An old professor of mine sent me an email talking about some legislation that just passed the appropriations committee and is headed to the full House in Arizona called measure SB1108. It would ban public schools from teaching materials that "overtly encourage dissent" in regard to core American values. Another piece would bar teachings, or organizations affiliated with public schools, community colleges, or public universities that are "based in whole or in part on race-based criteria," I find this incredibly terrifying.
From what I have read in the emails that have been going back and forth as well as this article, the target appears to be a La Raza studies program that focuses on cultural history and instilment of pride in that history. Some of the texts used in the program have rubbed people the wrong way.
It is one thing to complain about a text or two used in a program and maybe even talk to the school to get those texts removed or to choose laternate texts. I’m not saying I think this is necessary in this case because I don’t have all the information, I haven’t read the texts, I don’t know about the student organization mentioned, and so I honestly can’t comment on their ethos. However, I certainly can comment on the implications that type of legislation could have statewide.
Imagine a world where the only culture allowed to be taught is the dominant culture. How fundamentally un-American is that? While the article states that teaching about cultures would be acceptable, “race-based” classes would not. I can just see Asian Studies, Diaspora Studies, Chicano Studies, etc. disappearing from Arizona’s public universities and it makes me want to cry.
The language is so vague. I think if you asked ten people what it means to "overtly encourage dissent" from the values of American democracy and Western civilization you would get ten different answers. Debates could come to a raging halt. Any sentiment of radical change or even not so radical change could be squashed out of the brains of many children and young adults. People could essentially be taught that everything single thing about America is right and good and I am certain that type of thinking will only do our country harm.
Since Mom guessed all the songs yesterday here are five new ones
1. Horses in my dreams/ Like waves like the sea/ They pull out of here/ They pull they are free
2. Oh here we go again/ It’s time for the same arguments about/ About that and a little bit of this
3. Moon Sammy walks/ Across the floor/ Below the floor/ There is a wall. Moon Sammy, Soul Coughing. Identified by Mom.
4. When apple leaves fall/ You may feel something in your mind’s eye/ When the earth drinks in squall/ You may plan to escape on the sly. Apple, Cibo Matto. Identified by Jamie
5. It’s coming on Christmas/ They’re cutting down trees/ They’re putting up reindeer and singing songs of joy and peace. River, Joni Mitchell. Identified by Chatty Knitter.