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Friday, August 11, 2017

The Spanish Inquisition Lives On in Arizona's Ban on Mexican American Studies

The Spanish Inquisition Lives On in Arizona's Ban on Mexican American Studies

Friday, August 11, 2017

I have always viewed Arizona's effort to eradicate Mexican American Studies (MAS) as something akin to an unholy Inquisition. For some, that will sound hyperbolic; not for me.
US district Judge Wallace Tashima is expected to make a decision soon on whether the 2010 Arizona House Bill 2281 legislation, which bans Arizona public schools from offering ethnic studies classes, was passed with the intention of discriminating against Tucson's Mexican American students.

For the rest of the column go to:

Monday, July 17, 2017

Mexican American or Mexican Mexicano?

During a time of changing identities, I remember a student of mine at the University of Arizona once defined himself as a Mexican Mexicano, this in contrast to Mexican American, as was the case for many of his classmates. I understood that identity. For the rest of the column, go to:

Monday, July 10, 2017

Law Enforcement Violence in 2017 "Normalized"

by Roberto Rodriguez

The recent exoneration of the Anaheim and Bakersfield, California police officers, respectively, who killed Adalid Flores, who was carrying a cell phone, and 73-year-old Francisco Serna, who was carrying a crucifix, drives home the mantra of “no convictions” that has been made by criminal justice activists. In three recent high-profile trials involving the officers who killed Philando CastileTerrence Crutcher and Sylville Smith, all officers have walked.
For the rest of the column, please go to:

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


The Arizona Daily Star:

The Mexican American Studies trial is underway in Tucson’s federal court, and yet the historic trial will never receive the national coverage it merits. The trial will determine whether the 2010 anti-Ethnic Studies HB 2281 legislation, which resulted in the elimination of Tucson’s highly successful K-12 Raza Studies Department, and which was initiated by former state schools’ superintendent, Tom Horne, was motivated by racial animus.
At stake here is whether Arizona can determine what constitutes permissible versus impermissible knowledge in its schools, this within the context of a “civilizational war.”
For the rest of the column in the Arizona Daily Start, please go to:

Longer version of the article with active links to the study re the hate mail in the Arizona Daily Star and the Arizona Republic between 2010-2012.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Twenty years ago, I wrote “The X in La Raza,” a political essay I referred to as an “anti-book.” I did so at a time when people were beginning to write Chicano or Chicana with an X as in Xicano or Xicana.
Though “The X in La Raza” was not a response to this development, rather, it was a response to myself, an essay I had written in 1981, titled “Who declared War on the Word Chicano? For the rest of the column, go to: ” 

(Part 1 of this essay is at: Affirming a Macehual or Gente de Maiz Identity:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Affirming a Macehual or Gente de Maiz Identity. Part I of 2

A couple years ago, someone from California wrote me to tell me that: “Mexicans are taking over Chicano Studies.” 

Apparently, the person did not know I was born in Mexico. And they knew less about what this topic triggers within me. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, I did become part of the Chicano Movement, and thus identified as such during that time, though throughout most of my life, my constant identity has been Mexicano. At times: Me-Xicano. For the rest of the column, go to:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Arizona Court to Decide What We Can Learn

by Roberto Rodriguez

Not sure that most people know that as a result of draconian legislation, it has been in effect “illegal” to teach ethnic studies in Arizona since 2010. It is one of the twin laws that we in Arizona will never recognize as laws, regardless of what anyone says or however the courts rule.
However, in about a month (June 26-30 and July 17-21), the constitutionality of the anti-ethnic studies HB 2281 legislation will be put to a test. At that time, the long-anticipated trial will be held to determine whether there were racial motivations in terminating Tucson Unified School District’s highly effective Raza Studies Department. For rest of column, please go to: