“The exploitation of Tucson school kids continues. Now, it is a band of “authors” on a cross-country bus tour to protest the “banning” of books in Tucson Unified School District. In fact, TUSD libraries boast what may be the largest available collection anywhere of the “banned” texts. This on-going tour is hucksterism, using TUSD’s politicized notoriety to hawk the authors’ slow-selling titles. For shame,” – Doug MacEachern, columnist, Arizona Republic.
The book promotion tour, called Librotraficante arrived in Tucson yesterday after garnering as much publicity as they could at stops in Texas and New Mexico.
Of course everyone knows the books aren’t banned, but keeping the mythology of banned books alive is essential in the continuing effort to exploit children for the political benefit of adults.
Many in the media are happy to assist. The Arizona Daily Star reported that the book promotion tour created “networks of underground libraries featuring books that were removed from the now-defunct Mexican American Studies courses.” The Tucson Weekly offered the headline, The Wet books are coming! The Wet books are coming! by Mari Herreras. MAS obsessive Herreras writes, “If you still haven’t made plans for the weekend, perhaps celebrating Latino literature with Diaz and his Librotraficante All-Stars would be a good start. It’s no coincidence that Diaz picked Saturday night to end the caravan’s arrival: Rather than call it a St. Paddy’s Party, Diaz is reminding us of the very history the state wants taken out of our schools with the Santo Patricio Battalion Celebration: Ireland and Mexico.”
In his newsletter to constituents which is available to media interested in reporting facts, TUSD Governing Board president Dr. Mark Stegeman writes:
“Students need not use an underground library, however, because they can check out all seven titles (the ones which were removed from classrooms) from the library at Tucson High School.
According to information provided by staff, over 100 copies of those titles are currently in TUSD school libraries.
After satisfying the requests from school libraries, we still have copies of two titles in storage: Message to AZTLAN by R. Gonzales and Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement by A. Rosales.
These remain available if the libraries make additional requests.
Someone sent me a copy of an invitation to a fund-raising event tonight, to support Mexican-American Studies, which will be attended by the author of a “banned” book. As far as I know, however, TUSD has done nothing to remove or restrict access to any of this author’s books.”