By Roberto Cintli Rodriguez
Among those who look on in horror at what is happening in Arizona, many are blinded to the fact that this has already occurred in every state of the union. Arizona was the last holdout. Thus, as people look on in horror, what they should be contemplating is not simply how to help save Arizona, but how to reverse the 500-year process of de-indigenization and dehumanization that continues unabated on this continent and in virtually every country in this hemisphere.
Asking what is at stake in Arizona is not only asking the wrong question, but it is asking it a few centuries too late. This, Horne understands. He refers to the process of eliminating Raza Studies as a civilizational war. And indeed, it is the very same one prosecuted by Bishop Diego de Landa in Mani, Yucatan, where he declared an auto-da-fé in 1562, setting in motion one of humanity’s greatest cultural tragedies: the destruction of Mayan books, known as amoxtlis. That three-day book burning is only one incident in a hundreds-of-years process that attempted to destroy the intellectual, mathematical, scientific, cultural and spiritual knowledge of this continent. (Fortunately, while thousands of Mayan, Nahua and Mixtec amoxtlis were destroyed, the knowledge itself was not; it was simply suppressed and survived via oral tradition).
In this civilizational war, one by one, peoples and communities--and their unique corpus of knowledge--are condemned as pagan, barbaric and demonic; a dehumanization that prepared the ground psychologically for the same peoples to be evangelized and colonized.
Below: "A young boy is searched by security guards at the entrance of the Tucson Unified District headquarters, ahead of a school board meeting on March 13, 2012." (Roberto Cintli Rodriguez)