Below are the law’s main prohibitions: prohibitions against any education programs that (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” and (4) “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”
“advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals”
since when is ethnicity not a part of an individual’s identity? doesn’t delving into the experiences and histories of an ethnic group help develop that individual’s identity too?
fuck you, arizona. fuck you.
““are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group” “
oh you mean like how “regular” history class is designed for white kids or…?
Ohhhhh boy. Look at me, ready to be the least liked person on Tumblr. And I want to say that, like, I’m not agreeing with whatever’s happening in Arizona (I have no idea what’s happening in Arizona, because all I can find is super left-wing Huffington Truth-Out crap on the subject, and that’s just such bullshit.) But, I do think that we should think a little more about what ethnic studies should be. Ethnic studies does have a place, but it’s not the place that a lot of people on Tumblr whose comments I kept above are suggesting.
Does no one realize that ethnic studies are themselves kind of super racist if you’re advocating them as a way to learn about one’s “identity”? I’d like to strongly recommend a book called Against Race, written by the extremely intelligent Paul Gilroy, which basically points out that today, arguments for “differences of culture” and “ethnic identity” have just taken up the spot that used to be occupied by racism. What is, really, the difference between saying that someone’s race determines their identity and saying that someone’s ethnicity determines their identity? There isn’t one. And the whole logic of race itself is something completely constructed, guys. Completely constructed. And perpetuating that same logic of division and difference through the culturally acceptable moniker of “ethnicity” is just ridiculous.
We should study something that approaches “ethnic studies” not to learn about our “identity”, but because these are important facets of history, and because reading South American or African literature doesn’t just get us, like, a way of knowing how bad white people screwed up. I mean, think about it. Reading an entire vein of literature as though it were nothing more than a diatribe against the white man is reductive to the vein of literature you’re studying! We should be reading South American or Asian or African literature and looking at their use of form; seeing how their use of form intersects with history; seeing the interesting ways in which global literature diverges at certain points. That’s what so-called ethnic studies should look like - not a racist reservoir for “identity”, and not a constant gush of white liberal guilt.