Arizona's new law that requires the police to ask people to show ID, which was just knocked out by a supremacist judge, may not be the most controversial Arizona law about illegal aliens. Gov. Jan Brewer signed another law this year that bans schools from teaching classes designed to promote solidarity among students of a particular ethnic group.
This law bans classes that "promote the overthrow of the United States government" or "promote resentment toward a race or class of people" because schools should treat all pupils as individual Americans. The issue arose because the Tucson School District offers courses in Mexican-American studies (known locally as Raza Studies) that focus on that particular group and its influence.
The law doesn't prohibit these classes so long as they are open to all students and don't promote ethnic resentment or solidarity. However, Arizona's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Horne, says the basic theme of the Mexican-American studies program is that Latino students "were and continue to be victims of a racist American society driven by the interests of middle- and upper-class whites."
Among the goals listed for the Mexican-American Studies are "social justice" and "Latino Critical Race Pedagogy." Pictures of the classroom showed the walls decorated with "heroes," such as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.
Tucson also offers courses especially for African-American and Native-American students. These classes obviously divide the student population by race, a practice we thought was not supposed to be tolerated anymore.
Greta Van Susteren interviewed former Tucson high school teacher, John A. Ward, who was removed from teaching the class for Mexican Americans and reassigned because he questioned the curriculum. For raising concerns, Ward was called a racist. And since he is of Mexican heritage, Ward was also called a vendido (Spanish for sellout).
The state of Arizona requires students to take a course in American history in order to graduate, but Ward said the course was actually not about American history at all. He said it focused solely on the history of the Aztec people, which is the group to which Mexican-American activists ascribe their lineage.
Others who have looked at the books used in these courses say they refer to Americans as "Anglos" or "Euroamericans" rather than as "Americans." The books do not recognize the United States as a country, but claim Arizona is part of "Aztlan, Mexico" (even though the Aztecs never lived in what is now the United States).
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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