Ethnic Studies

The Clash Of The Future Now: Arizona As Ground Zero

The state of Arizona is a perfect example of a right wing state clashing with the future, and it is now Ground Zero.

This is the state of Governor Jan Brewer, just about the most despicable woman politician, not an easy thing to say when one thinks of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, but she fits the bill with her words and actions, including her disrespect shown to the President Barack Obama by pointing her finger at him, and lying about it and many other things.

This is the state of Senator Jon Kyl, thankfully retiring at the end of this year, with his former respectable image destroyed by evidence of bias, prejudice, and loads of stupid statements in the past few years.

This is the state of Senator John McCain, once respectable and moderate, but now old and grouchy and ready to take America into another Middle Eastern war anytime.

This is the state of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, being investigated on charges of violating the rights of prisoners and mistreatment of Hispanics, whether legal or illegal, and not caring about image or violations and abuses, as he promotes a “tough guy” image embarrassing to his state.

This was the state of Russell Pearce, who thankfully was recalled by the voters of his state senate district, but was infamous for anti immigrant and pro gun legislation seen as very extreme.

This is the state of Paul Babeu, Pinal County Sheriff, another “tough guy” and hardline against illegal immigration, who is now shown to have had a sexual relationship with an Hispanic male, which has now become a scandal and will hamper his attempt to serve as a Republican in the next Congress.

This is the state which has a state senate which has banned ethnic studies courses for Hispanics as undermining their “Americanism”, and a state legislature which passed the infamous SB 1070 immigration bill now being challenged by the US government in court.

This is the state which has been judged by NATIONAL JOURNAL to have the second most conservative House of Representatives delegation, only behind, regrettably, my resident state of Florida. Notice that I say “resident”, as this author and blogger still identifies as a New Yorker, the state he lived in, went to school in, and worked in, until moving to Florida in 1989. The fact that New York’s House delegation is rated seventh most liberal, behind only Hawaii and five New England states makes this author proud!

Getting back to Arizona, the state, despite these disgraceful “public servants” and legislative record of discrimination and prejudice, is rapidly changing demographically, and can best be described as having two groups migrating to the state over time—older white retirees, and young Hispanics and Latinos, which guarantees continued clashes, but with young Hispanics and Latinos having the advantage for the future.

Thirty percent of Arizona is now Hispanic, compared to 58 percent white, and over the next decade, it is possible that whites will become less than the majority of Arizonans, and this will affect its politics dramatically.

Some think Arizona could go to Barack Obama, in the Presidential Election of 2012, although that still seems unlikely. But by 2020 and after, the Democrats will have a great advantage, as will be the case in Texas as well.

So the white population is facing a future in which it will NOT control the agenda, the state legislature, or the House delegation or the Senate seats. This is the clash of the future, already displaying itself now, as Arizona is becoming Ground Zero in the recognition of the transformation of America that will be national in the next generation!

The Need For Ethnic Studies Courses As Electives In Schools!

Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer has just signed a bill that bans ethnic studies classes in public schools and charter schools, with specific attention being paid to the Tucson public schools, which have a Chicano Studies course, that many claim has promoted discontent and anger among students who have taken the course.

The law actually bans ANY ethnic studies courses, meaning including African American, Asian American, Native American–and by extension–Jewish and Women and Gay Studies courses, which would also be covered under the ban by extension! 🙁

If all of the above groups were covered fairly and comprehensively in American History courses below the college level, then one could possibly understand the reasoning behind the legislation, although it is still censorship!

But as it is, the public school curriculum around the nation lacks the ability to even cover the basic facts and concepts of American history! It is, therefore, outrageous to promote the banning of coverage of the various groups in American society who have been denied equality and justice throughout most of the nation’s history!

This is clearly a right wing attempt to promote distortion, and it now makes Arizona similar to Texas, where the entire history curriculum is being politicized and distorted to teach a conservative oriented, narrow minded view of our national history!

The biggest loser in both Texas and Arizona are Mexican Americans and other Latinos, and yet, as stated many times, the future of the nation is the reality that people of Spanish descent will become, more and more, the largest minority group in America, as in fact, they already are!

Of all ethnic groups that have made up the American nation, only those of German ethnicity have rivaled the numbers who are of Mexican heritage. So the future is here, and the nation needs to learn to deal with it! People of Latino heritage, whether Mexican or other Spanish speaking nations, will not sit back and allow continued discrimination and denial of their history!

All that this outrageous legislation does is promote racism, hatred, and ignorance! It must be appealed by law suits, and Arizona should be ashamed of itself, as it continues down the road of being the inheritor of the racism of Mississippi and Alabama in the 1960s!

In the present, it represents more a state, such as South Carolina or Texas, in its disgraceful state government actions! This demonstrates the danger of states rights, which many conservatives still claim to be existent, although in reality states rights as a legitimate concept was settled by the Civil War, like it or not! 🙁