Arizona’s new immigration law is just about crime, so they say, but given that the state’s new education policy equates ethnic studies programs with high treason, they may not be using the commonly accepted definition of “crime.”
Under the ban, sent to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer by the state legislature Thursday, schools will lose state funding if they offer any courses that “promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”
As ThinkProgress notes, the Tucson Unified School District’s popular Mexican-American studies department is the target here. The state superintendent charges that the program exhibits “ethnic chauvinism.”
While the argument has some merit, the whole “if we had a program designed to promote white heritage we’d be vilified” argument doesn’t hold much (if any) water with me because, well, you LIVE IN A PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROMOTE WHITE HERITAGE.
Everything about our society champions your Anglo-Saxon ideals, as set out by our founding fathers. Ones who were, coincidentally, white Anglo-Saxons.
Meanwhile, in a move that was more covert until the Wall Street Journal uncovered it, the Arizona Department of Education has told schools that teachers with “heavy” or “ungrammatical” accents are no longer allowed to teach English classes.
As outlined by the Journal, Arizona’s recent pattern of discriminatory education policies is ironic — and is likely a function of No Child Left Behind funding requirements — given that the state spent a decade recruiting teachers for whom English was a second language.
In the 1990s, Arizona hired hundreds of teachers whose first language was Spanish as part of a broad bilingual-education program. Many were recruited from Latin America.
Then in 2000, voters passed a ballot measure stipulating that instruction be offered only in English. Bilingual teachers who had been instructing in Spanish switched to English.
Teachers who don’t meet the new fluency standards have the option of taking classes to improve their English, the Journal reports, but if they fail to reach the state’s targets would be fired or reassigned.
So you spend the better part of a decade building an education system that caters, somewhat, to your latino population. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, you turn the system on its head, reversing course.
I have been saying for weeks that the people of Arizona cultivated a culture of tolerance on the issue of illegal immigration. Some turned a blind eye, others hired the illegals to work at a low wage (profiting greatly from them) and even more thrived off the boost to the economy.
They took this new-found prosperity to entice large numbers of corporations from California to pull up stakes and take root in their state. Needless to say, they thrived even more.
Now, amidst the underlying riptide of racial division that is gripping the nation since President Obama was elected, they inexplicably are waging an ethnic war on people who are by and far good, kind people.
Crime has gone down in the state, at a greater rate than the rest of the nation, as the flocks of illegal immigrants have come in. So this cry to “defend ourselves” is nothing more than the product of some clever fear mongering.
Linda Chavez of Creators.com points out that:
“The problem with this theory is that actual crime statistics tell a different story. Crime in Arizona has consistently gone down over the last 15 years, even while illegal immigration was increasing. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports show that the violent crime rate statewide in Arizona has been cut by almost 40 percent since 1995, and property crimes have followed the same pattern.”
“Violent crime rates — including rape, murder and robbery — haven’t been this low since 1972, and Arizona’s violent crime decreased at a faster rate than the national decline over the same period. More importantly, this decline in violent crime occurred during the very period that Arizona experienced a huge influx of illegal immigrants, with the Arizona border becoming the main source of illegal entry from Mexico in every year since 1998. Whatever other problems Arizonans have with illegal immigrants, they can’t blame them for a non-existent rise in violent crime.”
The “flash point” moment you kept hearing talked about over and over again was the death of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz. The man was gunned down on his own property by an illegal so they said, in front of any and every microphone they could find.
Now that the furor that ensued got them their bill, they quietly let out word that the suspect “may or may not be an American citizen.” Hrm, how convenient.
Arizona is walking a fine line. With each passing day it seems that they confound the rest of the nation with laws that are at best unconstitutional or at worst down right bigoted.
I can only hope that common sense will stem the tide of ignorance that seems to sweeping through the state like some sort of man-made disaster.