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REVENGE OF THE NERDS: Librotraficante Road Report #2

REVENGE OF THE NERDS: Librotraficante Road Report #2
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Photo by Liana Lopez

Picking up where I left off in my last post, still in San Antonio, the caravan heads to the Gallista Art Gallery, where we are served up a delicious vegetarian meal by two Caucasian Hari Krishna men–one of whom speaks with a European accent.  That’s right, we stop at a Chicano art gallery to eat Indian food served by Europeans: multicultural America at its best!

And here is a disclaimer: I will continue to refer to people’s race and ethnicity as I write on this topic because that’s what this is about–multiculturalism, which (to me) means honoring and celebrating our different histories and contributions to the culture of the United States and the world. This is probably a good place to post one of my first tweets from the caravan:

On the other side of this are the one-way assimilationists–opportunistic politicians like Arizona’s Russell Pearce, John Huppenthal, and Tom Horne–those who quote MLK and claim to be “colorblind” but whose real agenda is to use a fabricated, infantile version of history to beat the rest of us into submission, to give up our own rich heritage–not to mention what we know to be the truth–in favor of  their “superior,” bleached and sanitized United States of Everything is Hunky-Dory (and Always Has Been), Next!

Next stop after the Gallista Gallery is the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center where a standing-room-only crowd of 350+ greets the evening’s entertainment–more banned authors.  The ever-quotable Tony Diaz kicks things off by saying, “When Arizona tried to erase our history, we decided to make more, ” then reads this quote from banned book Message to Aztlan: The Selected Writings of Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzalez:

“If you would repeat some of the words of the Declaration [of Independence] to [the average American citizen who watches Archie Bunker, who is getting fat in front of the TV drinking Coors], they’ll think that it’s radical, they’ll say it’s communist, they’ll say it’s socialist, and they’ll say it’s un-American.”

Watch this video of Sandra Cisneros reading from her banned book, The House on Mango Street.  It’s a sweet little vignette about a group of little girls who go for a walk around the barrio in their mothers’ fancy shoes.  How frightening!

Next update–on to El Paso’s historical Chinatown for more sexy, “subversive” literature!  In the meantime, enjoy another one of my tweets:

Oh! And dig this–Revenge of the Nerds was filmed in Tucson!