Breather

by zunguzungu

Update: Apparently my blog is ugly as sin! So I changed it a bit. Thoughts?

I’m taking a one week break from the blog — and as much as I can manage from the internet — for reasons of having important stuff to do, but I thought I’d drop this on you before I go. The text of Arixzona’s new ban on Ethnic Studies is remarkable.

Here is what it says the bill is to do:

THE LEGISLATURE FINDS AND DECLARES THAT PUBLIC SCHOOL PUPILS SHOULD BE TAUGHT TO TREAT AND VALUE EACH OTHER AS INDIVIDUALS AND NOT BE TAUGHT TO RESENT OR HATE OTHER RACES OR CLASSES OF PEOPLE.

Prohibited courses and classes; enforcement

A. A SCHOOL DISTRICT OR CHARTER SCHOOL IN THIS STATE SHALL NOT INCLUDE IN ITS PROGRAM OF INSTRUCTION ANY COURSES OR CLASSES THAT INCLUDE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

1. PROMOTE THE OVERTHROW OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

2. PROMOTE RESENTMENT TOWARD A RACE OR CLASS OF PEOPLE.

3. ARE DESIGNED PRIMARILY FOR PUPILS OF A PARTICULAR ETHNIC GROUP.

4. ADVOCATE ETHNIC SOLIDARITY INSTEAD OF THE TREATMENT OF PUPILS AS INDIVIDUALS.

And here is what it says it does not do:

E. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO RESTRICT OR PROHIBIT:

1. COURSES OR CLASSES FOR NATIVE AMERICAN PUPILS THAT ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH FEDERAL LAW.

2. THE GROUPING OF PUPILS ACCORDING TO ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE, INCLUDING CAPABILITY IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, THAT MAY RESULT IN A DISPARATE IMPACT BY ETHNICITY.

3. COURSES OR CLASSES THAT INCLUDE THE HISTORY OF ANY ETHNIC GROUP AND THAT ARE OPEN TO ALL STUDENTS, UNLESS THE COURSE OR CLASS VIOLATES

4. COURSES OR CLASSES THAT INCLUDE THE DISCUSSION OF CONTROVERSIAL ASPECTS OF HISTORY.

F. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO RESTRICT OR PROHIBIT THE INSTRUCTION OF THE HOLOCAUST, ANY OTHER INSTANCE OF GENOCIDE, OR THE HISTORICAL OPPRESSION OF A PARTICULAR GROUP OF PEOPLE BASED ON ETHNICITY, RACE, OR CLASS.

I feel like the difference between those two injunctions describes the logic of 21st century American nativism so well that even to comment on it would be to diminish its power of illumination as a text. But if you want to read smart people being smart about this and related issues, you could start here or here.

(By the way, it has been brought to my attention that some people have trouble reading this blog, due to the particular layout I use. If that’s the case for you, could you do me a favor and drop me a line (my email address is zunguzungu (at) gmail)? I’m trying to figure out how serious a problem this is.)