Believe it or not, once upon a time there existed an amazing electric car. It plugged into your garage and had enough juice for the day, was really fast and cool. Celebrities such as Mel Gibson owned their own electric cars and loved them.
These vehicles ended up being banned, or rather boxed up and banished and no longer available to the public.
They were a solution to a problem that worked, but there was lots of money to be made off of pretending to find solutions to this problem.
The public did not know about this amazing invention from the past. They continued to spew the same beliefs that those in charge wanted them to believe.
Electric cars are horrible. They are slow. They are inconvenient and only go a few miles. They are clunky and they are not cool.
They are not even possible right now, and technology is working on a first version of an electric car, but they are still in lab trying to create this great invention.
In the meantime society will have to settle for the best that has ever existed, the hybrid car.
The documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car” sheds light on a reality that most people never even knew about, that the solution had already been found, but it was too good, not ready for the world yet, and we had to pull it in so that the status quo could continue to profit off modern problems.
We already had a solution!
People ignore the best solution and applaud the baby steps we take today, which are really huge leaps backwards and not progress in any way.
It’s all a matter of perspective, and perspective is what has been banned in Tucson’s largest school district. The state of Arizona passed a bill that would end up killing courses such as American History – Mexican American Perspectives because, quite frankly, they were working and educating too many Latinos.
The nationwide high school graduation rate for Latinos is around 50%. In MAS-TUSD courses they saw graduation rates as high as 97% for their students! This raised a red flag, and after many investigations and independent audits, the facts led to vindication for MAS-TUSD, so the facts had to be ignored and these classes banned anyways.
Ironically it is actions such as this that you might learn about in MAS-TUSD, injustices that continue to take place and that Latinos are not just the horrible minorities that you learn about in traditional classes, newcomers to this great land and leeches off American society and in no way contributors.
Other programs in TUSD continue to thrive during the HT Sanchez Era, the new superintendent who has no problem using one-fifth of federal desegregation funds to forcibly segregate Latinos in “Mexican rooms” for 4 hours each and every day, making school a living ELL for them.
ELL has graduation rates even lower than the national average for Latinos, embarrassingly low at the 30% level!
You will never hear HT Sanchez or the new school board even mention ELL. This gross injustice just continues on, funded fully, while they play games with trying to invent a new electric car.
The electric car is this goal that we have already attained, but society was not prepared for it yet, so instead the current slog through “progress” is played out for those who do not have the perspective of truth yet, that this “progress” is really a regression since we are pretending a solution has not already been found.
Mexican American Studies in TUSD follows the same fate.
The goal was to create education programs for Latinos that get them to graduate high school. 50% is not acceptable, and it perpetuates the falsehoods that currently permeate through society; that Latinos are just stupid or something. Or we make other valid excuses for them such as socio-economics. Of course Latinos are going to graduate in lower numbers because their schools are worse than schools on the other side of town. This is true in TUSD also, which has gross inequalities under the HT Sanchez tenure such as Pueblo students having less instructional hours than east-side schools.
Then a solution was found! MAS-TUSD was created by the local Tucson community, created for and by Tucson Latinos but open to all, and indeed to this day many non-Chican@s are some of the biggest supporters of the now banned program.
Even with the inequality, even with the greater poverty and inequalities that thrive in TUSD which is why it is under a Federal Desegregation Order, even with this inherent inequality that puts Latinos at a disadvantage, Latino students were graduating and passing standardized tests! They were going to college in higher numbers!
The problem of having a successful educational program for Latinos is still a nationwide problem, and word of MAS-TUSD spread and the teachers and students were presenting a conferences on what existed in TUSD; a solution at last!
The electric car had been invented, and it was awesome! MAS-TUSD was invented, and students were graduating and learning!
MAS-TUSD, despite all the evidence showing it worked, was killed in TUSD.
That was in 2012, an election year. A new school board was chosen, a new Latino superintendent came to TUSD, and it was as if God Herself answered all our prayers and aligned all the stars for a return of MAS-TUSD, reversing the great injustice and racism that took place during the Pedicone-era which included literal beatdowns of students outside the district office at board meetings.
Everything was ready for a great return of MAS-TUSD, the only program were data exists and validates the program. But then the new school board joined with MALDEF and got cocky.
They didn’t want to undo the ban of MAS. They knew how much fame that program received, and wanted to steal it for themselves. The MALDEF reps on the Deseg case and new board member Juarez started proclaiming that they could create something even better by themselves.
They forgot that MAS was create with lots of input, and the election put everything in order for an escape from the prisons that John Huppenthal placed Latino education in. But this small group of people mistook the escape tool as proof of their greatness, and they became like Icarus.
Putting all their trust in Augustine Romero, a person who was interning for John McCain while people such as Sean Arce were creating the MAS program in TUSD, and without the help of most of the former MAS teachers, the Great Icarus Romero started flapping his wings made of feathers and wax that the community provided after the election and started thinking he could fly on his own.
Employing people that started a harsh bashing of former MAS teachers and all their work, Icarus Romero got his lift off the ground and people put their futures his back. They though they would soar into fame and thought that just the handful of them would create something better than what the community created in 13 years.
The problem was that Icarus Romero knew not how to fly, and creating curriculum was new to him. So he just stole the existing design and tried to please his white masters, from the Special Master to John Pedicone to John Huppenthal. What they wanted was less for Latinos.
Take stuff out of the MAS curriculum. Ban books. Don’t learn these truths.
As Icarus Romero took flight, the sun of white supremacy started heating things up, but yet he flew toward it, seeking the approval of his white masters paying him lots of money for selling out the community. The discussion of “race, class and oppression” was banned. To discuss oppression implies there are oppressors, as John Huppenthal concluded, and he knew that it was he who was oppressing.
Huppenthal turned up the heat.
A new superintendent came in, and rather than provide a shield, he also just wanted to fly high, using TUSD has a high perch from which to spread his own wings as he tried to fly to the top of the mountain of his career, preparing a new landing on a higher spot in about 3 years or so, leaving TUSD behind.
The feathers that the community provided for flight started shedding off as the heat was turned up. The wax that held it all together was weakened under constant assault, the kicking of those who had fallen and the continued kicking even as they lie on the ground. Feathers started to fall.
Icarus Romero was flying closer to the sun and thought it represented greatness. He was flying high, but to fly higher meant more feathers would be shed.
So much was stripped from the original MAS curriculum that what remains is a sad white-washing of historical truths, a literal compromise by MALDEF and the Grijalvista-majority board with White Supremacy.
So much was stripped that even John Huppenthal was finally appeased and said that what remained could be taught to students. By definition, what Huppenthal approves of would be horrible, a huge regression from what was offered before.
But newcomers such as HT Sanchez do not have the perspective of history. He sees current events as “progress” when it is really a huge regression backwards into the racist past. Tucson’s community did what it could through protest and elections, provided the feathers to fight this battle, and instead compromise was reached with most feathers shed.
As the hot sun continues to shine, never letting up, flight no longer becomes possible, and Icarus Romero has only one place to go as he flies over the sea so close to the sun, with the remaining was melting away and the last remaining feathers ready to fall off.
He has risen while the feathers have already fallen. Who knows, maybe he has enough momentum to reach that perch just ahead to keep from falling to the sea, but it will still be a featherless rescue.
The feathers now lie over the sea, thrown out to sink or swim in the turbulent tempest that Arizona provides to Latinos with yet more anti-Latino legislation, from bilingual education bans to ELL to the new third-grade retentions taking place this year.
They are surely visible to those flying high, High-spanics such as Icarus Romero and HT Sanchez. Are they worthy of rescue, swooping down to save them, or can more be done if they reach the next perch? As Cam Juarez admits, he is not bringing back MAS immediately because he is playing chess, which means pawns must be sacrificed as he defends his King and Queen.
The gross injustice of all is that the solution already exists. We don’t need compromised hybrids when we have 100% bean burrito powered classes that Michael Hicks hates so much.
The Electric Car has already been invented and it worked. MAS has already been invented and it worked.
Don’t pretend you are creating something new and improved as you strip the vehicle for parts. What is being created is being held together with duct tape, and the drivers are just as important for these vehicles of instruction to work. Not all the CRC teachers are on board, some just taking the job because they need the job. Meanwhile experienced racecar drivers sit on the sideline and continue to be attacked even by those creating the new hybrids.
The MAS classes are being constructed at a new factory in the meantime, Prescott College providing what it can and using a data-driven approach to educate Latinos. Meanwhile TUSD continues to risk it all with a watered down and white washed recipe, turning authentic salsa into ketchup to appease the delicate palates of sensitive oppressors who cannot swallow the harsh truths of their own actions.