Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

January 17, 2012

'Custer' Huppenthal's Last Big Lie: The Seized Books

Tucson students said they
were traumatized when the
books were seized from their
classrooms. They said it was as
if they were in Nazi Germany.
Tucson students were especially
shocked at the seizure of this
book of photos Mexico.
The state school head considers
this book one of the seven most
troubling on the reading list of 50.
Arizona and Tucson school officials attempt to lie, and manipulate the facts, following the seizure of all books from the Mexican American Studies classes -- including 'Rethinking Columbus,' with writings of the top Native American and Indigenous authors and thinkers

Update Jan. 20, 2012: An article in Salon reveals Tucson schools' lies about the books banned from the classrooms. NPR reported the lies as facts, and did not report the truth. Democracy Now had a better report than NPR of course.

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

TUCSON -- Arizona school head John "Custer" Huppenthal and Tucson school officials began their big lie over the books seized from Mexican American Studies classrooms. While Tucson Unified School District officials attempt to twist and manipulate the facts, the truth is that all Mexican American Studies books, lesson plans and materials are now being confiscated by Tucson schools officials from the teachers and classrooms.
NPR was among the national news media that refused to ask the right questions on Wednesday and instead promoted the spin of Arizona and Tucson school officials. NPR and the national news media, by refusing to do real journalism, are fueling the racism in Arizona and the Arizona government's initiated hate crimes.
The questions the national news media should be asking are:
1: Were books seized from classrooms in front of students, traumatizing them? (Yes)
2. Has Mexican American culture been banned and found illegal in Tucson schools? (Yes)
3. What has happened to the seven "deadly sin" books seized, among 50 on the Mexican American Studies reading list that were seized from classrooms. The seven books that state school head John "Custer" Huppenthal found troubling includes Rethinking Columbus, with writings by leading Native American and Indigenous authors and thinkers.
NPR and other national news media are good examples of the collapsed media in the US. A quick phone call is not going to give you the truth. It is only going to result in promoting the lies and manipulations of government and political spin masters.
Unless you are present and talking to students, teachers, attorneys, and people on the streets here in Tucson you are not going to get the story right, or have the facts.
Meanwhile, students spoke out at the Martin Luther King Day rally in Tucson, describing how the books were seized from their classrooms, including a book of photos of Mexico. Students said it made them feel like they were in Nazi Germany.
(The lies and distortions of Arizona and Tucson school officials, denying that the books are banned, are at: )
Roberto Rodriguez, professor and columnist living in Tucson, is among the authors whose books were in the classroom. Rodriguez said late Tuesday, "While TUSD claims that there are no banned books, the fact remains that administrators have come into MAS classrooms (which no longer exist) and removed the MAS classroom materials, which includes books that were formerly utilized in the now suspended MAS program.
"While TUSD claims that only 7 book titles were ordered boxed and carried off, the fact is that the confiscation, in some cases in front of the students, involved more than the 7 books that were listed by TUSD.
The seven books that are "not banned" are:
Critical Race Theory by Richard Delgado
500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures edited by Elizabeth Martinez
Message to AZTLAN by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales
Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement by Arturo Rosales
Occupied America: A History of Chicanos by Rodolfo Acuna
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years by Bill Bigelow
"However, teachers have had to clean out all their materials, including artwork and posters. In a further irony, some teachers are being told to turn in the books that have not been banned. Go figure!
"As part of the MAS-TUSD curriculum, there are some 50 books. All have been or are being removed or confiscated from every classroom... which strikes the average person as odd... do they think that the presence of books that were formerly part of the MAS curriculum would be a distraction or bad influence. Apparently, those books don't belong in the classroom."
"So if officially, the 50 books (listed at the end of the Cambium report) are not banned, they are confiscated, or in the process of being confiscated... THUS THE BOOKS ARE NOW UNDOCUMENTED! They are as welcome in TUSD schools as undocumented migrants are welcome in this country," Rodriguez said.

The complete list of books on the reading list, which have been removed from the now forbidden Mexican American Studies classrooms, along with all posters, etc, are at the end of this article:;postID=64578831989263
Arizona's school head was especially troubled by these seven books, which Tucson school officials said have been moved to a repository:

Listen to debate on Democracy Now! today:

1 comment:

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