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Latest from the Blog

¡Yo soy Chicano! I am Chicano!

¡Yo soy Chicano! I am Chicano! I am descended from Mexican parents I am American born I am descended from Native people I am Mexican culture I am American culture I am Native culture I am Atzlan! I am not Mexican by language I am not American by skin color I am not Native by…

Power of your family name and language

“When You Say My Name” by Zachary Caballero This poem was impactful to me in so many ways. I am a substitute teacher and have been in long-term positions for as long as half a school year. In my experience, I have mispronounced names and shrugged it off as not important I now see the impact…

Racial Comedy

The focus for week thirteen in our class is racial comedy. The major question: is racial comedy good for society because it brings up important issues and allows us to laugh at each other, or is it bad for society because it perpetuates racial stereotypes? I analyzed several videos and even reflected on some of…

Coyote Nations

In my educational pursuits, I have learned of the harsh treatments Native Americans and Latinos have faced. Coyote Nations by Pablo Mitchell focuses on when New Mexico becomes [art of the united stated in the early 20th century. We glimpse at the treatment how Native Americans and Mexican Natives (not seen as Americans) students during this time. I will focus on the Native schools and some of the procedures implemented.

We begin with the circular to all teachers sent in 1920 set an unrealistic expectation for Native students in school. Inspector Beahm was a day-school inspector for the United States Indian schools. Teachers, according to Inspector Beahm, “should demand that each child have lean hands, clean faces, clean nails, and clean teeth.” Expectations were teachers to inspect all students at the beginning of the school day. They further required students to be well clothed with clean shoes, and hair should be combed.  Although many students did not have much, they still had the expectations to attend school as though they had all the amenities upper-class white students had. “Beahm suggested that ‘wide-awake teacher’ should constantly be on the watch for evidence of defects, disorders, and diseases.’” (p 26). The irony is that Europeans are the ones that brought disease to Native Americans to the new world. The inspector had an outline to aid teachers in discovering evidence. I will touch on some of the more ridiculous “pieces of evidence” that Beahm uses:

offensive breath

excessive perspiration of feet


spasmodic movements

twitching of the eye

face or other body parts

sex disturbances



undue emotion of any sort

solitary habits

blank expressions

reading posture


and many more. (p 26)

These expectations for the white students are a bit too much to ask for, but with students from a different culture that may not even know English (the preferred language), it is unrealistic, unfair, and a travesty. A student with a blank expression is standard if they do not speak or understand what is said. Many of the items listed are natural reactions from students or children forced into a new culture and made to abandon their own. The guidelines gave teachers a blank check to label anything like evidence and to mistreat them. Polingaysi Ooyawayma was a student and eventually became a teacher also. She and her students came up with a list to help keep them from getting disciplined:

We must have clean hands.

We must have clean faces.

We must not have sores on our bodies.

We must not have bugs on us.

We must wear clean clothes.

We must polish our shoes.

We must have our hair cut.

We must not be ashamed to speak English.

We must no be afraid of white people.

This list and the unfair rules had ill effects on Native American students’ development. The European invaders turned into the United States. Since the Europeans invaded or conquered lands foreign, they have looked for science, and any evidence that made their actions just this circular is no different. Traditionally the sciences and shreds of evidence that justified their horrendous treatment of Native Americans and any marginalized group came from pseudo science. It is easy to find your justification when you work and only look for pieces of evidence that prove your answer. Founded on Manifest Destiny’s principles, the USA has done whatever it wanted to Native Americans, African Americans, and Mexican Americans and felt justified in their actions.

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