About Rodolfo F. Acuña

Rodolfo F. Acuña is the founding Chairperson of the Chicana/o Studies Department at California State University, Northridge and author of Occupied America.

Say It Ain’t So, Monte!

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Rodolfo F. Acuña: Have we learned nothing from the sixties when report after report concluded that these alleged type of tactics disaffected and produced militancy rather than promoting collegiality.

The Trojan Horse: How It Destroys Chicano Studies

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Chicano Studies at CSUN: Brown students wanting to know about Mexico will have to learn about it through white professors.

The Silencing of the Lambs: The Hispanic Generation

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Chicano Studies: The more Latino elected officials we have, the more deafening is their silence on police brutality and higher education.

Ivan Illich’s Toe

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Ivan Illich’s dragon was the monopoly of the schools of education that gave poor people the illusion that schooling was the answer.

When Billionaires Roamed the Earth

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Robber Barons — Today it is too costly for corporations that have their money off-shore and can outsource their technical jobs overseas.

Los Pochos y Los Vendidos

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Latin American Studies — Academe was caught flatfooted in responding to the challenge of ethnic studies.

“Educating Harry” About the Little Brown Brothers

Provost Harry Hellenbrand

Rudy Acuña: I don’t think Provost Harry Hellenbrand hates Mexicans but as a powerful administrator he must justify his position.

Privatization, Marketization, Globalization

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Tyranny of Words — The right has adroitly changed the conversation. They have associated corruption with government.

Stepford Students

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Rudy Acuña: The goal of the current privatization is total control of society by the superrich. The strategy is to transfer all public property into the hands of the one percent.

¡Tierra y Libertad! Does History Matter?

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Rudy Acuña: Today land is a metaphor for other rights such as education. It represents our struggle for a better and just life.

Mexican American Identity Crisis

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Rudy Acuña: People without a historical memory are easier manipulated, and they lose the ability to defend their communities. The only power poor people have to check the universities and elected officials is the power of numbers.

Why Mexicans Can’t Win: The Attack on Semillas Charter School

Marcos Aguilar, executive director and co-founder of Academia Semillas del Pueblo, talks with his wife, Minnie Ferguson, also a founder, during a fifth-grade class.

Rudy Acuña: The LAUSD dropped Semillas’ Charter largely on the recommendation of Superintendent John Deasy, who has very little professional background when it comes to Latino students.

Stairway to Whiteness: Waiting for Sputnik

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Rudy Acuña: My reading of history tells me that American exceptionalism does not respond to reason; it does not respond to facts or appeals to the common good. So I am resigned to wait for the next Sputnik or for an implosion.

“The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost”

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Rodolfo F. Acuña: I am not privy to classified materials. All that I have is my mind, which I am trying to use. For me, American foreign policy is a joke. It has no rhyme or reason.

Football Back at CSUN: “Say It Ain’t So, Dianne”

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Rudy Acuña: Football is a costly proposition, and I doubt whether the state will pay for the construction of a stadium at a time when it is cutting corners by withholding food stamps from the poor.

Why Should Latinos Support Justice for Trayvon Martin?

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Rudy Acuña: Now the jurors will write their books and Zimmerman will turn whiter, and appear as a guest of honor at right-wing functions. His claim to fame is that he murdered a 17-year-old kid who looked different.

Chicano Studies: Held in Trust

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Rodolfo F. Acuña: My fear is that over the years both faculty and students have lost the sense that they owe the past and are holding Chicana/o studies in trust for future generations.

Respect for the Law Erodes

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Rudy Acuña: The decisions of the Supreme Court are not based on logic but on sophistry. The Supremes justify bribery. A majority collaborate with the Republican Party in the suppressing the right of minorities to vote. The judges do this with impunity.

Why Mexicans Don’t Trust Government

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Rudy Acuña: We believe we live in a democracy, and that we can correct imperfections. However, in order to do this we have to put aside myths such as that our government is the best of all governments.

Death of the Peasant Landlord

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Rudy Acuña: The ideal was to own one or two houses that could be rented out. That was the Mexicans’ Individual Retirement Account (IRA), only better because they did not have to pay an agent or be at the whim of the stock market.

Pendejo Politics: When You’re Stupid, You’re Stupid

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Rudy Acuña: What can you expect of an educational system where, according to a 2012 Gallup Poll, 46 percent, of Americans believe in creationism?

Arizona Copycats: Mexicans in the Photo

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Rodolfo F. Acuña: Our communities are still under siege. A war is raging in Arizona. The prison industry is still agitating, and the Tea Partiers and the Minutemen types are still terrorizing Mexicans.

The Immigration Paradigm: The Shell Game

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Rudy Acuña: We are taking a bath on immigration: it looks as if a guest worker program will be part of the grand bargain, and it is likely that there will be a long, slippery and tenuous pathway to citizenship.

Culture Wars: The Young Grow Old

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Rudy Acuña: Pundit after pundit predicts that the entrance of large numbers gay and Latino voters will end the culture wars that divide the country. There is only one problem — progressives forget that the “Young Grow Old.”

Pricing Working Class Kids Out of Higher Ed

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Rudy Acuña: This rise in the cost of higher ed will have a disastrous impact on the lower half (income wise) of the Mexican American and Latino community. This is where the dropout numbers are concentrated. Over time, this trend will destroy all hope that si se puede, it can be done.

Death of the Chicano Left

Rudy Acuna: immigration reform has never been a high priority among American progressives; as a consequence, no clear vision of what immigration reform was developed outside the Mexican American community.

What Happened to Chicano Studies?

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Rodolfo F. Acuña: A war on the memories of Mexican Americans and other minorities is occurring raging throughout the country, and I am interested in knowing why the right wing is so obsessed with erasing our historical memory?

It Really Is Immigration Reform, Stupid!

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Rudy Acuna: The truth be told, I am not all that sold that President Barack Obama will do the right thing. It took him a long time to embrace the Dreamers. And even now he is deporting more of the Dreamers parents and cousins than George W. Bush did.

PBS, Oscars Slighting Latinos

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Rudy Acuña: I still remember going round and round with broadcasters over Ken Burns’ special on World War II. As in the case of his documentaries on jazz and baseball, Mexican Americans and Latinos do not exist for Burns.

Defending Educational Rights in Tucson: Murder in Progress

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Rudy Acuna: The suppression of free speech in Tucson has gone unrestrained despite the hype that we are a national minority.

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