The nation is abuzz after Arizona passed a new immigration law SB 1070 that empowers local police to ask the immigration status of people who police officers believe have “reasonable suspicion” of being in the U.S. illegally. About two weeks later, to much less fanfare, Gov. Jan Brewer signed another bill into law that bans ethnic studies in Arizona schools that are race based, radical, separatist, or revolutionary.
In this blog I will explain what the new bill does and why it’s needed. I won’t argue about the merit of ethnic identity classes courses in our schools as that subject has been discussed adequately on Vdare.
HB 2281 prohibits all Arizona school districts and charter schools from including classes that either promote the overthrow of the United States government or promote resentment toward a race or class of people. This is the most important part of the bill:
15-111. Declaration of policy
The legislature finds and declares that public school pupils should be taught to treat and value each other as individuals and not be taught to resent or hate other races or classes of people. END_STATUTE
START_STATUTE15-112. Prohibited courses and classes; enforcement
A. A school district or charter school in this state shall not include in its program of instruction any courses or classes that:
1. Promote the overthrow of the United States government.
2. Promote resentment toward a race or class of people.
3. Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.
On first impression most people may think that a law like 2281 isn’t necessary because it’s easy to make the assumption that public schools wouldn’t teach kids such things. Times have changed, however — and not for the better! Now, instead of teaching American history and social science as generic courses for all students, kids are segregated into classes that teach ethnocentric revisionist history. In their convoluted world American history, as presently taught in the public schools, is false history because it was written by powerful white people.
The trend towards race based curricula in the schools was established when the “Black Power” movement pressured administrators to offer classes in “black history” or “black studies”. In many cities, such as Tucson, Arizona this educational trend morphed into a radical form of indoctrination called “Chicano Studies” in high school and college. Attendance isn’t barred for whites or blacks but most of the students are of Mexican lineage. Chicano studies is an odd blend of radical communism, ethnic chauvinism, and a revolutionary fervor for separating the southwest United States into a new country called Aztlan.
The best way to understand why HB 2281 is necessary is to see what the schools are teaching.
Take for instance the Tucson textbook Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, by Rudolfo Acuña, 5th Edition. At a backbreaking 554 pages and over $200, it’s quite a burden for students and parents. Notice the provocative title that implies that America is being occupied by oppressors. The front cover has a picture of Fidel Castro. Like most book authors, Acuna doesn’t end the book without offering a solution — KILL THE WHITE PEOPLE!
This excerpt of the textbook is a very deceptive way of teaching what appears to be history while implanting ideas in the impressionable minds of young students:
Jose Angel Gutierrez, 22, a MAYO speaker at Kel Rio, demanded reinstatement of the VISTA program and protested inequality, poverty, and police brutality throughout Texas. At the rally Gutierrez said, “We are fed up. We are going to move to do away with the injustices to the Chicano and if the ‘gringo’ doesn’t get out of our way, we will stampede over him.” Gutiérrez attacked the gringo establishment angrily at a press conference and called upon Chicanos to ‘kill the gringo,’ which meant to end white control over Mexicans.
This book isn’t just limited to use in Arizona. It’s popular wherever Chicano studies can be found, like in Pasco School District in the state of Washington, or Greenville County schools in South Carolina. To see the Pasco curriculum look under Mex/Am History and click this for Greenville.
Then there is the The Mexican American Heritage, 2nd Edition, by Carlos M. Jimenez. The book is mostly a history of oppressed Mexicans in America with justifications why overturning the white oligarchy is a just cause, but in addition it has some clever English lessons. Take for instance this one, which is used as an example of a complete sentence:
“Aztlan is another name for the U.S. Southwest”
The use of the present tense is very telling. Actually, “never was” would be more accurate because Aztlan was a fictional area that comprises most of the U.S. Southwest that the Mexican Reconquistas want to separate from the United States. In their revisionist imaginations they used to own the land, but it’s highly debatable if they ever occupied it enough to claim ownership. In the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 the U.S. paid Mexico $15 million for the land just to show good will among neighbors. Aztlan never was and will never be unless Americans allow the Mexican invasion to continue.
Another chapter gives a different meaning to the definition of U.S. citizenship, and the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America. Pay attention to the way he blurs the distinction between Mexicans who were born in the U.S., which means they are citizens, with the people of Mexico who are foreign nationals. He says that all that divides Mexicans is a border — MADE BY WHITE PEOPLE!
For the young Mexican American people of today, even those born in the U.S., it is important to realize their brotherhood with the people of Mexico. We who live here in the U.S. must not let the historically recent border divide us as a people.
A different section of the book almost seems to be gloating that the U.S. is failing to stop the invasion of the Reconquistas.
Chapter: “The Loss of Aztlan.”
“Apparently the U.S. is having as little success in keeping the Mexicans out of Aztlan as Mexico had when they tried to keep the North Americans out of Texas in 1830.” (P. 107.) “…the Latinos are now realizing that the power to control Aztlan may once again be in their hands.”
There are other books that are used.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Freire, a Brazilian Marxist. The book is a treatise on victimology theories that teach students that they are victims because of their race, gender, or ethnicity. The oppressors are RICH WHITE PEOPLE!
Prison Notebook, Antonio Gramsci, an Italian communist. He was known as a class warrior.
Foxnews had two great stories and videos to watch.
The first is “In Defense of Arizona’s Ethnic Studies Law”, May 14, 2010, Story, Video. It is an interview with Tom Horne, Arizona superintendent of public instruction.
Hint for watching videos: Fox News videos tend to be buggy, so of course that’s the links I gave (sorry!). If the fox video player gives you trouble follow the story links to Greta Van Susteren’s website sometimes she posts video clips that work.
HORNE: In the Tucson school district — this was what led me to introduce this legislation — they divide the kids up. They’ve got Raza studies for the Latino kids. Raza means “the race” in Spanish. African-American studies for the African-American kids, Indian studies for the native American kids and Asian studies for the Asian kids. And they’re dividing them up just like the old South.
HORNE: So I think this is mostly dysfunctional for the students that are in this Raza studies program being subject to a revolutionary curriculum, a curriculum that tells them that we took Arizona and other states from Mexico and it should go back to them, that tells them that the enemy is capitalism, that they’re oppressed and they should be resentful.
The second is, “Arizona Ethnic Studies from a Former Teacher’s Point of View”, story, video. It’s an interview with John Ward, a former history teacher in Tucson that taught classes in the Raza “Race” studies department. It’s mentioned in the article that John Ward and his family are Mexican American, although that’s easy to miss because of his non-Hispanic sounding name and light complexion.
Former Tucson high school teacher John Ward [Raza studies department], who wrote an op-ed about his concerns about ethnic studies programs in Arizona back in 2008, went ON THE RECORD to explain his views and why he was removed from a class.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now, I have a copy of an article or an op-ed that you wrote back in 2008, so this is not something new that suddenly has come up in the heat of all the other battle over the immigration law. This is something you’ve been talking about for at least two years.
Now, tell me, this was originally supposed to be a history class you were teaching, is that right?
WARD: It was. It was an American history class and students were receiving American history credit that is required by the state of Arizona for graduation.
VAN SUSTEREN: What was wrong with it? Why wasn’t it, in your view, American history? What was — what was the argument about it?
WARD: I was surprised during the first six weeks of class when absolutely no American history was being covered in the class. The class focused solely on the history of the Aztec people, which is the group that Mexican-American activists basically ascribe their lineage to. And at that point, I questioned why these students were receiving American history credit when, in fact, there was no American history being taught. So that was the beginning of this internal conflict that was taking place within the program.
WARD: Initially, before the beginning of the school year, they needed someone to teach the class. The class was typically thought by someone from the ethnic studies department at the district level. The individual that was slated to teach the course didn’t have a teaching credential, and so they needed someone like myself, who had teaching credentials, to be the, quote, “teacher of record.”
My understanding was that I would co-teach the class with this other teacher. Unfortunately, I found out once I entered the class that I was expected to sit in the back of the room and simply be the name below the assignment of grades at the end of the semester and to keep quiet. And that was simply not a role that I was willing to accept or embrace. And at that point, it was when, again, this was something that was not going to be allowed or tolerated by these individuals.
VAN SUSTEREN: John, thank you.