piecesof_reeses: (don't worry be happy)
[personal profile] piecesof_reeses
Hah, so you know how I was like, BYE, SEE YOU GUYS IN A MONTH in my last entry (posted approximately five minutes ago)? I lied!

Because this is super fucking important, and I want to devote a separate entry to the issue because goddammit, it's gotten nearly no national news coverage since the first shocking announcement, and it's so frustrating I could scream. So I'm posting it here, even though my flist is minuscule. IF YOU CAN, PLEASE REPOST.

I posted about this earlier, back when the whole mess began, but here are the quick and dirty facts:

Arizona's state legislature passed a bill (HB 2281, to be exact) that would BAN the teaching of ethnic studies in Arizona's public schools. Their rationale? Basically that it promotes white resentment and privileges those pesky little minorities over the white majority. ("Why isn't there a white studies class? Isn't this reverse discrimination?") Here's an excerpt of the exact text of the bill, which is so ridiculous I can hardly even believe this is actual law, now:

9 A. A SCHOOL DISTRICT OR CHARTER SCHOOL IN THIS STATE SHALL NOT INCLUDE
10 IN ITS PROGRAM OF INSTRUCTION ANY COURSES OR CLASSES THAT INCLUDE ANY OF THE
11 FOLLOWING:
12 1. PROMOTE THE OVERTHROW OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.
13 2. PROMOTE RESENTMENT TOWARD A RACE OR CLASS OF PEOPLE.
14 3. ARE DESIGNED PRIMARILY FOR PUPILS OF A PARTICULAR ETHNIC GROUP.
15 4. ADVOCATE ETHNIC SOLIDARITY INSTEAD OF THE TREATMENT OF PUPILS AS
16 INDIVIDUALS.

That's right. Overthrow of the government. Resentment toward a race. Ethnic solidarity.

And I'm not just defending ethnic studies based purely on principle, although I could. The bigger issue is that these ethnic studies classes bring results. Nowhere else in high school curriculum are you going to find an account of history from the perspective of a minority, information about cultural identity that hasn't been pasteurized specifically for white consumption. And reading those books, learning this knowledge, empowers children of color. Because finally, they're the ones being spotlighted. This information is directly relevant to them, to what they see and hear and experience everyday in their households, from their families.

And as a result, they want to learn. This is a class they actually look forward to attending. There are statistics that show their grades, standardized test scores, graduation rates, the whole enchilada, dramatically increasing after they take an ethnic studies course. It rejuvenates their belief in themselves as individuals by giving them belief in themselves as a collective.

Please, please, please, if you can, donate to this organization:

SaveEthnicStudies.Org



There is much more information on their website, all those statistics and everything that I was talking about. This group NEEDS help to fight the legislation. Their ethnic studies class is due to be forcibly ended by December, but they're going to keep fighting. They'll be coming out with a documentary called Precious Knowledge very soon (which I was privileged enough to see a clip of in my college, and it was fantastic), and I believe PBS has bought it, so it should be screening soon.

Okay. That's it. Again, please repost this so more people learn about the issue. Thank you.

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