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The Knotted Line

Evan Bissell, Author

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2010-11: On Repeat

2010-11: States pass 164 laws (including HB 56 in Alabama and Arizona's SB 1070, which is currently blocked by a federal injunction) that increase criminalization, police surveillance, and deportation of "suspected" undocumented immigrants. Many of these laws are supported by the prison industry.

Tuscon Unified School Board later (2012) votes to ban the Mexican American Studies program in a district that is a majority Latino (primarily Mexican American).  The move comes after Arizona passes HB 2281 which bars any teaching that advocates “the overthrow” of the United States government, encourages “ethnic solidarity” or “promote resentment” toward any other ethnic group.

Actions for Self-Determination:
  • 1940: The Vichy Regime in France passes the Statute on Jews, which reclassifies Jewish people as non-French and noncitizens. A substantial portion of the French Resistance is made up of Jewish people and, among other things, aids Jewish people escaping France to Spain.
  • 1994: Moderate Hutus hide and protect Tutsis during the Rwandan Genocide.
  • 2010-11: Massive creative demonstrations, boycotts by musicians and artists and athletes of Arizona lead to a federal injunction blocking the most aggressive aspects of anti-immigrant SB 1070 and the rescinding of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s contract to enforce immigration policy.
  • 2012: Beginning in Phoenix, Arizona, traveling through key southern states and ending in North Carolina at the Democratic National Convention, the Undocubus Tour, made up of undocumented people and allies, raises awareness, combats stigma and supports a national mobilization for and of undocumented people in the U.S.
Discussion Questions:
  • Why is there so much fear of undocumented immigrants? Consider within the context of this article.
  • How can an alliance be built between undocumented immigrants and poor citizens (particularly white citizens)?
  • Different areas of this country have been a majority people of color (parts of the South, the Southwest, California) at different points in history. How does the stoking of racial fear and racism support a hierarchical society that concentrates wealth. How does it create a more violent society?
Additional Resources:
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Discussion of "2010-11: On Repeat"

AZ forced Tucson to drop the Mexican American studies program

I think it's misleading to say that in 2012 "Tucson" "votes" to ban the Mexican American studies program. AZ Superintendent of Schools and now Attorney General Tom Horne prosecuted the Tucson school district for offering the program, and threatened to cut off all state funds. In response, the school district (not the people of Tucson) were forced to drop the program in order to maintain state funding. But the onus is on Tom Horne and the AZ legislature, not "Tucson," which has demonstrated overwhelming local support for the program.

Posted on 29 August 2012, 8:33 pm by Ivan Boothe  |  Permalink


Thanks for the feedback and clarification.  Appreciate you taking the time to clarify the way power was working in that situation. 

Posted on 29 August 2012, 8:33 pm by Evan Bissell  |  Permalink

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