via Arizona Daily Star:
Oh, where to even begin. At the point where TUSD
Governing Board member Michael Hicks states on national television: "I
base my thoughts on hearsay from others."?
Perhaps this: "Rosa Clark did not take out a gun and go on to a bus and hold up everybody."
Hicks was, of course, talking about the now-suspended
Mexican American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District.
And he was talking to Al Madrigal, a correspondent from "The Daily Show
With Jon Stewart" - which is broadcast on Comedy Central.
At this point, it might be instructive to some (hello,
Mr. Hicks) to point out that if the "news" segment in which you're being
invited to participate will appear on Comedy Central, chances are
really pretty good that you're going to end up as part of a comedy show.
And probably as the butt of the joke.
Hicks embarrassed himself, Tucson and pretty much all of
Arizona with his performance. Hicks' words, in any context, are
HICKS: "My concern was a lot of the radical ideas that
they were teaching in these classes. Telling these kids that this is
their land, the whites took it over and the only way to get out beneath
the gringo, which is the white man, is by bloodshed."
MADRIGAL: "When you sat in in these classes ..."
HICKS: "I chose not to go to any of their classes. Why
even go. Why even go. I base my thoughts on hearsay from others. So I
based it off this."
Hicks demonstrates, with cringe-worthy perfection, that
he has no real clue about the MAS courses, and a wide array of other
topics a reasonable person might expect a school board member to
He offers as evidence that the teachers had undue
influence on their students: "They would every week go out and buy
burritos and feed these kids. What that does, it builds more of a bond
between the teacher and the students."
Forget the personal interaction, the intellectual
curiosity, the respect for education that a great teacher can spark -
all that's needed to get students fired up is a weekly burrito. Arizona
doesn't underfund public education: It's that the schools are wasting
too much on books and teachers, and not spending nearly enough on
The "Daily Show" correspondent asks why MAS is the only
program affected by the state law that essentially bans ethnic studies
courses. The law, Hicks says, "was strictly written for one course,
which is the Mexican American Studies."
Madrigal asks a question that in its simplicity reveals
the true hypocrisy of the anti-MAS law, which, according to its
language, prohibits courses that fuel students' resentment of another
race or group of people. Madrigal asks Hicks to pretend he's a black
student - how would Hicks teach him about slavery without creating
resentment toward white people?
"Slavery was a ... slavery was a ..." Hicks stammers. "The white man did bring over the Africans ..."
Madrigal asks, What kind of jobs did we have then?
"The jobs that you guys did was basically slavery jobs," Hicks said.
We feel it uncomfortably necessary to point out that "slavery jobs" aren't actual jobs.
Hicks at first says that slaves could vote, then says no,
they couldn't get to vote until later. He says that slaves were
"almost" equal. About 25 percent, in his opinion.
Hicks says he was misled. He thought "The Daily Show" was
a news program and, he contends, he's the victim of unscrupulous
editing and his statements are taken out of context.
This isn't Hicks' first time being baited by a media
outlet. In February, he appeared on the Garret Lewis A.M. show (KNST
97.1) and was goaded into making unfounded and slanderous statements
that insinuated wrongdoing by University of Arizona professors and
students involved with a MAS teach-in by referencing the Penn State
Hicks said: "While there (at the UA), the director of the
Mexican American Studies program indicated that these children were
going into their classrooms, with their adult, you know, college
students, behind closed doors, and no one was allowed to go into the
classes, to either get taught or educated or to be ... I don't know. For
me, I'm like, you know what? Penn State? You know, what's going on
behind closed doors with our children?"
Wind Hicks up and he keeps talking, even while admitting
in the middle of his verbal meanderings that he doesn't know these
Hicks has, unfortunately, demonstrated his lack of
knowledge about the MAS program, about the basics of American history
and, most of all, his lack of judgment.
Arizona Daily Star