The Tucson, Arizona school board recently released a list of textbooks that are to be banned in public school classrooms. These textbooks had been a part of the school system’s Mexican-American studies program until recently when ethnic studies were discontinued throughout the region. The school board claims these textbooks promote racism and that they were an “indoctrination” into Marxist ways of thinking.
The decision to ban these books did not come lightly. The Arizona Superintendant of Public Instruction personally visited classrooms where this curriculum was being taught. What he found was both shocking and amazing. He claims that the books explicitly claim they are modeled around Marxism and also promote hatred of whites. He claims that only one viewpoint is given in the Mexican-American studies curriculum and that it does not afford students the opportunity to think critically.
One of the disturbing things witnessed by the superintendant was a picture of Che Guerva on a classroom wall. Che Guerva was responsible for overseeing the death camps in Cuba during the Communist regime there. These death camps were ultimately responsible for the deaths of over 14,000 Cubans. While Che Guerva was portrayed as a hero, superintendant John Huppenthall claims he also overhead lecture which tended to promote Benjamin Franklin as a racist.
The banned books include “Rethinking Columbus”, “Chicano”, “Occupied America”, “Tempest”, and “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”. Teachers have also been cautioned not to include other books that talk about oppression or encourage racism in any way. Meanwhile, the ethnic studies program is not likely to return to the Tucson school system any time soon.