Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Read the Books Arizona Just Banned

Of all days, Arizona chose Martin Luther King Jr. Day to break the news that its war on Mexican-American studies courses – which the government has decided catered exclusively to Mexican students and fostered anti-American thinking – had extended to book bannings, with the threat multi-million dollar fines should a high school not comply. The books, the state legislature says, promote the idea that “Latino minorities have been and continue to be oppressed by a Caucasian majority.” Forcibly silencing their voices is the proper solution.

rethinkingcolombusRethinking Colombus: The Next 500 Years

Used as a textbook in Arizona for about twenty years, Rethinking Columbus even includes an essay by local Tucson writer Leslie Silko. The book promises to reposition Columbus’ “discovery” of the Americas and “help readers replace murky legends with a better sense of who we are and why we are here — and celebrates over 500 years of the courageous struggles and lasting wisdom of native peoples.” The book even contains a mock trial of the explorer and special material for Thanksgiving Day.

occupiedamericaOccupied America: A History of Chicanos by Rodolfo Acuña

A “passionately written and extensively researched” overview of Chicano history, Occupied America is the definitive textbook used in Mexican-American studies courses. Published forty years ago, it begins in Mesoamerican times, continues through the conquest by the Spanish and the development of Mexico as a nation, and continues all the way through to modern times and issues of immigration, migrant work, and the fight for equality. Check out the video below of the author speaking out against his book’s ironic banning.

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(Thanks Maracatu)

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