Thursday, May 13, 2010

Forget solidarity, we need individualitism

By the time I get to Arizona, cont...

All classes are canceled 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.
  4. Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.
Let's address these point by point, eh?

Most people wouldn't have a problem with the first point. It makes sense. I'm sure that there are all sorts of Pottery/Bomb-Building classes happening in middle schools throughout the state. They need to be abolished post-haste, before pimply twelve year-olds take down our elected officials with their pencils and flowers.

But the truth of the matter shines when this is connected to the state's other recent laws, designed to move out the Latino population (whether citizens or "illegals"): A bad, short-sighted ploy by Republicans to ensure their supremacy. In the words of The Answer Sheet,
[State Superintendent of Public Education] Horne has wanted to limit [a Mexican-American studies program in Tucson] since he learned several years ago that Hispanic civil right activist Dolores Herta told Tucson high school students that “Republicans hate Latinos.”

This act, of course, dispels such silly rumors...

The second point gets into more clowdy territory, though. Particularly when dealing with modes of ethnic identity, to study the history and culture of one particular ethnic group could leave those not in that group feeling left out or even hurt by accusations. However, bad stuff happened. Winners got the spoils and tend to still receive the spoils as a result. Those same winners get to write the history in such a way where it seems inevitable that they would be the natural winners and that the losers, of course, would lose. Losers, otoh, don't have a history, amirite? At least that's what I was taught...

Resentment is in the eye of the beholder, of course. White supremacists (like those who drafted the "Papers Please" Law and see also this) are always going to feel resentful of other cultures, especially when these other cultures (whether they be Black, Jewish, Arabian, Eastern European, Latino, Latin American, East African) possess pride in their history, food, clothes, holidays, customs, etc. Which is why white supremacists have an abiding NEED to show up to Cinco de Mayo festivities as gangs with their US flag t-shirts.

The third point is fairly explicit, though. As is the fourth point. And the fifth if you count the fact that the state is also grading and forbidding teachers who have "strong accents."

The point is: White Americanism is the de facto ethnic group. To argue that a history class tailors to one particular ethnic group is to miss the point: all study of history comes from a particular cultural viewpoint. All of it is tied into identity. There is no such thing as a purely individualized individual.

Pure make believe.

And there never was outside of romance novels and horrible fan fiction either*. No one person lives in a vacuum. We all have family, expectations, music, perceptions, learning procedures, foods, language, etc., etc. that come from others, that bleed through our pores whether or not we want to acknowledge it.

Kind of like xenophobia.

And if we were xenophobic, we'd have to wave goodbye to humanity, including this. And I'm not willing to settle for that.

*I know what you're thinking. "Aren't those two the same?" Short answer: no! Your treatise on a secret love affair between Princess Leia and a time-traveling Spock remains unpublished while Danielle Steel is, inexplicably, still selling through major distributors. Sucks, but such is reality.


  1. Anonymous2:45 AM

    what about my novel? ... who the fuck in hell am i foolin' ... been talkin' about this so called novel for over thirty years and have written more bull shit on facebook than I ever put down on paper anywhere else. Pompous, useless, self-indulgent ass hole. I need to simply give up ...

  2. Hey Anon,

    This is MY place to whine! Get yer own blogspot!


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