(Above) Piles of banned books being funneled back in to Arizona with help of Tony Diaz and Librotraficante Caravan
You have heard of drug traffickers before, but have you heard of a book trafficker, too?
The English meaning for a librotraficante is book trafficker. This past Saturday, Librotraficante visited Tucson, Arizona, on St. Patrick's Day. The Librotraficante Caravan traveled from Houston, Texas, to Tucson, Arizona, carrying a payload of contraband books, creating networks of Underground Libraries and leaving community resources in its wake.
Tony Diaz is behind the Librotraficante movement and is a Texas-based novelist that spoke to several students, artists, political activists and Chicano (Mexican-American) leaders recently. Admittedly it was depressing to hear the truth from him that this is the Civil Rights movement again except it seems that Chicanos and Mexicans seem to be the target that is driving school officials and politicians behind these antiquated ideas. Diaz was correct to say that Arizona needs to catch up with modern laws.
Since when must we fear history and mere books? It is absurd for us to hear about school officials trying to implement ideas that would eliminate Native American history, Jewish history as it relates the Holocaust and/or African-American history. Either we embrace the freedom of expression, or we do not - and I for one believe that we are on a slippery slope when we ban creative expression and books.
The Tequila Party Movement (Mexican matriarch counter movement to the Tea Party) will be ever watchful of officials and/or politicians who want to erase history and our rights to freedom of expression - and we sincerely applaud the Librotraficante for sending their love to Arizona from Texas. Leaders must emerge from those who are directly affected and hurting and those of Mexican descent are hurting right now.
I sense another strong Chicano Movement push in light of the 2012 Presidential elections.
Mexican-Americans and Chicanos are tired of perceived anti-Latino laws here in the Southwest and it is time for us to give political covering to school officials and politicians who do not perceive Mexican-Americans and our growth rate as a threat. While there are legends or tales of 2012 being an end to things; we believe it is a beginning of an era. Mexican-Americans should not have to feel dirty or ashamed of our history as some try to portray us. Nay - we know who we are and we are a passionate people with hearts for fellow mankind.