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From U.S. Centered Multiculturalism To
Global Intercultural Educational Equality:
The Role of Reforms and Autonomy

by Roberto Flores
Los Angeles, California


1. See: Flores, R. (8-2003) Interview with Miranda R’off avail upon request

2. This is stating the problem of the system inversely to Friere’s optimism point that we can better the system because it is an unfinished project (Freire). I don’t dispute Freire’s point because this stage of capitalism is still better than slavery. I merely stating that my starting point is the assumption that a corporativized capitalist system is geared towards global cultural hegemony and political domination. My assumption is a negative photograph of Freire’s that is the cracks are positive spaces for Freire’s analogy the cracks were where the system goes wrong.

3. See: To be published Critical Pedagogy, Critical Race Theory, and Antiracist Education: Implications for Multicultural Education.

4. Can be found at

5. See McLaren, Flores & Tanaka (Sp. 2001) Autonomy and Participatory Democracy: Interview of Roberto Flores and Greg Tanaka by Peter McLaren, International Journal of Educational Reform. Scarecrowe Education Lanham, MD

6. One only has to look at the gubernatorial recall fiasco in California to get a sense of the corruptive melt-down of representative democracy. This type of upper class only democracy has been so effective in the U.S. that it now serves as a model for and is being emulated by the upper classes in Venezuela. As I write this, the wealthy class initiative has already collected over 2 million signatures of 2.5 million needed to have a recall of Hugo Chavez, even though he was elected by 80% of the electorate.

7. See: Flores, R. (1997) Notes from Observation at 3 major school sites in the Highlands of Chiapas. Notes Available upon request.

8. Constitution can be found at

9. From my own critical perspective, the attempt to bring about a classless society or a society of equals within a class based socio-economic system, where exploitation and inequality are essential (although necessary) always seemed to have a touch of oxymoranism. A welfare capitalist state seemed to bring up a perpetual contradiction and unstable situation, an extremely sensitive and volatile homeostatic situation on the verge of breakdown (Quintana).

10. See Siete Pensamientos en Mayo by Marcos (May, 2003) can be found at and at

11. See National Council of La Raza can be found at

12. See Bourdieu & Passeron (1990) Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture. Sage Press, Newbury Park, Calif

13. Stromquist (2003) outlines a process through which the right first criticized the welfare state blaming it and its non-competitive reflection in education for its economic decline. Given the role of corporative capital in politics and policy-making it was a matter of time before the chipping away of the welfare state would cause it to begin to crumble. This then allowed for the market alternatives to move in.

14. Even the new configuration of nation states has taken on the form of a business with top management and a CEO and of course a new supranational platform or legal framework from which to operate. In one of his campaign speeches, Bush openly stated that he would preside over his office as a CEO. He is not only the first President trained (MBA) to be a CEO but has all the business connections to carry that out. What seems to be occurring is that the former nation state which carried with it some sense of social responsibility is being replaced by a corporate market state which puts profit as its first and natural priority (Stromquist).

15. See: Census: Hispanic dropout numbers soar Schools struggle to keep more immigrants in classroom Friday, October 11, 2002 Posted: 11:35 AM EDT (1535 GMT) can be found at

16. See La Jornada (July 22, 2003) El Banco Mundial, desencantado de los beneficios de privatizar empresas. Agencias: Can be found at

17. See for more information of the relationship between targeted military recruitment and the “No Child ..Left Behind Bush initiative can be found at

18. See Culick, J. (0ct 19, 1999) The Educated Poor. Can be found at

19. See Narconews On Not Asking Permission: can be found at

20. See Merriam-Webster Dictionary (11th Edition) can be found at

21. Asset Assessment can be found at

22. CIEPAC (9/2001) La Educacion y La Autonomia Indigena (Primera Parte). Can be found at

23. Can be found at

24. “The Thirteenth Stele Part Four: A Plan” Can be found at La Jornada August 6, 2003 or can be found at

25. Flores, R (1997) Interview of Carlos Lenkersdorf. Original notes available upon request

26. Luz Olivia Pineda’s research in this area traces the process through which these bilingual teachers become political bosses. While researching the bilingual programs of Chiapas, I interviewed Dr. Jacinto Arias, a Tzotzil Anthropologist, the head of Indigenous Education, who is (as well as many of his relatives) now implicated in the Acteal massacre. When the Zapatista Governmental structures were formed many of the PRI propped governments fell. Threatened official of the hollow government (mostly bilingual teachers) formed death squads to retaliate against the Zapatista parallel communities. For more info see: “Breaking the Ideological Bounds.”

27. See Eichart, B. (1998) Zapatista. Big Noise Production. Can be ordered at

28. Marcos to NGOs: Zapatistas Don’t Want Charity, but Respect CHIAPAS: The Thirteenth Stele - Part Two: A Death can be found at

29. See: Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky Pantheon Books, 1988

30. Ciro Perez Silva, C. (Oct 23, 2002) Necesita La Izquierda Modificar su discurso politico coinciden expertos. La Jornada Can be found at

31. Villafuerte, C (Nov., 1996) Javier Eloriaga Liberado. El Tiempo

32. Marcos (Jul 27, 2003) Parte IV: Un Plan. La Jornada can be found at

33. See excerpt of School-Based Management as School Reform. "Taking Stock", By: Joseph Murphy & Lynn G. Beck; Corwin Press Inc. 1995. Found at

34. See Sleeter, C. E. & Delgado Bernal, D. in press. Critical pedagogy, critical race theory, and antiracist education: Their implications for multicultural education. In J. A. Banks & C. M. Banks (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, 2nd ed. Jossey Bass. Can be found at:

35. See the Washington Times: September 10, 2003 D.C. “School Voucher Bill Passes in House by 1 Vote” can be found at

36. See “La Educacion y la Autonomia Indigena” can be found at

37. See Ernesto Galarza, Barrio Boy (1971); Ernesto Galarza, Merchants of Labor: The Mexican Bracero Story (1964); Ernesto Galarza, Spiders in the House and Workers in the Field (1970).

Published in In Motion Magazine October 16, 2003.