Let’s get one thing out of the way: Mexican immigration is an oxymoron. Mexicans are indigenous. So, in a strange way, I’m pleased that the racist folks of Arizona have officially declared, in banning me alongside Urrea, Baca, and Castillo, that their anti-immigration laws are also anti-Indian. I’m also strangely pleased that the folks of Arizona have officially announced their fear of an educated underclass. You give those brown kids some books about brown folks and what happens? Those brown kids change the world. In the effort to vanish our books, Arizona has actually given them enormous power. Arizona has made our books sacred documents now.
Sherman Alexie is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and filmmaker. His book “The Lone Ranger and Tonto’s Fist Fight in Heaven,” was on the banned curriculum of the Mexican American Studies Program.
This ban of the Mexican American Studies program at Tucson high schools is terrible. It would be ridiculous, if it were funny. The list of banned books includes works by authors like Sherman Alexie, Junot Diaz, Leslie Silko – and Shakespeare. “Administrators told Mexican-American studies teachers to stay away from any class units where ‘race, ethnicity and oppression are central themes’" What’s left, then?
Besides this being incredibly racist, it also makes me sick every time a democracy bans books. (The only obvious exception might be Nazi-glorifying work.)