ASU professor Angeles Maldonado believes it is her job to create agents of change. Those change agents must first buy her husband’s book and then take action and resist.
Maldonado made news this week when the students in her Global Politics of Human Rights class decided to protest President Donald Trump. According to Maldonado, the news did not get the story right.
“I didn’t tell them to have a protest,” said Maldonado in telephone interview. “They had a choice to do a final exam or do a group project, but surprisingly instead of working in different groups they decided to come together as one group.”
Maldonado says that contrary to the “fake news” article in the Arizona Republic, which implied that the protest participation was the complete assignment, “each student had to also do a reflection paper and then a group paper.”
Maldonado says that her students made the choice after they had a good cry in class over Trump’s Executive Order on immigration.
The handful of students formed committees to plan and execute their protest including a research committee, and a public relations committee.
The foundation of Maldonado’s pedagogical approach is praxis. Critical theorists like Maldonado are, in general, adherents of Paulo Freire and accept his definition of praxis as outlined in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Freire, a socialist, essentially believed that the purpose of education was revolution.
Born in the small border town of Douglas, AZ, Ray Ybarra Maldonado is a Stanford educated attorney who took a two-year leave from his studies to directly intervene in the vigilante movement that was starting in Arizona. While working for the American Civil Liberties Union, Ybarra Maldonado was instrumental in starting a major civil rights lawsuit against one of the vigilantes and trained hundreds of volunteers and spent months following the Minutemen as they patrolled the U.S.-Mexico Border.
He co-wrote and co-produced the award winning documentary, Rights on the Line: Vigilantes at the Border and he has been quoted frequently in the national and international media on the topic of immigrants’ rights and the vigilantes.
Ybarra Maldonado has testified in front of local and state government entities and is work has been profiled in the Intelligence Report, Stanford Lawyer, and in a documentary that premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, entitled “Crossing Arizona.”
Ybarra Maldonado attended Cochise Community College in Douglas, AZ on a baseball scholarship and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a degree in Religious Studies. He previously volunteered at migrants centers in Agua Prieta, Sonora and Tapachula, Chiapas where he assisted with cleaning, preparing food, and conducting human rights discussions.
He lives with his wife and children, Ray Emerson and Stokely, in Phoenix, AZ. Prior to his marriage to his wife Dr. Angeles Maldonado he was “Ray Ybarra” and legally has changed his name to “Ray Ybarra Maldonado.” The family are avid fans of the Arizona State Sun Devils, Stanford Cardinal, and all things Arizona (minus the anti-immigrant politics).
In true Friere style, Maldonado says her students “are not empty vessels.” They come to her class, with “their own experiences and pain.” She said it is her job to provide them with a “safe space” to plan their resistance.
Despite the fact that she recognizes power structures, she seemed to fail to recognize the fact that she is teaching students to put into practice what they learn and as a result – did influence – if not implicitly demand that they protest or “resist.”
While Maldonado used Freire platitudes in the interview with the ADI, she is clearly not a committed socialist. She appears to embrace some aspects of capitalism and self-interest by hawking her husband’s books to her students.
According to the Global Politics of Human Rights class syllabus, required reading includes Born on the Border: Minutemen Vigilantes, Origins of Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Movement, and a Call for Increased Civil Disobedience, by Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado. Ybarra Maldonado is a Stanford educated attorney who specializes in criminal, immigration, and personal injury law. According to his law firm’s website: “Prior to his marriage to his wife Dr. Angeles Maldonado he was “Ray Ybarra” and legally has changed his name to “Ray Ybarra Maldonado.”
While it is not unusual for professors to make their students buy their books; it is unusual for them to have to buy their instructor’s spouse’s books. In better universities, selling your spouse’s book would be considered unethical, but perhaps since Professor Maldonado has not written any books she gets a pass.
The unimpressive academic received all of her degrees from ASU. Remarkably, but too predictably, her curriculum vitae shows only one article and two book reviews in any notable journals.
Quite the entrepreneur, Ybarra Maldonado’s book sells for $19.95 on Amazon. It is clear that her students have been picking up their copies. When you visit Ybarra Maldonado’s book page on Amazon, all of the other books assigned by his wife pop up:
Maldonado does have a book in progress. According to her curriculum vitae, her book is tentatively titled: “Transformative & Imaginary Spaces: Borderlands, Research, and the Stories We Tell.” She will surely have a captive market when it is finally on sale on Amazon.
Rep. Bob Thorpe has been approached by students on Arizona’s campuses, who have felt pressured to support liberal causes. Although he has heard disturbing stories from students, he has kept his sense of humor. When Thorpe heard about the Ybarra Maldonado family business, he joked, “I wonder if Ybarra Maldonado accepts Apple Pay when selling his books to his wife’s students as required reading? Perhaps the key to reducing student debt is for the Legislature to erect barriers in order to stop professors from personally enriching themselves on the backs of their students. Education must enable students to reason on their own, instead of subjecting them to liberal ideological indoctrination.”
|The public relations committee succeeded in getting coverage of the very small protest|