Thursday, January 13, 2011

HB 2281 (you know, Arizona's other new racist law) Ethnic Chauvinism

Chicano Studies Teach “Ethnic Chauvinism,” Says AZ School Chief Tom Horne
HB 2281 (you know, Arizona's other new racist law), the one ostensibly meant to protect American students from anti-American curriculum in the state's public schools. The law forbids any public school course that does any of these things: encourages students to "resent or hate other races or classes of people; promote[s] the overthrow of the United States government; promote[s] resentment toward a race or class of people" or "is designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group" or "advocate[s] ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."

Its champion is Arizona's new attorney general, Tom Horne. As the state superintendent he set aside Tucson's ethnic studies courses for elimination and made it his mission to outlaw the program's Mexican-American studies courses, even though educators argued that students who took the classes graduated at higher rates than students who didn't. The history and English electives put special emphasis on Latino history in the U.S., one which happens to include racism, oppression, exploitation and exclusion. Horne has repeatedly said these classes teach kids "ethnic chauvinism."

HB 2281 is full of transparently coded language. Nonetheless it falls on the shoulders of whoever wants to challenge the underlying assumptions within it to unpack it all.


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