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Kristallnacht in Arizona

On April 6, 1933, the German Students Association’s Main Office for Press and Propaganda proclaimed a nationwide “Action against the Un-German Spirit,” to climax in a literary purge or “cleansing” (Säuberung) by fire. Local chapters were to supply the press with releases and commissioned articles, sponsor well-known Nazi figures to speak at public gatherings, and negotiate for radio broadcast time. On April 8, the students association also drafted its twelve “theses” — deliberately evocative ofMartin Luther — declarations and requisites of a “pure” national language and culture. Placards publicized the students’ “theses,” which attacked “Jewish intellectualism,” asserted the need to “purify” the German language and literature, and demanded that universities be centers of German nationalism. The students described the proclaimed “action” as a response to a worldwide Jewish “smear campaign” against Germany and an affirmation of traditional German values... Welcome to Arizona

A new law is set to take place in Arizona, HB 2281 – which is to ban “Ethnic Studies”. “Ethnic” in this case being any American who isn’t white… The need to  “purify” the American language and literature… Indeed. By 1938 the pogrom had reached fever pitch, and Kristallnacht. About the only difference between the Nazi Kristallnacht and an American Lynching (Tulsa, Rosewood) I can see is the spiffy Nazi uniforms. Same program, different channel. Both were preceded by virulent anti-minority language, with action bolstered by, and given the “seal of approval” of law.

As a child of the 60’s, I ask myself -“What happened to all the hell raisers?” Been looking for a way to shut the whole state down about now… I guess we didn’t have video games.

Arizona Bans Ethnic Studies and, Along With it, Reason and Justice

While much condemnation has rightly been expressed toward Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, a less-reported and potentially more sinister measure is set to take effect on January 1, 2011. This new law, which was passed by the conservative state legislature at the behest of then-School Superintendent (and now Attorney General-elect) Tom Horne, is designated HB 2281 and is colloquially referred to as a measure to ban ethnic studies programs in the state. As with SB 1070, the implications of this law are problematic, wide-ranging and decidedly hate filled.

Whereas SB 1070 focused primarily on the ostensible control of bodies, HB 2281 is predominantly about controlling minds. In this sense, it is the software counterpart of Arizona’s race-based politicking, paired with the hardware embodied in SB 1070’s “show us your papers” logic of “attrition through enforcement,” which has already resulted in tens of thousands of people leaving the state. With HB 2281, the intention is not so much to expel or harass as it is to inculcate a deep-seated, second-class status by denying people the right to explore their own histories and cultures. It is, in effect, about the eradication of ethnic identity among young people in the state’s already-floundering school system, which now ranks near the bottom in the nation.

There’s a word for what Arizona is attempting to do here: ethnocide. It is similar to genocide in its scope, but it reflects the notion that it is an ethnic and/or cultural identity under assault more so than physical bodies themselves. By imposing a curriculum that forbids the exploration of divergent cultures while propping up the dominant one, there’s another process at work here, what we might call ethnonormativity. This takes the teachings of one culture – the colonizer’s – and makes it the standard version of history while literally banning other accounts, turning the master narrative into the “normal” one, and further denigrating marginalized perspectives. America’s racialized past abounds with such examples of oppressed people being denied their languages, histories and cultures, including through enforced indoctrination in school systems.

As if to add insult to injury, HB 2281 barely makes a pretense to hide any of this in its language and intended scope. A close reading of the law lays bare some of the more stark and sinister aspects of its potential application in a state where Hispanic students fill nearly half the seats in the public schools (the domain to which HB 2281 will apply). In particular, there are three primary aspects of the law that merit further investigation as contributing factors to the ongoing erasure of ethnic identities and the further marginalization of people of color in Arizona. (more)

 

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks, The New Jim Crow

 

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The New Jim Crow — Enslavement By Dis-education

In most slave holding states prior to the Civil War in the United States it was illegal to teach slaves to read. There was a genuine fear that if they could read, they might read something  – Like the Declaration of Independence, which would cause them to resist their condition en masse.

Keeping folks ignorant of their history has been a prime method of enslavement and repression throughout history…

Things that go bump in the night in conservative minds...

Which is exactly why conservatives in Arizona are afraid of “diversity studies”, and conservatives in Texas “whitewashed” the textbooks.

One of the conceptual foundations roiling conservatives in Arizona is “Raza” studies. The following provides a thread of the precepts of Raza…

What State Officials Don’t Want Arizona School Children to Know

For the next few months, the world will be focusing on Arizona’s SB 1070 – the state’s new racial profiling law. However, in this insane asylum known as Arizona, where conservatives have concocted one reactionary scheme after another, another law in particular stands out for its embrace of Dark Ages-era censorship – the 2010 anti-ethnic studies HB 2281 – a law that seeks to codify the “triumph” of Western Civilization with its emphasis on Greco-Roman culture.
Unless it is blocked, HB 2281 – which creates an inquisitorial mechanism that will determine which books and curricula are acceptable in the state – will go into effect on January 1, 2011. Books such as “Occupied America” by Rodolfo Acuña and “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire, have already been singled out as being un-American and preaching the violent overthrow of the US government.

Both laws are genocidal: one law attacks the physical presence of red-brown peoples; the other one, our minds and spirits.

Lost in the tumultuous debate regarding what can be taught in the state’s schools is the topic of what actually constitutes ethnic/Raza studies. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2010 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Arizona – 4 Hispanics on a Streetcorner…Is a Riot!

Old joke from the Civil Rights Era –

1 black person on a street corner is trouble

2 black people on a street corner is a conspiracy

3 black people on a street corner is a crime

4 black people on a street corner is a riot.

They have virtually no black folks in Arizona – so Hispanics are just going to have to do.

HB 2281  outlaws curriculum that is anti-American and that advocates the violent overthrow of the U.S. government (I imagine there is a Tea Bagger exemption?).

The bill creates a mechanism by which books will be judged to be in compliance. American Indian and African American classes are exempted. The clear target is the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies  (MAS)  program. The Arizona Department of Education has “has begun telling principals to remove teachers who speak English with an accent from classes with students who are still learning English.”

Arizona’s Superintendent for Public Instruction, Tom Horne is on record claiming that only things from Western Civilization (Greco-Roman) should be taught in Arizona schools. Pre- Colombian Indigenous knowledge from this continent – the foundation for the highly successful MAS program – is considered outside of Western Civilization.

Arizona Outlaws Ethnic Studies – Because they’re racist against white people

Well, this should quiet down all the racial tension in Arizona: Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill designed to outlaw the Tucson school district’s ethnic studies program—just hours after UN human rights experts issued a report condemning that very law. The measure is the brainchild of Arizona schools chief Tom Horne, who believes that the Mexican-American studies classes taught in Tucson high schools teach Latino students to resent white people. “It’s just like the old South, and it’s long past time we prohibited it,” Horne, a Republican running for Attorney General, tells the AP.

He’s pushed for the law since 2006, when he heard that a Hispanic activist had told a class that “Republicans hate Latinos.” The law bans any classes designed to promote solidarity among a particular ethnic group. Tucson’s schools offer Mexican-American, African-American and Native-American studies programs, but district officials say they think all are in compliance with the law.

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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Arizona… Again! State Bans Ethnic “Chauvanism” in Education!

Fresh from conservatives “disappearing” Thurgood Marshall, Ceasar Chavez, and Hispanics from Texas textbooks…

We have Arizona’s new law to disappear all minorities.

Arizona Legislature Passes Bill to Curb ‘Chauvanism’ in Ethnic Studies Programs

After making national headlines for a new law on illegal immigrants, the Arizona Legislature sent Gov. Jan Brewer a bill Thursday that would ban ethnic studies programs in the state that critics say currently advocate separatism and racial preferences.

After making national headlines for a new law on illegal immigrants, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill Thursday that would ban ethnic studies programs in the state that critics say currently advocate separatism and racial preferences.

New Arizona Welcome Sign

The bill, which passed 32-26 in the state House, had been approved by the Senate a day earlier. It now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer for her signature. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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