January 19th, 2012
Thanks To Arizona For Making Latinos Invisible In History

Periodically there is a rattling of cages over failures to include a genuine representation of Latinos in U.S. history textbooks and classrooms. The Texas Board of Education has been consistently accused of trying to actively marginalize and erase Latinos in its history books. Of course, Arizona’s recent state-wide ethnic studies ban is also being called out.

Critics bemoan racist, xenophobic agendas as the ultimate source of the ban — but this is clearly nonsense. This issue has a big silver lining: turning Latinos into superheroes.

In 2010 many voiced their pleasure/displeasure/excitement/dismay over developments in the Illinois State General Assembly regarding bill SB1557 which amended the school code in Illinois effective January 1, 2010 and required:

every public elementary school and high school to include in its curriculum a unit of instruction studying the events related to the forceful removal and illegal deportation of almost 2,000,000 Mexican-American U.S. citizens during the Great Depression, beginning in 1929 and ending in the mid-1940’s.

Introduced by Illinois Senator William Delgado, the bill is a disastrous and short-sighted change from the status quo. So, to set things straight, El Guapo is jumping in his loyal lowrider, Rosinante, throwing on his swankiest hairnet, opening the top two buttons on his most elegant guayabera (that means business, my friend), nestling his best gold medallion comfortably into his copious chest hair, and heading down to Springfield to put an end to the madness.

“But, Guapo,” you say, “what problem could there possibly be with what is surely an attempt to address a significant missing chapter of the nation’s history? How could this be anything but positive, nay, necessary? If anything, it has been a long time coming.”

For the simple-minded it would appear this way. But, of course, you can count on El Guapo to shake up paradigms and poke topics from every conceivable perspective (and even some perspectives that are not conceivable). Let’s proceed. Dearest reader, let us explore some basic logic:

  • First, invisibility is a trait that is desirable. This is indisputable. Every human on the planet has at one point or another pondered the endless possibilities that come with being invisible. It is the stuff of comic book superheroes.
  • Second, Latinos have been blessed with being virtually invisible in many facets of society.

So, clearly, any sonso can see that U.S. Latinos are as a result, in many respects, superheroes. We should thank Arizona. But some would ruin this for the rest of us by wanting us scribbled into the margins of a history book. It’s like Superman voluntarily wearing a Kryptonite Speedo.

Your handsome and humble servant —

El Guapo

[Photo By Eric Fisher]

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