Thursday, October 20, 2011

Huppenthal: Where's Your Apology?

Posted By on Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 2:34 PM

TUSD Mexican-American studies supporters plan to be at the Loft tonight to greet Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal.

Huppenthal is in town for a screening of a documentary that, according to the supporters' Facebook event page, "exemplifies the curriculum at a school in Phoenix." Huppenthal will be on a panel, and there will be a TQ&A.

Be there at 5:30 p.m. The TQ&A starts at 7:30 p.m.

In a story published last night on AlterNet, Tucson son and writer Jeff Biggers wrote about the screening tonight, but he also asks where's the outrage—and where is that apology that Huppenthal still owes us for comparing Mexican American Studies to a Hitler military program:

How much farther do extremist Arizona politicians and their Tea Party supporters have to go in their witch hunt of the Ethnic Studies Program before someone will demand that the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice be summoned for an investigation?

Or at least hold Huppenthal accountable for his offensive remarks against Mexican Americans—which would never be tolerated for any other ethnic community in the state.

In an inexcusable affront to Mexican American veterans and their families at a Republican meeting last month, Huppenthal compared the Mexican American Studies program to paramilitary Hitler Jugend training, despite the fact his own commissioned audit of the acclaimed program conclusively determined that the Mexican American Program did not violate the state’s bizarre Ethnic Studies ban, and: “No observable evidence exists that instruction within Mexican American Studies Department promotes resentment toward a race or class of people. The auditors observed the opposite, as students are taught to be accepting of multiple ethnicities of people.”

“Huppenthal owes not only the Mexican American Studies (MAS) students, their parents, their teachers, and all of us who support MAS an apology for his abject “Hitler Youth” libel,” said long-time Tucson educator Salomon Baldenegro, Sr., “he needs to get himself a dictionary and go to the letter “H” and look up “hypocrite”; Huppenthal is in bed with state senate president Russell Pearce, and as is well known, there is video footage of Pearce embracing J.T. Ready, a known Neo-Nazi (who marches under the Nazi Swastika flag!) and white supremacists on the grounds of the State Capitol! If Huppenthal wants to go after REAL Nazi fellow travelers, why the hell is he not out campaigning to Recall Russell Pearce instead of libeling school kids?”

Huppenthal, in fact, joined a who’s-who’s lineup of Tea Party extremists and right-wing hardliners last weekend at a disastrous rally for Russell Pearce’s lagging recall effort, and praised the state senate president’s draconian cuts in education.

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