Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Arizona needs to get a grip

Fresh off its recent law that will likely result in racial profiling, Arizona isn't done with the P.R. disasters.

The Republican governor signed a bill into law Tuesday that targets ethnic studies programs in the public schools. Even the United Nations had to weigh in on this one by condemning the measure.

From the Associated Press story: "The measure ... prohibits classes that advocate ethnic solidarity, that are designed primarily for students of a particular race or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group."

Apparently the state schools chief has been after the Tucson school district's Mexican-American studies program that he claims teaches Latinos they are oppressed by white people.

From the AP story again: "About 1,500 students at six high schools are enrolled in the Tucson district's program. Elementary and middle school students also are exposed to the ethnic studies curriculum. The district is 56 percent Hispanic, with nearly 31,000 Latino students."

As for promoting resentment toward a certain ethnic group, well, the state may have to throw out most of its social studies textbooks that take a pejorative look at African-Americans and Hispanics.

Latinos in Arizona don't need any lessons on racial resentment, they've endured it in Arizona and elsewhere for decades.

As I posted before, my dad remembers the segregated public pools in the 1920s and 1930s in Arizona when white kids and Mexican kids couldn't swim together.

I don't know why whites feel so threatened by minority students learning about their legacies in our culture. What is to be gained by not learning?

It seems that the state school czar, Tom Horne, who happens to be running as a Republican for attorney general, has been peeved "ever since he learned that Hispanic civil rights activist Dolores Huerta told students in 2006 that 'Republicans hate Latinos,' " the AP reported.

I think Arizona, with this new law and the "racial profiling" one, has demonstrated that the Republican leadership in the Grand Canyon state doesn't really like all those Latinos.

But they love Mexican food. Don't we all.

Doesn't Arizona have anything better to do? Like take all that sunshine and become energy independent.

No, it must antagonize Hispanics who will someday become the majority population in Arizona. The Census Bureau reports that in 2008 about 58 percent of Arizonans were white while 30 percent were Hispanic, a percentage that is double the national average.

We're turning brown, my friends. That's just the way it is.

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