Book by Native American authors are among those banned by the Tucson Unified School District.

Update: Native American Authors Among Books Banned in Tucson


Authors who contributed to Rethinking Columbus weigh in on the recent banning of books by the Tucson Unified School District. Read yesterday's full story here.

The Tucson Unified School District has banned its Mexican American Studies program and a number of books including Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years, which includes pieces by various Native American authors including Suzan Shown HarjoBuffy Sainte-MarieJoseph BruchacLeslie Marmon Silko and Winona LaDuke, and two books by Native American author Sherman Alexie.

Bruchac is "astonished" by the banning of Rethinking Columbus. "Any book banning bothers me, but why they would choose that book in particular—an anthology that was carefully edited, that features the work of respected scholars and writers, and that has been used in schools for decades—was a real shock. I was honored to be part of it and still point to my being part of the book with pride." Bruchac also wondered if those who voted to ban Rethinking Columbus had ever actually read the book.

"The school board's action is a sign of incredible narrow-mindedness and the sort of racial and cultural prejudice that I thought was no longer an accepted part of public discourse in this nation," he said.

"I'm honored to be in the company of Buffy Sainte-Marie, Sherman Alexie and Lesie Marmon Silko, all nationally acclaimed artists in the banning of my writing," LaDuke said. "I'm just surprised at the work they banned, I've written much more critical essays and books."

"A school board and a community that cannot face sharing the truth of history with their children is one that is penalizing the very kids they may think they are protecting," Bruchac said. "Books such as Rethinking Columbus—a book which might have been seen as controversial five decades ago, but surely not now—are as necessary in a democracy as the ability to be able to hear more than one side of any debate or any issue. This kind of action is not just stepping on a slippery slope, it's going over the edge of a very steep cliff."

LaDuke had this to say about Arizona: "I heard someone say that if the states are the laboratory for democracy in the U.S., then Arizona is a meth lab, "I think they may be right."

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sierra's picture
Submitted by sierra on
Given the trend of the latest Arizona officials' views toward their fellow countrymen's immigration policy, they seem to have felt having an immigration policy which now allows more "others" in, that it apparently was not fair, and that they should be able to create their own bottleneck policies. But maybe this was set forth so as to justify the over 17,775 wounded or killed South Americans in the last ten years from trying to cross the border "illegally." NAFTA anyone? But an article from the AP relatively recently featured them nasty pests bothering the border guards and putting these armed border guards at personal safety risk while the article only relayed the few and isolated incidents within the last 2-4 years where these rock throwing professional pests were wounded or killed from a biased sample. It wasn't until the affected South Americans themselves compiled their own list & presented it somehow, someway where the real stats were revealed over the course of 10 years. Then AryanzoneA officials shut down a university indigenous student newspaper at one of their educational establishments, NAJA was wiped off the slate from Wikipedia among all the various subdivisions, and now this. So why are our highly esteemed academics and writers surprised? Don't they see how the general public is presented with only information that the established order wants them to see? Oh and, regarding the topic of immigration, gay rights, abortion and all that rhetoric - this is merely a ruse zoned in by America's candidates vying for a seat in the White House where they are merely corporation huggers and mouthpieces. Small wonder why the internet is going offline for a bit sometime. Time to lock and load. As for what Willy Shakingspear might say? Shylock.

peterhappe's picture
Submitted by peterhappe on
Nobody is flooding and forcibly “integrating” every black nations and ONLY black nations with non-blacks and calling native blacks evil racists for opposing their replacement. This is happening in white nations and ONLY in white nations. Its genocide.

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on
The society does not want the truth to be brought to the table about the Native American's History. I strongly believe that the educational system will continue to fight to keep the AI/AN history out of the history classes at the elementary and high school levels because they do not want to include in their curriculum, the AI/AN history must be taught at these levels so the young ones can learn about the AI/AN. Society must change their attitude about AI/AN, and cease telling lies to the students. Unfortunately, society is not ready to accept the truth.