The Battle for Ethnic Studies in Tucson

This battle in the schools in Tucson was precipitated by the passage of a state law in Arizona banning the teaching of “Ethnic Studies” in public schools. In this short video chronicling the opposition to the law by students and teachers, we see hostile “whites” asserting that Ethnic Studies is “racist” by definition. This attitude perfectly illustrates the “white supremacy” and “white privilege” modes of thought and behavior that many so-called “white” people in this nation have maintained across generations. In their minds “whiteness” is the norm and everyone else is deviant—an “ethnic” or “racial type.” They, of course, have no need for ethnicity or racial definitions because “whiteness” constitutes the standard by which they view and judge the world. This is clearly expressed by their assertions that “this is America” and people need “to accept American culture,” as if America is theirs exclusively to define. In their shallow minds they alone own America and possess the power to determine what citizenship and patriotism means for everyone else who lives here.

As this video shows, they are losing the battle. Thus they have resorted yet again to re-writing history or simply banning the study of the histories of all the diverse peoples who contributed to this nation’s founding and development. They are doing this in a land (Arizona) that was settled by Native Americans, Latinos, and Africans long before their ancestors arrived in the region. Their silly little laws won’t change anything. It is just a futile effort to preserve the myths of “white” supremacy and the status quo of “white” privilege, as they witness their empire based on the illusion of race and the system of racism it engendered collapsing all around them. And make no mistake about it, their fall will be long and bloody.

I commend these students and teachers in their struggle against American Apartheid and stand in solidarity with them.

Precious Knowledge Trailer from Ari Palos on Vimeo.

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