Ethnic Studies Classes Banned in Arizona

The controversial ban on ethnic studies classes in Arizona public schools goes into effect today, after much outcry from critics who claim that the law openly discriminates against minorities.  According to the Christian Science Monitor, the law bans classes that “promote the overthrow of the United States government and resentment toward a race or class of people.”  It also prohibits courses designed “primarily for students of a particular ethnic group and those that advocate ethnic solidarity rather than treat students as individuals.”

The concern, according to the law’s proponents, is that ethnic studies classes divide students; the ban was proposed in response to a Mexican-American history program in Tucson.  The law is fairly obviously politically motivated, however, since as educators have pointed out, the classes are open to all.

The district says that it will retain the program, despite risking losing state funding.  The newly hired superintendent pointed out that the program has clear benefits: 70 to 75 percent of the students that go through the program go on to college, compared with 20 to 25 percent of a similar group.

The current climate in Arizona, as other Care2 writers have eloquently pointed out over the past year, is unspeakably hostile to immigrants and minorities, and it seems clear that this is a similar attack.  Educators are concerned that these restrictions could resurface in other states (as in Virginia, which enabled police to ask about immigration status on routine stops).

The district is right to stand up to this horrible new ban – it’s not without reason that some critics have started referring to Arizona as the “new South.”

Photo from Flickr.

229 comments

William C
William C18 days ago

Thank you.

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W. C
W. C19 days ago

Thanks for the information.

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Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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MarilynBusy FORCHARITIES
4 years ago

Sorry to burst your bubble, but if you go back to the earliest comments, some people posted details about the classes and the text book being used..which is basically a how-to book on revolution.
If they have ethnic studies classes for immigrants from one country, they should have them for ALL countries and they don't...and if they did, they wouldn't be teaching about how to overthrow a government.

These classes are very divisive and not conducive to creating peace among people of different nationalities.
Please do some research.

As for Arizona....we're not all racist...we're not all cowboys. Some of us came for the weather and the scenery.
To be honest, if 1070 never existed, the immigration problems would not be in the news any more than they were 5 years ago, and there wouldn't be some much needed reform on the way to HELP the illegals get a path to legal status.

Sometimes good things are borne of bad things.

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Lisa Hess
Lisa Hess4 years ago

Cont- tolerance we need to learn about every culture and its a shame these poor kids in Arizona have to grow up around the ones in charge there. They are going to be shocked when they grow up to find a good portion of the country just shakes their heads in shame at the intolerance and hatred that came out of their state for generations.

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Lisa Hess
Lisa Hess4 years ago

This law is stupid, we need to teach our kids as much as we can about the rest of the world. There may be language in the bill that needs to be changed but considering where the bill is coming from we can all see what they really want. I am American born Caucasian married to a Canadian born fillipino and we visit his family in Montreal often over the last 12 years and their intolerance to English like Arizona borders on the insane. They have the language police up there (no lie) and if your business advertises in English they impound your vans, trucks, ect. And they auction them off and fine the businesses. KFC has to advertise as PFK. The only way you can get out of not changing your business name is if it can't be translated, they still segregate protestant and Catholic classes and have classes that speak only French. Most of the people up there are tired of the crap. They want Americans to come spend money there but they dont even have English street signs, none of them not just street names and even McDonald's is not allowed to have an English menu. The rest of Canada laughs at them because they know to have peace and prosperity you need continuity between the different cultures. Their language police have the same thoughts that if they allow English it will ruin their French history but the rest of Canada has brought English into their daily life and it hasn't caused the destruction of Canada. Wake up, knowledge is power and Spanish is here to stay so to teach our kids

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Sue D.
Susan L4 years ago

EXCELLENT comment, Pam. I must say that I am so PROUD of most of the people on Care 2, and that comment is perfect! It takes many of us to stand up for what our country is really supposed to be about. We have never been a "Love it or leave it" country and those racist kinds of attitude do not speak for the founding fathers or most Americans.

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pam w.
pam w4 years ago

"Love it or leave it."

OK....how about this one?

LOVE IT OR CHANGE IT! Any US citizen has the right to act for change to the system.

How do we know these classes were designed to effect "the overthrow of the white race?"

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Barbara Mathes
Barbara Mathes4 years ago

This is America love it or leave it We don't want you here anyway

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Cyan Dickirs
Cyan Dickirs4 years ago

Anna cont'd Nobody learned much of anything about US history (Mexico did not figure prominently in US history or relationships very early in our history). If US history was taught accurately and honestly instead of being slanted to a political agenda (sometimes "whitewashing" or slanting towards Mexico and demonizing the US) "ethnic" studies would be included. Do we need "ethnic" studies for Canadian immigrants? How about including, as I think should be, our negative experiences with "Mosselmen" (Muslims), or do none of you know that we were at war early in our history with muslims who had captured, tortured, killed 3000 American sailors and forced the survivors to worship Mohammed, or be killed? Or would that offend the large and growing Middle East population in Arizona (the Iranian some insist Persian and muslim are "activists" . They all speak excellent english. Some managed to learn from scratch within 2 months and graduated from HS w/honors after less than 2yrs in Tucson. I contend that this ban is not ethnically discriminatory, just practical and not having the ban is/has been detrimental to broader learning and assimilation. Asians, Latvians, Russians, Persians do it without ethnic studies. Why should Mexicans be discriminated in favor of esp when it apparently hurts them.

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