It’s Octember! Or is it Septober? It’s the time of the year when the weather starts getting cooler, politic shenanigans get ignored and eyes begin to glaze over from lethal injections of sports, beer and chicken wings.
Septober is also the pseudo-month that we deal in tragedies of two kinds: “Hispanic Heritage” and banned books. Interestingly enough, both tragedies cross paths in Tucson, AZ, ground zero for censorship in the 21st century.
The ballad of Tucson is a long and sad corrido. It will make you laugh and it will also make you cry. If all the world is a stage then Tucson definitely has its players; many of them clowns but most of them sad, voiceless puppets manipulated by a system hell-bent on pushing an agenda of whitewashed ambivalence. [Mas…]
Let me tell you a joke. Ready? The Tucson Unified School District. Get it?
No? Allow me to me explain.
On Tuesday night the TUSD approved a textbook list for their now defunct Mexican-American Studies program, which they have dubbed “Culturally Relevant US History and US Government.” The list, which consists of 25 books, has absolutely ZERO Chicana/o authors on it.
Go ahead and read that again.
If you have been following the divine comedy in Tucson at all then you already know that they not only destroyed their wildly successful Mexican-American Studies program but that they also banned a laundry list of books by Chicana/o authors, closed barrio schools and fired MAS teachers. [Mas…]
If you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, you remember the film Colors. It spawned a lot of headlines about violence at movie theaters and the spread of Los Angeles-style gang wars. The Guardian Angels even protested the flick and left a toilet bowl outside of Sean Penn’s home as an “award.” They also strapped makeshift coffins to the roofs of their cars.
The film had this weird mystique. Colors introduced suburban kids (and their parents) to a whole new world – one they would spend the next decade imitating. Long gone were the fierce but safe dance-offs in Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo – in Colors, Turbo and Ozone would have simply blown the heads off of Electro-Rock’s crew with a 12-gauge shotgun. [Mas…]