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Arizona Legislature Passes Bill That Outlaws 'Ethnic Studies' (HB2281) - Awaiting Brewer's Signature

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The Arizona House and Senate passed a bill (HB2281) Thursday that outlaws the teaching of so called "Ethnic Studies" in Arizona schools. Many of these courses teach alternative history where the United States is portrayed as evil and that students should take up the beliefs of racial pride. Proponents of Ethnic Studies say it is simply to give students self-esteem and to value their cultural diversity.

In this country though I believe that we should leave the cultural teachings to those outside of our public schools. It's fine to be proud of the good things your culture has contributed to the United States of America, but all too often these courses are teaching entirely the opposite. They are teaching that the political beliefs of foreign countries should be brought to America and implemented. In the case of "Raza Studies" some of the courses have taught that the Southwest of the United States was stolen form Mexico and others go even as far as to teach a little about Aztlan. They drive a wedge between students of different cultures, teaching them that their culture is superior to others. In many cases this is based on race and is no better than teaching young white kids that the KKK is a good thing to participate in because "white's are superior to other races".

Here is exactly what the bill states. I would like to see the anti-American and pro illegal alien groups arguments against this.

States that the Legislature finds and declares that public school pupils 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.

Prohibits a school district or charter school from including in its program of instruction any courses or classes that:

  • Promote the overthrow of the United States government.

  • Promote resentment toward a race or class of people.

  • Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.

  • Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.

Digger Occupied America
If you are interested in what types of things they are teaching in these classes, I covered some of the teaching of a class called "Raza Studies" in Arizona using a book called Occupied America.

Arguments opposing the bill will have to be all of an emotional nature and cries of racism, because to logically debate it would have to state that you are in favor of promoting the overthrow of the United States; for resentment towards other races; are in favor of segregation of students by ethnic group; want to treat students as a collective, providing favor to specific groups rather than focusing on the individual. We've all seen these arguments in the push for amnesty for illegal aliens and against the recent SB1070 passed in Arizona to crack down on illegal aliens in the state.

This bill does not remove the study of the history of countries and events like the holocaust, but the courses must be open to all. It just cracks down on racially separatist classes.

State Superintendent for Public Instruction Tom Horne is a proponent of the bill and has this to say.

"Traditionally, the American public school system has brought together students from different backgrounds and taught them to be Americans and to treat each other as individuals, and not on the basis of their ethnic backgrounds," Horne said. "This is consistent with the fundamental American value that we are all individuals, not exemplars of whatever ethnic groups we were born into. Ethnic studies programs teach the opposite, and are designed to promote ethnic chauvinism."

How the hell any of these "Ethnic Studies" groups ended up being approved curriculum in our schools just shows the length and depth that those who oppose the people of America working together have gone to divide us. There needs to be a mass rising up in this country against those who are enforcing a new wave of segregated thought on our children. Children are being taught that other races are beneath them and all through taxpayer monies.

(I actually looked for arguments and here they are)
The first is that the legislature should not be involved in school curriculum. In other words they are telling the legislature that they need to butt out of their teachings, even if they are teaching the destruction of the state or nation or racial ideology.

Another argument is that some teachers find the separatist and segregation teachings to be "an academic proven method of educating students about history". This is another weak argument. Find another way to teach kids other than telling them that they should be proud of themselves simply because of their race or ethnicity. There are plenty of ways to teach history, but starting with a position of racism is probably the poorest choice.

The funny thing is that "Hispanic advocacy groups", such as La Raza, MALDEF and the like have been trotting the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. out time after time. Yet Martin Luther King Jr. would have found this all appalling. He called for equality not based on the ethnicity or color of ones skin, but by the content of their character.

They will stop at nothing to try and make those opposed to their goals of a race based society look like racists, all the while pushing for the most racially divisive programs in this country.

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Posted by Digger on April 30, 2010 02:10 PM (Permalink)

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I can see how some of these teachings might be misguided but I don't see anything wrong with children learning about their own or other culture and histories in a public school. American education too often glosses over the uglier side of its history and tries too hard to assimilate, brainwash, and indoctrinate Americans to believe that they are a superior race and the rest of the world should lick our boots. We aren't that great, so a little humility would be appropriate. The question is, where do you draw the line?

Posted by: mark on May 1, 2010 03:50 AM

The place to draw the line is with the truth. What do primary source documents show us about how the US has behaved in the past and what do those same documents show us about how people of other nationalities and cultures have behaved? No one can be excused from learning about the truth about any culture or country--including their own. Sometimes the truth is flattering and sometimes it's not.

The problem with "Chicano Studies" is that it doesn't deal with the truth. Telling the truth is not its goal. Its goal is to portray people who self-identify as Hispanics and Mexican-Americans as victims. These courses portray US citizens who don't identify as Hispanics as oppressors, exploiters, racists and cheats. These courses talk about Aztlan (the supposed homeland of the Aztecs) as if it were true. Supposedly, it was in what is now the US southwest. The problem here is that there is no archaelogical evidence for the existence of Aztlan. None. The probability that it existed in reality is null. The truth is probably that bigotry did indeed exist in the SW during and after the time of the Mexican-American War. Some Anglo-Americans probably did engage in bigotry against new Americans of Mexican origin. But it's also probably true that new Americans of Mexican origin probably engaged in bigotry too--especially those of the wealthier classes. And sometimes they even expressed bigotry against other new Americans of Mexican origin who were of the poor class, much like wealthy Mexicans in Mexico do today against working-class Mexicans and Mexican Indians.

The goal of Chicano studies classes is to "raise consciousness", i.e. racialize the thinking of young people with Hispanic surnames so that they view themselves as different from other Americans. These courses teach ethnic chauvinism based on an invented "Hispanic" culture. This invented culture includes celebrating Cinco de Mayo, 16 de septiembre and Dia de los Muertos--all traditional Mexican holidays that were imported from modern Mexico. These holidays have not been indigenous to Hispanic-surnamed US citizens for over a hundred years. The instructors of these classes do this because they want Hispanic-surnamed students to identify with recent immigrants from Mexico, expecially those that live here in violation of US immigration laws. What they are trying to do is create a nationalist identity amongst Hispanic-surnamed people in the US so that they can foment a nationalist movement and a push for separation from the US. They want to provoke destabilization and revolt.

I applaud the state of Arizona. Good for them. They understand that its important to attack the roots from which spring the ant-US and anti-rule of law beliefs that encourage support for illegal immigration.

I teach at a high school in Albuquerque, NM and a Chicano studies course is taught here. It masquerades under the name of "Latin American Studies" but it is basically a brainwashing course designed to accomplish what I stated above. The results of that course are separatism and bigotry amongst students. The students segregate themselves. All states need to investigate the curricula of these courses carefully.

Posted by: Yolanda M. on May 2, 2010 03:22 PM

I don't think you realize that this is bigger than just the Chicano studies. In Texas they passed bills that diminish the importance of the Civil Rights movement. I know some kids who just think blacks originally just came over to America because they wanted to like everyone else. Ethnic studies courses often delve into things that 'white' America doesn't want to deal with. I took an African-American studies course and it revealed to me things that infuriated me. They were not lies, there was plenty of evidence, real facts, truths that had been covered up to keep blacks from getting angry and knowing the full (and extremely damaging) extent of white racism in this country. We watched a documentary (it would probably be banned in public schools) that simply narrated facts and showed imagery that was racist against minorities. It showed people lynched, it showed children's books where black kids were burned up in the sun for entertainment, it showed looney-tunes style cartoon that featured blacks being sawed up, pushed off building, eaten by animals, it showed burned and lynched blacks surrounded by crowds of whites as well as the Tulsa riot in which white mobs burned down successful middle class black communities. These are not 'lies and fiction' they are truths. Yes, it made a lot of people in the class angry and made many white people very uncomfortable, but it's not like it was some manipulation of past events or a anti-white slant. It was simply showing in graphic detail an often ignored part of history.

That's not to even get started on what was done to Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, etc. Would love to take a class over these specific ethnic groups to know a little bit more about their history.

And so what if white people can't handle it? It's the truth and it's hella ugly. yes, it's going to make people really pissed off, but hey what goes around comes back around. deal with it.

Posted by: aiych on May 7, 2010 03:21 PM

Yes, and I did it all right? I was the one who beat and lynched people?

How about we sit a bunch of white kids in a room and find videos of black people beating white people and show them to them over and over and over and over and over and over? And while we're doing that have a teacher up front saying "This is the truth, this is what they have done to you and want to do again!"

How does that help this country?

It is one thing to talk about history, learn about your culture and appreciate anything that it has contributed to society. It is another to incite hate against other races for no other reason than to control someone. You were being manipulated by things that never even occurred to you. They want to lump you into a group that considers itself perpetually held down so that they can control how you act and what you do.

And they did that not because it would make anything good at all occur.

Think about that for a minute? What good did it do you to be incited with anger against people who are almost all dead now?

It's time to move on and make something of our country and its people as one.

Posted by: Digger on May 7, 2010 09:10 PM

I love how you criticize a negative view of American history and then a few stories later go on to use the rewriting of history in George Orwell's 1984 as an argument for free speech. So let me get this straight, If it agrees with you opinions then it is not okay to censor but if it is against what you believe then censor it to the end. I love this country but I also do not live in a fantasy world where I believe that there is no bad in our history. Remember that no matter how we portray it we are a country built on genocide, "illegal" immigration, and slavery.

Posted by: ryan on May 8, 2010 07:45 PM

Also see these other great immigration resources

The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration
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Immigration Stance
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Find out how your members of Congress voted on immigration issues.

The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration
Read the free 28 part report The Dark Side of
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Includes facts, figures
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