Top marks for not trying


Posts tagged with "arizona"


March for Justice and Dignity

No Somos Ilegales, No Somos Criminales, Somos Trabajadores de Pueblos Originales!

Friday August 30, 2013 March for Justice and Dignity to the US Federal Courthouse and the District Court of Judge Murray Snow, calling for special federal monitor to oversee the corrective actions addressing the regime of Racial Profiling under Maricopa County Sheriff J. Arpaio.

Update: US federal judge delays ruling on Arpaio racial profiling case, says he plans to appoint monitor to oversee Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department.

Jul 6

Pinche Migra: Border Patrol Detains Former US Ambassador, Governor of Arizona Raúl Castro


Border Patrol agents detain 96-year-old Mexican American retired judge, former U.S. ambassador, and former Governor of Arizona Raúl Castro on June 12 near the town of Tubac, Arizona

The former ambassador was traveling to his own birthday party in Tucson when the Border Patrol stopped his car at a routine checkpoint near the town of Tubac, Arizona, for what the agent reported was a “nuclear threat.” Apparently, a solution Governor Castro took the day before as part of a medical procedure set off an alarm system. So far, nothing out of the ordinary. What happened next is what has raised alarm and caused many to once again question the training and professionalism of the United States Border Patrol.

Agents asked Castro, who was not driving, to step out of the vehicle and stand under a tent while they performed a secondary inspection. The driver and family friend, Anne Doan, writes in the Nogales International that she pleaded with agents to allow Castro to sit in the air-conditioned car while they performed the inspection, but was denied.

In 100-degree heat, Governor Castro and Ms. Doan stood outside for more than half an hour.

“At that point I was begging them to leave him alone. They brought out a document for him to fill out and sign. They had a machine they ran up and down his body front and back. Finally they released us and as we were walking back to the car they stopped him and said they had to see his identification. We were standing out in the sun, by this time, and Gov. Castro reached for his identification and showed it to the agent, they registered the information they needed from his identification and they released us, again,” wrote Ms. Doan.

“I’ve worked on immigration matters all of my life, as an ambassador, a governor and on the border,” Castro said in an interview with Salon magazine. “But this was really bad judgment.”

Unfortunately, this was not the first time the governor’s been stopped and questioned by the Border Patrol.

Governor Castro told Salon of a time in the early 60’s when Border Patrol agents stopped and questioned him while working on his farmhouse fence in Tucson. Agents were about to arrest him when he showed them the sign hanging at the front of his farm that read “Judge Castro.” In a second incident, the former governor was returning home with his daughter when agents stopped him and asked, “Hey, where were you born?” Castro who is originally from Cananea, Sonora, responded, “I was born in Mexico.” The agents kept Castro detained until a neighbor, possibly coming to his assistance, approached and greeted him by saying, “Governor, how are you?”

At the very least, Governor Castro deserves a formal apology by the United States Border Patrol. Secretary Napolitano should also intervene and ensure this doesn’t ever happen to another senior-citizen along the US-Mexico border.

Image: AZ Public Media


Precious Knowledge Airs Tonight on PBS

Precious Knowledge portrays the one of the final years of the highly successful but controversial Mexican American Studies Program at Tucson High School.

The program was a national model of educational success — 93 percent of its enrolled students graduating from high school and 85 percent going on to attend college, bucking a statewide trend that saw only 48 percent of Latino students graduating at all. The program taught Mexican and American history, as well as Central and South American literature and culture.

But the political tide shifted in Arizona in the 2000s. The state passed extremely controversial immigration laws, which some civil libertarians equated to racial profiling. Legislative sessions in the state became heated and rife with recriminations. And when lawmakers turned their attention to Tucson High’s ethnic studies program, it became a lightning rod in the public conversation about race. Opponents of the program launched a campaign to convince the public that ethnic studies teach everything from communism to terrorism to “reverse racism.”

Read more about the film at PBS

Q & A With Director Eren McGinnis

Check your local listings

How to Get Your Book Banned in Arizona


Step 1: Write about people who aren’t white.


You will very rarely see me curse, tumblypoos, but…but…I mean, what the fuck? How is this even possible? This reads like an Onion article.

To be clear, it is now ILLEGAL to teach de la Pena’s novel (which I’ve read and which is excellent) in schools, not because the book contains violence or drug use or massively unerotic blow jobs, but because it contains Mexican American characters. (The protagonist of the novel is only half Mexican, but apparently that is too Mexican for Arizona.)

That’s it. That’s the whole reason it can’t be taught in schools.


Feb 8



Noam Chomsky: Banning of Mexican American Studies Is an “International Disgrace”

While in Tucson to give a lecture at the University of Arizona,  Professor Noam Chomsky addressed TUSD’s banning of the Mexican American Studies (MAS) program and its reading list.

“When you start banning books of Chicano history … Rethinking Columbus, the classics and so on, it’s an international disgrace,” said Chomsky, one of the world’s leading intellectuals. “That’s reminiscent, I’m afraid, of Nazi Germany.”

Mr. Chomsky notes that a lot of the recent hostility toward the Mexican community is a calculated response to the displacement of millions of campesinos who were forced to seek opportunities in the United States when NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, came into effect.

“There used to be a pretty open border … it was militarized, strikingly, in 1994,” said Chomsky, referring to the year NAFTA was enacted.

Much of the issue behind the banning of MAS is about literally trying to re-write this history.

“…in the case of Arizona and banning of Mexican Studies programs, it’s particularly ironic because this is Mexico,” commented Chomsky.

But, ultimately, it’s about us. Do we accept the outlawing of our history and culture or do we, as MAS students have been doing, fight back?

The students and teachers of MAS have made this choice very clear. Fighting back is our only option.