Straight from the "people still do this?" department, the Governing Board of the Tucson Unified School District responded to pressure from creepy Arizona Tea Party officials by dismantling the district's Mexican-American Studies program, and last week they announced they were preventing many of the books from being used in school curricula. Among the authors banned are Leslie Marmon Silko, Paolo Freire, Rodolfo Acuña and William Shakespeare. The state's war on ethnic studies speaks to a larger battle that seeks to silence the voices and histories of the large Chicano population in Arizona.
Ronald Reagan has nearly reached mythic status in this early part of the 21st century as something of a Republican's Republican. Every year in Congress, no matter which party controls the House, at least one representative introduces a bill to name something big after Reagan, or to build a monument, or make space on Mt. Rushmore, and so on. But looking at Reagan's domestic agenda reveals that his rhetoric was a lot closer to current Tea Party talking points than his actual politics. Reagan may have been the first President to cast doubt on the sanctity of "government," but are conservatives overstating the man? And when we look at the candidates in the running for the White House, do any of them meet the new standards of the extreme right wing?
On election day I was cheerily envisioning a future beyond hate and war with Robyn and Janelle Monae. Yesterday and today I woke up and the future looked impossibly angry and male and white, surging up from the past, all grudge-guns firing.
There's a brouhaha in northern Iowa, as people have begun decrying a new anti-Obama billboard bought and paid for by a local Tea Party organization. It depicts Adolf Hitler as a "Nationalist Socialist," Barack Obama as a "Democrat Socialist," and Lenin as a "Marxist Socialist." Nevermind that "socialist" means different things in the first and last contexts, and that the middle descriptor is totally made up and nonsense. The billboard unwittingly represents nearly the entire length of the political spectrum from communist to fascist, but it's presented like these folks would be beer buddies.