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View of Mt. Baker © Robert Sommers 2014

Friday, April 30, 2010

Slippery Slope

News from our neighbors to the east today regarding the passage of a bill yesterday forbidding the teaching of ethnic studies in Arizona, or teaching anything that would "promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."

This bill, which passed the House on a 32-26 vote after making its way through the Senate the day before, seems like a slippery slope to me, primarily designed to insulate thin skinned white people from any criticism of their actions, legitimate or not. How do you outlaw resentment?

What it actually will do is help put the final nail in the coffin of any chance the Republicans have of picking up the latino vote in the future. California Governor Pete Wilson tried something similar with Proposition 187, and hispanics basically told the GOP to pound sand and still haven't returned.

It really feels to me like we are now in the Balkans. Remember how the Serbs forbid the Albanians from speaking their native tongue? Same thing happened in Turkey against the Armenians and Kurds. Seems quite contrary to the notion of our country that I grew up with. Attacking and forbidding a divergent culture flies in the face of the old melting pot idea.

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I have friends that tell me that they are conflicted about the whole issue of illegals. The truth is that I don't know a single person who is advocating for a mass amnesty or a simplified path to citizenship. Living in a border region, I have seen the abuses at the hospitals and schools with my own eyes. Being in America illegally should not mean that you can game our social welfare system, no matter what you do or do not contribute to our society or the fact that Americans may not want to do the jobs you perform, mostly quietly and honestly. If you came here illegally, you have no legal rights beyond basic human rights.

But there is a wrong way and a right way to combat illegal immigration. Denying culture, promoting xenophobic hatred and engaging in racial profiling is the wrong way.

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Interesting article in today's WSJ. Don't try to teach in Arizona if you have an accent either.

8 comments:

grumpy said...

you are so right, things are getting ugly; but then the feds have done nothing to stem the tide of illegal immigration; perhaps AZ taking a stand will force Washington to act...

grumpy said...

you are so right, things are getting ugly; but then the feds have done nothing to stem the tide of illegal immigration; perhaps AZ taking a stand will force Washington to act...

Anonymous said...

You use the same old sob story without any substance to support this claim of profiling. AZ has used language in the bill that prohibits profiling. AZ has a huge problem that they are trying to deal with. What do you suggest? They build a fence? They use the National Guard? The onus should be on the feds, they've done nothing to solve this problem. Grumpy is correct...this may force Washington's hand. But wait, they would rather congratulate one another on GM's "success". Like your blog...another smoke screen.

Blue Heron said...

When you are talking about prohibiting ethnic studies, teachers speaking with accents, outlawing resentment, etc., you move away from protecting your borders into cultural warfare. I think it is essentially un-American.

We have the same issues in California and nobody is reacting like a bunch of nazi storm troopers here. There is a clearly drawn line, I know which side I stand on.

They inserted some last minute language to appease the firestorm about racial profiling. But it will happen. Will white people be forced to carry their birth certificates around. I feel worse for the American citizens of mexican descent then I do the illegals, who are getting over, in more ways then one. Did you actually read my post before you spewed?

Anonymous said...

The point is that these efforts, however misguided, are the result of Washington doing nothing. This is the "real" slippery slope. If, as we are told, this is a federal problem not a state problem...then demand Washington act! Fix it! Why rant and picket against AZ? Direct your ire where it belongs! But maybe these individual rights aren't important unless there are votes at stake.

grumpy said...

in the midst of all this heated political rhetoric, we need to keep sight of the fact that right now, already, we are living in a bi-cultural, bilingual society here in California, which i happen to think is a beautiful thing; in the stores, signs are in english and spanish, and many of the employees are bilingual; i shop often at a "mexican" supermarket near my house, where the checkers cheerfully address you in english or spanish, depending on your appearance i suppose; a form of "profiling" perhaps, but certainly benign...

Nancy and Barbara said...

We do have the same issues here in Calif. and we do have a bunch of nazi storm troopers here, also. Remember that vote a few years ago. And of course we have our own Tea Party here in Fallbrook now. Storm troopers disguised as patriots. I sure would hate to be a Mexican- American here in Fallbrook or in Arizona...or even have a dark tan. I sure wouldn't say the Feds have done nothing. They've been grappling with this problem for years. Unfortunately for the bigots they've been trying to do it in an American ("give me your tired, your poor") and constitutional way. I wish they would all admit they're bigots and put their storm trooper boots on and march out of town. I know I'm going to regret writing this. I don't have as thick a skin as you do, Robert. (Bless your heart and more power to you.)
Barbara

grumpy said...

i always hate it when people play the "nazi" card; everyone who disagrees with me is a "nazi"; do we have to stoop to that? let's acknowledge there's two sides to every problem, and struggle to come to a just solution.