Ethnic studies defeat: passionate KGUN9 viewers have at it
One speaker turned her back on the board, saying that the board has done the same to students.
An ethnic studies protester gestures angrily during Tuesday's board meeting
A raucous crowd of protesters, some concealing their faces with bandanas, gathered outside the meeting room
Board member Adelita Grijalva cast the lone dissenting vote, arguing that TUSD should fight for the program.
Notes by: Forrest Carr, KGUN9 News Director
The Mexican American studies program at the Tucson Unified School District has been the subject of acrimonious debate here in Arizona for some time. So now that TUSD has voted to spike the program, it's no surprise that viewers are having at it yet again. Supporters of the program make up the minority of posters. Those on both sides are vocal and angry. Some can think of no better response than to call names and hurl insults, but others are quite articulate. Below is a sampling.
From "richcat": "'My land is lost and stolen, my culture has been raped. We have to destroy capitalism, overthrow a government that has committed abuses. To the bloodsuckers, the parasites, the vampires who are the capitalists of the world!' This is the BS they taught!"
Cinda Christiansen (via Facebook): "They were creating little monsters, who have no respect, their actions displayed by what they learned in that class. They need to meet in the La Raz center for that kind of sport."
Lisa Gibbons Spurlin via Facebook: "Wow! There sure are a lot of racist people in this town. I guess I really shouldn't be a surprise considering the gun laws we have in this God-forsaken state!"
From "azkid1949": "To be honest with you this land was the Indians' before it was anyone's! But here we are today and it is called 'The United States Of America'. We were founded on the Constitution and we need to abide by its laws! No matter what they may be!"
From "tenspeed": "It is about time that this program comes to an end. This would not be tolerated in any other country so why should it exist here!"
From "arizonajim": "Maybe now we can get back to teaching basics so these young people can make something of themselves. Thank You to the board members except for Grijalva for doing the right thing. God Bless Arizona and AMERICA."
From "ruthperez77": "Yes, God bless America, but don't forgot this land was stolen from Mexico, so get it right. You who are racist should at least read your own history!"
From "xazothia": "This land was 'stolen' over 100 years ago, by nobody who is alive today. So the right thing to do is violently 'steal' it back? Or just hand it over so Mexican drug violence can expand even more? Oh wait, it already has!!"
From "JerryAZB:" "Ms. Grijalva dismisses the account of one of her teachers in saying that nobody has given specific evidence about the problems."
Alexander Monarrez-Maldonado (via Facebook): "90% graduation rate, 70% continue into college. What's the 'real' reason for suspending Mexican-American Studies? As 'European-American Studies' continues to educate on the attempted genocide of Native Americans, Black slavery and the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. Isn't that a hatred for Americans also? Or does that cover only certain Americans?"
Jason Wong via Facebook: "Wow, KGUN's coverage has been terribly one-sided on this."
From Les Owens (via Facebook) "What took so long? What a complete waste of taxpayer dollars, and all to be told what we already knew. The program promotes divisiveness and racism against all cultures apart from Latino and is a violation of law. The tactics and messages 'shouted' by Unidos are the same strongarm tactics of white supremacists, labor unions and the proponents of Sharia Law in America. There is room to learn the cultures of other peoples and how those cultures help to make the US a better place for all under the Constitution of the US. But when those views are radical and promote the destruction of other cultures for the sake of one -- Well, I've said enough. Good riddance."
Martin Del Campo (via Facebook, in response to the posting above): "I don't agree with you.... Mayra Feliciano, a Rincon High School graduate, turned her back to the board when it was her turn to take the podium, choosing instead to address the crowd because she felt the board turned its back on students. 'No matter what decision they make, no matter what they choose to do to our classes, as a community, we're not going to let that happen... We're going to keep it alive. We're going to keep our culture, our history, our identity, language and our education alive because we're not going to allow them to take it away.'"
Jeff Lennon (via Facebook): "OMG! Get a life people!"
Rachel Goldin (via Facebook): "Who are YOU to judge?"
Donna M. MacEachern (via Facebook): "I never did read any recommendations for changes to the course which would have brought it into compliance. Too bad."
Andrea Zinn (via Facebook): "The needs of all the children outweigh the needs of a few. Sorry. Also, if we allow ethnic studies for one ethnic group then all children should have opportunity to receive the same instruction for their own cultural history, whether it be African studies, Jewish studies, or German-American studies."
Katrina Blevins (via Facebook): "Good! It wasn't an ethnic class. I've taken ethnic classes. By the sounds of it this was a Mexican history class. If you want to learn Mexican history, go to Mexico."
Jay Gallegos (via Facebook): "To all of you saying to 'go to Mexico to learn Mexican history,' you may want to open an AMERICAN history book and learn that this nation is intimately tied to the history of Mexico. Do you think Arizona always just existed? Get real, or at least, get educated, before you make such ignorant comments."
Patty Anders Shaw (via Facebook): "It's plain and simple: we can not afford to lose any funding. The district is struggling enough, and this kind of information should be taught at home! That's where I learned mine from. These kids can go to Mom and Dad or grandparents to learn the history of their culture. I am glad the school board voted to get rid of it, nice to see they are doing what's best for the majority of ALL students!"
Sergio Mendez (Via Facebook). "This class wasn't my heritage being taught. It was manipulation and indoctrination. Thank you TUSD for finally seeing common sense and getting rid of this trash of a class."
Marcos Chavez (via Facebook): "I know no one is going to agree with me. But reading all these comments about how this is brainwashing kids and creating a sense of hate is pretty ridiculous. And I think hypocritical. What is wrong with learning about Mexican-American studies? I took American history in High school and we learned about European immigrants coming to American and how they were mistreated. And also the slave trades and how Africans were taken from their home land and brought here as slaves. And then the struggles for civil rights. We didn't cover a lot on Mexican-American contributions in the U.S. when a large percent of the school is Mexican-American. These classes teach a history not told, not explained or even touched upon. And yes there are some bad things that occurred; that is history. But I think what people mistake for hate and brainwash is passion and it's scary because you DON'T see high school students passionate about anything."
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