THE BLOG
01/29/2014 01:32 pm ET Updated Mar 31, 2014

Ted Cruz Shut Down the Government, But We Won't Let the Tea Party Shut Down Mexican American Studies

2014-01-28-JustinCommSrvc.jpg Photo Credit: Sandra Silva

Texas has become the center of the universe.

I must admit we have some characters here.

From Ted Cruz, a Canadian Cuban-American who shut down the government, to the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) who you never hear from until they are about to redefine education for the entire nation because of the textbook market they influence; to the Librotraficante movement -- smuggling books across the nation to defend freedom of speech; to "Justin Bieber" -- who has begun his community service with us to try to make amends for his errant ways.

All of this is due to the 38 electoral votes we represent in an every day more and more Latino State.

And, all of this is taking place during the same era that Arizona has decided to keep the U.S. in the 1900s when Mexicans knew their place.

This is all coming to a head Friday, January 31, 2014, when the Texas State Board of Education can vote to implement Mexican American Studies or it can take us down the path of Arizona by denying the role of Tejanos in shaping the state and the nation.

We have been working to deliver Texas using old-school social media -- being social, talking face to face (not on Facebook), and calling folks by phone.

Now, we are reaching out to the entire nation online, via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Share us. Tag us. #LibrotraficanteNation #MASTexas #NPradio

Mexican American studies, ethnic studies, and critical thinking are cool.

We are heading into a multicultural, multimedia era. You can't stop it. You can only sabotage the education of your young.

Arizona tried to obliterate Mexican American studies by prohibiting it via Arizona House Bill 2281 (AZHB2281).

That didn't work. Tucson high school students are suing the state of Arizona to overturn that law. That case goes to the 9th District Court of appeals in San Francisco in the fall. The Librotraficante Nation will join our brothers and sisters in support as they stand up for every American's Freedom of Speech.

The far right can't erase our history.

It can only push us to read our banned books in our underground libraries.

We know our cause is fair and just. We know we are right, and we will win.

The mistake Arizona's far right behind Governor Jan Brewer made was mess with the Children of the American Dream.

Will we become Arizona, where Democrats and Republicans cannot work together?

It would take 8 of 15 members to approve Mexican American studies, which means there would have to be bipartisan support.

Ruben Cortez, one of five Democrats on the board, placed Mexican American studies on the "wish list" of 22 courses to be developed into curriculums.

Houston SBOE representative Donna Bahorich is conservative but in a conversation with me, said she could not see it M.A.S. as a bad option. However, she has not gone as far as to put M.A.S. as the sixth course to implement this session. She should.

Barbara Cargill, a Republican from the Woodlands, and a darling of the Tea Party, is a veteran of the older version of the SBOE, which a few years back, made national headlines for attempting to downplay the role of such figures as Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta. She won't go as far as to ban Mexican American studies, however, her emails are riddled with the word games SBOE far right reps hide behind to deny us our history and culture.

The Texas 2013 GOP platform echoes Arizona's radical far right when it accuses cultural studies of causing divisiveness? Mexican American Studies does not cause divisiveness. Far Right Republican oppression causes divisiveness.

The far right Texas Tea Party, with Ted Cruz and Dan Patrick, may have more capitol, but we have more cultural capitol, and we were born under a lucky star.

As another Canadian, Justin Bieber, brings to light the double standards our people have to suffer under the legal system and under the educational system, we have been delivered our own double to answer the double speak that keeps such things as Mexican American studies out of Texas schools.

My nephew, Cristobal Silva, is the spitting image of Justin Bieber. Of course, Cristobal's parents are Chilean. In fact, his father had to be separated for a year to comply with the long forgotten immigration law clause I-45.

Fortunately, his family was reunited, but there are so many other families who are not united because of the broken immigration system that gets more and more complicated for our community.

Cristobal told me, "It's crazy that I not only look like Justin Bieber, but my uncle is the Librotraficante. I've never really dived into this look-alike world, but right now, I want to help The Movement. We need to raise awareness about our culture by implementing Mexican American studies in Texas, right now."

My mother and father were migrant workers in the fields of Texas. My father wanted me to study, to go to school so that through education I would not to have struggle the same way they did to achieve the American Dream.

That is what we want for all our young.

On Friday, January 31, the Texas State Board of education can vote to implement Mexican American Studies courses and set Texas on the road to thriving in a multicultural multimedia era.

Or the TX SBOE can set us on the road to becoming another version of stagnant Arizona, which sabotages its own well-being through oppressive laws that set Civil Rights back generations.

We won't not stand for that.

Our ancestors paid their dues.

We're here to collect.

2014-01-28-BiebsAlwaysRunning.jpg
Photo Credit: Sandra Silva