Hard on the heels of its divisive anti-illegal immigration law, the
state of Arizona has banned "classes that advocate ethnic
solidarity," as AP writer Jonathan Cooper
reports. The law does allow classes to focus on the
histories of individual groups "as long as the course is open to all
students and doesn't promote ethnic solidarity or resentment," but the
measure has been championed by opponents of particular ethnic studies
State schools chief Tom Horne, who has pushed the bill
for years, said he believes the Tucson school district's
Mexican-American studies program teaches Latino students that they are
oppressed by white people.
Many bloggers are reading this measure--taken together with the immigration law--as one more slap at the Latino community.
- So Much for the 'We're Not Racist' Argument "Arizona's
supporters of the state's draconian new immigration law insist that it
has nothing to do with race and isn't meant to discriminate against
certain ethnic communities," writes Think Progress's Amanda Terkel back at the end of April. She points out that the anti-ethnic studies law and measures against "heavily accented" teachers run somewhat counter to this claim.
- 'Courses That "Promote the Overthrow of the U.S. Government"'? The Huffington Post
looks at the language of the ethnic studies legislation: "Arizona's new
immigration law is just about crime, its supporters say, but given that
the state's new education policy equates ethnic studies programs with
high treason, they may not be using the commonly accepted definition of
- Counterproductive, Ridiculous "This is what has
happened in Miami after they passed English language legislation in the
70's, only to have the city taken over by Hispanics. Now there is a
movement to make Spanish the official language. Bigotry begets
bigotry," argues blogger KurtVB,
who writes at Progressive Anger. He also argues that after centuries of
ill-treatment, Native Americans
"should have the opportunity to have their heritage taught."
- We're Not Making This Up Yes, Arizona "really" just passed this law, Jeff Neumann assures Gawker readers.
new law, signed by Governor Jan Brewer, states that students "should be
taught to treat and value each other as individuals and not be taught
to resent or hate other races or classes of people," because the
American school system was founded on diversity and open-mindedness
they'll have you know.
- Equality "Never mind that 90 percent
of the curriculum at most schools already focuses on one particular
ethnic group," writes Vanity Fair's Matt Pressman.
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