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The textbook in question featuring an Aztec dancer many of us have not seen in the Texas danza circles.

Mexican Americans from Texas are no strangers to white supremacy and cultural genocide.  We come from the state with the “special” Texas history books, the ones with the lies they pass off as truths to the millions of first nations children in Texas schools.  The same state with public schools named after slave owners, confederate soldiers, and corporate capitalists.

Two weeks ago the Texas State Board of Education tentatively approved a “Mexican American studies” text produced by a company owned by renown white supremacist, Cynthia Dunbar, who also happens to be a former member of this same board.

Reactions of shock and awe were rampant.  The Texas Observer headlined an article about this disaster in a piece entitled Proposed Mexican-American Studies Textbook: Chicanos Want to ‘Destroy This Society.’  It also made international news via TeleSur in a piece called Texas School Board Proposes Racist Mexican-American Textbook.

Interestingly, this non-factual or reality-based “textbook” is the first from Dunbar’s publishing house.  The book is entitled Mexican American Heritage and features an image of a random Mexica dancer on the cover.  The authors are wasichu, and are unknown in MAS or across the broader Mexican American community in Texas.

Cynthia Dunbar

In recent years MAS has had its share of the national/international spotlight thanks to the years-long battle with the wasichu in Arizona against Mexican American Studies. The battle for MAS in Texas quickly came together, but despite statewide mobilization the State Board of Education refused to incorporate a full MAS class for Texas public school students…although they (interestingly) agreed to regulate a statewide textbook, which Dunbar is trying to have approved.

As could be expected, there was a widespread reaction of disgust from the community as well as folks from across the nation (and abroad) after the Texas Observer piece was published.  Communities around the state began to mobilize to address this issue and will be discussing this issue (and the text itself) at an upcoming statewide summit in San Antonio.  This event will be hosted by the hosted by The National Association for Chicana & Chicano Studies (NACCS) Tejas Foco Committee.  (Link for more information:  http://bit.ly/1TtC5lE)

Community leaders, culture workers, and educators had plenty to say about this latest attack against our children:

Community interview 1: Rosa Tupina Yaotonalcuauhtli
Community interview 2: Oscar Gomez
Community interview 3: Gabriel Hugo Sanchez
Community interview 4: Monica Jean Alaniz-McGinnis, PhD
Community interview 5: Guadalupe Medina
Community interview 6: Anel I. Flores
Community interview 7: Maria

The book is set to be voted on and approved sometime around August.

The community will not sit idly by.  Xica Nation will continue to cover this special topic and update the community on upcoming actions and events.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Usage of the term “wasichu” is not a reference to skin color or “race.”  The word “wasi’chu is Lakota and translates into “takers of the fat.” That word also emphasizes the human path one should not walk in relation to the earth and all creation.  Click here for a more detailed explanation.