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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Huppenthal Demands Mexican American Studies in Tucson, Threatens School Funding

Arizona Legislators Continue Attack On Immigrants

Legislators in the Arizona senate continue their assault on everything not exactly just like them, which is mostly white.  One of the most recent victims of conservative thinking is the ethnic studies programs in Arizona schools.  The legislature has enacted a law which makes it illegal to study diversity in public school.  They didn’t have a book burning in public education.  They just refuse to let anyone open the books that have already been written.  The following article will give you a few more details.

This article originally appeared as:  Huppenthal Forbids Mexican American Studies on Technorati, by Tim Paynter

In late December, 2010, Arizona SB 2281 went into effect. The new law bans ethnic studies, thus putting an end to the study of cultural diversity in Arizona.  One of those classes is the Mexican American Studies Class in Tucson, which has provided great insight to both minority and non-minority students.

In response to the new law, a protest group has been set up by the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) Mexican American Studies Community Advisory Board. According to organizers, Mexican American Studies class informs and motivates students. Some of it's goals include: 

  • Working towards the invoking of a critical consciousness within each and every student; Promoting and advocating for social and educational transformation;
  • Promoting and advocating for the demonstration of respect, understanding, appreciation, inclusion, and love at every level of service.

However, newly elected Arizona Schools Superintendent John Huppenthal told the TUSD to halt classes or it would lose $15 million dollars in annual state funds. The threat breaks Huppenthal's promise to "Direct More Money Into the Classroom...too many of our education dollars are wasted on administrative bloat. More money needs to go directly to the classroom to support teachers." he says on his web page.

John Huppenthal from KVOA Photo

Huppenthal says the class violates SB 2281.  The TUSD disagrees and will sue.  If one side does not back down, the TUSD will spend more tax payer dollars in what Huppenthal called "wasted bloat" in court defending the basic rights of students to learn about the history of the Mexican-Americans who shaped a great part of Arizona.

confederate colors

Russell Pearce’s face has been placed over a new background on Facebook by some people who would like to recall him.   Many people believe his is proposing laws which are racist in nature.

According to the new law, the school has 60 days to comply.   Conservative voices say the SB 2281 is designed to promote unity and non-discriminatory practices.  Specifically, the law makes a class illegal if: 1. It promotes the overthrow of the United States; 2. Promotes resentment toward a race or class of people; 3. (Is) designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group; 4. Advocates ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."

However, others argue the law is designed to stop discussion and opposition to SB 1070, the most vicious anti-immigrant law in history, which was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) in May of 2010.  SB 1070 promotes racial profiling and has been found to usurp federal immigration law to such an extent Judge Susan Bolton blocked major portions of it.  Arizona continues spending large sums litigating SB 1070.  Civil rights groups have called for national boycotts as well as a boycott of specific businesses which cater to the Hispanic community but whose owners back conservative candidates.

A meeting has been called seeking solutions to the crisis and banned classes.  The meeting will be at El Pueblo Center Senior Building 101 W. Irvington Road Tucson AZ from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, February 4th, 2011, according to a public page of SAVE Arizona.

The organization SAVE Arizona was set up to fight conservative law makers who attack minorities and the poor. The group is involved in several grass roots projects including a recall petition for Sen. Russell Pearce (R-AZ), who consistently supports anti-Hispanic laws.

Arizona remains the hotbed of anti-immigrant thinking and sentiments.   One can only hope the laws proposed in Arizona and which continue to divide the nation do not spread to other states.   Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) provides a solution for those who want to strengthen the border while at the same time addressing the problems undocumented workers already in the US face.

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