August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, January 12, 2015

Student Challenges Racist Law Banning Mexican American Studies

Student Challenges Racist Law
Banning Mexican American Studies
Tucson Public Schools banned books by leading Chicano
and Native American authors when Mexican
American Studies was prohibited

Press statement

SAN FRANCISCO (January 12, 2015)- Arizona House Bill 2281 was used to prohibit the Mexican American Studies (MAS) Program at Tucson Unified School District.  “Maya Arce v. Huppenthal” goes to trial today at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Huppenthal was a vehement opponent of MAS, running for an early office by saying he would “Stop La Raza.” He was later caught making racist anonymous comments on blogs, including that Spanish media should be elimimated.

 “When Arizona banned our history, we decided to make more,” said Tony Diaz, El Libroraficante (Book Trafficker) “And when a 17 year old Latina high school student overturns one of the most racist laws in America, this will mark the launch of the Chicano Renaissance. The bill is vague enough that it can be applied to many other courses, too. Maya is fighting for every Americans’ freedom of speech.”

Hundreds of activists, students, community members from all over Texas, Arizona, and California will descend on the court house to demand civil rights for Mexican Americans and to defend Ethnic Studies.

When asked why she was doing this, Maya Arce, the plantiff in the case said, ‘The right to study my history, culture, literature, and art is a basic fundamental human right. My grandparents were punished for speaking Spanish and  being "too Mexican" in schools. They were made to feel ashamed of who they were. For this reason I choose to continue the struggle of my ancestors and those who will come after me so we can honor, study, and celebrate  our rich resistance to oppression and tremendous contributions to humanity.”

Who: 100’s of activists from California, Texas and Arizona descend on the court house.
What: The Arizona law used to ban Mexican American Studies will be argued in at 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
When: Monday, January 12, 2015, 10 am.
Where: 9th Circuit Court of Appeal, Court House Steps, 95 Seventh St., San Francisco, CA
Why: Every 40-50 years Democracy needs to be rebooted. This time the task has fallen on the broad shoulders and broader imaginations of Chicanos.

Links to more information about the court case: 
Press Contacts:   
Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante
Georgina Perez, (915) 261-8663
Richard Martinez, Esq.

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