Amid the Tucson Unified School District's recent attempts to remove Mexican American Studies and works by Latino American authors from its schools' curricula, Wordstrike has been providing invaluable coverage and ongoing commentary by several activists, journalists and community members for its "Saving Ethnic Studies" series. In a recent installment, scholar and activist Rodolfo F. Acuña offers readers a reflection on the longstanding and deep-seated disavowals of America's Latino heritage by American culture at large. Touching on both its larger manifestations—especially within the broader context of public education—as well as his own personal experiences, he poignantly recounts the various forms of resistance he has battled throughout his life. In particular, he mentions the difficulties he had to overcome as a graduate student and faculty member in the face of what he terms the "benign neglect" of others, and the palpable feeling of invisibility that worked to marginalize Latino Americans in general.
As he writes,
Over the last week, CNN, Salon, Wordstrike and various other media outlets have been providing ongoing coverage of the Tucson Unified School District board's recent decision to shut down Mexican American Studies in its public schools. The governing board, which voted in a 4-1 decision to indefinitely suspend the programs, made their decision on the basis of the unbelievable recent state ruling that Mexican American Studies "promote resentment towards a race or class of people" and in the face of the threatened loss of $15 million in state funding.