This year’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner host was Seth Myers from SNL.
Another name for this event could have been the Roast of Donald Trump.
At all the protests led by Latinos so far this year, there has been no violence.
Civil disobedience yes, violence and rioting no.
Yet that doesn’t stop Tom Horne and Jon Justice and even Michael Hicks and John Pedicone from calling this student action worse than it is, from “thuggish mobs” to comparisons with Tucson tragedies, spreading conspiracy theories about funding from out-of-state groups, and even that the teachers planned this whole thing.
So much for a superintendent like John Pedicone defending his students and teachers, rather than bashing them himself.
In the video above, which closes with a Don’t tread on me flag, they choose a song with lyrics that say to “shoot them in the head” in order to stop them, as the student protesters take the dais.
Which student does the TEA Party want shot? Was it the white student? The African-American? The Native American? The Mexican-American? The Asian-American?
They were all up there, truly making this effort UNIDOS!
And at all these protests, the only people that ever get hurt is as a result of police force.
This type of hate also goes hand-in-hand with the following types of emails I get:
subject: f*ck la raza and get the f*ck out of my country
Dig this wetback morales, you pull that shit again, the same crap that happened at the school meeting…And you will have so many gringos coming to defend this city you will be hightailing back to the third-world sub-human hell hole you come from…F*ck off
As Freedom Rider Dr. Bernard LaFayette said: “this is the new south” and Dr. Cornel West called Tucson the “epicenter of the new civil-rights movement.” Come out next Tuesday, May 3rd at 5pm to 1010 E. Tenth St (TUSD HQ) to find see for yourself.
Thousands are expected to be in attendance, come see this historic moment live!
The above video does not show Tuesday’s actions but focuses instead on the man in charge of TUSD, the author of the anti-MAS resolution, and what he was saying before and after Tuesday’s actions.
I have been in math departments a long time, including a year at Berkeley which has 3 Fields medalists. It makes sense to me that Mark Stegeman is an economist, where math is needed, because he has a lot of similarities with some of the more eccentric mathematicians, which is the stereotype they have in movies, able to do huge calculations on the spot but unable to appreciate other sides of the brain.
It is possibly what makes them so brilliant, this ability to focus on something and not deviate.
The problem with it is that you get this tunnel-vision effect, where one is not happy until something is exactly as they want it, nothing else matters, no other data or evidence. Once the mind is made up, it is made up and nothing will change it.
This is the only explanation I can come to based on what people tell me about their friend Mark Stegeman. They say that he is evidence-driven and only looks at the numbers. As an economist, I thought this would be true about him.
But if Stegeman is anything like these eccentric mathematicians then this would explain why he refuses to accept all the numbers and evidence in favor of Mexican-American Studies.
Let’s put it this way. From AIMS test scores, to graduation rates, to any other data you look at, it all suggests that MAS is successful. I have seen NO data that suggest otherwise.
So it is not like Mark Stegeman is comparing conflicting data. All evidence points to expanding Mexican-American Studies, which is actually what a federal court order on TUSD requires.
So why would “numbers guy” and evidence-driven Mark Stegeman go in the exact backwards direction? It’s not like it is a new direction he is exploring, it is a backwards direction! Turning Mexican-American History back into an elective.
The state has core requirements to satisfy for a class to satisfy the social-studies requirement. Mexican-American history does exactly this, and has for a decade, and it leads to better academic results for its students.
The only reason to make this class into an elective is to show exactly why MAS does not satisfy these requirements anymore.
This reminds me of a clip I saw of an upcoming PBS documentary on racism in Tucson called “Barrios & Barriers: Tucson’s Civil Rights Era.”
Not that long ago you could satisfy every requirement to buy a house or property, but you would be denied simply because of your race. When I bought my house I got documents on the area from a few decades ago that stated it was forbidden to sell your house to a Mexican-American!
This seems to be what is going on today. Mexican-American History satisfies the state requirements, yet Mark Stegeman wants to deny it because of? I will give you a hint and you can decide: European History is left alone by Stegeman, yet Mexican-AMERICAN history is being denied by Stegeman…
There are other contradictions made by Stegeman. He says that he would have done this regardless of the state that it just “makes sense” (yet never proves how exactly this makes sense), but then says he does this to be in a better bargaining position with Huppenthal. What type of bargaining position are we talking about?
Current state superintendent John Huppenthal ran ads last year saying “I will Stop La Raza” which is about as overtly racist as you can get. TUSD superintendent and Vice-President of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council John Pedicone excuses this racism, saying “he was just trying to get elected.” This is horrible!
What if Huppenthal said “I will stop the blacks” or “I will stop the Jews!” Would John Pedicone be excusing those statements? Even worse is that Pedicone admits that racism sells in Arizona, and if he really is a leader, as the Vice-President of the leadership council (SALC) then he knows he knows he needs to dabble in racial politics also to be successful, which is what winning elections is all about.
So here you have an innocent program, a successful program for minorities. Then you have a racist attack on it. There is no bargaining allowed! You stand up and fight it!
You don’t say, well, I have 100 Jews… I’ll give you 10 and I will be a hero for saving 90 of them.
Or I will only allow you to enslave 10 black students instead of 100.
Here we have an innocent program that has never been shown to be guilty by any audit or any court, and in fact the exact opposite is required to expand the program due to federal court order, and yet Stegeman-Pedicone want to compromise with it, especially when MAS has no seat at the table?
This is why the Latino community says NO COMPROMISE, not just because the Stegeman-Pedicone resolution is not acceptable, but because this really isn’t a compromise when MAS doesn’t have a seat at the table, and even the state isn’t at the table yet.
This resolution “making sense” only exists in Mark Stegeman’s tunnel-visioned mind.
The only other possibility I could think of is that this is all John Pedicone’s plan. As the Vice-President of a very conservative organization made up of Tucson’s richest Republicans, people who helped get John Huppenthal in office despite his overtly racist comment (hey, he’s just trying to win in Arizona!), it is in Pedicone’s best interests to do a little Hispanic-bashing himself.
Gotta make the TEA Party and Jon Justice types happy. Gotta make the Republican party happy, people like Jim Click and Don Diamond. Bashing on immigrants and minorities is popular among these folks.
So this is really part of a Pedicone-Huppenthal agreement to weaken the program, and Mark Stegeman, who has hated the program since before HB2281, voting against the Post-Unitary Plan because it expands MAS, and voting with Miguel Cuevas to fire the director of MAS, is jumping on board because his tunnel-vision is one of axing a program that does not fit his worldview.
Either way, there is nasty racial politics going on in Tucson. Evidence in favor of MAS does not matter for some reason to Mark Stegeman, and having NO evidence or data to back up his resolution doesn’t bother the “numbers guy” at all.
Here is an example: Since Program X improves academic performance, and not a lot of students are enrolled in it, we will therefore expand it. That’s logical.
This is illogical: Since Program X improves academic performance, and since only 5% of students are enrolled in it, we will therefore do something that ensures less students take it.
Now read Mark Stegeman’s resolution and try to find the logic in it. Try to find the evidence. You won’t find any.
Especially when European History goes untouched and Mexican-AMERICAN history gets all the scrutiny and weakening, why would TUSD engage in such overtly racist actions?
As John Pedicone admitted, racism is what sells in Arizona, and TUSD is trying to get a piece of the action.
Bring you and everyone you know to the next TUSD board meeting when they will vote on this resolution. May 3rd, 5pm, 1010 E Tenth St (NE corner of Broadway and Park). You already saw how the last meeting had hundreds in attendance and made international news.
At this next meeting there will be armed guards (because Latino children are dangerous (?) and this is gun-loving Arizona), full pat-downs, and a closed board room with a little copper wire running outside so that the community can hear the school board ram through its resolution behind a line of policemen.
Why do you need to read about this in history books when you can see it first hand, Mississippi-style!
Come be a part of history and be present when it is being made!
The next TUSD meeting, when they will vote to demote Mexican-American History, is Tuesday, May 3rd.
There will be a limit on the amount of people in the building. Police and security will search all that enter and hand-held metal detectors will be used for people who refuse to be searched. Speakers will be outside of 1010 to allow everyone to hear.
How’s that for democracy… a physical wall, a wall of police, and a little copper wire so you can hear the elected officials determine the future of a community-started program before the Vice-President of SALC and TUSD board superintendent John Pedicone can escape not only the school district but the city as he goes home to Oro Valley, escaping the jurisdiction of his actions yet taking home his $250K salary, which is almost half of the entire MAS annual budget!
The agenda will begin with a declaration about the move to May 3rd and back to 1010 (TUSD HQ), call to the audience, then the Ethnic Studies budget, followed by the vote on the resolution.
TUSD board member Judy Burns implored Stegeman to drop the action item but to no avail.
In a boneheaded move, Pedicone-Stegeman decided to postpone their anti-minority vote until next Thursday, May 5th…
Cinco de Mayo.
They announced that the meeting would be held at Catalina High School, in a huge auditorium, that way the COMMUNITY could be present and seated, holding their elected officials accountable.
But since when has SALC and their Vice-President ever been about pro-democracy?
Now I’m getting word that John Pedicone is taking a stand and moving the meeting to Tuesday, and furthermore will have speakers outside the board room with no one allowed in.
What a coward!
So yes, tough man John Pedicone will finally get the three votes he needs to pass the Pedicone-Stegeman attack on Mexican-Americans and their history, and then escape to Oro Valley where he lives.
I wonder why he is afraid to have a public meeting where the community actually fits in the room?
I also wonder why he’s afraid to let the community into the TUSD chambers… so much for those public meeting laws!
And so much for obeying a federal court order to expand Mexican-American Studies… of all the things to focus on, Pedicone wants to show how tough he is by getting tough on minority youth.
John Pedicone and Mark Stegeman are showing their true colors. This is now a personal vendetta for them, just as it is with Tom Horne and John Huppenthal.
Careful! Racism seems to be contagious in Russell Pearce’s Arizona.
Better bring down the fist of young Latino scholars and fire teachers rather than remedy the real problems confronting this district. The national media will be watching next week. Our local media is horrible, calling this a “compromise” when the MAS program never had a seat at the table. Who is deciding this?
You can see them below.
Yet ignorant Jon Justice fans will continue to get the power struggle wrong. It is not racist for a powerless minority to defend themselves from a racist attack, and to call out those leading the attack. Racism is about power, and those in power, who happen to be white men, are the ones attacking Latino youth in Tucson.
This is why Dr. Cornel West calls Tucson the “epicenter of the new civil rights movement” and Freedom Rider Bernard LaFayette calls Tucson “the new South.”
Tucson has a special focus, even more so than the rest of Arizona, because of the Ethnic Studies issue. The rest of the nation looks at the four men below deciding the future of Mexican-American Studies and they see what is going on, clear as day.
Did you know that TUSD is under a federal court order to expand Mexican-American Studies, and that it is the John Pedicone and Mark Stegeman that are about to violate the law?
They do not listen to the students, so the students had to escalate their demonstrations, and they were heard around the world.
Now John Pedicone is working with Tucson Police to decide who should be prosecuted.
TUSD and law enforcement are reviewing videos of Tuesday night’s protest at the school-board meeting to determine if prosecution is warranted.
“This type of behavior will not be tolerated,” Pedicone said. “The public must feel confident that TUSD believes in the importance of ensuring school district operations are being handled effectively and that, in all cases, a professional and orderly environment will be maintained.”
The protest began just minutes before the meeting was scheduled to begin. Students ran up to the dais where the Governing Board sits and chained themselves to the chairs.
Security attempted to remove them but were unsuccessful.
Though the organizers were told that the meeting had been canceled, the protest continued for about two hours before they cleared out of the room on their own.
There are some problems with this.
First of all, when Pedicone says “this type of behavior will not be tolerated” is he talking about how the cops treated the underage students in his district?
John Pedicone came out to see the protesters and never told them anything, nor did they have cops arrest any students.
TUSD board members Judy Burns and Adelita Grijalva were also there supporting the protesters. They are John Pedicone’s boss. Will he try to have them arrested?
I heard one source say that with a three-member majority on the board, that indeed John Pedicone might try to get the board to agree to this action.
I think it would be the stupidest decision yet by the Vice-President of SALC.
I already know one attorney that witnessed the entire thing and stayed to the end. The Pima Democratic Party chair Jeff Rogers came to the front of the board room and told me “I am making sure if the students need an attorney” and was in the room until the students left the building. There were other attorneys, along with elected officials, professors, community leaders, state senators and representatives, and school board members there.
If John Pedicone orders any arrests for Tuesday, he will be even more unpopular than he already is, and will have some very powerful enemies ready to take him on.
And as the video above shows, as with all protests, the only acts of violence and physical harm come at the hands of the police, including one cop that brought one of the male students to the ground.