Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Letters needed on Chicano/Mexican American History

Mañana is now !
We need your letters insisting on the expansion of Mexican American history.  The closing date is May 1, 2015.  Mañana is now.
We have a unique opportunity to change the history books in California  K-12 to include Chicano/Mexican American history- but we must act now. This is the time to get that letter written and e mailed  asking that Mexican American history be included in the re write of the History/Social Science Framework for California Schools.
Mexican American/ Chicano history is currently substantially absent from public school textbooks and curriculum in California- and it has been since 1986.  See the prior post below.  A guide to writing such a letter is here. https://sites.google.com/site/democracyandeducationorg/Home/latino-students-and-civic-engagement/project-plan---mexican-american-history.

The following letter from historian Dr. Lorena Marquez details some of the important Chicano history that is not covered in the framework and not covered in California history textbooks.

To the History/Social Science Framework Committee
Dear History Social Science Framework Committee,

I strongly urge you to revise the current draft of the History/Social Science Framework to include a more adequate recording of the history of California and the nation by including the significant contributions of ethnic Mexicans. Exclusion and omission of this history is a great disservice to the generations of Chicanas/os who have worked tirelessly to build this country. Latinos comprise nearly 39% of the state population and now constitute over 52% of the students in our schools. By hearing their histories in the larger rubric of United States history, they will feel validated, but most importantly, they will be empowered to make positive change in their communities.
 I recommend extension of the description of the Chicano movement to more adequately address this issue.  Recommended additions: Line 1959.  Page 348.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Working together to change the history books

 Scholars, teachers, allies, activists have joined  in our campaign to improve the history textbooks in California by including the histories of  Mexican American/ Chicano people.  More than 52% of California students are descendants of Latino and Mexican people. Why can't they be found in the textbooks.
You are invited to participate. We need each of  you and your friends to write a letter.  Here is a guide. Here is how to write a letter and to send it. https://sites.google.com/site/democracyandeducationorg/Home/latino-students-and-civic-engagement/project-plan---mexican-american-history

This Spring we have a unique opportunity to change the history books in California  K-12 to include Chicano/Mexican American history- but we must act before May 1. This is the time to get that letter written and e mailed  asking that Mexican American history be included in the re write of the History/Social Science Framework for California Schools.
Mexican American/ Chicano history is currently substantially absent from public school textbooks and curriculum in California- and it has been since 1986.  Latino student political non participation and alienation from school is significantly caused by Latino absence from the K-12 textbooks and curriculum.
Now is a good time to get this done (a guide to writing such a letter is here )
This effort  is not the same as the AB 101 campaign for Ethnic Studies where many have signed an on line petition.
Our  project  to change the  History Framework is described here. 

Tell the committee;  I strongly urge you to revise the current draft of the History Framework to include a more adequate recording of the history of California and the nation by including the significant contributions of Mexicans and Mexican Americans to this history.  You really  don’t have an accurate history without extending more information on this topic.  Latinos comprise nearly 39% of the state population, and descendants of Mexican Americans and Latinos now constitute over 52% of the students in the k-12 schools.

I have read the draft framework  and I propose the following additions:

On  page 351, Line 2014, amend this to include additional material on the 1960’s,
such as,

Sample letters are below.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Forum : Working Class Under Siege

Working Class Under Siege:
Organized labor and students fight for a brighter future.
Forum:  April 16, 2015.   3 PM.
Speakers, video, dialogue.  Join us.
Fabrizio Sasso; Executive Director of Sacramento Central Labor Council.
Kevin Wehr, President, California Faculty Association. ( Mass incarceration )Paul Burke, Sociology DSA, Ian Lee DSA, the Fight for $15, Citizens to Trade Campaign TPP,  Zobeida Menez, Victoria Ordorica Yanez, SQE, Andee Suderland. DSA Student Debt Campaign
Leisa Falkner DSA- exploitation of adjunct faculty.
 3 PM. Hinde Auditorium, CSU –Sacramento

Thursday, April 09, 2015

American Exceptionalism v Teaching History of Minorities

Ed. Below, the writer makes a good argument about history.  This is the background from which readers should insist that California revise its history texts to include Mexican American history.  See the prior post on how to support this effort. http://antiracismdsa.blogspot.com/2015/03/scholars-teachers-activists-join-in-our.html

by Jimmy Franco

American Exceptionalism Versus a True History of Minorities

The 2016 presidential election is now approaching and many candidates on the political right which include most Republicans are increasingly being asked a key question by nationalistic supporters that supposedly determines whether they are true Americans and patriots. That question is whether they believe in the doctrine of “American exceptionalism” and if they answer in the affirmative, which most do, then they have passed the test that allows them to enter the make-believe world of US historical romanticism and amnesia. The promoters of this metaphysical doctrine of American exceptionalism tend to be ultra-nationalists amd neoconservatives. They are adherents of a narrow method of
Manifest Destiny and empire building were supposedly guided by divine providence.
Manifest Destiny and empire building were supposedly guided by divine providence.
historical selectivity and strongly believe that the US has a very special and superior place in world history when compared to the supposed lesser achievements of other countries and peoples. To add weight to this ideological position god is often injected as an ally into this mystical American doctrine and exceptional force. An example of this national chauvinist belief is the opening paragraph of the 2012 Republican platform which described the US as having “a unique place and role in human history”. This could be dismissed as simply being a harmless and romanticized perception of the world, yet, this type of narrow ideological thinking is being disseminated within our society and when carried out in practice it negatively affects the way people think and behave. Such an ideological view and practice is often used in many of our current political discussions that pertain to racial, educational and economic inequality in addition to the US role of being the world’s policeman. Also, this subjective and mythical viewpoint promotes the undemocratic concept of a superior American People and distorts US History and our country’s past by either sugar-coating or denying certain aspects of it. Many negative historical events have left a deep historical imprint upon out present society and cannot be conveniently ignored nor covered over. This one-sided and nationalistic view of US History and our present society can be characterized by an old proverb which states that to make reality fit their narrow beliefs some people will ” cut the foot to fit the shoe”. 

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Sacramento Candidate Eric Guerra - Worked His Way Up !

Endorsed by Progressive Alliance, Calif. Nurses, Los Rios Federation of Teachers. 

Election.  April 7, 2015. 

Marcos Breton. Sacramento Bee
Sitting in a Sacramento diner on Friday morning while preparing to go door to door in his campaign to win a City Council seat, Eric Guerra shook his head while considering his life of achievement over poverty.
“Sometimes even I can’t believe that I am here,” said Guerra, 36, a policy analyst at the state Capitol who is running to fill the Tahoe Park/Elmhurst/College Greens council seat recently vacated by Kevin McCarty. Absentee ballots go out March 9, and election day is April 7.
One of the most interesting candidates to seek political office in the state capital in some time, Guerra has gone from farmworker kid, to college student living out of his car, to student body president at Sacramento State, to an advanced degree, a sought-after job, a home, family and a community where he is a budding leader.
“From where I was to middle class in less than a generation, “ Guerra said. “Where else can you do that?”
Guerra could become the first Latino elected to the Sacramento City Council in nearly 20 years, but that designation sells him short.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Failed Drug War in Mexico and the U.S.

Can You Say "Blowback" in Spanish? 

Portside Date: 
March 30, 2015
Rebecca Gordon
They behead people by the hundreds. They heap headless, handless bodies along roadsides as warnings to those who would resist their power. They have penetrated the local, state, and national governments and control entire sections of the country. They provide employment and services to an impoverished public, which distrusts their actual government with its bitter record of corruption, repression, and torture. They seduce young people from several countries, including the United States, into their murderous activities.
Is this a description of the heinous practices of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria? It could be, but as a matter of fact it’s not. These particular thugs exist a lot closer to home. They are part of the multi-billion-dollar industry known as the drug cartels of Mexico. Like the Islamic State, the cartels' power has increased as the result of disastrous policies born in the U.S.A.
There are other parallels between IS and groups like Mexico's Zetas and its Sinaloa cartel. Just as the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya fertilized the field for IS, another U.S. war, the so-called War on Drugs, opened new horizons for the drug cartels. Just as Washington has worked hand-in-hand with and also behind the backs of corrupt rulers in Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, so it has done with the Mexican government. Both kinds of war have resulted in blowback -- violent consequences felt in our own cities, whether at the finish line of the Boston Marathon or in communities of color across the country.
In Mexico, the U.S. military is directly involved in the War on Drugs. In this country, that "war" has provided the pretext for the militarization of local police forces and increased routine surveillance of ordinary people going about their ordinary lives.
And just as both the national security state and the right wing have used the specter of IS to create an atmosphere of panic and hysteria in this country, so both have used the drug cartels' grotesque theater of violence to justify their demonization of immigrants from Latin America and the massive militarization of America’s borderlands.
The War in Mexico
If there was an official beginning to Mexico's war on drugs, it would have to be considered the election of Felipe Calderón as the country’s president in 2006. The candidate of the right-wing Partido Acción Nacional, the National Action Party (PAN), Calderón was only the second Mexican president in 70 years who did not come from the Partido Revolucionario Institucional, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). His predecessor, Vicente Fox, had been the first.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Vote Eric Guerra on April 7

Eric has the endorsement of Los Rios College Federation of Teachers, the California Nurses Association, the Sacramento Progressive Alliance, and more. 
One of My Priorities for District 6 -- Safe Streets, Safe Neighborhoods
Fight to ensure all District 6 neighborhoods receive their fair share of public safety funding.
Ensure that Measure U funds are spent wisely to increase and strengthen our police force and fire department.
Reinstate community policing like the POPS Program.
Work with neighborhood associations to strengthen and grow community visibility and our neighborhood watch programs.
For those who live in City Council District 6.
On this Cesar Chavez Day I would like to thank the Sacramento State College Assistance Migrant Program that helped me transition from farmworker to the middle class. 
From the Sacramento Bee editorial supporting Guerra:
Guerra, 36, has an impressive résumé, too. He has served as a California State University trustee, and on the Sacramento County Planning Commission for five years, the last two as chairman. He was a fellow in the office of then-state Sen. Gil Cedillo of Los Angeles, and is a policy analyst for Assemblyman David Chiu of San Francisco, a part-time job that Guerra says gives him the flexibility to be a councilman.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Why Mexican Farmworkers Are On Strike

Sonali Kolhatkar

March 26, 2015    Truthdig

As many as 50,000 mostly indigenous workers have stopped harvesting produce for more than a week in protest of labor law violations. What they want is for their basic needs to be met, such as obtaining health care, getting overtime pay and vacation days, and being paid wages higher than the dismal $8 a day that most of them earn.

A farmworker holds his knife before beginning work near Holtville, Calif., earlier this year. The Mexican strike is big news among farmworker communities in the U.S. with ties to Mexico., AP / Gregory Bull,

The green Driscoll’s label on the organic berries that I buy each week are a comforting symbol of a family-owned company that got its start in California. Sometimes the berries are marked “Product of USA,” but more often than not, they are labeled as originating in Mexico. That is because Reiter Affiliated Cos., which sells berries through its affiliate BerryMex under the Driscoll’s label, grows much of its produce in Mexico. On its website Reiter claims to be “the largest fresh, multi-berry producer in the world and the leading supplier of fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries in all of North America.” Now, the farmworkers picking many of those berries are on strike, demanding a change to the brutally impoverished conditions under which they live.