Arizona School Officials: "Urinating" on Students
The death knell to Tuscon's Mexican American Studies program was worse than urinating on dead corpses
Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
Fresh from the international furor in which four U.S. Marines are seen urinating on 3 Taliban corpses, another videotaped desecration of equal insult has just surfaced on the other end of the globe in Tucson, Arizona.
Published on LatinoLA: January 18, 2012
The videotape regarding the anti-MAS action can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OAFoxPDLA8&/
In this second videotape, Tucson School officials are clearly seen [metaphorically] urinating on Mexican students near the end of a contentious school board meeting on Jan. 10, 2012, right before the board voted 4-1 to immediately suspend the highly successful Mexican American Studies program. The classes, in effect, have already been cancelled as students have been turned away from their classes. This has already triggered walkouts in the district, one of a series to come.
It was evident that board members ignored the audience as the anti-MAS resolution had already been typed, along with prepared anti-MAS speeches.
Unlike the top brass of the U.S. Marine Corps, who recognize the urination to be an insult to Muslims everywhere, Arizona officials, rather than apologize, have resorted to denial, this despite the unmistakable footage of TUSD school officials clearly and grossly demeaning the audience.
Ironically, as the students and community protested these dehumanizing acts, TUSD officials are clearly seen and heard, imploring them to be quiet and to be civil, this as they prepared to take Arizona back again into the 19th century. In effect, with that one vote, the board violated virtually every international human rights treaty and convention that were ratified after the horrors of World War II, designed precisely to prevent the physical and cultural genocide of peoples, and to guarantee their full human rights and humanity.
As the audience implored, everyone of those treaties protects the rights of all peoples to culture, history, identity, language and education. In that one vote, the board violated the:
1948: UN Declaration of Human Rights
1948: American Declaration of the Rights of Man
1960: Convention against Discrimination in Education
1966 & 1976: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1969 American Convention on Human Rights (Organization of American States)
1989: The UN Convention on Rights of the Child
1990: The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
1994: The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
2007: UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Aside from state and federal lawsuits, etc, it can be expected that several cases will come before the UN/OAS, as early as this year. In fact, UN special rapporteurs have already issued a report in 2010 that found both Arizona's notorious racial profiling SB 1070 and the Anti-Ethnic Studies HB 2281 as most likely being in violation of a series (the above) of international human rights laws.
The elimination of the MAS-TUSD program came on the heels of a modern-day witch hunt and Inquisition, orchestrated initially by former Arizona schools' superintendent, Tom Horne, and his successor, John Huppenthal. Their actions go beyond urinating on this community.
What Horne's efforts have actually accomplished is the unleashing of unprecedented hate against Arizona's Mexican-Mexican American community, culminating with Governor Jan Brewer's signature of HB 2281. Shortly thereafter, Horne found MAS-TUSD out of compliance (incredible circular logic).
Before the law went into effect, Huppenthal, who campaigned to "stop La Raza," commissioned an independent study that actually praised MAS-TUSD and recommended its expansion. Despite this, Huppenthal ruled MAS-TUSD out of compliance. After TUSD waged a losing half-hearted appeal, Huppenthal again ruled TUSD out of compliance, resulting in the losing of $15 million. Fearing the loss of those millions, TUSD cave in.
Ironically, as noted by one of the youth organizers, the state succeeded by employing a tactic of war against the Mexican American community: economic sanctions ‘«Ű a tactic reserved for enemies of the state.
For peoples who have sacrificed their lives in every war this nation has waged, winning an inordinate amount of medals for bravery and courage, the death knell to the MAS program was worse than urinating on dead corpses. For a state and local [apartheid] school board to treat such a community with such contempt is below insulting.
It is instructive that a U.S. Marine official noted on CNN that "that the desecration of a body by U.S. troops could be considered a potential war crime."
But in Arizona, those that preach racial and cultural superiority, desecrating, demeaning and dehumanizing live human beings ‘«Ű an entire culture and people ‘«Ű is not a crime, but something perfectly permissible.
More irony. Both the state and TUSD actually believe that Mexican-Mexican American culture is perfectly fine, as long as it is kept and taught inside the home. And as they urinated on the supporters of the MAS program, they implored them to keep quiet and to remain civil. Supporters of MAS have indicated that MAS will not be remanded to the home; it will henceforth continue to be taught in public.
THE UN DEFINITION OF HUMAN RIGHTS:
"Human rights are inherent; we are simply born with them and they belong to each of us as a result of our common humanity. Human rights are not owned by select people or given as a gift. They are inalienable; individuals cannot give them up and they cannot be taken away -- even if governments do not recognize or protect them. They are universal; they are held by all people, everywhere ‘«Ű regardless of age, sex, race, religion, nationality, income level or any other status or condition in life. Human rights belong to each and every one of us equally."
Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez:
Rodriguez is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona
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