Dolores Huerta: There's More to The Story Than Republican Mythology

Back in November of last year we did an interview with Gabriel Buelna on his documentary Outlawing Shakespeare, about the fight to save and destroy Tucson Unified School District's Mexican-American studies program.

In the documentary, Buelna interviews many of the local MAS players, as well as some of the other guys up in Maricopa County, like state Attorney General Tom Horne. And he also included activist Dolores Huerta, who is credited by Horne and the other asshats for starting the whole mess just by uttering the phrase, "Republicans hate Latinos."

In our story "Ethnic Studies Myths: It's time to separate fact from fiction regarding TUSD's Mexican-American Studies classes," (Nov, 17, 2011), we mentioned that Huerta's comments were mostly truth and not fiction even though she wasn't thinking about what the crazy crap state lawmakers were doing back then:

Myth No. 1: Republicans love Mexicans.

Around the time when Huerta spoke at Tucson High, a series of bills was being passed by Arizona's Republican-majority Legislature—including earlier versions of SB 1070, border-security bills, a bill requiring employers to use a work-eligibility-verification system, and bills to deny in-state tuition and financial aid to noncitizen students. Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed most of the bills.

There were also four state ballot proposals that targeted immigrants, including an English-only law, which voters passed. Nationally, a controversial federal immigration-reform proposal led to a series of immigration-related protests across the country, including in Tucson.

Huerta's statement was part of an appeal to students, as she was asking them to look at the legislation and challenging them to start a campaign to address why "Republicans hate Latinos."

This led to the aforementioned speech by Dugan, and the walkout by students, which infuriated Horne. In an open letter in 2007, he wrote that TUSD's program should be terminated. Next, in 2008, he worked with lawmakers on SB 1108, the first anti-ethnic-studies bill. He tried again in 2009 with SB 1069, but both bills failed to become law.

But then Barack Obama was elected president, and Napolitano went with him to Washington, D.C., to head up the Department of Homeland Security. Jan Brewer, Arizona's Republican secretary of state, became governor, and with a Republican majority in the Legislature passing SB 1070 and HB 2281, she signed them into law in 2010.

Truth: When it comes to most Arizona Republicans, Huerta has a gift for stating the obvious.

Buelna recently expanded his original interview with Huerta in a documentary called Outlawing Dolores Huerta: The Tucson Diaries, and it's now available to view on YouTube. The point, he said, is to document exactly what was said during her 2006 Tucson High School visit, and how the asshats used that to justify the passage of HB 2281 — the anti-Mexican-American studies law.

Buelna told the Range recently that while the failed lawsuit filed by educators and students three years ago in an effort to get the law deemed unconstitutional is in the appeal stages getting ready to head to the Ninth District Court this spring, the timing is right to remind Tucson and others interested in ethnic studies issues that what took place "is still going to be important part of history ... and to get (Huerta) on the record."

"You have a Latina very well-known and very popular, and a lot of politicians who want to destroy her," Buelna said. "We wanted to let her speak and let people in Tucson view what she had to say."

Just another example of how Huerta's been used by the right is a Rush Limbaugh using President Obama's awarding Huerta the Presidential Medal of Freedom as another reason to do what they do best — remind us why Latinos hate Republicans. Enjoy: