Thursday, March 14, 2013

Federal Judge Upholds New AZ Law Banning Ethnic Studies Classes

An Arizona law that ended ethnic studies courses in Tucson schools has been largely upheld as constitutional by a federal judge.

The 'largely' comes from U.S. Circuit Court Judge Wallace Tashima voicing concern that the part of the law that prohibits courses designed for particular ethnic groups was vague.

Tashima ruled that the provision’s wording was “broad and ambiguous,” raising serious constitutional concerns that threaten “to chill the teaching of legitimate and objective ethnic studies courses.”

Still, Arizona Atty. Gen. Tom Horne this week called the ruling on HB 2281 a “victory for ensuring that public education is not held captive to radical, political elements and that students treat each other as individuals — not on the basis of the race they were born into.”

Horne, who wrote the law, and those who support it said the Mexican American Studies Program in the Tucson school system promoted resentment toward a race or a class of people and advocated ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of people as individuals.

Defenders of the program rejected that characterization and said it taught often neglected aspects of U.S. history and inspired Latino students to excel in school.

Trustees of the Tucson Unified School District discontinued the program in January 2012 after state officials determined the program violated the new law.

Needless to say, Mexican-American activist groups are vowing to appeal.Let's at least not be hypocritical in acknowledging where the objections are coming from.

I have no knowledge of what the courses in Tucson are like. But based on what I've seen in California, where courses in Chicano studies are developed with the active aid and input of of racist groups like La Raza, I'm going to make a cautious assumption that the material the Tucson Board found objectionable was fairly similar.

The difference between those of these courses I'm directly familiar with other courses of this type (say, Asian Studies for example) is readily apparent when you look at the course material. While a student might study Chinese history in America, Japanese culture or similar items in Asian Studies, the emphasis and basis of every Chicano or Mexican American studies course I'm familiar with is on racial solidarity, cultural superiority, resentment of 'anglos' and the mythic possibilities of regaining Aztlán from them some day. You won't find these courses teaching, for example that there are more Medal of Honor winners with Hispanic surnames than any other ethnic group in America or that the tyrannical Aztec culture idealized in these classes was one where basic technology like the wheel, the use of sail to move boats and the working of metals somehow never occurred to anyone, and where cannibalism and human sacrifice were practiced avidly.

But in spite of that, I totally agree that the law, known as must not discriminate and must be clear cut and ethnically neutral. I have no problem with banning all 'ethnic studies classes and breaking them down to individual classes as necessary...History of Mexico 101 for example, or East Africa History and Culture 1A.

Among the other benefits, it might put a lot of racist radicals who've used 'ethnic studies ' as a hustle to get tenure and six figure salaries from the taxpayers looking elsewhere than the rape and pollution of young minds for their livelihood.


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