Not Getting It

It looks like the administrators at The University of Arizona just don’t get it.

A UA graduation tradition has come under heat in recent years, but this year, President Pete Likins is serious when he says no tortillas at the ceremony.

Last year, Likins asked graduates not to throw tortillas. However, since many ignored the request, Likins sent out a formal letter to the class of 2003 stating reasons why tortilla flinging is inappropriate for the 128th commencement ceremony.

Both Likins and Provost George Davis have said tortilla throwing harbors undertones of racism, and can be offensive to not only some students, but to guests as well.

“More than being a safety issue, this behavior is disrespectful to many of our Hispanic and American Indian community members, who feel that throwing tortillas is offensive to their cultures,” Likins stated in the letter.

Offensive?  What do Hispanic people think about this?

Both e-mails have received criticism from students who believe that a ban on tortillas is also a ban on an innocent tradition that is not meant to send racist or violent signals.

Carlos Ramirez, a Hispanic graduating history student, called Likins’ e-mail “ridiculous.”

“It’s like saying you can’t throw sandwiches because they represent Caucasians,” he said. “You can’t throw Frisbees, so you throw tortillas because no one can get hurt.”

Members of Chicano/Hispano Student Affairs said they know that the tortillas are not tossed to offend, but rather, as a celebratory representation of the community.

Marisol Diaz, a CHSA retention specialist, said that although the tortillas might seem offensive to the administration, she has heard no complaints about it from any students, faculty or staff.

“They do it everywhere,” she said. “I have gone to a lot of high school graduations where they throw tortillas, and most of the people doing it were Hispanic.”

Like so much politically correct crapola, this oily concern for the feelings of others simply masks their real agenda, which is that they don’t want to be embarassed in front of the governor and a senator.

Likins said he also fears the tortilla throwing could get out control, causing someone, namely Gov. Janet Napolitano or Sen. Jon Kyl, who are both speaking at graduation, to be hit.

This sounds like it’s a long-standing tradition that is going to be hard to kill.  And the administration doesn’t have much traction on this one.  It just makes them look silly.  But these are probably people who piss into the wind and wonder why it’s raining when there are no clouds in the sky…

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