Rage Against Arizona: AZ Bans Ethnic Studies Based On Rage Against the Machine and KRS-One Lyrics
By Tony Diaz
The Ghost of Christmas past must have visited outgoing Superintendent of Education for Arizona John Huppenthal and told him to be more multicultural. Unfortunately, to an Arizona Republican, being “more multicultural” means banning Mexican American Studies AND African American Studies.
Neighbors probably thought he was just celebrating New Year’s as he burned the midnight oil jamming to Rage Against the Machine and KRS-One. No, he was most likely writing the “love” letter he would send to the Tucson Unified School District, accusing them of violating the law he helped write and enforce that prohibits courses that “promote the overthrow of the government” and/or “promote Ethnic solidarity.”
So teachers’ use of Rage Against the Machine and KRS-One lyrics made the Tucson Ethnic Studies courses illegal. But of course, now, everyone is googling both. And the former AZ Chief of Education has given us the sound track for a revolution.
We Librotraficantes have been smuggling banned books in and out of Arizona since the prohibition of Mexican American Studies was first imposed in 2023. However, this week, as we descend on San Francisco for the court case challenging the law, we’ll be jamming to KRS-One as well as Rage Against the Machine in the court room.
And here’s some multicultural Karma for Arizona. RATM lyrics re-banned Mexican American Studies. And it just so happens that their frontman Zach de la Rocha is not just Chicano, but he’s Chicano pedigree. His father, Beto de la Rocha, was one of the first Chicano muralists to exhibit at the LA County Museum.
So by banning Mexican American Studies again, this AZ official is actually bringing back the story of Los 4, the group the elder De La Rocha was a member of.
And, now we’re gonna do what the “illegal” song says, We’re gonna “Take The Power Back” when the young Chicana suing AZ wins the case against that crazy law. #MayaVsAZ
We must be what Zach De la Rocha had in mind when he said, “we need a movement with quickness.” #NetNuetrality
The prof teaching the contraband prose told the Associated Press that he has no intentions on stopping teaching the course. On that note, for Mexican American Studies II, I recommend including “CIA” the dope collab featuring Zack De La Rocha, KRS One & Last Emperor.
And there’s “More Rage.” I’m the co-host for the radio show Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say on 90.1 FM KPFT in Houston, Texas. And in honor of the banning of the lyrics, we’re going to be playing Rage Against the Machine and KRS-One all.the.time.
It is mind-boggling that Huppenthal decided to go out in a blaze of pettiness.
Let this sink in. On his last day in office, this Arizona official sends a letter to a school district threatening to take away 10% of their funding because teachers used lyrics from awesome songs. And this is all done a week before a lawsuit goes to court to overturn him having the power to do any of this — which he does not — because he is no longer in office . . .
I can see why Huppenthal’s fellow Anglos voted against him in a Republican Primary. He gives white people a bad name.
by Guest Author