We've already told you this week about what critics are calling a conservative attempt to whitewash history classes in Texas universities and colleges. On Friday, protesters gathered in front of the Alamo to decry SB 1128, which would make it so that minority history classes – like Mexican-American, African-American, LGBT, or feminist history courses, for example – wouldn't count toward core-credit requirements in Texas schools.
Led by the outspoken Librotraficantes leader Tony Diaz, the group waved banners calling for an end SB 1128. In the crowd, students and activists said they fear Texas is following the lead of Arizona, where similarly innocuous language filed in that state's legislature killed Mexican-American studies in Tucson public schools.
Though the vague wording of GOP state Sen. Dan Patrick's bill doesn’t overtly condemn existing minority history programs, critics claim that if minority studies courses are not accepted as part of core curriculum requirements such classes could see a dramatic drop in enrollment and could eventually be phased out..
Sonya Hernández, president of the Mexican-American Studies Students Association at UTSA, brought a contingent of fellow students to help express opposition to the bill. She said, “we want the buck to stop here,” hoping to avoid what happened in Tucson’s schools.
Tony Diaz repeatedly emphasized the power of the Latino vote. After the demonstration in Alamo plaza, the group marched to U.S. Senator John Cornyn’s office downtown to continue the protest. – Joshua Pedrick