By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Dear Mexican: Aunqué soy Boricua, mi corazón está al lado del pueblo mejicano, aquí en Arizona. ¿Porqué no hablas contra "La Bruja Mala del Oeste" Gobernadora Jan Brewer, "El Leon Cobarde" Ex-Senador Russell Pearce, "El Hombre Hecho de Lata" Alguacil del Condado Maricopa Joe Arpaio, "El Hombre Hecho de Paja" Abogado General Tom Horne y en final, "El Brujo de OZ" Superintendente de Instrucción Pública John Huppenthal?
—Somos Quien Somos
Dear Gabachos: You don't need a Spanish-English dictionary or your pocho coworker to figure out what the question above refers to: the continued insanity that is Arizona. We've covered its pendejos throughout the years, especially Horne and Huppenthal, who earlier this year declared the Mexican-American studies program at the Tucson Unified School District illegal because it doesn't hew to the traditional view in American history that teaches Mexicans are shiftless, lazy rapists. Part of that effort was to boot out of Tucson schools books ranging from Shakespeare's The Tempest to Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz's Drown to works by authors Sandra Cisneros and even Howard Zinn. They're banning American history in Tucson!
BUY BANNED BOOKS! On that level, let me turn the columna over to two worthy projects designed to blast past this Tucson pendejada. The first plug goes to the SouthWest Organizing Project, the fine cabrones y cabronas from Albuquerque behind 500 Years of Chicano History, one of the books targeted by the Arizona Know Nothings for daring to show that Mexican history in the Southwest wasn't all about sleeping peons under cactuses or Spanish missions. They're selling the book at a 50 percent discount to all Arizonans and will give the book away for FREE to any Arizonan student who writes a letter "describing why they think the teaching of Chicano and Native American history accurately to young people is essential." More info available at chicanohistory.org.
The other great effort is by my Houston amigos over at Nuestra Palabra. One of them, Tony Diaz, has assumed a new persona: El Librotraficante, who'll set up underground libraries in Houston, San Antonio, Albuquerque and Tucson that'll host the banned books and other books by writers of color and their down gabacho compatriots. They want to collect a complete set of banned libros for each underground library and donate extra copies to public libraries. People who want to help can learn more at librotraficante.com.