May 11, 2010

Arizona to ban Native studies?

Arizona gov. signs bill targeting ethnic studies

By Jonathan J. CooperArizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill targeting a school district's ethnic studies program on Tuesday, hours after a report by United Nations human rights experts condemned the measure.

State schools chief Tom Horne, who has pushed the measure for years, said a Tucson school district program promotes "ethnic chauvinism" and racial resentment toward whites while segregating students by race.

"It's just like the old South, and it's long past time that we prohibited it," Horne said.

The measure prohibits classes that advocate ethnic solidarity, that are designed primarily for students of a particular race or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group. It also prohibits classes that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government.

The Tucson Unified School District program offers specialized courses in African-American, Mexican-American and Native-American studies that focus on history and literature and include information about the influence of a particular ethnic group.

For example, in the Mexican-American Studies program, an American history course explores the role of Hispanics in the Vietnam War, and a literature course emphasizes Latino authors.

Horne said he believes the Mexican-American studies program teaches Latino students that they are oppressed by white people. Public schools should not be encouraging students to resent a particular race, he said.

Brewer's signature on the bill comes less than a month after she signed the nation's toughest crackdown on illegal immigration—a move that ignited international backlash amid charges the measure would encourage racial profiling of Hispanics.
Comment:  The racist state strikes again!

"Resentment," like "reasonable doubt," is in the eye of the beholder. To Arizona's right-wing paper-checkers, resentment of whites probably means criticism of whites.

To me this is arguably worse than the racial profiling law. That creates the potential to harm an individual's human rights. This creates the potential to wipe out whole schools of thought. It's similar to, and as dangerous as, the conservative efforts to rewrite school textbooks.

There's one saving grace. This law should ban future classes on the Tea Party movement. After all, many teabaggers advocate the overthrowing the present US government.

For more on racism in Arizona, see Natives Protest Arizona Immigration Law, Racism Behind Arizona Immigration Law, and Arizona Legalizes Racial Profiling.


dmarks said...

"This law should ban future classes on the Tea Party movement. After all, many teabaggers advocate the overthrowing the present US government."

By this logic, so should any school or political party, because the general public, like the Tea Party movement, has a minority in it advocating such ideas.

Specifically, I wonder if the language about overthrow might be aimed at the Aztlan movement, a sort of genocidal extreme Hispanic movement advocating a racially pure homeland for the right people in the US.


Back to the subject and away from obligatory tea-party movement bashing, my main problem with such ethnic studies groups is that they often balkanize students and preach to the choir.

I think white students need "Native-American studies" as much as Natives do, and Natives would benefit from "African American Studies", and so on. Multiculturalism should not divide.

dmarks said...

From the CBS poll: "Twenty-four percent of Tea Party supporters say it is sometimes justified to take violent action against the government. That compares to 16 percent of Americans overall who say violence against the government is sometimes justified."

While the Tea Party movement favors it more, if you round to the nearest 10%, there's really not much difference between the Tea Party movement and the general public (with 20%). Therefore it is deceptive to act as if there is some sort of huge difference on this.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the 'Mexican-American studies" or the logics they taught in those classes, if its deemed to be "hostile" to Whites or not. Haven't took the class, so i won't judge it. But there is a rich Mexican/Spanish culture in the entire southwest. So I will digress from that study. However, both African-American and Native American studies have a rich U.S. history that shouldn't be banned. I don't see how these studies(i.e. Martin Luther King Jr. and/or Native events throughout U.S. history) are deemed "hostile" towards Whites. Simply ask--have therer ever been attempts by African-Americans and Native-Americans looking to overthrow the U.S.Governemt??? Not a single event. Nevermind the fact that Natives did put up resistance from time to time before the 20th Century was based on the fact that they were merely trying to protect themselves from genocide/ethnicide. So that's irrelevant to the lame notion that these ethnic studies "promotes" the overthrow of the U.S. Goveernment or hostile logics towards Whites. Nothing in those studies programs(African-American/Native-American) teaches that concept. So obviously the motive behind the measure is clearly a racist attack upon minorities who live in AZ. If there is a specific group of people that teaches the concept of overthrowing the U.S. Governement, its Tea Pottiers and such(Militias).


Anonymous said...

On a 2nd thought, regarding that pic of our Gov. I would certainly love to see a KKK hood(without the face covering) on her head. I'm sure we can all use a laugh. Seems befitting and fits the criteria of her stance on this particular Bill.


Rob said...

There's no reason to round the figures to the nearest 10%. That's pure silliness.

The poll probably understates the teabaggers' desire to overthrow the government. That's because people tend to give "socially acceptable" answers in polls.

I don't know any other mainstream organization whose members are willing to overthrow an elected government. The law should ban Tea Party classes first and other political classes a distant second.

For more on the new law, see Native Lit Class Threatens Arizona and Racism Behind Arizona's Ethnic Studies Law.