Queer Chicana Professor (and all-around awesome academic) Sandra K. Soto got booed at the University of Arizona's Social and Behavioral Sciences commencement. Professor Soto was attempting to discuss the ways that the anti-im/migrant measures known as SB1070 would marginalize Latinos/as. Before she could get a sentence out the crowd jeered her. Twitter drama ensued. Most people said it was inappropriate for Professor Soto to use the event as a "political soap box" further highlighting the success of the conservative right in advancing the idea that Universities and institutions of higher education should be depoliticized places where one goes to learn objective truths. Meanwhile, if you ask me, it's pretty inappropriate for an audience of presumably educated adults to boo a woman of letters.
Of course, what happened to Professor Soto is just another example of what so often occurs to queers, women, and people of color (or people who inhabit all of those identities) within the academy, they get shouted down and told that they're advancing a narrow agenda or only telling half the story. The events that transpired were truly shameful, but unfortunately are becoming more common than not on college campuses. I applaud the stand that Soto and other educators in Arizona are taking despite the attempts to silence them. As Professor Soto urges us...we must fight for public education.
Palante, Siempre Palante!
*tip of the fitted to: The Arizona Daily Star