Opinion: I am a book trafficker
The Tucson Unified School District says it hasn't banned books, but it does admit to boxing and moving seven titles.
March 12th, 2012
07:00 AM ET

Opinion: I am a book trafficker

Editor’s Note: Tony Diaz is the Founder/Director of Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say.  He is also the author of The Aztec Love God and a contributor to Mamiverse.com. On Monday, March 12, he begins his “librotraficante” journey from Houston, Texas to Tucson, Arizona.

By Tony Diaz, Special to CNN

(CNN) -The word “librotraficante” should not make sense in the U.S. Yet here it is 2012, and I find myself translating “book trafficker” into English.

But that’s what I do.

One of my first jobs as a child was to translate English into Spanish for my mother and father. I remember being in second grade and translating for my father as he bought a used car. I didn't like the way the salesman talked down to my father, and I didn't like the way he talked down to me– even though I was just a kid. However, I knew we needed the car, and I knew I needed to concentrate on finding just the right words to leave with that car.

I embraced education, books, reading and writing because I wanted the right words to use in any given situation. I knew words could solve most things. Words are powerful that way.

My parents were migrant workers in Texas until my father found a job with the railroad in Chicago. He worked hard to send me to school, and would tell me to study hard so I would not have to work hard like he did. He endowed me with the broad shoulders and the broader imagination it would take for me to flourish on the South Side of Chicago.

But even as I excelled in high school and college, there was still something missing. It seemed that no matter how much my parents worked, no matter, how much I struggled, we never moved on from that moment I experienced at the car lot, me in second grade, the system looking down on my dad and me.

I discovered what I was missing when I stumbled upon a memoir titled ‘Down These Mean Streets’ by the late Piri Thomas. I was a junior in college.

That book about growing up in Spanish Harlem changed my life in countless ways. How had I gone that long without reading a book by a Latino author? Easy. None were available to me- back then. I thought this had changed. It’s why I committed my life to writing.

I was wrong. Things haven’t changed. In Arizona, things have only gotten worse.

I had no intention of becoming a ‘Librotraficante.’

Arizona legislators turned me into one.

It is obvious Arizona legislators were trying to prevent other Latinos from becoming empowered with knowledge when they passed House Bill 2281  that prohibits courses which authorities deemed “promote the overthrow of the United States government.”

That’s what they believe books about our culture will do: Overthrow the government.

The Tucson Unified School District deemed only one course that dangerous: Mexican-American Studies . All Mexican-American Studies classes were cancelled in January.  The books taught in that course were ordered removed from classes, creating a de facto ban. When I was younger, I did not have the right words to convey what was wrong with the public school education of Latino children. Now I do.

The Tucson Unified School District forced teachers to remove books by our most beloved authors from school classrooms, in at least one instance, while in front of students, during class time.

For me, this was a cultural offense on the same level as denying Rosa Parks a seat at the front of the bus.

This cultural offense was so striking, that we had to respond. The Librotraficante Caravan to smuggle books back into Arizona was born. In the process, we have sparked a nationwide movement.

Arizona legislators became expert at making humans illegal. But they have gone too far by making our books – our thoughts – our culture – our history – illegal.

They have also revealed that their anti-immigrant agenda was without a doubt even broader. They are not just anti-immigrant, but anti-Latino.

The district admits to boxing up and moving to storage a total of seven titles. Among them ‘Occupied America: A History of Chicanos' by Rodolfo Acuna, a textbook that has been published for decades and updated seven times and ‘Critical Race Theory,’ by law professor Richard Delgado, a leading voice on issues connected to race.

But the de facto ban extends beyond the official seven  to include dozens of books taught in now suspended Mexican-American Studies literature classes. Books like:  ‘House On Mango Street’ by MacArthur Fellowship winner, Sandra Cisneros, and ‘Woodcuts of Women,’ by Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient, Dagoberto Gilb.

Ironically, Arizona legislators may have created what they feared the most.

The Librotraficante Caravan will travel from Houston, Texas on March 12th to Tucson, Arizona, carrying a payload of contraband books, creating networks of  underground libraries and leaving community resources in its wake. One of many responses to Arizona’s unconstitutional laws prohibiting Mexican-American Studies, the Librotraficante Caravan has captured the imagination and hearts of activists, writers, educators, and students from all walks of life who want to preserve freedom of speech.

Our allies now include the Mexican-American Bar Association of Houston, the Hispanic National Bar Association, Mamiverse.com, and the American Association of Publishers, with more and more signing on.

The caravan will also provide Librotraficante First Amendment Reviews of School Boards in the six towns we stop in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. This will consist of a list of current school board members, when they won office, how many votes they received, which polices they put into place during their tenure, and when they are up for re-election.

Our aim is to change the system so that it better reflects the students in classrooms around the country.

There has been out outpouring of support from all sectors of society. Every day, donated copies of the prohibited books arrive in the mail or at one of the four underground libraries we established.

Students from all over the U.S.have been helping raise funds to pay for buses and books, students all the way from Baytown, Texas to DeKalb, Illinois to Colorado Springs, Colorado and beyond.

Arizona politicians never actually feared Latinos would overthrow the government by inciting violence.

They feared Latinos would overhaul the government by voting them out of office.

By prohibiting Mexican-American Studies, they very well may have created exactly what they feared the most.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Tony Diaz.

Posted by
Filed under: Education • Latino in America • What we think
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Jorge

    “...promote the overthrow of the United States government...” (???) Really?? I'll bet these legislators believe that Joe McCarthy and George Wallace are not really dead, just holing up somewhere with Elvis. No wonder Arizona wrested the Quitno Press "Dumbest State of the Union" award from the all-time champion, Mississippi. Unbelievable.

    March 23, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Melinda4203

    One of the first indications that a totalitarian government is in place is when they burn or ban our books and art. These are our sincerest forms of communication. It's easier to dismiss a part of our society if we dismiss their works. God Bless Tony, whom I am pleased to say that I know as a friend and my friends Brian, Liana and Susie who are traveling with this "First Amendment" caravan. I wish others would note the efforts and show that this is the right of all Americans, to be heard and to express our beliefs also.

    March 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Johnny

    Way to go, Tony! 🙂 I am also in the process of trying to continue to sell books in California, where many major bookstores have closed their doors. As a younger sort of small businessperson, I can't meet, in any significant way, shape or form, the increasing demand for large mainstream bookstores as they existed in the past, (1990's-present) and over here we still have to rely upon smaller and more local book retailer people with a much equally smaller store size and that is so very tragic!

    March 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. KatyaKatya

    It is ironic because many Conservatives keep speaking of how it is a good idea to overthrow the Government, ever since the President Obama has been elected into office. I hear it all the time.

    March 13, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. aaron

    Banning books?!? Only dictators and other countries of that nature ban literature. Let us not become one of those countries that censor things deemed "subversive" to a government

    March 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BETTY

    Whatever!!! banned or taken out of class, Arizona has gone too far who are these people to decide what we teach our children if is a part of History it should be thought!!! And come on ppl you cannot tell American(USA) History with out Mexico in it!!! Go back to school and actually learn!!

    March 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. david saint

    as an Arizonan, this made me sick. (banning it that is)..Im certainly not for the overthrow for our Govt, but this was all about racism, and not wanting to understand the other side. Whats hypocritical about it, is all the various text books in schools that misrepresent the actions of the US against Mexico and the Indians. Further, it most certainly infringes on freedom of speech, but freedom of expression as well. Understandable however, since this state has become so A$$ backwards im not sure they (legislature) even know which way is up. Like trying to make it legal for doctors to lie to women that are pregnant and have prenatal issues, so issues that could convince them to abort for health reasons wont ever occur...heaven forbid one of them die from not knowing. Which this law would then absolve the Doctor from malpractice or wrongful death...sick.

    March 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Latina

    Thank you Tony for providing the reading list...I will definitely be checking out these selections. And best wishes to all the good AZ voters. Change is a-coming!

    March 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Texascitizen

    Maria Luisa and Sara, you women clearly never went to school! Go back to Bolvia and Sara please stay in Mexico

    March 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • david saint

      thats fine..as long as you keep your backwards thinking butt in Texas...we dont want anymore toothless wonders in AZ.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. cacique

    Tony, it is clear that your dad did an excellent job with you.
    That feeling that you had when you were a kid still persists in many Hispanic adults and children. Meaning, we are in the midst of a civil rights struggle that we must continue until the dominant population admits to the need of habing to widen their current biases...so let's

    March 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. crazypete

    Quote: "I was wrong. Things haven’t changed. In Arizona, things have only gotten worse."
    Um... so either your English is still not very good or your basic logic is lacking. If things have "gotten worse" then by definition they have changed.
    How can we take anything you say seriously if even BASIC logic escapes you.

    March 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Your screen name says it all!

      March 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • crazypete


        March 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • dianee

      if things have gotten worse, why do they come here and procreate and live and work? why arent they in their own country?

      March 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • mabel


        March 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kevin

        I suppose you are too simple-minded to grasp the concept that just because they are Latino, that does not mean they are not in "their country" as you so eloquently put it. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but you are a bigoted idiot.

        March 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Me

    I was educated (ha!) by TUSD. To say it was a poor education is an understatement. I'm as white as wonder bread but that doesn't mean I can't see a need for the teachings in AZ and other southwestern states to be more regional. It wouldn't be radical Hispanic studies but truly just AS history. Every year, it's the same. Seriously, not once did I ever have a history class that got beyond 1900. Actually, in the good old TUSD system, not once did I ever study something as important as the Civil War. It's disheartening to see that it's gotten even worse. TUSD is a school district where your main goal each day was to not get jumped.

    March 13, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. aurora

    Tony Diaz, I commend you. Thank you for making sure we can read about our hispanic culture and that our heritage continues in the next generation. There is so much beauty in cultures – traditions, art, values, i don't understand how folks don't see it. They are so afraid of diversity and just want everyone to be the same – how boring, let people be different, we make a much more beautiful world this way – like a quilt of many colors and different fabirc and thread. Let it be and see the beauty.
    Shame on all of you who put down hispanics just because we are hispanic. We are proud and will teach our children to be proud too. No matter what you do, no matters what you say – even if you scream it from the mountain tops or write it for the whole world to read, it does not make it true. God almighty Himself has made me just as He made you, and He is watching and reading and hearing, too. Do you think He approves of what you say about me? I pitty you, you do not see the beaty and you are missing out big time.

    March 13, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Tucson_dave

      Aurora... Thanking Mr. Diaz "for making sure we can read about our Hispanic culture and that our heritage continues in the next generation" is like thanking someone for a bringing you a glass of water when you live next to a river. Every single book he is "bringing" is available in Tucson. This is a publicity stunt designed to take attention away from the real issue. Why did TUSD shut down it's own program? The one it went to court to preserve? Sunnyside (another school district in Tucson) has a MAS program... as do many other schools in Arizona, why did TUSD not just ask one of these schools to use their curriculum? This isn’t about books, student scores or any of the other red herring issues that keep getting thrown up. TUSD MAS program was rife with Marxist radicals, the court agreed that the program lacked educational merit.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • aurora

        By the work of Tony Diaz, more of our children know, breath, love, and are proud of our heritage because he is practically taking it door to door. There is something in this endeavor that calls out to us, it is Tony's passion. I feel moved by it and so will many other hispanics, it will build strength and perseverence. Si se puede, como que no.

        Anyway, my comments were geared towards the bloggers who degrade me because i am Hispanic, como si fuera mala cosa o alguna enfermedad contajiosa. I am none of that I am a child of God just like we all are, nothing less, and there isn't anything greater but God himself.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Andrew

    Nice try buddy, their are no books banned in Arizona, they're just not allowed as a textbook for a class that has been stopped. You are still allowed to read and buy the books. This guy is trying to make them sound as if they're doing book burnings or something. Nice try CNN

    March 13, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Snagglez

      By removing the books from the classroom – in the middle of class no less – it sends a clear message that those books are offensive. Yes the books are not banned outright, but they are banned effectively in the school system. I say shame on AZ for this type of behavior.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Andrew

    The crux of his argument seems to be that they're racist. I thought their was going to be more here. Its all opinion, I haven't read any of these books, and this story is not giving both sides views. But he says they're racist, the Arizona authorities called the class racist, so who's right. Obviously the white people side must be racist right. That's how it works on these comment forms right.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Snagglez

      Well considering that the class taught the history of Mexican-American relations and was banned because lawmakers believed it was threatening to 'overthrow the government' then I am going to side with the author on this one. Teaching children about different cultures and history is a great thing.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael in AZ

      I'm a white man living in Arizona and it's pretty clear to me that many of the state legislators are either racists themselves or are pandering to racist voters. The school district didn't find the class to be racist, they were threatened with loss of state funding if they didn't shut the program down. The threats came from people like you who never read the books in question...

      March 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tucson_dave

        Why am I so informed on this subject? Because unlike most posters I am actually familiar with the city, and unlike most posters I have taken the time to do research instead of regurgitating propaganda (this applies to both sides of the issue). I went into this with a semi neutral mindset. If anything I was pro TUSD MAS. I, unlike many people opposed to the TUSD MAS program believe ethnic studies programs can be an important part of the education process. I recognize that Arizona has a rich history that is predominantly a Native/Hispanic one. What piqued my interest was why was TUSD MAS program catching heat when none of the other state MAS programs (or even other Tucson school districts MAS programs) were being questioned? I looked at the TUSD MAS program instructors, the articles they had published, the organizations they supported and the sources they cited and realized that the program had been hijacked by radicals, hence the issue. Seriously before you decide on this issue look at some of the Marxist rhetoric these folks have published. I asked by friends that had kids that had experienced the program some questions, and their answers confirmed that something very wrong was going on in the TUSD MAS program. TUSD had a chance to de-radiclize their MAS program, but chose to shut it down instead. I don't know if this was because TUSD board could not reign in the MAS staff, or if they decided to take their ball and go home. What I do know was instead of trying adjust the curriculum they hoisted the race flag and started an impressive misinformation campaign. So much for their concern about the students. The program was not banned, it was shut down (under threat of sanction) by TUSD, not the state. No books were banned, they are still available, they can still be used in other classes, they are available in school library, students can freely posses them. TUSD MAS students despite some great individual anecdotes, do not perform academically better than non MAS student once you normalize for income and parental education/involvement. Don’t parrot “you side’s talking points” Do your own research, read the hearing transcripts, look at the witnesses both sides presented… form your own conclusion

        March 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Maria Luisa

    I find insulting that Mexican descendants think the US owes them everyting, if they want to learn is the parents duty to teach the children language ,traditions. I am Bolivian born and a proud US citizen by choice, I taught my children Spanish to speak with me, our traditions, values, but also I made sure they are fully assimilated to their country.
    Mexico can have classes for their people after school, like many other cultures do, even Bolivia years back had weekend classes in DC to teach our culture.
    To demand or expect to teach Mexican Studies is descriminatory to others. The garbage this author speaks about are vey anti American books, and my question is if they dislike the US so much, why not go back to Mexico? Make changes there?
    It is about time to be an American and if not go HOME.

    March 13, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Sara Jenkins

      Yesss!!!! Finally someone agrees with me. I am Mexican, I live in Mexico, but I am married to an American and my daughter is Mexican-American, and I am always trying to make this point with people (and obviously they hate me!). Mexicans, specially illegals, don't want to let go of Mexico, and they cannot do that, if they chose to leave Mexico, for whatever reasons, they have to assimilate to American culture, and if they want their children to know about Mexico, they have to teach them, not expect the American system to carry that weight too.

      March 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • ?

        That sound you hear is me applauding. Also, I am tired on illegals bringing up the civil rights issue and trying to compare it to those of Afro-Americans. Rosa Parks refusing to sit on the back of the bus is quite different than what this article is about.

        March 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Karen

        This isn't about Mexican history or immigration. This is about American history that has been deemed "ethnic studies" because the people involved are Americans of Mexican descent. Arizona is trying to censor this history so that Mexican-American children do not think of themselves as Americans with the same rights as white Americans, but as aliens and foreigners who deserve less and who know their "place."

        March 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tucson_dave

        Karen you keep ignoring the fact that only TUSD MAS program has had issues, none of the MANY other MAS or other ethnic studies programs in AZ have been challenged....

        March 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kojack45

        I live in MN. We have a very large population of Mexican Immigrants. I am not aware of any type of educational classes that teach Mexican-American history as a class in school, unless its the same chapter that was in the US History books when I was in school. Updated of course. This is the USA. If I wanted to know more about my country of origin, Sweden (ya know it is Minnesootah) I would study that myself. I would never rely on public funds pay for my personal interest of history of another country, nor would I think it should be a requirement of others to pay for it. Although, there is human atrocities happening in Mexico right now with the drug wars, perhaps that will make it to the history books one day because Mexico can't seem to protect it's own, sort of like a country that was responsible for World War II. Just an observation of course.

        March 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • jonathan

      I was all ready to agree with the author until I read your comment and the comment from the person below you. I can agree with what you said.

      March 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Latina

      Yah that's right Maria...and let's get rid of those pesky Black studies too. Blacks & Hispanic history has NOTHING to do with American history, right? LOL!

      March 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • mabel

        You need to take your anger and move to another country.

        March 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Proud LATINA American

      You are nothing but an ignorant foreigner! To have such low opinions of Hispanic people makes you seem ignorant being that you are also Hispanic. It is also apparent that you do not understand the minority struggle or what it means to be an American citizen while maintaining your roots – I feel sorry for you. I bet you also vote Republican, lol! Educate yourself in minority studies, and then provide an educated opinion. It's not just the books that are going away from schools, it is the fact that they do not want to celebrate differences at all. It starts with banning books about other cultures, what's next? Take some other civil liberties as well? It is people like you that propel this type of hate for minorities. If we do not advocate for each other, who will? The whites in power? I don't think so honey.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • mabel

        Go home.

        March 13, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Proud LATINA American

        I am home...If anything you must understand that other than Native Americans and MEXICANS, everyone else immigrated here. Thank you for assuming that I'm somehow not supposed to be here, it just shows how small your worldview is.

        March 14, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • mabel

      Thank you.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Jim

    This rant is the left's hateful version of Rush Limbaugh, and another reason why I registered as an Independent and not a Democrat. No books are banned in Arizona. Boycott CNN!

    March 12, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      The left! Is that all you have? Go away, please.

      March 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Proud LATINA American

      Rush is a stupid extremist and you are comparing the plight of hispanics and their requests to be treated like human beings the same??? you are ignorant and it shows your white priviledge. Regardless of immigration status, they are human beings with needs. It goes to show how detached of a society we have become, were we have to ask for imigration status in order to be kind and treat someone with respect. The Hispanics are the new Blacks – not the same in struggle because every race's struggle is different – but they are the new "hated" minority. 'Hated' because it intimidates those who are white/affluent. It funny how the US used to gloat that they were the melting pot – but they don't boast about this when it's inconvinient, ha! what a joke! By 2050 half of the U.S. population will speak Spanish – get used to it

      March 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • calmdownpla

        @Proud Latina American: You ever consider getting some anger management counseling? You've attacked everyone that said anything you disagree with. Your name calling and rants aren't changing anyone's mind. You aren't one of the course instructors by chance? Calm down and maybe people would try to understand your point of view.

        March 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Proud LATINA American

        Don't try to patronize me by making me the "angry minority", this issue is passionate for me due to the fact that if you go down all the post and see that on the ones that have something positive or remotely on the side of the minority view – people have posted "go home" or something of the like. But...I place my opinion and because it's defending the minority view point, I am somehow angry? How about all the hateful comments on this blog that are actually angry...those are ok for you? It's not a bunch of "name calling" for nothing – If you are offended with phrases such as "racist bigot", "white priviledge" or others I've used on this post, perhaps you are offended because it resonates with you.

        March 14, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  18. Karen

    Banning books? Arizona is an embarrassment. Glad to see people there standing up for themselves.

    March 12, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tucson_dave

      No books were banned... research before you comment

      March 12, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • cacique

        The books only were taken out of the classroom and the classes cancelled...which is clear way to tell the students that the books were not allowed in the school, is that a ban or what?

        March 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tucson_dave

      even Tony admits the books were not actually banned in the post...

      March 12, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      So your one of those people who get taken in by this propaganda are you. None of these books are banned. Their are no books banned in Arizona.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • mabel

      I agree with Dave. Before you get on your bandwagon, do some research.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Tucson_dave

    This is a publicity stunt. The books were removed because class no longer exists. The class no longer exist because it focused more on leftist indoctrination than education. The books are available in the various schools libraries, and in local libraries so the idea of “smuggling contraband book” is as ludicrous hauling sand from Texas to Arizona. I can’t believe even CNN took the time to post this .

    March 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Conservatives call any idea they disagree with "leftist indoctrination." For instance, evolution. They want to erase the Mexican-American population from the curriculum and brainwash them into thinking that they have no history, and thus no real future. Didn't Santorum advocate against a college education even though HE has several advanced degrees? They want education for themselves and ignorance for everybody else because ignorant people are easier to rob.

      March 12, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tucson_dave

        These were actual Marxist tracts... written by self identified Marxists such as Paulo Freire. I have no problem with TUSD teaching the proud history of the Hispanic people (just like the other MAS programs in AZ that have had no issues). The Naked Pueblo was part of Mexico longer than it was part of the US and United States treatment of Hispanics has been at times just plain unfair. On the other hand Tucson MAS program went off the rails, instructors were claiming Aztecs never performed humans sacrifice, they advocated wealth distribution and pivoted around the far left leanings of the Tucson artistic elites. Almost anyone in the US that looked at the course would have come to the same conclusion the judge did.

        March 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Maria Luisa

        Why not teach Chinese, Puerto Rican , Italian, Irish etc, etc, One can study in College International studies. It is simplistic what you say about Santorum, he meant that skilled people with no College degrees can earn a living,
        Have you seen how much a mechanic for foreign cars get paid? or a plummer" Not even a PHD makes as much.
        It is descriminatory to demand studies of one group oever others , do we want the Balcanizacion of the US?
        In TX illegals are millions, reaching 1/2 the populations. Do we want them to decide what to teach and what not?

        March 13, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
      • Ahmad

        jkh March 14, 2011 Um, take it from an old lady who lived through the free-wheeling 60 s and 70 s wituhot catching an STD or being raped. You don't let a man pick you up at your home, you don't let him drop you off at your home, and you don't invite him into your home until you've had more than a couple of meetings. Bad pennies do turn up again.

        September 16, 2012 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  20. Julito Varela

    You go, Tony!

    March 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Tucscon Dave: Didn't the ethnic studies class exist for something like ten years? But it's just an issue now? Now that the Mexican-American population is increasing. We can't educate them. They might think they're equal or something.! Paulo Friere is taught in schools all across the country. Everyone can learn about him except for the Mexican-Americans? Furthermore, they banned more than just Friere, but also Sandra Cisneros, Dagoberto Gilb, Jonathan Kozol, and Sherman Alexie, just to name a few. As for human sacrifice the only source for that is the Spanish conquistatores and those pirates were not exactly honest were they? They needed to justify genocide and plunder, while remaining morally superior, so they had to depict their victims as subhuman. Read "American Holocaust" by David E. Stannard.

      March 12, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tucson_dave

        Actually the TUSD had been getting complaints/concern over it's MAS programs for years it just took awhile for the state to act. Once again the books nor the authors were not banned, the books are still available... saying "banned" really loud many times does not change the reality. The class was removed until it was brought into state standards... so yeah why can other schools manage to teach this with out drawing attention? Maybe because they are pushing an agenda? Or maybe they are taught in a class that that material is appropriate. As for the Aztec sacrificial issue yes, we have the Spanish... and archaeology (Tucson's own UofA backs up the sacrifice thing) or in the case of the Aztecs their own pictographs... I am all for Hispanic cultural awareness, I do not support my tax dollars being used to promote communism, class warfare, and racial resentment...

        March 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Maria Luisa

        I suggest you read about the mummys of children found in South American that were offered live to Inti[ the Sun God] , the others found with not heart, ignorance is not an excuse to make this statments.Virgens and children were sacrificed and is not a lie.
        In our countries we study the pre Columbian cultures ,then the post and all cultures.
        Read the writting of father of Las Casas, ETC.
        This is the US, not Mexico and we are from all over and they can not ask ask ask , stop whinning.

        March 13, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  21. Charles Jacobs

    Definately some A#*backwards folks who have no business involvling themselves in the education of our future leaders!

    March 12, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • SueEllen

      Yeah the guy who wrote this is something else

      March 12, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Tucson dave: Nobody was promoting communism, class warfare or racial resentment. In fact, the students who took the ethnic studies class were more likley to attend college than the Hispanics who did not take the class. That's the real problem isn't it? They want a docile, uneducated Hispanic population. AZ said that the curriculum advocated overthrowing the government. That's just nonsense. AZ is not exactly known for great schools and banning books will just push it further behind the rest of the country. And why is Hispanic history even called ethnic studies anyway? It's American history.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tucson_dave

        Have you actually looked at the course materials? Gone through the parent and student depositions? Have you spoken with parents and students that have actually gone to the schools in question? Children that have taken the class? I have. This not one of those issue to take on liberal faith "in the if they are against, I for it" way". Take a couple of days and look at the materials you may be genuinely surprised by what you find. Once again no books were banned... even Mr. Diaz the post writer admits it... the of "MAS achievement"..yet another debunked myth even the Tuscon Citizen which has been a rabid supporter of the TUSD MAS program admits that the average graduation rate for MAS participants was the same as non participants 83%.

        March 12, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Proud LATINA American

      LOL! I know, their mentality seems to be "If we don't read about them or hear about them as much – they will disappear" haha!

      March 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • mabel

        We would be happy if you would just move to Mexico and leave us alone.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
      • Proud LATINA American

        seriously Mabel? We would just be happy if you'd shut your mouth or feed it some constructive critism. You let me know I had "angry" posts? Did you bite you tongue in the process? These "go home" messages are a joke and as previously stated...shows your ignorance (since that's your only argument). Do like me, a minority, and go get an education – perhaps it will help you with your hateful ideologies...

        March 14, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Marco

      Brumley wrote :>>The UK government imosepd restrictions . . . Iceland itself>Only in its capacity as manager of Landsbanki.Still even knowing for long time that between October 8th and 17th October this did paralyse all money to from Icelandic people and companys from all around the wolrd not just from London you still do try to make out this was just the storm in tea cup .Even though you know that is not how it was. why if it was clear that only Landsbanki was effected, did HM Treasury after pressure by bankers worldwide (and of course Geir Haarde and colleagues) on 17th October have to release a detailed 44 point, five page official follow-up notice ‘clarifying’ such basic points as: “…The Order is specific to Landsbanki and does not freeze the funds of any other Icelandic banks. It does not affect Icelandic companies with no links to Landsbanki.… This Order works in a different way to, and has a more limited effect than, financial sanctions regimes, because the prohibition on making funds available only applies to “frozen funds” (as defined in paragraph 5 above) rather than all funds. This ensures that the Order only relates to the movement of Landsbanki assets (including debts owed to Landsbanki).… As the Order does not relate to funds other than frozen funds (i.e. Landsbanki funds), it does not restrict normal commercial transactions between the UK and Iceland, other than those involving such frozen funds.… Under the Order, the Authorities and the Government of Iceland are included as “specified persons” for the purpose of the prohibitions. The effect of this is not to freeze Icelandic Government assets in the UK or to prevent all payments from the UK to the Icelandic Authorities.”Why if everything was fine and dandy, were these ‘clarifications’ necessary? I think the reason is pretty damn obvious. It was because the government of Iceland, and the Icelandic financial system, including its banks, and Icelandic companies were interpreted in the world of finance to have been included. Landsbanki was not wiring money out of London to Iceland. Apparently Kauthping was the bank that FSA reported did it the week before and was used as excuse by Brown and lesser degree by Darling for this unacceptable action against Landsbanki and Icelandic people and the whopping damanging lies that Brown did tell on TV during that time.

      September 14, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  22. Angry American

    Great another Spanish word we all have to learn! I'll add it to my list right under taco!

    March 12, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • SueEllen

      Lol I put "librotraficante" right under chalupa!

      March 12, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
      • Proud LATINA American

        @AngryAmerican and SueEllen – I file you both under "Ignorant Bigots"

        March 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      I just looked at a list of the course materials that were banned and it included "The Tempest" and "Chicano: A History of the Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement." Really? Are these books communist? Come on. Arizona doesn't want these kids to learn about their own American history, their own Civil Rights Movement. They want these kids to think they are "alien," and and un-American, and that their own history is subversive. And you cited the graduation rate. I cited the college attendance rate, whch is higher for the Hispanics who took the class.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tucson_dave

        Once again no books were banned, and of the books that were cited, no “ The Tempest” by Will Shakespear wasn't one of them... this is yet another pice of intentinal misinformation. You really should take the time to look in to this particular issue and not knee jerk react on it. You really think that a school could ban The Tempest? The book in question was an obscure book that was decried the evils of Western civilization using The Tempest as a vehicle. Folks from out of state seem to completely miss that other districts in Arizona have MAS and other ethnic studies programs. This isn’t a “Arizona vs Hispanics” issue this is a state curbing a rouge program. There is no correlation between MAS attendance and college attendance rate either once you normalize for economic and parental education levels of MAS attendees.State, district and independent research bears this out. Bottom line a handful of radicals hi jacked a well intended program and got it shut down. No books were banned, students chances of success have not been diminished, the only real victim may be the Che Guevara fan club membership..

        March 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tim

        Karen, no point in fighting with this one. But better to ask, Tuscon_Dave why is it that he is so informed on this particular subject.Hmmmmm?

        March 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Karen

        Tucson Dave, I have looked at other websites that have lists of the books that were removed from the classrooms (banned) and The Tempest was on the list. I read that they have since allowed that book to be taught again once they discovered that it wasn't written by a Mexican-American.

        Tim: I do not think that Tucson Dave is particularly informed on this topic. He cannot explain why a book about the Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement was banned. This is part of American history. Why was Sandra Cisneros banned? Sherman Alexie? Sorry, but his argument that the program was rogue and taken over by Marxists falls flat. Arizona is an embarassment to the nation.

        March 13, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |