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.
MAS is DEAD.
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.