Thursday, May 5, 2011

Radical Mexican La Raza Studies Protest in Tuscon

For many years FASSS has lobbied Congress on the need for state accountability on how well public schools fulfill their responsibility to instill in our youth essential civic values and historical understanding. The proposal would cost the federal budget as little as $8 million, yet it has languished in the last three Congresses because national historical and social studies groups have not been vocal about the need to pass the legislation. The N.A.E.P. assessment is the most cost-effective way to ensure that these vital subjects are treated equitably because it could be accomplished by simply sampling a larger number of students during the periodic U.S. History and Civics N.A.E.P. assessments. The absence of such accountability permits Mexico to assess how well immigrant students understand Mexican history in the Los Angeles public school system, while the U.S. Dept. of Education has absolutely no understanding what these same students know about American history. Why don't we simply let the Chinese assess how well our students comprehend the benefits of Marxist ideology?

An earthquake took place recently when the Arizona legislature simply tried to make the popular 'La Raza history course' elective, rather than continuing to allow it to serve as a substitute for the more traditional American History course content that would assessed on N.A.E.P. Depriving Mexican students of what some critics have called ‘racist’ history content resulted in many Tucson high school students recently seizing the School Board Meeting Room and calling for the Board to submit to a series of student demands concerning the teaching of ethnic history. As of this writing, it's uncertain which side will win this curriculum battle.

As our nation continues to “Balkanize” in the future, teachers of traditional social studies courses must come to grips on whether or not some state accountability of traditional historical content is desired. Without such a mechanism, it is obvious certain states within our nation will continue to require “ethnic studies” and biased “multi-cultural understandings" in place of mainstream American History content. Florida social studies educators will remember some years ago that then House Education Committee chairwoman Bev Kilmer adamantly opposed a state-wide test for American History or civics using the argument that the courses are taught 'differently' depending upon location. Should current trends continue, the collapse of our nation and culture may certainly be predicted.

Jack Bovee is a retired social studies educator and former chair of the FASSS-FCSS Legislative Committee.

Tuscon District in Turmoil Over State Ban on Ethnic Studies Lourdes Medrano, Christian Science Monitor, May 4, 2011

{snip} Hundreds of people converged Tuesday on the Tucson Unified School District headquarters to hear the governing board discuss possible changes to the district’s Mexican-American history and culture program.

Following a raucous four-hour meeting punctuated by the removal of several people from the boardroom and loud protests from the crowd, the board postponed taking action until after it convenes a public forum on the matter.

The law in question, which took effect Jan. 1 and is known as HB 2281, bans ethnic studies that promote the overthrow of the United States government and resentment toward a race or class of people. Also outlawed are classes designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group and those that advocate ethnic solidarity rather than the treatment of students as individuals.

Tom Horne drafted the law when he was superintendent of Arizona schools. Just before he stepped down from that post to become the state’s attorney general, he found the Tucson district’s classes out of compliance with the law. The district could lose millions of dollars in funding.

The new Arizona schools superintendent, John Huppenthal, is expected to rule on whether the Tucson district’s Mexican American Studies program is in compliance with HB 2281.

In the meantime, the Tucson district has proposed changing the program. Currently, Mexican-American courses can help satisfy the social-studies requirement for graduation (although students don’t have to take the courses to fulfill the requirement). Under the proposal, the Mexican-American classes would not count toward the social-studies requirement and would instead be electives. Six-and-a-half elective credits are needed for graduation. {snip}

At the meeting Tuesday, Sean Arce, director of Mexican American Studies, told board members that making the courses elective would essentially kill the program. The move would eliminate student incentive to enroll in the classes, he said {snip}
Dozens of police, some in riot gear, surrounded the building where the meeting (which included an overflow crowd) took place. A police helicopter even hovered above. Before the start of another meeting last week, when the matter was originally supposed to be taken up, youths had chained themselves to board members’ chairs. That session was canceled.

{snip} Original article (Posted on May 5, 2011)
View the student takeover of the School Board at: (3m54s)

More information follows:

Angry ‘Raza Studies’ Mob Shuts Down Tucson School Board Meeting (W/Video)
Dave Gibson, Examiner, April 28, 2011

A mob of both students and adults angry over the impending vote by the Tucson school board to make Raza studies or Mexican-American studies an elective, rather than forcing children to take the race-based curriculum rushed into the meeting room, chaining themselves to chairs.

Police simply stood by and watched as the loud mob took-over the room and refused to leave. {snip}

One of the textbooks they use is titled “Occupied America,” which was written by Rodolfo Acuña and includes a speech given by activist and university professor Jose Angel Gutierrez in which he says: “We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to the worst, we have got to kill him,” (pg. 323).
The book also talks about the need for Mexico to re-take seven states in the Southwestern United States.

The following rather shocking quotes are taken directly from Occupied America (pg. 167):
“Supporters would execute all white males over age 16,” (also known as the Plan of San Diego).
“The Southwest would become a Chicano nation.” {snip}
See video of the protest at: YouTube: (3m54s)

José Ángel Gutiérrez
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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José Angel Gutiérrez, is an attorney and professor at the University of Texas at Arlington in the United States. He was a founding member of the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) in San Antonio in 1967, and a founding member and past president of the Raza Unida Party, a Mexican-American third party movement that supported candidates for elective office in Texas, California, and other areas of the Southwestern and Midwestern United States.

Gutiérrez is a 1962 graduate of Crystal City High School in Crystal City, Texas and served in the U.S. Army. He has also earned degrees from Texas A&M University–Kingsville (B.A. 1966), St. Mary's University in San Antonio), the University of Texas at Austin (Ph.D. 1976) and the University of Houston Law Center (J.D. 1988). He has done postdoctoral work at Stanford University, Colegio de México, University of Washington, and Centro de Estudios Económicos y Sociales del Tercer Mundo in Mexico City, Mexico.

Academic career
After the fall of La Raza Unida Party, Gutierrez moved to Oregon in 1980 where he taught at Colegio Cesar Chavez in Mt. Angel for a year and then at Western Oregon University in Monmouth from 1981–1985, where he also served as Director of Minority Student Services. In 1984 he unsuccessfully ran for Oregon State Representative. He was also very active in social service projects serving as Director of the Hispanic Services Project for the United Way of the Columbia, Willamette, Portland area and Executive Director of the Commission on Economic Development Subcommittee of the National Catholic Conference's Campaign for Human Development. In 1986, he left Oregon and returned to Texas to attend law school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas before transferring to the University of Houston.

He founded the Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) at the University of Texas at Arlington in 1994 and served as its Director until December 1996, at which time he became the Special Advisor to the President of the university until December 1998.

Controversial Statements
In an interview with In Search of Aztlán on August 8, 1999, Gutierrez stated, in response to claims that the concept of Aztlán supports the Reconquista of the American Southwest, that:
"We’re the only ethnic group in America that has been dismembered. We didn't migrate here or immigrate here voluntarily. The United States came to us in succeeding waves of invasions. We are a captive people, in a sense, a hostage people. It is our political destiny and our right to self-determination to want to have our homeland [back]. Whether they like it or not is immaterial. If they call us radicals or subversives or separatists, that’s they're problem. This is our home, and this is our homeland, and we are entitled to it. We are the host. Everyone else is a guest."[1]

He further stated that:
"It is not our fault that whites don’t make babies, and blacks are not growing in sufficient numbers, and there’s no other groups with such a goal to put their homeland back together again. We do. Those numbers will make it possible. I believe that in the next few years, we will see an irredentists movement, beyond assimilation, beyond integration, beyond separatism, to putting Mexico back together as one. That's irridentism. One Mexico, one nation."[1]

In an interview with the Star-Telegram in October 2000, Gutierrez stated that many recent Mexican immigrants "want to recreate all of Mexico and join all of Mexico into one...even if it's just demographically... They are going to have political sovereignty over the Southwest and many parts of the Midwest." [2]

In a videotape made by the Immigration Watchdog Web site (as cited in the Washington Post), Gutierrez is quoted as saying:
"We are millions. We just have to survive. We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. It's a matter of time. The explosion is in our population."[3]

In a subsequent interview, Gutierrez said there was "no viable" reconquista movement and blamed interest in the issue on closed-border groups and "right-wing blogs."[3]

Public service
He has been elected and appointed to public office since 1970. He has served as an elected Trustee and President of the Crystal City Independent School District (1970–1973), Urban Renewal Commissioner for Crystal City, Texas (1970–1972), County Judge for Zavala County, Texas (1974–1978, re-elected 1978-1981), Commissioner for the Oregon Commission on International Trade (1983–1985), Administrative Law Judge for the City of Dallas, Texas, and member of the Dallas Ethics Commission (1999–2000).

His book publications include El Político: The Mexican American Elected Official (El Paso: Mictla Publications, 1972); A Gringo Manual on How to Handle Mexicans (Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico: Imprenta Velasco Burkhardt, 1974); A War of Words (co-authored) (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1985); The Making of a Chicano Militant: Lessons from Cristal (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998); and translator of Reies López Tijerina, They Called Me "King Tiger": My Struggle for the Land and Our Rights (Houston: Arte Publico Press, 2000); a revised and expanded edition of A Gringo Manual on How to Handle Mexicans (Houston: Arte Publico Press, 2001); Chicano Manual on How to Handle Gringos (Houston: Arte Publico Press, 2003); We Won't Back Down: Severita Lara's Rise from Student Leader to Mayor (Houston: Arte Publico Press, 2005); and Making of a Civil Rights Leader (Houston: Arte Publico Press, 2005).

He also has written several articles and chapters over the years, the most recent being "Chicano Music: The Politics and Evolution to 1950", for an anthology edited by Lawrence Clayton for Texas A & M University Press, forthcoming; "Binacionalismo en el siglo XXI: Chicanos y mexicanos en los Estados Unidos", Fondo Editorial Huaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico, forthcoming; "Experiences of Chicana County Judges in Texas Politics: In Their Own Words", Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies, 20:1, Spring 1999; and, "Los dos Mexicos", Extensiones: Revista Interdisciplinaria de la Universidad Intercontinental, Mexico D.F., Mexico 4:1 y 2. 1997. Gutierrez organized and conducted most of the interviews for the oral history project Tejano Voices at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Gutiérrez has received many honors including being named as one of the "100 Outstanding Latino Texans of the 20th Century" by Latino Monthly, January 2000, and "Distinguished Texas Hispanic by Texas Hispanic Magazine, October 1996. He received the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education in June 1995, and the National Council of La Raza's Chicano Hero Award in 1994.