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THE 12 DAZE OF X-MAS 2012
by David Morales
X-MAS 2012: The Death of MAS
There is a great amount of relief that occurs as a loved one who is dying ﬁnally dies. There is sadness, but also gratitude that the suffering now ends, especially when the loved one has a memory disease such as Alzheimer’s. What you struggle to keep alive is no longer what it was and it no longer recognizes the world. Historical trauma inﬂicts the memory, and without that memory all you stare into are the eyes of an abyss. There is no hope for the future as the past fades slowly into the sunset until the light ﬁnally goes out; the winds of change blowing out the ﬂickering candle as the smoke of what was disperses into the dark world. Life continues on, and once the death occurs, the focus on what remains, on the life all around us, can now be nurtured and the memory of humanity strengthened in the minds of the youth so that our stories may live unto tomorrow, continuing the chain of human existence in future of great challenges. The year of 2012 was a very historic and
3 symbolic one indeed, especially for those of us living in Tucson, in the “520” area code a decade of long-counts of 52-years after 1492; the beginning of a new chapter as one era came to an end and a new people arose, with all of humanity converging on the Americas and a new Raza being forged; La Raza Cosmica. The Human Race of the mestizos with mixed blood from all corners of the earth, now living in this sacred place that has many different names; The West to those from the East, El Norte for those from the South, Aztlan, Anahuac, Turtle Island, the Southwest. It is a land of migration going back thousands of years, from the original populating of the Americas from the continental funnel leading people from North to South America and back. A cycle of life, of trade, of history, language and stories. As cultural genocide began 520 years ago with Western Civilization being imposed upon those living here, traveling over on Three Ships across an oceanic divide, which would lead to over 90% of the American Indian population being wiped out by Guns, Germs and Steel, many times in the name of God. Temples and knowledge centers were burned and destroyed so that the new culture could replace it on the search for gold and riches which is all the Europeans really cared about as they crossed over to the other side of the world at a time when the Spanish Inquisition was just beginning.
4 Today in Tucson and Arizona the genocide continues, but in a much more clever way since the Holocaust of mid-20th century Germany left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth (except for people like Sheriff Arpaio). The ﬁrst step is to burn the books and to deny the history of the people to be accessed, while at the same time denying humanity to people in the name of “papers please” policies. Then a detention center needs to be set up so that nearly 12 million of those without papers can be placed in with great private proﬁt to be made, not just off of the room and board costs but off of the prison labor that these detained humans are now forced to do; their only crime being not having papers. Insensitivity has reached such a point that Arizona leaders such as Sheriff Arpaio can brag about Tent City being his own concentration camp, forcing the paperless to be exposed to the Arizona heat which can be as brutal as a Siberian winter. In the year 2012 the historical genocide came on the Three Boats named the Horne, Huppenthal, and Pedicone; three educational leaders that continue to destroy public education. There was once this living existence, a being known as MAS. In the largest school district in Tucson, TUSD, the Mexican American Studies program was successfully working to close the achievement gap for Latinos, having an over 90% graduation rate while nationwide the average is around 50%. MAS was born in Tucson, grew up in the
5 Tucson, and was laid to rest in Tucson. The Polish Jewish immigrant to Arizona, Tom Horne, would brag during elections about how important his Jewish ancestry was to his identity and why it makes him a good person and a candidate, just as Supreme Court Justice Alito would do with his own Italian ancestry during conﬁrmation hearings; and yet, when Latinos even dared to mention how their experience growing up as a Latina/o shaped their lives and beneﬁtted them, this was immediately called un-American, and was something that Latinas from Tucson to Justice Sotomayor have had to deal with as white men proclaim the superiority of their European heritage and denounce any other true histories and experiences out there. Tom Horne’s successor, John Huppenthal, would never spend one day in public schools nor as a teacher, and yet he would run for State Superintendent of Schools under the platform of “stopping La Raza” which was accepted by Arizona citizens even though a slogan of “stopping the Jews” or “stopping the Negros” would never be accepted… or maybe it would? This is Arizona after all, the state that has a history of racist governors from Brewer to just a few years ago with Evan Mecham banning the MLK holiday. In Tucson the white power establishment would bring in their own professional, the Vice-President of Tucson’s 1% club, SALC, who with the blessing of Democrats would stop at nothing less than the destruction of MAS and the community.
In honor of TUSD board member Mark Stegeman’s “epiphany” that MAS was a cult, according to his own testimony in state court, today we celebrate the 12 Daze of X-MAS, as in MAS in circle with a huge X through it. X-MAS 2012: The Death of MAS Twelfth day of X-MAS: 12 schools a’closing We have all heard the story of the frog that is placed into the hot water and immediately jumps out, but if you put it into cool water and gradually turn up the heat, even to boiling point, the frog will stay in the pot and slowly cook as it dies. In 2010, what Three Sonorans and others were warning about during the selection of the new superintendent was about the hot pot of boiling water we would all ﬁnd ourselves in if Pedicone was chosen. When there were 34 applicants we called out Pedicone as the winner, and then there was 4, and then 2, and then Pedicone won the seat. The odds were about 3% to just guess Pedicone would win, so how were we able to predict with certainty? To counteract the heavy criticism from the new media, Pedicone created a PR position costing about a hundred-thousand dollars and hired the beautiful blonde-haired woman whose job it would
7 be to tell the local TV news what to believe, such as telling them all there were no banned books even as Mark Stegeman proposed a resolution to unban the banned books that Cara Rene claimed don’t exist, thus making either Stegeman or Rene a liar. Simple logical contradictions such as this should be gobbled up by the local media but instead go ignored. More about banned books later… Would Pedicone have been appointed if we knew this is were he would lead TUSD? Not just closing down MAS, but 12 schools (11 schools will be closed, 1 turned into a charter school)! We do not even have to go back two years, but to this summer when Adelita Grijalva moved that Pedicone should have his contract extended and a raise given for leading TUSD on the right trajectory, which is what Pedicone ordered riot police today do to her 69-year old godmother, sending her on a trajectory right out of the board room for trying to read from MLK, whose holiday was just banned in this same state just a few years prior. Slowly the heat is turned up, from killing MAS, to closing down a dozen schools… and now this is where the fun begins with another “12.” The TUSD budget shortfall is $17 million and closing a dozen schools is supposed to save around $5 million. Now here comes the important question that local media hasn’t even dared ask or research yet. Think about how painful this ﬁrst $5 million was. But that’s not even a third of the budget
8 shortfall! The next $12 million are going to be even more painful since what is left to cut? Contracts and massive layoffs! And guess what, that means less teachers are employed, which means there’s less money to collect in taxes, which means TUSD is going to have less money next year, which means more school closures… lather, rinse, repeat.
Eleventh day of X-MAS - 11 brave teachers ﬁghting back! Once again in 2010, after being appointed, the community told John Pedicone to join the ﬁght against HB2281, the bill that would ban Ethnic Studies. Actually, HB2281 would not ban MAS as audits would conclude, including an independent audit commissioned by John Huppenthal himself which found NO VIOLATION of HB2281. It doesn’t matter since the law itself allowed the State Superintendent to be the judge, jury and executioner. Due process was dead, and soon MAS would be dead. Eleven MAS teachers would form a group known as Save Ethnic Studies and would ﬁle a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of HB2281. More on this later…
Tenth Day of X-MAS - 10 Ten Tenth St. The infamous “1010,” the nickname for the TUSD headquarters which is located at 1010 E. Tenth St. near Broadway and Park. 1010 is a name that can send shivers down your spine. Many people speak of entering that cursed vortex of evil and never being the same upon leaving. 1010 is a source of evil in Tucson; a dark star that also gets dark energy from the nearby 2525 just down the street on Broadway and Tucson from a building known as the Desegregation Taj Majal, the law ofﬁces of the Deconcini lawﬁrm which continue to work against the federal courts, against MAS, all the while taking desegregation monies meant for minorities that get funneled to one of the board members of CCA, the nation’s largest private prison corporation, which has Dennis Deconcini as a board member. The private-prison-pipeline is making people millions, and it is no mistake that the port of entry in Nogales and the federal courthouse in Tucson, the home of Operation Streamline, both are named Deconcini. Ask a random child in Tucson or anywhere else to take this pop quiz: Who are your school board members? Who is your superintendent?
10 Who is the state superintendent? Who was the one before him/her? What is the address of the school district headquarters? When are the school board meetings? How many have you been to? The answers you hear would vary from “huh, what, and zero” for the random student, but for students who went through the MAS program, all these answers are known and they have been to, and will continue to attend board meetings. This is the goal of school, and that is to get students politically active, to vote and what not. But when it’s a Latino that does so, the label becomes political activist and they are demonized. They are known as radicals for wanting to read books in schools while TEA Party members and Young Republicans are known as patriots for wanting guns in schools. 1010 is the address of the TUSD Tragedy, when Pedicone was able to bring over a hundred police ofﬁcers in riot gear with helmets and shields, a mobile command center, helicopters overhead and dogs snifﬁng, complete with snipers on the roof. As always, the only people injured were people hurt by the aggressive police force that was all dressed up and ready to go. 1010 is the address of the board meeting room that is so small that hundreds of people have had to stay outside, banned from public meetings, such as on the freezing cold night of January 10th, 2012 when the TUSD board would vote to kill MAS at
11 around 11pm in the night as hundreds froze outside. 1010 is the place where TUSD security do not allow children access to the restrooms, which is a violation of laws since TUSD must provide for this whenever a crowd is expected. If they can have barriers and cops, then should have portable restrooms available also if they will not be letting the public into a public meeting, but instead mothers have to watch as their kids pee on the street since there is nowhere else for children to access the restrooms even at a school building. 1010 is the place where countless dollars are spent on metal detectors and armed guards, and with a newly renovated front desk as you enter the lobby of 1010. Why would a desk need to be renovated? Because at the 45 degree angle it makes with both the board room and outside, the new desk is now bullet-proof and provides barracks for police to be able to shoot both into the board room and outside, because this is the danger Pedicone thinks Latinos pose to him for simply wanting a decent education and access to books that should not be banned. Deseg monies spent on more guns while books are banned. Ninth Day of X-MAS: 9 Months of waiting for Tashima! It was on the ﬁrst day of Spring 2012, three months after MAS had already been killed. It was the Vernal Equinox, a day of equality between
12 darkness and light with brighter days ahead. Federal Judge Tashima would be hearing the S ave E t h n i c S t u d i e s c a s e r e g a r d i n g t h e constitutionality of HB2281. The journey here was a long one. How crazy that one of the victims of the Tucson Tragedy was Federal Judge Roll who was assigned to this case. Now there was a vacancy on Arizona Federal Court located in the Deconcini building in Tucson. Ninth Circuit Judge Tashima would step in to take over the case. If anyone knew about Arizona and racism it was Tashima, who as a young Japanese-American was detained in Arizona’s concentration aka “internment” camps. He would later live in East LA. Judge Tashima came down to Tucson to determine standing in the Save Ethnic Studies case just three months earlier, one solar year before 13 B’aktun in December 21st, 2011. That was a quick hearing and the SES plaintiffs did have standing and could continue with the lawsuit. The March 2012 hearing was much longer and brought no less than the Attorney General of Arizona, Tom Horne himself, to argue the constitutionality of HB2281 in federal court. Except Tom Horne did nothing like that. All Horne did was bashed MAS… it was almost as if he was admitting that yes, HB2281 was written for the sole purpose of targeting MAS in TUSD and would have one and only one application ever. Well, 9 months later, we are still waiting for
13 Ninth Circuit Federal Judge Tashima to rule. MAS is already dead and will not be brought back, so it’s not like his ruling even matters anymore, except as yet another vindication that we were right all along, and perhaps to give hope to rebuild after all this destruction. Eighth Day of X-MAS - 8 Haters H8ting http://vimeo.com/22577469 The video above was made in 2011 and includes Russell Pearce, Tom Horne, John Huppenthal, Mark Stegeman, John Pedicone, Doug MacEachern, Jon Justice and Rich Kronberg as the top enemies of MAS. Now Russell Pearce is gone so he can be replaced with Michael Hicks who is an enemy but also not smart enough to be a threat except in being a follower, always having to read what others write for him and too afraid to speak for himself after going on the Daily Show, but always ﬁnding a comfort-zone on the Jon Justice show. KNaSTy’s Garrett Lewis has also joined on the H8ting lately, having members of the hate group TU4SD on regularly, which includes Rich Kronberg, who could be replaced with or combined with John Hunnicutt in an updated version. Strange how they are all white men…
Seventh Day of X-MAS: 7 banned books From the Tucson Weekly: On Thursday, Jan. 12, MAS teachers were sent a memo from the district saying that the following books, because they are speciﬁcally mentioned in the court order, are to be removed from the classroom and then boxed up and stored in the district's textbook depository: Critical Race Theory by Richard Delgado 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures edited by Elizabeth Martinez 3) Message to Aztlan by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales 4) Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement by Arturo Rosales 5) Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Friere 6) Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years edited by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson 7) Occupied America: A History of Chicanos by Rodolfo Acuña 1) 2) The 7 books above are banned, or banished but still effectively banned in TUSD. Pedicone’s PR person Cara Rene has had a hard time being consistent on this issue, proclaiming that no books are banned in TUSD… But then in July of 2012, Mark Stegeman puts forth a resolution to “unban” these… err… banned books. The resolution fails. Who does KGUN9 blame
15 in their headline? The Latino community! Keep in mind that there are no books that are banned according to local TV media, so what exactly is it that failed? How can it be Latino’s fault for banned books when there are no banned books? And if there are banned books, which there are, why was Stegeman not blamed for voting against his own unbanning resolution which thus left these 7 books banned? Banning books is so German 1930s, which you might learn about reading these banned books, or what you might learn in a banned history class in TUSD. One of the clear racist motives comes out in John Huppenthal’s idiotic statements regarding Pedagogy of the Oppressed. His main opposition to it is that in the reference section there is a reference to Karl Marx. Nevermind that most books dealing with history, education, or economics, such as the classes that Mark Stegeman teaches, might have a reference to Marx. But because of this he is AFRAID of the “Marxist” Paulo Friere or of posters of Che Guevara. Yet the mostly white students at University High school are allowed to read and have posters of Karl Marx himself, and there is also a Paulo Friere school in Tucson that continues as before, but maybe that’s okay since they are a charter school? The MAS teachers own personal library of books also had to be taken out of the classroom.
16 Now Tom Horne wants to arm principals and teachers with guns. How backwards is our society and how imminent is our collapse when we ban books from the classroom but bring in guns instead? The following month, in February 2012, John Pedicone was awarded the Ben’s Bells award which rose to popularity after the Tucson Tragedy of the previous year. The man that banned books and militarized TUSD is getting the equivalent of Tucson’s Nobel Peace Prize; but then again, Henry Kissinger won the Peace Prize also while devastating Cambodia. Ben’s Bells for Banning Books…
Sixth Day of X-MAS - 6 years of Horned attacks In the year 2006 there were some of the largest protests and marches that the nation has ever seen. These were in response to the anti-immigrant Sensenbrenner bill that passed that year. In Tucson there were walkouts and marches. Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta was invited to speak at Tucson High School. In the hour of her speech, in the many thousands of words spoken, one student told their mommy that Huerta said “Republicans hate Latinos” during her talk, which was in the context of the recently passed antiLatino legislation. That news made it to Bill O’Reilly and Fox
17 News, and the slumbering Tom Horne, who may or may not have been with his Latina mistress at the time but still need some Latinos to screw, made it his mission to stop MAS in TUSD. Nevermind that this was a high school forum, not an MAS forum, whatever, the Horned one needed Latinos to go after. There were three bills in total, including one that would have banned not just MEChA but ANY cultural student club including at the colleges. Finally with the departure of Janet Napolitano and the rise of Jan Brewer and Russell Pearce as Senate President, evil was unleashed upon the state of Arizona with the veto-power from the Governor gone, and ﬁnally in 2010 Arizona passed SB1070, which attacks the person, and HB2281, which attacks the minds of Latinos. One of Tom Horne’s last acts in ofﬁce, just two hours before becoming the Attorney General, was to ﬁnd TUSD in non-compliance of the new law which he wrote. Horne would show up in federal court to defend his law in 2012, and even as December 2012 comes to an end, Tom Horne is still ﬁling motions in federal court to stop any potential return of MAS. How ironic that Horne and Huppenthal are continuing to prove the veracity of Dolores Huerta’s statement with their actions? But MAS is already dead and it is not coming back, but even the thought of the impossible scares the Horned One.
Meanwhile Tom Horne faces possible impeachment in the next session for his own legal woes… Fifth Day of X-MAS - 5 Fumbling board members One of the most frustrating things in this MAS saga is that at the end of the day, it is Democrats that have the ﬁnal say as they are in charge of the TUSD board. Yet, they continue to enable racism and segregation with their votes while Democratic apologists continue to blame the state and Republicans. This would be ﬁne if there wasn’t a federal court order superseding state law that the local Dems could use to empower themselves as they defend Latino children instead of attacking them themselves. What is even worse is that the 5 board members have completely castrated themselves at the last regular board meeting when they actually voted to NOT object to the “Culturally Relevant Courses” in the new desegregation order with a majority of 3/5 votes. Finally the board was voting for justice… and despite this the Deconcini lawﬁrm overruled them, and once again, just as Grijalva has pretty much ignored the deseg order for her 10 years on the
19 board at 1010, she continued to ignore the majority vote of the board and play dumb to the lawyers which should have her back, but instead betrayed her. Fourth Day of X-MAS - 4 Desegregation Parties The 4 Desegregation Parties include the 3 Plaintiffs (the “good” people): The Fishers, the Mendozas, and the Department of Justice. The guilty defendant, TUSD, is the 4th Party and gets one of four votes in the creation of the new Desegregation plan known as the Unitary Status Plan. Why is the racist guilty party getting to set its own probation terms? Why is the guilty party the one that will be in charge of hiring the right people and enforcing the desegregation order that it has ignored for over three decades? Will anything change? It is TUSD that is ﬁghting the return of Culturally Relevant Courses, and they are the guilty defendant that has the racism problem… Where are the Fishers today? No one seems to know, but their power may have been taken over by people with no standing to continue with this case.
Third Day of X-MAS - 3 White men Jesus got his visit from the 3 Wise men, one of them bringing a gift of gold. The American Indians got a gift from Europeans on 3 boats in search of gold in the name of God. In Tucson we have three White Men who have been school superintendents that have done their part to kill MAS; former State Superintendent Tom Horne, current State Superintendent John Huppenthal, and current TUSD superintendent John Pedicone. Being anti-MAS and anti-Latino, promising to “stop La Raza” was political gold in 2010, the year each of these 3 men was appointed. On the TUSD dais you will continue to ﬁnd Three White Men that will ﬁght against Latinos while they have power. The TUSD superintendent gets to hire and ﬁre everyone that is supposed to help enact the desegregation provisions, but he is busy closing down schools in the barrio. What good is a return of MAS if there are no schools left to teach it in? Pedicone gets joined by TUSD board members Mark Stegeman and Michael Hicks. It may seem that this only provides for a 2/5 vote on the school board, but with the power of the Deconcini lawﬁrm, majority votes in TUSD no longer matter, and that is the danger that Adelita Grijalva unleashed by doing nothing… by not speaking
21 “truth to power” when it was her turn to do so. Second Day of X-MAS - 2 new board members So now we have two new board members, that when combined with the silent power of Grijalva, make up a majority of the new board. Nothing is really going to change. Perhaps the rate of destruction will slow down, which is progress to some, but the healing will not begin anytime soon. Consider one of the two new board members, who promised as a candidate certain things, and agreed that it should be the new board that should vote on school closures. Th e n , a f t e r b e i n g e l e c t e d a n d b e i n g indoctrinated by Pedicone, his mind has changed. The elected ofﬁcial is not who the candidate was. It is a quest for power for politicians while the community gets shafted. Let the old board be the bad cops, even though Grijalva is included in those school closure votes, and let the new board members be the good cops, coming in to “heal” after the destruction while being silent the whole time, just as Grijalva was when her majority vote was overruled. After all this destruction and pain just to save $5 million, how will the two new board members ﬁnd another $12 million to save? There will be no healing as more staff and teachers and programs are cut.
22 But as we saw in the previous (third) day, even with a majority of the vote, majority votes don’t count anymore. That is the danger that was unleashed at the December 2012 meeting. Even with a 3/5 vote, legal will still overrule. The Deconcini law ﬁrm makes way too much money with the Desegregation case. They must keep conﬂict alive so they can siphon away million of monies meant for minorities. In my humble opinion, there is only one way to tell if there will be hope with the new board; a litmus test of sorts. In the movie Inside Job we learned that even as the economy was failing, the main problem was that Obama kept the same people in charge and thus there was never any accountability for those that caused the crisis. We continue to pretend that it is those who are the fattest who should be in charge of solving poverty because they have the most food, which is exactly what we do with ﬁnancial crises. If the previous board was the Bush Administration, the new incoming “Obama” administration will bring no change if they keep the same racist in charge of enforcing a desegregation order. The ﬁrst step is to admit there is a problem, and John Pedicone declared to all the staff at the TCC just weeks after Ninth Circuit slapped the deseg order back on the district that there is no problem… that it is no one’s fault but a remnant of
23 the past, something that those people did that was inherited… no admission of a grave problem. So to have any hope of change and healing to begin in TUSD, my litmus test (which will be ignored but is still an accurate test of what lies ahead) includes getting rid of the following three: 1) Pedicone’s staff. Fire all the assistant superintendents and other Pedicone yes-men. 2) Fire the Deconcini law ﬁrm. Ironically the power of the Deconcini lawﬁrm is so powerful that the new board is powerless to do this, and thus I have no hope of any big changes coming. And third… First Day of X-MAS: A Pedicone atop TUSD Pedicone must go. There will be no healing that will take place if the abusive father is left in charge, with victims of his violence and racism forced to work with the perpetuator of that racism. For example, appointing Lupita Garcia, an ignorant person who believes racism no longer exists, to supervise MAS and pretend that move was not meant to kill MAS? Pedicone Please. The militarization of TUSD, with barricades and armed guards, metal detectors. Bullet-proof desks. Arrests of 7 women, and 7 banned books. His treatment of teachers from the MAS program to Math teachers such as Charles Collingwood, a
24 victim of the turnaround model which ﬁred everyone from Rincon and Palo Verde High Schools and wiped out all seniority. Now the closing of 12 schools and what’s next? Is this really the trajectory that Adelita Grijalva wants to continue on? If so, there will be no change, and deﬁnitely no return of MAS as the top weapon of MAS destruction is in charge. Instead of speaking “truth to power” the local Dems are kissing the ass of power by kissing the big-ass pinky ring of Pedicone, as if he was Don Juan Pedicone, mob king. Whacking community schools at the knees, destroying families with all the ﬁrings. To get straight to the point, there is no hope and there will be no MAS in any form as long as John Pedicone is in charge. But the new board must kiss the golden ring of Pedicone and Deconcini, and even after killing MAS Pedicone gets the support of the local white liberal community with a Ben’s Bells award after his most grotesque month of history/literature class and book banning? And that is how MAS was killed and why it will remain dead.
25 Just as the Electric Car once lived, it was also put to death for being too good, and now we have watered-down quasi-electric hybrids as if electric cars never existed, as if they are barely being discovered and invented for the ﬁrst time. It will take decades to recover, but 2013 will not be a year of salvation. If anything hopefully the beat-down will end, but we will still remain battered and bruised until there is real change from within Administration and Legal. The frustrating thing is that the new board can change it all, but won’t, because while they are the bosses, TUSD has a way of making them subservient so that they believe it is the tail that wags the dog. There is no justice as long as Pedicone is atop TUSD. There is no justice with the Deconcini lawﬁrm ﬁghting desegregation orders and MAS while making millions meant for minorities. And these are the 12 Daze of X-MAS, a story of the killing of the most successful educational program for Latinos in the nation, and how it will remain dead.
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