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,
Last week on The Huffington Post, Annette Fuentes, author of Lockdown High: When the Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse, weighed in on the recent case of a Santa Fe high school that has just introduced—to the surprise of both parents and several administrators alike—a controversial new drug testing program aimed not at teachers or staff, but at its students. The practice of random drug testing in schools is not only vehemently opposed by parents and civil liberties groups, but also, for example, by the American Academy of Pedicatrics whose extensive research on the issue clearly demonstrates the lack of evidence of any effective school-based drug testing. More alarming, perhaps, are the additional concerns that Fuentes's article draws attention to, which most notably address the new testing practices which proceed by sampling hair particles instead of through traditional urinalysis. Fuentes writes:
Paul Armentano of NORML, the marijuana law reform organization, told me the research indicates that hair testing for drugs may be more sensitive on the hair of people with darker pigmentation. "There have been allegations of an inherent bias in the test," he said.
In a recent op-ed piece for the New Left Project, Ross Perlin traced the recent rise and evolution of the now all-too-familiar figure of the precariously employed worker. Beginning with the transformations of labour in the West over the last fifteen years, he offers a clear-sighted look at the "coming undone" and, by now, virtual disappearance of the traditional entry-level office employee and his career trajectory. In its place, he notes, employers have come to increasingly substitute various and varying forms of temporary pseudo-employment, all of which have become normalized over the years and quietly accepted both by workers as the norm, and by many recent grads as what to expect upon entering the workplace.
The 9-to-5 caricature-commuting, punching a time card, occupying a cubicle, navigating the office hierarchy, playing out a whole career in a single line of work at one or just a few firms-has been coming undone for years. The Baby Boomers, our parents, could afford to revolt against work. Many of them reacted, rightly, against the deep undercurrents of racism, sexism, environmental destruction, and conformism they associated with "standard employment". They could turn on, tune in, and drop out with reasonable certainty that jobs and careers would still be waiting for them.
After the Occupy Wall Street "People's Library" was brutally dismantled by the police, Paolo Mossetti of Through Europe asked some of his favourite writers, activists, and academics to help him compile a list of books that would recreate, though only virtually, the library's shelves.
Here is the second part, with contributions from Simon Critchley, Stephen Duncombe, Alex Foti, Peter Hallward, John Hutnyk, Esther Leslie, Bertell Ollman, Matteo Pasquinelli, Aaron John Peters, Nina Power.
The third part of the reading list will be online next week.
After the Occupy Wall Street "People's Library" was brutally dismantled by the police, Paolo Mossetti of Through Europe asked some of his favourite writers, activists, and academics to help him compile a list of books that would recreate, though only virtually, the library's shelves. Here is the first part, with contributions from Gayatri C. Spivak, Franco 'Bifo' Berardi, Gustavo Esteva, Bill McKibben, Tadzio Muller, Clare Solomon and John Zerzan.
The second part of the reading list will be online next week.