Noam Chomsky: Banning of Mexican American Studies Is an “International Disgrace”
While in Tucson to give a lecture at the University of Arizona, Professor Noam Chomsky addressed TUSD’s banning of Mexican American Studies (MAS) and its reading list.
“When you start banning books of Chicano history … Rethinking Columbus, the classics and so on, it’s an international disgrace,” said Chomsky, one of the world’s leading intellectuals. “That’s reminiscent, I’m afraid, of Nazi Germany.”
Mr. Chomsky notes that a lot of the recent hostility toward the Mexican community is a calculated response to the millions of campesinos displaced by NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, who were forced to seek opportunities in the United States.
“There used to be a pretty open border … it was militarized, strikingly, in 1994,” said Chomsky, referring to the year NAFTA was enacted.
Much of the issue behind the banning of MAS is about literally trying to re-write this history.
“…in the case of Arizona and banning of Mexican Studies programs, it’s particularly ironic because this is Mexico,” commented Chomsky.
But, ultimately, it’s about us. Do we accept the outlawing of our history and culture or do we, as MAS students have been doing, fight back?
The students and teachers of MAS have made this choice clear. Fighting back is the only option.