The post-racial American state of Arizona is known primarily for its delicious ice tea (which is actually from Long Island!) and its delicious hatred of Mexicans. Why, the anti-immigration law that state passed last month was so over the top that even America’s Minute Man Tom Tancredo thought it went too far. And now, oh god, now the Governor has banned the teaching of “ethnic studies” in public schools.
Oh, and if you think Arizona is the only state gripped by nativist paranoia, think again! New York State — which, as a state, kind of sucks — has it’s own “Little Tuscon.” Two months ago, the sprawling metropolis of Jackson — population 1,700 — made English the official language of all business transactions. Why do these fucking immigrants keep acting like they’re a targeted, oppressed minority!?
CNN describes the new anti-ethnic studies bill this way:
Gov. Jan Brewer approved the measure without public statement Tuesday, according to state legislative records. The new law forbids elementary or secondary schools to teach classes that are “designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group” and advocate “the overthrow of the United States government” or “resentment toward a race or class of people.”
And, though I hate to say this, Andy Barr at Politico adds this relevant piece of information:
Neither the governor nor the bill’s supporters have identified examples where a Chicano studies class has advocated the “overthrow” of the federal government.
No, that’s not very surprising, is it. SIGH.
If you really hate yourself, click to about minute 4 of this CNN video (I can’t embed it because the robots won’t let me) and listen to Arizona School Superintendent Tom Horne, a real George Wallace type, talk about how great Latinos have it and how great America is. Around minute 4:25, Horne says we shouldn’t teach children they’re oppressed, to which Anderson Cooper responds:
AC: So is there no racism today? Is that something that should not be discussed?
Horne: That’s not the predominant atmosphere of America. America is the land of opportunity and we should be teaching the kids that this is a land of opportunity and not teach them the downer that they’re oppressed and they can’t get anywhere. They should be angry against their government. They should be angry against the country. [emphasis added.]
This Horne guy, woah moma. He actually said that thing above, for serious. Let’s not teach the downer that is reality. The thing is, most of learning is a downer. The more you learn, the more you learn what’s wrong and unfair. You teach kids about those structural inequalities to give them tools to break down those established barriers when they grow up. Or, in Arizona, you try to outlaw that kind of subversive thought and propagandize kids to believe that America Is Great And Free And The Land Of Opportunity For Everyone, Equally.
UPDATE: If anyone gets a weird message after signing that petition, let me know.