"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chicano writers ecstatic about new ethnic studies ban in Arizona

AP Associated Pest

Chicano writers ecstatic about new ethnic studies ban in Arizona
by 4 hr 42 minutes ago

PHOENIX - Arizona continues to see dismal economic indicators due to the nation-wide boycott in the aftermath of their recent state immigration law.

It is predicted that Phoenix will lose $90 million in convention and hotel business over the next five years. Nevertheless, one area of the economy has inherited a big windfall.

Books sales by writers of color have triple with in the last week as Arizona legislator seek to pass legislative censorship of ethnic studies in the state's public schools.

“After years of dismal book sales,” says Juan Tanamera, a Chicano writer who's writings are feature in many Arizona school's ethnic studies programs, “the Arizona legislature finally does something smart, and bans my books from being taught in the schools. This is the greatest thing that ever happened to me!”

Last week, Arizona barred public schools from offering courses that are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnicity. High school student Michael White of Tucson, Arizona said that he was unaware ethnic studies was taught in schools. “They are trying to ban it now, cool! How can I sign up next semester?”

     Above, Horne describes plan to boost book sales

Tom Horne, the state superintendent of schools, states, “I knew many ethnic writers in the state were suffering because of the economy, publishers publishing less, small presses closing down, so I hope this law gives writers and their books a boost.”

Horne says that little did he know that he would spark a frenzy among youth to sign up for ethnic studies classes.

In Flagstaff, local Barns and Nople bookstore manager, Kaufen Boch, says books by African Americans, Chicanos, Native Americans are flying of shelf. “We can keep in stock," says Boch. "Ever since this government censorship law was passed, everyone wants to read the banned stuff.”

Holding a copies of the Biography of Burl Ives and the Mayonnaise: 100 Recipes, “We have plenty of books by white writers designed specifically for white writers that would also be banned by the new Arizona law, in fact 99% of our books are designed specifically for White people.”

Mando de Livros, Arizona state librarian agrees.

Standing by a display table titled “White Ethnic Studies” put up to try to promote the dismal sales of white authors with titles such has American Idol: The Transcripts, The 1919 Race Riots: A Misunderstanding, Rosewood: Mountain out of a Molehill, and You Can Polka," Libros says, “I can name millions of white writers that publish destructive ethnic chauvinism, that's the status quo of what is mostly published.”

Horne states, “We’re trying to get the schools to treat the students as individuals and not on the basis of whatever race they are born into,” Mr. Horne said. “Sure, we'll let Arizona law enforcement still stop people of color and ask for you immigration papers, but its not based on your race, it based on you as an individual.”

An example of an ethnic studies course, now the “hot class to take” in many Arizona high schools, is a U.S. course explores the role of Hispanics in the Vietnam War, and a literature course emphasizes Latino authors.

Recently, six UN human rights experts released a statement expressing their concern the new Arizona law. All people have the right to learn about their own cultural and linguistic heritage, they said.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's spokesman Paul Senseman didn't directly address the UN criticism. Brewer states Senseaman supports the bills goals.

"The governor believes public school students should be taught to treat and value each other as individuals and not be taught to resent or hate other races or classes of people," Senseman said.

“We don't need ethnic studies to teach resentment toward whites,” says Senseman. Citing the Trail of Tears, Jim Crow laws against Blacks and Mexicans, Plessy vs. Ferguson and the restrictive racial covenants in real estate, “White people do a good enough job of teaching resentment and the last thing we need in Arizona is brown people taking our jobs.”

Librarian Livros agrees, “These student who are jumping on the bandwagon to read ethnic study books and buy books by people of color that are shortly going to be banned, should shy away from these ethnic writers,” continues Livros.

“Students can read plenty of hate and resentment in studying white people,” says Senseman, “In the study of White people you can focus on the hundreds of massacres and genocide perpetrated against Native Americans and mass killing of African Americans, what we like to call 'Race Riots,'” chuckle's Senseman, “which is a nice way of saying massacre.”
                                                                    AZ governor Jan Brewer (above) says Ethnic Studies are
unneeded when whites can provide plenty of examples 
of, for people of color to resent them

Senseman reading a statement from Brewer, listed other examples of hate and resentment that white people could be credited for:

  •     Louisiana still has laws on the books authorizing the closing of integrated public schools, and the payment of salaries of teachers who are imprisoned for resisting integration;
  • Mississippi retaining laws allowing closure of close public schools if they are integrated;
  • South Carolina having a law still on the books authorizing tuition grants for students in segregated public schools 
  • The July 3, 1919 attack by Bisbee, Arizona police man on the 10th U.S. Calvary, a segregated black unit in 1919
  • Arizona's new driving while brown laws

The new Arizona law doesn't prohibit classes that teach about the history of a particular ethnic group, as long as the course is open to all students and doesn't promote ethnic solidarity or resentment.

“Our state is lame,” says Dominican writer Sam Juston from Teepindaharta, Texas. “Texas had a chance to ban ethnic studies and from teaching about Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King, Jr., but they settled for only mediocre conservative ideas.”

“No tienen huevos estos cabrones,” says Juston, citing the the way 'Don't Mess with Texas' is said in Spanish

“I was expecting my book sales to sour once ethnic studies were banned in Texas,” says Juston, “but we'll just have to settle for the Texas Board of Education who believes the Founding Fathers were guided by growing Christian principles like owning slaves and then having sex with them.”

Meanwhile, Tanamera says he's staying out of politics.

Sitting in his new hot tub with a new plasma flat screen on the wall, “I can afford now to put that 'Tanamera' stencil across the back of my Chevy now. I've been waiting to do that for years.”

With Tanamera's book in its 3rd printing this month, he smiles, “Shit, I almost spent una tonada de lana on a publicist and an agent. I was planning out how much time I'd need to blog about my new book, pestering friends to review my books, driving around Scottsdale with a loadspeaker on top my car like Ritchie Valens mom on the movie La Bamba, and planning a nationwide book tour,” says Tanamera. 

“But with the signing of Brewer's pen, tada -- free publicity!”


“Censorship is publicity paid for by the government” – Fedrico Fellini

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