Tucson schools embrace their colonial mission January 15, 2012Posted by Summerspeaker in Anti-imperialism.
Tags: civilizational war, cultural genocide
Dropping all pretenses, the Tucson Unified School District board straight-up bans books by Chicano authors and instructs Mexican-American studies teachers to avoid any class units where “race, ethnicity and oppression are central themes.” They’re not even trying to hide the obviously horrific resonances and indulging in stereotypical exercises of repressive power:
Students said the banned books were seized from their classrooms and out of their hands, after Tucson schools banned Mexican American Studies, including a book of photos of Mexico. Crying, students said it was like Nazi Germany, and they were unable to sleep since it happened.
As a student and educator enmeshed in the Imperial Academy, I find this story particularly heartbreaking. I’ll be teaching at least one of the banned books this semester. In attacking ethnic studies, Arizona seeks to prevent any possibility of liberation coming from the education system and instead demands that schools fulfill their historical function of conditioning compliance with the establishing capitalist order. Dr. Cintli puts it as follows:
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.
I hope – and assume – my comrades in Tucson are planning dramatic direct action against the white-supremacist culture warriors in the state government. Love and solidarity to all those in the struggle. I recommend a popular takeover of schools and other government buildings.