Ethnic studies teach Latino kids to hate the US. It is dangerous for Arizona – The Arizona Republic

Posted: October 14, 2020 at 6:54 am


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Tom Horne, opinion contributor Published 6:00 a.m. MT Oct. 13, 2020 | Updated 6:45 a.m. MT Oct. 13, 2020

In Jan. 2011, outgoing Arizona schools chief Tom Horne announced in Phoenix that a major school district in Tucson was violating a new state law by continuing an ethnic studies program designed primarily for Hispanics.(Photo: Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press)

In an August column, Elvia Diaz criticized me personally for destroying bilingual education in the state, and Mexican American Studies in Tucson, when I was the state superintendent of schools, and later as Arizona attorney general. She called for making ethnic studies a graduation requirement.

Ethnic Studies in Tucson divided students by race. African American students to Classroom 1, Mexican American students to Classroom 2, etc., just like in the old South.

The students were taught critical race theory. This is their quote: Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundation of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.

Thats just what we need: teaching our students to be opposed to Enlightenment rationalism and neutral principles of constitutional law.

They referred to the states taken from Mexico in 1848 as Aztlan. Their materials stated,we are slowly taking back Aztlan as our numbers multiply.

They had a table that promulgates racial stereotypes by detailing the differences between white individualism (e.g. white people interrupt a lot) and colored collectivism.

The founders of the program describedthemselves as neo Marxists.Marxism taught that all history is about class struggle, to the exclusion of everything else. Neo Marxists substitute race struggle for class struggle as the only thing worth studying.

One of the textbooks wasOccupied America. It sings the praises of a leader named Jose Angel Gutirrez, one of whose speeches is described in the textbook as follows: Gutirrez called upon Chicanos to kill the gringo, which meant to end white control over Mexicans.

The textbooks translation of what Gutirrez meant contradictshis clear language.

Another textbook gloatedabout the trouble the U.S. is having controlling the border: Apparently the U.S. is having as little success in keeping the Mexicans out of Aztlan [US states taken from Mexico in 1848] as Mexico had when they tried to keep the North Americans out of Texas in 1830. the Latinos are now realizing that the power to control Aztlan may once again be in their hands (page107).

My main source was other teachers in the schools, a number of them Latinos, who were profoundly shocked at what they saw.

Hector Ayala,whowas born in Mexico and an excellent English teacher at Cholla High School in Tucson,told me thatthe director of Raza Studies accused him of being the white mans agent and that when this director was a teacher, he taught a separatist political agenda. His students told Ayalathat they were taught in Raza Studies to not fall for the white mans traps.

One teacher wrote me that he heard students being told they need to go to college so they can gain power to take back the stolen land and return it to Mexico. Another reported to me that Latino students told him that the land is not part of the U.S. but "occupied Mexico."

This teaching wasa betrayal of the students parents. They came to this country as the land of opportunity. They expected their children to be taught that this is the land of opportunity, not that they are oppressed so it is all hopeless, or to hate the country their parents chose to come to.

After I was no longer attorney general, a judge declared our statute unconstitutional. I hope the state Legislature and a new AG will try again.

Ms. Diaz accuses me of destroying bilingual education. I plead guilty:A periodical published by HarvardKennedy School found that students in English Immersion outperformed those in bilingual in every category studied.

Tom Horne served as Arizona's superintendent of public instruction and attorney general. Reach him at tomhorne2824@gmail.com.

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Ethnic studies teach Latino kids to hate the US. It is dangerous for Arizona - The Arizona Republic

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