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Xenophobia Rules In Arizona

Xenophobia Rules In Arizona

If you were wondering whether you should take Arizona off your travel plans for the summer, here’s another reason to convince you to steer clear of the state.

Unless, that is, you like being around racist xenophobes, since politicians in Arizona seem determined to present themselves that way. On Tuesday, just hours after the United Nations released a report by human rights experts condemning Arizona Immigration Bill SB 1070, Governor Jan Brewer signed a law banning the state’s schools from teaching ethnic studies classes.

As Jessica Pieklo discusses in her fascinating post on this topic, Arizona GOP Takes Another Whack At Latinos, the most vocal proponent of the law is Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Horne, a Republican who just happens to be running for Attorney General. Interesting.

Although this is a statewide law, the measure is directed specifically against the ethnic studies program in the Tucson Unified School District, which Horne believes promotes “ethnic chauvinism” and racial resentment towards whites. Interviewed on CNN’s “American Morning” yesterday, Horne stated that the legislation is “designed to get schools to teach kids to treat each other as individuals and not on the basis of what race they were born into.” He explained that the measure prohibits school classes which “promote resentment toward a race or class of people, are designed for a particular ethnic group, or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of treatment of pupils as individuals.”

Let’s get some facts straight here: according to stunned officials of the Tucson Unified School District, their curriculum is not intended to promote resentment. Secondly, while the new law forbids classes “designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group,” the truth is that these courses are open to all students. Any student of any race and ethnicity can take an African-American class, or an Asian-American class, or any of the many possibilities.

Furthermore, what’s wrong with learning about your heritage? Actually, what is wrong is being denied the opportunity to learn about your heritage. Becoming a full human being, an individual as Horne puts it, means learning who you are and where you come from.

As Michael Eric Dyson, Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, argued eloquently, countering Horne, “We need to bring the truth to the open so we can understand the greatness of this country, but we can’t do that by pretending the ugliness doesn’t exist.” And as he also pointed out, if the regular U.S. history classes included the history of all Americans: African Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, gays and lesbians, for example, there would be no need for separate ethnic studies classes.

Clearly, Horne and his cohorts don’t want anyone who is not white learning anything about their history. It reminds me of the history texts I suffered through, growing up in England. I loved history, but not these books, which dealt only with the royalty and the nobility, and almost never mentioned women. I was absent from the history of my country, just as so many ethnic groups are absent from the “official” history of this country.

Pity the poor students of Arizona, deprived of the right to learn about their history. It’s a scary reminder of what happened in Texas in March, when efforts by Hispanic members of the Texas State Board of Education to include more Latino figures as role models for the state’s large Hispanic population were defeated. This is a frightening trend.

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206 comments

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11:18AM PDT on Sep 15, 2012

Thank you for article.

11:17AM PDT on Sep 15, 2012

Thank you for article.

6:30AM PDT on May 13, 2011

Shocking Excerpts Read at Tucson School Board Meeting From A Book Used In The Controversial Ethic Studies Curriculum For Grades 3rd - 12th (Content Warring)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZzovZasFms

AS you listen, keep in mind that this is read by/taught to 3rd GRADERS!

1:03PM PST on Feb 16, 2011

The regressive Republican Party of No is mean-spirited, thuggish, religiously fanatical, scientifically ignorant, corrupt, hypocritical, xenophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic, evolution and global warming denying, authoritarian, selfish, greedy, lacking compassion, warmongering, and otherwise dangerous.

NEVER vote for Republicans.

7:05AM PST on Jan 16, 2011

After these past couple years, I wouldn't step foot in Arizona. I feel sorry for those of you reasonable thinking people who still live there. I would be ashamed to say I was from this state. There is only ONE logical reason for all of these efforts by their GOP ran government and that is racism. Shame on you Arizona for ever letting these laws pass, they should have never even made the ballot box.

9:55AM PST on Nov 26, 2010

Zena;and her distant warrior "rights queen" Sister out of Eurasia; Xenopho rule Arizona.
In your dreams.

12:02PM PDT on Aug 9, 2010

I cant beleve it, In this tiem we are talking about the race, we all are on race the human race we are the same in alll the history, wearrive from diferents part of the world but this sis ower world, ower home.
We need to take care because this is en beging of a other racial war like the nazis's war.

5:21PM PDT on Jun 24, 2010

The very title of this article is quite offputting. One cannot win an argument or convince others of a different point of view by name-calling. That kind of behavior is juvenile and rude.

Further, the name called makes little, if any, sense. Almost all of us in this nation, save the Native Americans, are - or were descendants of - foreigners. To hate foreigners would, by definition, mean that we hate ourselves or our parents and grandparents. That is too ludicrous to even consider.

11:42PM PDT on May 24, 2010

Its people like this author that puts the united nations in this mix may i ask her where are they in IRAN to free them 3 kids there, how about China? We are not killing people, just exporting them back to where they came from. We should be out of that corrupt united nations period, they want to stick their noses in our country business why, what are we doing that no other nation don't do for themselves to protect their people? Where is the prez? No teleprom to guide him? Just crickets chirp chirp chirp

11:30PM PDT on May 24, 2010

Jade please explain how this reminds you of the civil rights? May i remind you the civil rights was just that to give the African-Americans their just do as they are UNITED STATES CITIZENS here legally, big difference.
Bobbi you are just wrong have you had to go to IRS and prove you didn't make that extra $35,000? Its not fun, and yes they do use food stamps, please explain how? Don't tell me otherwise as i worked in a major grocery chain an dealt with it everyday. This has nothing to do with the color of our skin, it applies to all ILLEGALS no matter what country they may come from period.

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