MAS Confusion

To the Editor,

Tom Danehy's "Ornery Orientation" (August 31) is not only thoughtless, but Danehy's argument that students should avoid Mexican American Studies (one of five majors noted) promotes ignorance because it is not grounded in logic and fact.

Danehy's main contention is that the program is useless to students because they will not get jobs after graduating, and may actually drop out of college if they major in Mexican American Studies.

We wonder if he would be so dismissive of issues such as undocumented immigration, Gov. Hull's proposed guest worker program, the militarization of the border, poverty, bilingual education, environmental justice, globalization, affirmative action, and health and welfare, to name just a few of the topics we investigate as scholars and students of Mexican American and comparative ethnic studies.

The courses in the Mexican American Studies, or MAS, curriculum address social problems affecting all citizens of the United States. It is not just "learning more about one's heritage," but an offering of cutting-edge perspectives on critical issues that transcend ethnic group boundaries. The MAS major allows students to focus either on public policy, public health, business, or cultural history. MAS graduates (majors and minors) have gone on to important professional positions in many fields. In fact, we do not have to "sucker" our students into taking our classes (as Danehy suggests), because they are clear-headed about their choice of courses and career goals.

This article is harmful to readers in that it misinforms them about the nature, purpose and benefits not only of Mexican American Studies, but of several other majors as well. It is harmful to students of the university because they may truly avoid these classes and majors, which may mean that they will have a less fulfilling college experience.

As Danehy does not have an understanding of Mexican American Studies, we welcome him to enroll in one of our courses. See you next semester, Tom!

--Scott C. Carvajal

and 11 others affiliated with MAS

Clearing the Record

To the Editor,

"Sneak Eaters" (September 14) has created some confusion. Although the article clearly states that it refers to Martha Guerrero's snack shop on Redington Road, reference in the same article to the Cascabel area has led some of your readers to fear that the activities, regarding the harboring of illegal immigrants, are taking place at the Sun Station store in the Cascabel area of the same road.

Sun Station is a full-fledged country market with a reputable restaurant that draws visitors from many parts of three counties. We are concerned that this confusion will discourage some of our established customers from revisiting Cascabel.

--Linda D. Smith and Jeffrey Dean

Inhumane Society

To the Editor,

While I commend Tim Schaefer on his excoriation of Tom Danehy for some of that writer's work (Mailbag, September 14), I have to wonder why anyone in their right mind could find a reason to praise People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). I mean, it's a lovely name and all, full of the kind of words that make you want to love them on the basis of name alone ... obviously the antithesis of Nixon's re-election organization, the Committee to Re-Elect the President, which acronymed out (pardon the verbal invention) to CREEP, who anyone in their right mind would hate.

Nonetheless, PETA is hardly a sterling voice in the animal-rights community. PETA's recent series of billboard fiascoes and their insistence, stated by PETA president Ingrid Newkirk, that they will continue with some of the most personally injurious advertising that has ever showed up in this country (barely beaten out for worst by some of Rush Limbaugh's publicity), suggests that sanity is not a requirement for membership in the organization.

Some examples: the "Got Beer?" campaign, pulled after Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) delivered stinging rebukes to PETA; their plans for a "Got Breast Cancer?" campaign (particularly painful to those, like my fiancée, who recently lost a beloved friend to the disease); and the recent "Got Prostate Cancer?" campaign utilizing a milk-moustached Rudolph Guliani.

There is nothing in the First Amendment that suggests that PETA is free to hurt another species, the one that too often forgets that it, too, is an animal: us.

One last thing: If PETA's "Gill the Fish" is in front of Sam Hughes Elementary one of these days, covered in fake blood and insisting that "fishing shouldn't hurt" to my fiancée's 8-year-old child, I will be on my cell phone to the Tucson Police Department to report this lurid spectacle as child abuse.

--Mike Two Horses

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