So I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while, but I’ve been sick a lot lately, and I just haven’t had enough brain cells left at the end of the day to do it. A particularly racist law went through the Arizona Legislature not long ago worded to kill one particular ethnic studies program–a highly-lauded program from the part of the state I’m originally from. I hadn’t realized that somehow, the Tucson school board was involved in the invoking the law to challenge and then kill the program. But apparently they have more bigots to deal with on the board than I’d anticipated . . . and one of them consented to an interview with The Daily Show. The clip is above, in addition to an article containing a useful summary.
Obviously, this guy is an idiot in addition to being racist, but the truth is, the entire law is screwy. What it boils down to is making some entirely subjective determination that a program teaches ethnic identity in a way somebody feels could lead to students feeling like they must rebel against the US. Though how they think groups of high school students are likely to rebel against the US is beyond me.
If you’re playing along at home, what this would mean is that it would be totally okay for any student who wasn’t Hispanic to be enrolled in the course, because there’s no chance of ethnic identity. Thus making sure that you could teach it to anyone who didn’t have a very reasonable vested interest. On what planet does this make sense?
Fortunately, most Tucsonans have better sense than this. The law is being challenged, this time by students (teachers tried, but were told they didn’t have the vested interest necessary to do so). And anybody stupid enough to use the word “gringo” in a national television interview isn’t likely to be reelected.