Tom Horne, AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction, don’t know much about history.

22 Feb 2010 02:05 pm
Posted by: Donna

In case y’all missed it, last Monday Horne testified before a House Education in support of HB2281. You can click on the hotlink, scroll down to testimony on the bill. About 1 hour 25 minutes in you will hear Tom Horne refer to longtime labor and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta as “a former girlfriend of Cesar Chavez”.

For the record, Dolores Huerta, 79, is married to Cesar’s brother Richard. I joined women activists at a press conference this morning on the Capitol lawn to denounce Horne’s sexist, dismissive, and inaccurate remark. It was covered by a few news networks so you might see us on teevee tonight.

After we were done with our statements it started raining hard so we huddled under the awning of the House building waiting for it to subside. The reporters and camera crews joined us and took statements from some of the activists. Turns out they were also waiting for Mr. Horne to come out and respond to the condemnation.

What transpired after that was truly stunning. First, Horne’s explanation of describing Ms. Huerta as Cesar Chavez’ girlfriend was simply, “That’s what I was told.”

(Really, Tom? Why are taxpayers funding your department and providing you with a staff if you and they are incapable of entering “Dolores Huerta” in Google and gaining a modicum of knowledge about the woman before going before a legislative committee and saying something so insulting and bone stupid?)

Then Horne went on a paranoid tear about La Raza and commies. Most of what he said to the reporters is the same sob story he gave to the legislative committee, and the same yarn he’s retold twenty brazillion times about a Tucson school assembly (back in 2006) when students were forced (my understanding is that it was voluntary) to listen to Dolores Huerta who said that Republicans hate Latinos. I can’t imagine why she would say that. *cough* This made some young Republicans in the audience feel sad. Tom Horne went on to relate (for the umpteenth time) how he set up an assembly featuring his Deputy Superintendent Margaret Garcia Dugan (who, oddly enough, is not using the “Garcia” much these days) and those uppity, I mean, rude La Raza kids walked out on Ms. Dugan when she said “I’m a Republican and I don’t hate myself.”

Channel 3’s Frank Camacho got tired of Horne’s tired old fish tales and filibustering and asked the question on a lot of our minds: He asked Tom Horne what he knew about Dolores Huerta. Without missing a beat, Horne resumed his McCarthyesque tirade and ignored the question about Huerta. It became abundantly clear to those of us still huddling around the cameras that Horne, to this day, does not know who Dolores Huerta is or why she is an important historical figure.

In other words, Tom Horne has been flogging this Dolores Huerta/Tucson school assembly thing for nearly four years and doesn’t even know anything about the woman. More to the point, he can’t be bothered to learn anything about her. If that doesn’t make the case for the need for ethnic studies, I don’t know what does.

Thank you Capitol Times: The Cap Times initially repeated Horne’s description of Ms. Huerta without correction. They have graciously issued a retraction and provided some good biographical information about Huerta’s life and work.

5 Comments

  1. Comment by Katie on February 22, 2010 8:05 pm

    Horne’s handling of this whole situation concerns me greatly for so many reasons, but here are a couple:
    First, really, Tom, that’s what you were told? Would that have worked for you in law school? Is that an appropriate standard for AZ students to live up to? Great example SUPI.
    Second, is this glimpse of how he would handle civil rights as AG? Scary thought.

  2. Comment by Timmys Cat on February 23, 2010 9:37 am

    More Gooper porn.

    “I will protect you from the scary brown people!” “A woman as well!!!!”
    Eeek!

    I think Horne-toads one trick pony is going to paint himself into that corner called WTF?I
    I still have hope Thomas will run. We need as much Repub “talent” out there as we can get..

    (popcorn,cold drink, sit back and enjoy the show).

  3. Comment by Mixelle R on February 23, 2010 3:04 pm

    I graduated from Tucson High (the school were the assembly took place) and since then a “White Republicans” Club has been created by high school students who followed along with Horne’s propaganda and sensationalism. If that doesn’t say what he wants his legacy to be I do not know what does… And for the record, the protest was not planned during class as Horne makes it out to be and some of the student protesters were not enrolled in Raza Studies classes. Some of the protesters were concerned citizens who were and are indignant toward some of the anti-Latino legislation proposed by Republicans.

  4. Comment by Donna on February 23, 2010 9:58 pm

    Mixelle, thanks for the clarification. Horne has been peddling this pack of lies for too long.

  5. Comment by Katie on February 23, 2010 11:13 pm

    Yeah, it’s really disgusting how Horne keeps using this event, which wasn’t tied to the ethnic studies program, to justify getting rid of it. I have also heard him say and seen the papers repeat that it was a mandatory assembly, but I’ve heard others say that it was not.

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