Unbelievable?? – Tucson Arizona, "burning" books?!

Okay, okay, Tucson is only banning them, but how far away are we from the public burning of "disapproved" books.


If you haven't heard this yet, you aren't going to believe it. (Most of this information is from Censored News www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com)

Tucson Arizona schools have banned books by Chicano and Native American authors.

The banned books include "Rethinking Columbus" which has essays by award-winning Pueblo author Leslie Marmon Silko, and works by Buffy Sainte Marie, Winona LaDuke, Leonard Peltier, and Rigoberta Menchu.

The decision to ban books follows the 4 to 1 vote by the Tucson Unified School District board to succumb to the State of Arizona, and forbid Mexican American Studies, rather than fight the state decision.

Students said the banned books were seized from their classrooms and out of their hands, after Tucson schools banned Mexican American Studies, including a book of photos of Mexico.

The banned book, "Rethinking Columbus," includes work by many Native Americans.  The book includes:

Suzan Shown Harjo's "We Have No Reason to Celebrate"
Buffy Sainte-Marie's "My Country, 'Tis of Thy People You're Dying"
Joseph Bruchac's "A Friend of the Indians"
Cornel Pewewardy's "A Barbie-Doll Pocahontas"
N. Scott Momaday's "The Delight Song of Tsoai-Talee"
Michael Dorris's "Why I'm Not Thankful for Thanksgiving"
Leslie Marmon's "Ceremony"
Wendy Rose's "Three Thousand Dollar Death Song"
Winona LaDuke's "To the Women of the World: Our Future, Our Responsibility"

The now banned reading list of the Tucson schools' Mexican American Studies includes two books by Native American author Sherman Alexie and a book of poetry by O'odham poet Ofelia Zepeda.

Other banned books include “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Brazilian educator Paolo Freire and “Occupied America: A History of Chicanos” by Rodolfo Acuña, two books often singled out by the Arizona state superintendent of public instruction John Huppenthal, who campaigned in 2010 on the promise to “stop la raza.” Huppenthal compared Mexican-American studies to Hitler Jugend indoctrination last fall. 

Check out these web pages for more information:  http://www.salon.com/2012/01/13/whos_afraid_of_the_tempest/singleton/



One of the banned authors stated: "we need to remember the proper context. This is not simply a book-banning; according to Tom Horne, the former state scools' superintendent . . . this is part of a civilizational war. He determined that Mexican American Studies is not based on Greco-Roman knowledge and thus, lies outside of Western Civilization."

"In a sense, he is correct. The philosophical foundation for MAS is a maiz-based philosophy that is both, thousands of years old and Indigenous to this continent. What has just happened is akin to an Auto de Fe — akin to the 1562 book-burning of Maya books in 1562 at Mani, Yucatan. At TUSD, the list of banned books will total perhaps 50 books, including artwork and posters."

"For us here in Tucson, this is not over. If anything, the banning of books will let the world know precisely what kind of mindset is operating here; in that previous era, this would be referred to as a reduccion (cultural genocide) of all things Indigenous. In this era, it can too also be see as a reduccion."

Two books by Native American author Sherman Alexie have also been banned: “Ten Little Indians,“ and “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven.“ 

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One Response to Unbelievable?? – Tucson Arizona, "burning" books?!

  1. Jay Taber says:

    Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale becomes less a fictional representation of American society every day.

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