TUSD has a huge racism and segregation problem, but maybe those who are being tasked to fix it are actually making the problem worse.
This seems to be the pattern after the Ninth Circuit imposed the Desegregation Order over TUSD once again in 2011. What should have been seen as a big victory by MALDEF ended up turning into a huge desmadre.
For example, there’s the issue of the Mexican American Studies program, which was actually protected in the order in place at that time, and instead MALDEF compromises for LESS, not MAS, then what they had before.
MAS no longer exists thanks to their compromise to have a watered-down Culturally Relevant Curriculum that is so harmless that not even John Huppenthal pays attention to them anymore. TUSD has eliminated the student activist “problem” it had with the most successful educational program for Latinos in the nation. No more walkouts, no more protesting; the director Auggie Romero has made Huppenthal happy and all is well.
One-fifth of money intended for desegregation TUSD is used to forcibly segregate Mexican into ELL “Mexican rooms.”
Then there is the issue of using one-fifth of desegregation funds to forcibly segregation Latinos into the “Mexican rooms” where they are kept separate from the rest of the students for 4 hours each day, being deprived of all those classes they need to graduate. Why would MALDEF allow even one penny of money meant to desegregate on this anti-Latino program?
Now let’s skip ahead to the latest debacle
Why are these minority attorneys trying to get rich off of TUSD’s racism?
Local Fact: Tucson High School no longer offers Spanish 7-8 despite being over 70% Hispanic, after the principal told teachers that Spanish 7-8 would not be offered this year because the classes were “too exclusive.” However, French 7-8 is still being offered.
Now in Texas…
Why is it that Americans always tout the Freedom of Speech and the ability to say anything, including bad things about the President, have neo-Nazi marches, hate speech, etc. and that is defended…
But as soon as someone speaks Spanish then Americans try to silence them?
If these same people interpret the Second Amendment to have to no restrictions on the type of weapon one can bear, then why are they imposing restrictions on the First Amendment and the type of allowable free speech in this nation based on the language in which that speech is expressed?
What happened in Tucson got even worse at a Texas school outside of Houston this past week.
Defendants prepare for trial, intend to enter “Not Guilty” plea
Tucson, AZ – On Wednesday, December 4 at 9 am, six individuals charged with blocking a federal entrance during the October 11 shut down of Operation Streamline were presented for their first court appearance before Magistrate Bowman at the DeConcini Federal Court House. The activists learned in court that they are charged with double misdemeanors of Disorderly Conduct and Failure to Follow Direction of Federal Police Officer, carrying a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine, 30 days in jail and five years’ probation. The Magistrate set the trial date for February 5, 2014 at 10 am.
On October 11, twenty-four local activists stopped the Operation Streamline proceedings, temporarily halting the fast-track mass criminal prosecution of immigrants. Under Streamline each day up to 70 immigrants are funneled through the court system, receiving a criminal sentence of up to six months’ in prison prior to being deported. Under the law, immigration violations are civil in nature, and prior to Streamline have not been prosecuted as a criminal violation. Criminal prosecution for ”illegal entry” and “illegal re-entry” have ballooned the prison population with non-violent offenders resulting in more than half of all those entering federal prisons being Latino.
As a Chicano activist in what Dr. Cornel West calls ground zero in the struggle for liberty and justice, I have become used to the importance of lawyers who usually volunteer pro bono to represent those who get arrested in civil disobedience or those who are fighting against racist state laws in the state of Arizona.
For example, right after HB2281 was signed into law by Jan Brewer, the state superintendent Tom Horne decided to visit Tucson and met with a group of protesters who had a sit-in at the state building and ended up getting arrested. This included two UA Professors, Dr. Roberto Rodriguez and Dr. Lydia Otero, who certainly have a better financial situation than the youth who were also arrested, but who still received the benefits of a pro bono attorney, Richard Martinez. Martinez is the same lawyer who is representing Save Ethnic Studies and has filed in the Ninth Circuit Court on behalf of three TUSD students and their parents to challenge the constitutionality of HB2281. While there is a fund set up to pay for the costs of this case, attorney Martinez receives no income from this case; on the contrary he has spent a lot of his own resources supporting this case.
There have been arrests of activists at many places from the State Capitol to the TUSD Headquarters to the State Building in downtown Tucson and by activists who recently shutdown Operation Streamline. Part of this sacrifice usually includes a lawyer who sacrifices their own income to represent you in court, and the significance cannot be overstated.
So I was deeply troubled by something I just learned about the lawyers representing the minorities in TUSD.
The discussions and dilemmas taking place under the desegregation decree over Tucson’s largest school district (TUSD) are epic in nature and the nation should be watching.
High-level debates over modern-day race and racism and how to remedy the remnants of the racist past are taking place today in TUSD at every school board meeting. However, those taking place in the debate are not experts in the field, sociologists or professors with backgrounds in this highly complex field, but rather simple folks like Michael Hicks who thinks Mexican American Studies (MAS) is racist and Mark Stegeman who thinks that a unity clap by students is evidence of the MAS classroom being a cult.
The great United States of America has a way of turning possible remedies to a solution into a problem. It is as if someone was dying in the desert, something that happens very frequently in the Southern Arizona desert from those seeking the mythical American Dream, and Uncle Sam saves the person dying from thirst and gives them water. This would be fine but then Uncle Sam gets that mischievous look in his eyes and keeps giving the person water even after they are full, now using the potion as a poison.
Turning the potion into a poison is what is taking place in TUSD today, and the well-meaning MALDEF who stepped in to save the Latino students seems to be feeding the Special Master more gallons of water as he attempts to force-feed that which we wanted down our throats even after being satiated.
“No, you were thirsty and wanted water, so DRINK!”
“But now I’m drowning in water!”
Here is the epic dilemma