August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sherman Alexie: Banned books are sacred documents now


By Sherman Alexie
The Progressive
http://progressive.org/sherman-alexie

Let's get one thing out of the way: Mexican immigration is an oxymoron. Mexicans are indigenous. So, in a strange way, I'm pleased that the racist folks of Arizona have officially declared, in banning me alongside Urrea, Baca, and Castillo, that their anti-immigration laws are also anti-Indian. I'm also strangely pleased that the folks of Arizona have officially announced their fear of an educated underclass. You give those brown kids some books about brown folks and what happens? Those brown kids change the world. In the effort to vanish our books, Arizona has actually given them enormous power. Arizona has made our books sacred documents now.
Sherman Alexie is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and filmmaker. His book "The Lone Ranger and Tonto's Fist Fight in Heaven," was on the banned curriculum of the Mexican American Studies Program.
Banned Authors Respond
http://progressive.org/sherman-alexie

Urrea, banned by Tucson schools, to be featured at Tucson Festival of Books in March
http://tucsonfestivalofbooks.org/item/show/325474

Banned at Tucson Schools: Cesar Chavez, Sherman Alexie, Ofelia Zepeda

Cesar Chavez
UPDATED
TUSD BANNED BOOKS LIST
By Roberto Rodriguez
Censored News

Also see: Sherman Alexie: Banned books are sacred documents now:
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/01/sherman-alexie-banned-books-are-sacred.html


In checking to see how many books of mine have been banned, I stumbled upon more than I bargained for.

At the moment, here is what is banned by TUSD and the state:

Justice: A Question of Race.

The X in La Raza

Codex Tamuanchan: On Becoming Human

and

Cantos al Sexto Sol... this was co-edited by Patrisia Gonzales, Cecilio Camarillo, and me, Roberto Rodriguez.

But wait...

Cantos al Sexto Sol, akin to Rethinking Columbus, with the top native writers in the country, is a collection of some of the biggest names in Chicano/Chicana literature. It contains a who's who of Raza/Indigenous writers and literature.

Cantos is a book on origins/migrations.

But I also found that Amoxtli San Ce Tojuan -- a documentary also on origins and migrations -- by myself and Patrisia Gonzales -- is part of the MAS curriculum, thus banned.

And again, just the tip of the curriculum.

What is actually being banned is not 7 or 50 books, but hundreds of books and videos, etc.

But the story gets even bigger.

The MAS teachers have been issued directives on how to teach... and what they can teach... literally, the directives are right out of the Holy Office of the Inquisition.

The story here --as the architect of HB 2281 (Tom Horne) has long stated -- is that this is a civilizational war. The objective is to deny Mexican/Chicano/a peoples - the right to their Indigeneity... because it is not derived from Greco-Roman culture and according to Horne, lies outside of Western Civilization. Ironically, Mexican Indigenous culture can be taught through the native curriculum, but not through Mexican American Studies.

TUSD and the State: see you at the UN and the OAS. What is being violated by TUSD and HB 2281 is the right to culture, history, identity, language and education (CHILE). All of this is protected by at least 9 international treaties.

They want our souls... but akin to the line in La Otra Conquista -- they can never have them... and besides... they know not where to look.

Btw... Amoxtli X - The X Codex -- which explains In Lak Ech - Panche Be and Hunab Ku -- got under the radar, thus not banned (I hope).

I can be reached at: XColumn@gmail.com

Patrisia Gonzales can be reached at: patzin@gmail.com


Thanks & Sincerely
Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
PO BOX 3812
Tucson, AZ 85722
520-626-0824

COLUMN: http://drcintli.blogspot.com/


Cintli don't tweet, text, facebook and is not linked... neither do I own a TV... but you can still email or call me.


TUSD BANNED BOOKS LIST(s)

O'odham professor
Ofelia Zepeda
The lists of banned books comes from the Cambium report, which was gathered from MAS-TUSD. Searn Arce, director of MAS-TUSD affirms that all the books on the lists below have been banned.
In this format, they were compiled (the firt ones) by Manuel Hernandez at U of A, and the next part, by librarian and scholar, Debbie Reese. The story in Tucson is much bigger than banned books. This week, two more huge shoes will drop, as early as Tuesday... Stay tuned

These are the Arizonan Chican@ authors suppressed in TUSD:  Dictionary of Latino Civil Rights History (2006) by F. A. Rosales, Codex Tamuanchan: On Becoming Human (1998) by R. Rodríguez, The X in La Raza II (1996) by R. Rodríguez, Let Their Spirits Dance (2003) by S. Pope Duarte,  Mexican American Literature (1990) by C. M. Tatum,  and New Chicana/Chicano Writing (1993) by C. M. Tatum.

Other suppressed authors are: Gloria Anzaldúa, César Chávez, Rodolfo Acuña, Tomás Rivera, Luis Valdez, and, believe it or not, many others. 

Ironically, all banned authors from Mexican American Studies in TUSD write in English. Many have national and international prizes.

Please find below the list of books prohibited for students in MAS, an academically advanced program that successfully channeled 85% of its high school participants into college or the university:

Debbie Reese has compiled this list from the May 2, 2011 Cambium Report.

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. Acuña
    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 Aztlán: Selected Writings (1997) by R.  Gonzales
    De Colores Means All of Us: Latina Views Multi-Colored Century (1998) by E. S. Martínez
    500 Años Del Pueblo Chicano/500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures (1990) by E. S. Martínez
    Codex Tamuanchan: On Becoming Human (1998) by R. Rodríguez
    The X in La Raza II (1996) by R. Rodríguez
    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 White Boy (2008) by M. de la Pena
    Drown (1997) by J. Díaz
    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. Martínez
    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 (1995) 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. Hijuelos
    So Far From God (1993) by A. Castillo
    Address to the Commonwealth Club of California (1985) by C. E. Chávez
    Women Hollering Creek (1992) by S. Cisneros
    House on Mango Street (1991), by S. Cisneros
    Drown (1997) by J. Díaz
    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. García
    La Llorona: Our Lady of Deformities (2000), by R. Garcia
    Cantos Al Sexto Sol: An Anthology of Aztlanahuac Writing (2003) by C. García-Camarilo et al.
    The Magic of Blood (1994) by D. Gilb
    Message to Aztlan: Selected Writings (2001) by Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales
    Saving Our Schools: The Case for Public Education, Saying No to "No Child Left Behind" (2004) by Goodman et al.
    Feminism is for Everybody (2000) by b hooks
    The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child (1999) by F. Jiménez
    Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools (1991) by J. Kozol
    Zigzagger (2003) by M. Muñoz
    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. Rodríguez
    The X in La Raza II (1996) by R. Rodríguez
    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

UPDATE, Monday, January 16, 2012
The list above is not complete. As I learn of other titles that have been boxed, I will add them to the list.
    Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
    Yo Soy Joaquin/I Am Joaquin by Rodolfo Gonzales
    Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
    The Devil's Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea
--
Thanks & Sincerely
Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
PO BOX 3812
Tucson, AZ 85722
520-626-0824
ARCHIVED COLUMN OF THE AMERICAS
Cintli don't tweet, text, facebook and is not linked... neither do I own a TV... but you can still email or call me.

Gila River against Loop 202: Pangea corporation exposed!

Pangea Exposed!

The Pecos Landowners Association (PLA) has had longstanding ties to Pangea, but under a recent cloud of suspicion about business practices Pangea has used to get D6 landowners to sign away their lands for a 202 right of way, the PLA announced that they have broken ties with Pangea. A complaint was brought to D6 officals that Pangea went to the home of an elder with dementia, and acquired her signature on a contract authorizing Pangea to develop her lands for a 202 right of way.
The PLA and Pangea’s relationship has been under suspicion since its very beginning, not just from just GRAL202 but also from Community members who have received letters from Pangea they only have 30 days to sign a Pangea contract signing away their lands. When landowners need help understanding what that letter means to their land rights, the PLA is where they are directed. However, Community member Nathan Percharo was the PLA Chairman in 2011, when the 202 planning was almost all that the PLA worked on, and Percharo still provides consulting services to Pangea, as is stated on their website. Is that legal, for Percharo to be on Pangea’s payroll for consulting services, as he advises D6 landowners on zoning and land use issues?
Why is Pangea operating in the dark, and how did they become such a player in the issue, when we don’t know anything about them? Joey Perez is a Community member who says he owns Pangea, but he is not listed as the owner on the Pangea website. He is, however, listed as the owner of Initial Impressions, a casino marketing agency that has the same business address as Pangea. Initial Impressions boasts that they can “organize a covert invasion of a small or large country”. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/joseph-perez/19/3b2/42
Off Pangea's own website
Are those Pangea’s plans, to literally pave and bulldoze the way for yet another casino takeover in Gila River? When will our leadership move beyond casinos, and casino hotels to give us sustainable development and meaningful skills to pass down to our families? Joey Perez is from Blackwater, where he may not have learned much about the balance between Muhadag Do’ag and the Estrella mountain range in our west end. Do we want his money and power influencing the 202 issue? Do we Community members really believe we are just one casino away from solving all our economic problems?
We are a grassroots campaign against the freeway, and all of our flyers, pamphlets, zines etc are printed out of our own pockets, in black and white on plain paper, donated by Community members at times, other times paid for by us. We don’t have the money to do more than that. Where did the Pecos Landowners Association, a non-profit organization, get the money to print out full color handouts on thick cardstock? Those cost a lot of money. Where does the non-profit PLA get the money to offer rides to the polls on February 7th? Pangea has money.

Hopi Vernon Masayesva: Coal fired power plants days are numbered

Vernon Masayesva: Days are numbered for Navajo Generating Station's use of Black Mesa coal and water

Black Mesa Trust Calls on EPA to Help Put Navajo Generating Station on Sound Environmental Footing

By Black Mesa Trust
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

KYKOTSOMOVI, Ariz., Jan. 30--Black Mesa Trust, an indigenous grassroots Hopi environmental, education and advocacy group serving the Native peoples of Black Mesa in northern Arizona, has called on Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 to support its efforts to require that the coal-based 2250-megawatt Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona, and the Central Arizona Project that carries water from the Colorado River to Phoenix and Tucson, operate in an environmentally sound and culturally equitable manner.

Black Mesa Trust Executive Director Vernon Masayesva said, "The good old days when NGS produced cheap electricity to pump water to Central and Southern Arizona, using coal from Black Mesa obtained at discounted prices from the Hopi and Navajo people, are numbered.  Along with NGS, Peabody Coal is facing multiple problems, including growing opposition from Hopi and Navajo people to the world's largest strip-mining operation 

"We feel NGS can be saved as a base-load generating station, using a mix of solar, natural gas, and hydro-electricity."

The coal, water and land leases that allow Navajo Generating Station to run are up for renewal in the next few years. As the leases are renegotiated, Black Mesa Trust has requested that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar consider these issues: the historic and long-term health, water and economic harms the Hopi and Navajo peoples have suffered from the generating station and the coal mines that fuel it; the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement actions that have allowed mining operations to contaminate and degrade surface and ground water in the region, diminish water flows from springs and washes to traditional Hopi farms and destroyed hundreds of ancient burial sites; and the development of a regional energy plan focused on developing clean energy resources to provide baseload power to operation the 336-mile Central Arizona Project, which since its inception has been totally reliant on power from the Navajo Generating Station.

Masayesva and Marshall Johnson, founder of To'Nizhoni Ani, a Navajo grassroots organization dealing with water issues, have enlisted experts from Black Mesa Trust's Circle of Advisors, the Grand Canyon Trust and the Center for Applied Research to assist with the effort, and will seek support from the governors of Arizona, New Mexico and California, Hopi and Navajo government leaders and other environmental organizations to develop a plan to safeguard, honor and preserve the land, waters and cultures of Black Mesa.

Black Mesa Trust is a grassroots Hopi environmental, education and advocacy group serving the Native peoples of Black Mesa in northern Arizona, has called on Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 to support its efforts to require that the coal-based 2250-megawatt Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona, and the Central Arizona Project that carries water from the Colorado River to Phoenix and Tucson, operate in an environmentally sound and culturally equitable manner.



Arizona School Censorship Hit with Protest from Organizations, Educators

Joan BertinExecutive Director
National Coalition Against Censorship
bertin@ncac.org
212-807-6222 x 101
 Michael O’Neil
Communications Coordinator
National Coalition Against Censorship
michael@ncac.org
212-807-6222 x 107
Chris Finan
President
American Booksellers Foundation For Free Expression
Chris@abffe.org
212-587-4025 x 301
 Amy Long
Communications Coordinator
American Booksellers Foundation For Free Expression
amyl@abffe.org
212-587-4025 x 302

Arizona School Censorship Hit By Salvo of Protest
From Free Speech Orgs and Educators

Censored News

TUCSON, AZ­—Dozens of national organizations have joined together to protest the banning of books used for the Mexican American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD).“This is censorship at its most brazen,” said Joan Bertin, Executive Director at the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC). “Officials at the state and local level are responsible for this unacceptable restriction on the educational opportunities of students and their ability to have discussion in school about historical and contemporary events touching on race and ethnicity.

“We call on them to restore the books and the topics for discussion in the district’s classrooms.”

The TUSD board ordered the books removed after State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal threatened to withhold state funding pursuant to a recently-enacted Arizona law. That law is being challenged in court.

“We do not think the students of Tucson should have to wait for a federal court order to get the education they deserve,” said Chris Finan, President of American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE). “Regardless of the outcome of legal proceedings, this is harming students, whose education should be the primary concern of elected officials.  Instead they are putting politics and ideology ahead of the well-being of young people.”

NCAC and ABFFE have jointly created the Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP), which offers support,education, and advocacy to promote the right of young people to read widely and to receive a high quality education that is challenging and relevant.  KRRP provides direct assistance to students, teachers, librarians and others opposing book-banning in schools and communities nationwide, while engaging local activists to promote the freedom to read.

In the shocking case of Tucson, many national organizations dedicated to education and constitutional right shave organized to speak in one voice, calling on the appropriate authorities to correct what they see as an egregious abuse of power.

The joint statement to Arizona officials, with signatories including representatives from publishers, teachers, civil libertarians, and booksellers from the region, may be viewed at http://www.ncac.org and http://abffe.org.