Sunday, Aug. 29 was the 40th anniversary of the death of Latino journalist Rubén Salazar. Salazar was killed on August 29th, 1970, when he was struck in the head by a tear gas projectile fired by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy into an East Los Angeles bar. Salazar was covering the National Chicano Moratorium Against the Vietnam War antiwar march.
During this anti-Mexican age of SB 1070 and HB 2281, now is the perfect time to honor Salazar and reflect on his work. The University of California Press has a fantastic archive of Salazar's work as a journalist that you can visit here. Democracy Now aired a report today on the anniversary that you should watch here.
Included in the report was Rodolfo Acuña, a California State University Northridge professor emeritus of Chicano studies, who happens to be the author of Occupied America, a book on Chicano history that's been used by Arizona's outgoing Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne to justify his attack on TUSD ethnic studies.
Here's what Acuña had to say about Salazar's legacy:
Well, I think it’s enormous. It would have been even enormous if he wouldn’t have been killed, because the articles that he wrote during the 1960s are monumentous. You start to read through them, and you really get the sense of the times. And I do think that he was right, that there was a revolution that took place among the youth at that time, especially. But I don’t think that there was any danger of overthrowing the government, the people that we should have been overthrowing.
There's a new Chicano movement rising up in response to the racist law Horne championed against ethnic studies and Sen. Russell Pearce's equally disgusting SB 1070. Horne, a Republican, now wants to be Arizona's attorney general. He said TUSD is teaching kids how to be revolutionaries in the ethnic studies classes. We know this isn't true, but the attack against Mexicans in Arizona is reminding those same kids and others that maybe a revolution is exactly what we need right now.