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Rachel Udin
09-30-2013, 03:43 AM
I read the list and was shocked to find that a whole slew of books from the Latino tradition were banned/removed in a school district apparently because

"Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal, who threatened to withhold millions of dollars if the school district didn’t terminate the nationally acclaimed program immediately. The superintendent has spent years crusading against ethnic studies programs that he claims are “brainwashing” children into thinking that Latinos have been victims of white oppression."

And the district is 60% Mexican American.

It's enough to make me swear and feel sick in so many ways. I'm generally against banned books, but this is like a triple whammy.

FoamyRules
09-30-2013, 12:09 PM
So let me get this straight. The superintendent banned books from the Latino tradition because they "brainwash children into thinking Latinos were victims of white oppression"; despite the fact that many Latinos were and probably still are victims of white oppression, and that the majority of the school district are Mexican American?

Okay...the mind is boggled.

Rachel Udin
09-30-2013, 09:40 PM
Yep, yep.

And the program has been shown to close the achievement gap.

Here is an extended report:
http://www.democracynow.org/2012/1/18/debating_tucson_school_districts_book_ban

Though wikipedia says he wasn't against the African American and Asian studies programs... which just confuses me more.

This is a WTF territory for me.

KTC
09-30-2013, 11:10 PM
Talk about making a person feel sick! This is horrendous!!!

Myrealana
09-30-2013, 11:43 PM
I can't even fathom the depths of some people's stupidity.

Sunflowerrei
10-01-2013, 12:00 AM
Ugh...I can't even...Did you notice that they also banned Shakespeare's The Tempest in this district, too? It's in the link Rachel posted.

Kim Fierce
10-01-2013, 12:40 AM
:-(

I saw this meme on Facebook today:

A woman was talking on the phone in another language. When she hung up, the white man in front of her said, "This is America. If you want to speak Mexican, go back to Mexico." She said, "Excuse me?" so he repeated it again, very slowly.

She replied, "I was speaking Navajo. If you want to speak English, go back to England."

I really liked that, and I'm white....

What are the thoughts on banning Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer? As far as I can tell, Mark Twain was just using the language of the time period, so I don't think they banned it just because he used "the n word." The torment of Huck for "not acting like a Christian" by helping out Jim is probably what rankled people most I'd say. I could see, or wanted to see, that Twain was pointing out the irony of the situation.

FoamyRules
10-01-2013, 01:27 AM
For one, I'm not in favor of banning any books from a school district as long as they're age appropriate. (Some parents wanted to ban watching movies like Mississippi Burning and Rosewood and books like The Kite Runner because of certain scenes but come).

What I'm really disturbed by is the suspending of the Mexican American Studies program. I mean really? Why be against that, but not against the African American (which is what I am btw) and Asian American studies programs? It makes no sense at all.

Rachel Udin
10-01-2013, 04:48 AM
:-(

I saw this meme on Facebook today:

A woman was talking on the phone in another language. When she hung up, the white man in front of her said, "This is America. If you want to speak Mexican, go back to Mexico." She said, "Excuse me?" so he repeated it again, very slowly.

She replied, "I was speaking Navajo. If you want to speak English, go back to England."

I really liked that, and I'm white....

What are the thoughts on banning Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer? As far as I can tell, Mark Twain was just using the language of the time period, so I don't think they banned it just because he used "the n word." The torment of Huck for "not acting like a Christian" by helping out Jim is probably what rankled people most I'd say. I could see, or wanted to see, that Twain was pointing out the irony of the situation.
I'm not particularly for banning or challenging books. I figure if the children can understand them, then I'm not against it. But I do think that parents should be at least vaguely aware of what books their children are reading and instead of banning them, discussing them. The banning of Kite Runner for a Senior class, for example, seems a bit rash. I'd rather have hard to understand books where you can opt out if necessary discussed than randomly discovered. But even randomly discovered for parents to be able to level-headedly discuss it with their children and communicate rather than blaming other people. Just My Opinion...

On the challenged list was "Rin Tin Tin in the Congo" (IIR the title correctly.) But while I've seen the terrible racist images, I'm still against banning it because I think you can use such material to discuss problems with such depictions in the first place. Though there are some images that are really difficult. I still get a headache from remembering the cartoon with the watermelon. (And I'm not detailing it for the sake of sanity and unqueasy stomachs)

I am dead against speaking the N word, but for Mark Twain I'm still against censoring it because you can launch and *think* about what the impact means. My class actually did that several times. And I got the film "The N Word" several times too.

Tom Sawyer mostly was on the banned list because he's naughty, rather than the N word from what I've read.

Though some of the banned books were ridiculous--Captain Underpants made it to number 1 this year--which does not have racism issues, LGBT issues, or religion issues (which were the top three issues this year). It was banned for potty humor. Seriously. (Some bannings and challenges are just stupid).

However, out of the entire list, this one made me sad. Seriously? A program that's shown to be beneficial being pulled and then all the books being forcefully banned and the schools being threatened because of it? Aggravates me. Especially when several of the books proved that there was oppression in the early days by white settlers and are called definitive in their class of books (no pun intended).

And seriously, The Tempest being banned too? O.o; Trying to out do Texas there, aren't they? (Texas banned an author for having the same name is someone communist, even though they weren't related or the same person. Yes. That level of stupid.)

ETA: It's almost impossible to write a book that can't get banned... you'd have to be really unpopular writing YA to have zero things offensive--and we know how many authors aspire to that.

Kim Fierce
10-01-2013, 06:13 AM
The banning you mention seems really horrible and unfair. I grew up in a school where most of the negative things were glossed over, if they were mentioned at all, and learned most of the real history on my own (and some in college.)

Erasing the past, even negative parts, isn't going to do anyone any favors. Coming to terms with it and moving forward is better than what I think of as The Family Secret method.