Taxpayer subsidized racism

Becky Fenger Fenger Pointing

If you aren't familiar with the Raza Studies program taught in the Tucson Unified School District in Tucson, Arizona, be prepared for a shocker. To say it is controversial is putting it mildly.

La Raza means "The Race" in Spanish. Now the name of the program is called "Mexican-American Ethnic Studies" (to sound less racist), but the content is just as odious. In order to learn more about it, I attended a three-hour panel discussion last Saturday hosted by the Arizona Mainstream Project (

Panelists included Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, who was serving as Superintendent of Public Instruction when the state legislature passed HB 2281 in 2010 to prohibit public schools from using curriculums that included objectives such as overthrowing our government, ethnic resentment, redefining the family and other such nonsense. Rather than complying with state law, TUSD is fighting tooth and nail to continue teaching, as Horne calls it, their racial chauvinism.

For his efforts in trying to end the Raza studies, Horne found himself the central character in a street play in Tucson titled, "The Killing of Tom Horne" in all its gory glory. The current Superintendent, John Huppenthal, may not describe the program's supporters as a "cult," but his public relations director, Andy LaFevre isn't as circumspect when it comes to describing the cult tactics used to indoctrinate the kids.

Students of Mexican descent are taught that they, as part of the "bronze" nation, are superior to the white race and must depose whites from land "stolen from them." Never mind that this is the Gadsden Purchase to which they are referring. That slight detail is never taught to them. Instead, they are taught that they are all Aztecs and not descendants of the tribes who crossed the Bering Straits. Classes are punctuated with chants and the Caesar Chavez clap.

The kicker is that these themes start as early as the third grade and continue through high school. Worse, the Raza studies qualify for American history requirements for graduation! The slanted, racist view of the world may be all these children ever learn of their America.
Rey Torres, president of a Latino Republican organization and a researcher of Mexican history, stated that revisionist history, with giant dollops of Marxism, is being fed to these students in Raza classes. Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, who is running for Congress against Raul Grijalva (who called for the boycott of Arizona upon the passage of SB 1070) agrees with Torres that "Aztlan" is an imaginary, non-existent land.

Saucedo Mercer tells how her daughter was recruited into the "Si Se Puede Club" back around 1997 at her school in Sierra Vista on the basis of her skin color (even though her father is white). She came home mumbling that the stupid club wanted her to hate her daddy and to become a Chicana. Saucedo Mercer regards the Chicano label as an insult. Torres sees the need to belong to a group as so strong in kids that they will succumb to the induction of clubs like this and MEChA.

There is no space to describe the insidiousness of the "Plan of Santa Barbara" or the group called MEChA, which is Spanish for "Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan," whose official national symbol is an eagle holding a machete-like weapon and a stick of dynamite. I would encourage you to familiarize yourself with them. Suffice it to say, it is a travesty that MEChA has an office on the second floor of the Student Union at ASU. Did you know you can get a degree in Chicano Studies there?

Today is the last day for hearings on the Raza Studies program. The press came the first day and never came back, just so they didn't have to report the sordid details that emerged. Then it is in the hands of the Administrative Hearing Officer to decide whether the program is out of compliance with state law. TUSD then has two choices. It can decide to continue teaching this tripe, in which case it will lose about $15 million in state funding (not a small piece of change in this economy), or it can drop the program.

Militants don't just set the ball down and go home, however. I fear TUSD will pretend to comply, but after the dust settles they will go on their merry way teaching Raza classes. What are we going to do? Send in the National Guard? I don't think Huppenthal has the cojones.