Dolores Huerta: Let’s Violate Arizona’s Ethnic Studies Ban

The United Farm Workers co-founder urges Tucson's educators to violate the controversial new law.

By Julianne Hing Jan 18, 2011

Chicano movement icon and United Farm Workers Union co-founder Dolores Huerta was on Flashpoints, a local Bay Area news magazine on KPFA on Friday, and spoke about the recent shootings in Tucson, as well as HB 2281, Arizona’s new ethnic studies ban.

Huerta said that much of the ignorance today was a product of young people being deprived of a comprehensive history of the United States. Huerta said that people in other states had to defend ethnic studies by expanding it where they could and taking it ‘down to the grammar school level." "[Ethnic studies] is how we are able to start the fight against discrimination," Huerta said, and then offered her own ideas for how to support students in Arizona:

I was thinking about Arizona, what I’m suggesting to my friends over there. Just like during the ’60s we had the Freedom Schools. They’ve got to start Freedom Schools and violate the law. Teach ethnic studies out there. I know very good friends of mine, Robert Rodriguez, who’s over at the University of Arizona at Tucson, and many of my really good friends out there. Okay we’re just going to teach ethnic studies and violate the law, get people in jail.

I think I’ll just have to go back to Arizona and do another lecture over there and have them get me arrested and let’s appeal the case all the way up to the Supreme Court in terms of just a first-amendment rights.

Listen to the interview in full here.