Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chicano classes ruffles feathers of Arizona lawmakers

One of the criticisms of Arizona’s recently signed immigration law is that it singles out Latinos, a charge vehemently denied by the measure’s supporters. One wonders what the law’s backers feel about another edict that targets Mexican-American studies classes.

HB 2281 was signed yesterday by Gov. Jan Brewer and bans all ethnic studies courses in Arizonan schools. The measure bans classes that specifically back the overthrow of the government as well as courses “that advocate ethnic solidarity, that are designed primarily for students of a particular race or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group.”

The law was the brainchild of state schools chief Tom Horne who has long claimed that the Chicano studies courses in the Tucson school district promoted a "destructive ethnic chauvinism." Horne, who is undoubtedly trying to score cheap political points as part of a possible run as Arizonan attorney general, claimed that one of the textbooks used in the Tucson Chicano studies class promotes the idea that “kids that they live in occupied America, or occupied Mexico.”

The law gives the state Board of Education is local school superintendent the right to withhold up to 10% of state aid for “violations.” However, school districts have the right to appeal the law and the measure is supposed to take effect on December 31st. For now, Tucson school officials have defended the targeted ethnic studies classes:
Tucson Unified School District officials say the Chicano studies classes benefit students and promote critical thinking. "We don't teach all those ugly things they think we're teaching," said Judy Burns, the president of the district's governing board.

She has no intention of ending the program, which offers courses from elementary school through high school in topics such as literature, history and social justice, with an emphasis on Latino authors and history. About 3% of the district's 55,000 students are enrolled in such classes…

The Tucson district plans to double the number of students in Chicano studies in the upcoming school year, said Sean Arce, the director of the program. Arce said that now that the bill has become law, he's waiting for direction from the district's legal department.
Image- The Telegraph
Online Sources- Los Angeles Times, Politico, UPI,, AFP, CBS News


Vicente Duque said...
The Arizona Republic
Phoenix loses 2012 GOP convention to Tampa
by Jahna Berry, Michael Ferraresi and Ginger Rough
May 12, 2010

Phoenix loses 2012 GOP convention to Tampa

CNN : Arizona Boycott gains Momentum - Los Angeles City Council overwhelmingly approved the Boycott on Wednesday May 12 - Itemized lists of Cities in Boycott

In my site RACIALITY.COM I am keeping the scores of this game of the BOYCOTT.

I also keep track of all the Cities, City Councils, Education Boards, County Supervisors, etc ... that are boycotting Arizona.

And don't forget lost conventions and tourists.

Vicente Duque

Anonymous said...

de Clermont - I agree with the Arizonan that believes the Chicano classes create a separate cultural identity. For reference, I speak 5 languages (Spanish too) and have lived in Mexico City for 17 years. I love the Mexican culture, but I know history. A country that promotes multiple cultural identities suffers internal social strife. There should be one identity taught - USA. For examples, one only need look at Belgium that promotes 3 cultural identities and their politics is riven with language and cultural strife constantly. Look at the Balkans. The USA is asking and promoting trouble by allowing separate cultural identities to proliferate instead of melding into one...with first generations having an identity more akin to the Motherland. Additionally, I cannot believe the stupid responses to the Arizona immigration law. There is nothing illegal about it and nothing illegal has yet been committed. So far everyone is claiming that it will lead to crimes against non-whites. If this were a court of law instead of a court of public opinion, all those accusers would lose and would be told to shut up or face a penalty including jail time. I hope Arizona will be able to stand up against the onslaught of these evil forces that wish to circumevent democracy by stirring up undemocratically public opinion. Shame on all those people who resort to fascist methods to shut up the Arizona legislature and to force them to change. If this attack is being led by Hispanics, then perhaps there should be a law against letting more hispanics in the USA. They do not need Latin America political examples to enter into a largely exemplary US political system.

Anonymous said...

you've spoken exactly like an uper class/ middles class white male who has never endured forms of racial discrimination. Ignorance is a disease.