Living

The Continued Insanity That Is Arizona

by

¡ASK A MEXICAN!

Gustavo Arellano

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 Arpairo, “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 ranging from Sandra Cisneros, Sherman Alexie and even Howard Zinn.

They’re banning American history in Tucson! In other news, Satan called: the

Prince of Darkness wants his disciples to join him back in Hell.

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 rate 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,” according to their

website. 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 once each

community is safely set with a collection that the Gestapo can’t access. People

who want to help—and chingón writers who want to donate a set of their

work—can learn more at librotraficante.com.

PREORDER TACO USA! The Mexican will donate muchos copies

of his two previous books to the Librotraficante’s efforts—how’s that for a

segue into my obligatory plug for the latest one? Gentle cabrones: My

much-promised Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, will finally

hit bookstores April 10, but that doesn’t mean you can’t already order it (yes,

grammar snobs: I just used a double-negative, but Mexican Spanish loves

double-negatives the way we do cute second cousins). Place your order with your

favorite local bookstore, your finer online retailers, your craftier piratas,

but place it: my libro editor has already promised to deport me from the

publishing industry if we don’t sell enough copies! And stay tuned for book

signing info!

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan

on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or ask him a video question

at youtube.com/askamexicano!

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