New York City: Protesters hold books about Chicano and Mexican American history that have been banned by the Tucson, Ariz., School District in its racist campaign against students of color. At the New York Public Library, March 10, 2012.
Photos by redguard
On January 10, 2012 the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona voted to suspend its Mexican American Studies Program after a judge ruled that it violated a new state law and could lose millions in aid for a particular school district. This is another racist message from Arizona’s elite to people of color and especially Latinos of Mexican descent. That message is: get back, get down, your lives are worth nothing to this system.
According to news sources, 60% of the 53,000 students in that school district are Latino/a. Arizona is ground zero for vile anti-immigrant legislation. Reminiscent of book burnings in Nazi Germany, after the ruling, school officials began to gather up any books that dealt with Chicano or Mexican American history. Sometimes those books were gathered up right in front of the students who had come to class to study their history.
The books in question include “500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures,” edited by Elizabeth Martinez; “Message to AZTLAN,” by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales; “Occupied America: A History of Chicanos,” by Rodolfo Acuña; “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” by Paulo Freire and “Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years,” edited by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson, as well as a reading by Shakespeare.
Repression breeds Resistance. A group of writers, journalists, activists and many in the literary field have heroically launched Librotraficante in Houston Texas and elsewhere. The idea of organizing a caravan to Arizona and gathering funds to take the banned books in the caravan has caught on fire like a scorched tree in a desert heat storm. It has excited Chicanos/Mexicanos, academics, students and progressive people everywhere in defiance of racism in Arizona.
Courtesy of this facebook page. So excellent.
This is beautiful.