MAS isn’t dead.

It is alarming to me that machismo propaganda is informing a large majority of the Mexican American studies (MAS) community nationally and internationally. It is even more alarming to me that the focus of this propaganda is no longer the students, but the men in charge. It is becoming a cult-like obsession, a broken record.

“Fire Pedicone.


Grijalva is now the enemy.




What about mujeres? What about youth? What about us?

It wasn’t too long ago that this propaganda was somewhat beneficial to some. It articulated the teachers struggle. It documented the racism at Tucson Unified School District. The man behind the camera asked all the right questions. But now… now for some reason his ego has led him to assume he has the mind, the power, and the influence to call the political shots. Apparently our education has become so politicized we don’t talk about the very essence of what MAS is: education.

When and why did the community stop discussing having our own classrooms independent from TUSD and institutions? When did the community decide that MAS is dead and will not return until certain political moves are made? When did politics begin to matter more than the students, alumni, and teachers?

I want some answers!

The goal of MAS is to learn who you are, what you want to be, and how you’ve been shaped by the histories around you, histories of your own and histories of others. The goal of MAS was to create a broader space where students of any color could enjoy the contributions of oppressed communities without criticism, MAS has always been used to identify injustice, but never was a space to hate on the hater. MAS is about creating love, forgiveness, and a realm of acceptance.

The goal of MAS has been lost among the politics and the men who so profoundly believe that have the wisdom to guide its direction. It is obvious that the community “leaders” have lost control of what it has founded, and instead is being spoken for instead of reporting on. There is a blanketing tone that is used, as if all the opinions being shared are a representative of how the community feels.

I am part of the community and I don’t feel this way.

I am an alumnus of MAS. I am a student. I am a Xikana.

I want to stop talking about Pedicone and talk about historical mujeres who’ve contributed to a living MAS.

I want our humanity to matter more than politics.

Most of all, I want it to be heard around the world that MAS isn’t in a grave just because a few men aren’t in charge. Classrooms aren’t supposed to be a platform for power, and I am sure I am not the only one feeling like that’s what MAS has become.

What I want is no longer being documented.

“____ ____ needs to be reinstated.

TUSD is racist.

The new board members are puppets.

Deconcini Law Firm is controlling the district.

MAS is dead.”

These narratives are not humble. They are loud. They are inciting feelings of defeat. Most of all, they are attitudes being distorted as the truth. When national news media is looking at Tucson, I don’t want the country to think that the fight for educational equity has been lost in a power struggle because a blog got publicity going in the wrong direction. I want them to know that we have not given up hope. That the women are demanding their place in this movement be recognized. That the students are building for the next generations. That our struggle is a continuous battle. That political machines have not defeated us.

I am hurt by the position of one. I am angered that my voice is being lost.  I refuse to allow one person, one male, to talk for me. I can obviously talk for myself.

We will no longer stand in the margin of a margin.

3 thoughts on “MAS isn’t dead.

  1. I love the article and agree, but I hope that soon you choose to reveal who the authors of the blog posts are. A voice should come with an identity. That’s what this entire thing is about. Writing is risk.

  2. I have to admit – I, along with a few other people dropped back and way when the infighting became focused on who was gonna transport the tables and how come some people got better places to get signatures than others, during what was supposed to be a recall campaign. From there, the efforts and energies went toward internal pissing contests – and that’s where it is today.
    I agree with you 100%.
    And I humbly apologize for lacking the fortitude to have brought it back and keeping it on track.
    Thank you for your strength and balance.

  3. This post points out the obvious but I gotta say that I myself lost sight this and needed this post as a reminder. It’s so easy to get caught up in the political infighting and forget what MAS is all about.

    I remember when I first started getting more involved in 2012, I was interested and excited to learn all about En Lak Ech, and Panche Be etc. to learn about the history of my home here in Tlamanalco and gain a perspective that was never taught to me. Instead however I was mostly bombarded with anti TUSD slogans, with pointing fingers, and power plays over which subgroup would be most influential.

    A return to core principles and to a discussion about the values and beliefs we want to live by would be a welcomed change. Like this post mentions, I think we’ve lost sight that this is about learning, gaining knowledge, and growing, Not about stirring the pot of hate for personal attention, to foment angry protest, or to create divisions within the community.

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