Leilani, one of the young stars of our short said, “Ethnic Studies programs are always under attack. That’s history.”
The disdain and critique of Raza/Mexican American Studies ebbs and flows but it got really unattractive when activist Dolores Huerta, who co-founded The United Farm Workers, with Cesar Chavez, told Tucson High School students that “Republicans hate Latinos.” This was just one tiny thing that Dolores said, during a long speech. Local and national talk show pundits had a field day with that zinger and a scorching wind, full of fine dust and microscopic cactus needles, blazed into the offices of some of our elected politicians in Phoenix.
Ari and I did not realize how polarizing this issue is in our community. I think it has to do with deep-seated fears about immigration, our closeness to the border, and racism.
Our newspapers and radio shows are filled with discussion and the students are upset about rumors that the Fox News Network’s Bill O’Reilly has plans to launch an attack against Raza/Mexican American Studies at Tucson High School. This sort of negative attention helps mobilize their Coalition for Positive Representation in Education.
Leilani at the Tiradito Shrine in the Barrio Viejo