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IS ARIZONA IMPLEMENTING A RESTORATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES?
by Debra Mullins
(May 4, 2010) — On Thursday, April 29, 2010, the Arizona House of Representatives passed the Senate-amended version of HB2281, banning racial and ethnic studies from the curricula of state-funded K-12 schools. The bill passed the Senate on Wednesday, April 28, and is now awaiting Governor Jan Brewer’s signature.
This is the second bill passed in as many weeks which has raised the ire and derision of some Latinos and other racial and ethnic groups. On April 23, 2010, Governor Brewer signed into law SB1070, which requires Law Enforcement to detain anyone with whom it comes in contact if there is reasonable suspicion such person is unlawfully residing in the United States. The new law has sparked protests across the nation, and some states and special interests groups are advocating the boycott of Arizona and Arizona-produced products.
The purpose and scope of HB2281 is to remove racial and ethnic studies from public and charter school curricula and to teach pupils to treat and respect others as individuals rather than associating them with a particular race or ethnic group in such a way that it fosters resentment or discrimination on the part of other races and/or ethnic groups.
The bill prohibits instruction in courses which:
- Promote the overthrow of the United States government.
- Promote resentment toward a race or class of people.
- Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.
- Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.
School districts that are found to be out of compliance and fail to comply within 60 days of notification will risk losing up to 10% of their appropriated state funding.
It is not the intent of HB2281 to completely cleanse the curriculum of references to various racial and ethnic groups and minority individuals who have been oppressed or who have made significant contributions during the course of the United States’ evolution; it should, however, be taught only in a historical context. Students still need to learn about the Civil War, the European migration that occurred during the Industrial Revolution, the extermination of millions of Jews during World War II, the Civil Rights movement, etc.
There are also ulterior motives at play when public schools include racial and ethnic studies in their curricula. The left’s indoctrination and propagation of its agenda begins in the public school system. It is politically motivated to create racial and ethnic divisions; a significant part of the Democrat Party’s platform is to perpetuate the myth that it is the only political party that stands for the rights of minorities. Thus, the inclusion of racial and ethnic studies in public school curricula may also be intended to shore up and increase the size of the left’s base.
The Arizona legislature, however, fell short of achieving the perfect trifecta with the sidelining of S1024, which would have required Presidential candidates to prove their eligibility prior to being allowed on the Arizona ballot. S1024 narrowly passed the AZ House of Representatives on April 21, 2010 and was forwarded to the Senate. The eligibility language included in the bill originated with HB2441, introduced by Representative Judy Burges.
The bill was set aside by Senate President Bob Burns, who cited that he questioned whether or not the legislature needed “the controversy it would create.” It has also been reported that the Senate did not have enough Republican votes to pass the bill. Rep. Burges intends to re-introduce the bill at the earliest opportunity and in advance of the 2012 Presidential election.
The bill has sparked other state legislatures such as Georgia to consider similar legislation. If enough states enact proof of eligibility laws, it may create a tipping point that will keep the “Usurper-In-Chief” off of the 2012 Presidential ballot.
The Arizona legislature should be commended for taking a stand against the left’s hijacking of the educational system with the primary aim of restoring and protecting the Constitution. If Governor Brewer signs the bill into law as expected, watch for a Congressional attempt to make a power play and withhold federal education appropriations from Arizona until it repeals the law or challenge the constitutionality of the law in federal court. It will also be interesting to see how AZ Senator John McCain and his Republican challenger, J.D. Hayworth, address this hot-button issue on the campaign trail.
We as a nation have become a sea of entrenched multiculturalism which only breeds contempt for other socio-economic, racial, ethnic, political, and religious groups rather than foster assimilation into the American way of life. While diversity should be honored, respected, and protected, encouraging pupils to honor and respect the individual will in itself create an atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance. There was a time in which racial and ethnic groups migrating to the United States sought to assimilate themselves into American society without necessarily losing sight of their cultural or racial heritage. The responsibility for one’s education regarding heritage lies with the parents and the racial and ethnic community in which he or she resides, not the public school system. The government has no business meddling in such matters and it is primarily responsible for cultivating the racial and ethnic divisions which exist today.
Update, May 14, 2010: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed HB2281 into law on May 11, 2010.