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.

A Scholar Trying to Learn How the Pinche Engine Works

What Scholars Learn

Rudy Acuña: Supposedly a scholar is an intelligent and well-educated person who knows a particular subject very well but who often knows little about life. Without a sinecure he would probably starve.

The Devil Never Sleeps, So Play On

Tlatelolco Massacre

Rudy Acuña: The victories of the Mexican team should be celebrated but not hide the memories of the Tlatelolco massacre or the raising of the black power fists that happened in 1968 while others were celebrating.

Mexican or American?

Mexican American Teacher

Rudy Acuña: White Americans of my generation questioned, why would anyone want to be anything but American? Everyone wanted to come to America, didn’t they?

Ivy League Latinos: The Talented Ten Percent

Ivy League Latinos

Rudy Acuña: I am ambivalent about the mainstreaming Mexican American and Latino students. Education does not bond us to our communities; it gives us the tools to individually succeed.

Time for a Latino President?

Latino President

Rudy Acuña: Hardly had the nomination for HUD Secretary been made before the drums began beating for a Latino President with most forgetting that Julian Castro is only 39 years old and his resume is as thin as Barack Obama’s whose notoriety was based on a sole convention speech.

Latinos and Public Education

Latinos and Public Education

Rudy Acuña: California politicos are encouraging an insidious policy of divide and conquer, pitting the Asian community against the Latino and other minority communities. This has led to some Asian American leaders thinking affirmative action will discriminate against them.

Academe as a Plantation: A False Consciousness

Exploiting Part-Time Teachers

Rudy Acuña: In Chicana/o studies department some teach at two and three other campuses to eke out a living. The result is they parachute in and out of the university, and students in most cases do not get the benefit of office hours.

Horatio Alger and the Illusion of Public Higher Education

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Rudy Acuña: What is happening to American public education should serve as a warning to Mexico and the rest of the world that “Made in America” does not mean quality.

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.

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