, somewhat randomly, it specifically explains that it's totally okay to teach the Holocaust. It's also acceptable to teach about "the historical oppression of a particular group of people based on ethnicity, race, or class." (Here's a mind-fuck for you: If, because ARS 15-122 has been interpreted to mean it's okay to ban Mexican-American studies, would the very same law allow a class on how the law oppresses a certain ethnic group? DEEP!).
Nicolas Kanellos, a professor and director of Arte Publico Press, said in a press release that the two books "tell an American story of struggle and contribution, and are critical to our national narrative and memory."
Well, either that, or they're cleverly disguised instruction manuals on how to topple capitalist pig oppressors. We'll have to keep our eye on this one.