Thursday, April 24, 2008

Come On America, Arizona's SB 1108 Is A Racist Bill

"I'm gonna show you WHO's BOSS"

To some people it may have seemed like the fight was against undocumented immigrants. They are "illegals," "aliens," "criminals" overrunning our nation.

Well for me that was never true. From my own experience, it's basically a fight against culture, language, and color. The anti-immigrant sentiment that is so strong today, as it has been throughout our history as the United Sates, is about hatred. It's about racism, colonial power, capitalist interest, and everything else you can think of.

Man, I am just sick and tired of this. I am sick and tired of this game that a lot of "Americans" are playing. This is not about immigration.

YOU KNOW WHY? THIS IS WHY: Arizona state lawmakers and their evil SB 1108 bill is about killing Mexican-American/Chican@/Latin@ identity. To say this bill is fueled by merely anti-immigrant sentiment is to confuse the real issue here--because anti-immigrant sentiment has always been about anti-Hispanic sentiment (hey I don't like calling it Hispanic, but that's what it is to them)

You can look up several news articles on the bill, but here's one:

Some state lawmakers are again sticking their noses where they don't belong and trying to tell educators what should or shouldn't be taught in public schools.

The Legislature is attempting to usurp the decision-making responsibilities of local school boards and is perpetuating lies and creating divisions among Arizonans by pushing a bill that seeks to end programs like Raza Studies in the Tucson Unified School District. The bill would deny state funding to schools whose courses "denigrate American values and the teachings of Western civilization."

Whatever that means.

Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services reported in Thursday's Star that the bill, SB 1108, is aimed at MEChA, the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, a student group that state Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, describes as racist.

Raza Studies has also drawn the ire of anti-immigrant-rights activists and last year was criticized by state schools superintendent Tom Horne, who said the program was promoting "ethnic chauvinism."

Horne investigated the program and then quietly dropped his inquiry.

Pearce, one of the state's most strident opponents of illegal immigration, appears to have bought into the notion that MEChA followers want to take over the southwestern United States, which was part of Mexico.

That's hogwash.

The myth is perpetrated by right-wing anti-immigrant-rights groups like American Border Patrol and their Web sites. The lie gained new life over the last couple of years as the illegal-immigration debate reached a boiling point.

...What lawmakers like Pearce ignore is that programs like Raza Studies and MEChA help many Hispanic students excel.

By learning more about their race's culture, the students become engaged in the education process and go on to become better taxpaying members of society.

OH I'M SORRY AMERICA. I'm sorry that because world history is OBVIOUSLY distorted in every damn aspect of our education to favor learning about white people, I have to oppress my own identity and educate myself about subjects that are not only irrelevant to my culture and diversity, but are also not reflective of true history.

It wasn't until college that I finally came to understand the dimensions of my Latina identity. It wasn't until college that I learned about the atrocities of white America's past and present--the genocides, the school of the Americas, the coups, the SLAVERY, the exploitation, the National Origins Quota, the "treaty" of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the promises of reparations, the diseased blankets, Thanksgiving, Africa, Guatemala, the list goes on...

I AM NOT ANTI-AMERICAN. The REAL anti-Americans are those people who RESIST accepting that AMERICAN MEANS MANY LANGUAGES,CULTURES,RACES,AND HISTORIES. American is NOT CITIZEN--AMERICAN IS PERSONHOOD. I AM AMERICAN BECAUSE I AM A LATINA BORN IN THE UNITED STATES who is an active member of society, respects her fellow Americans (documented or not), and upholds her values of tolerance and human rights for all. I recognize that HISTORY is not ONE STORY, BUT MANY. Our country does not have a history, as our euro-centric society would have it, our country has HISTORIES--good and bad--of peoples from all perspective.

I am tired of being taught one perspective. What Ethnic studies does, let alone Chican@ studies, is give us ANOTHER perspective--one that often reflects that of us "Hispanics" who are trying to learn something other than the white history. LETS KEEP TEACHING WHITE HISTORY BUT NOT WHITE HISTORY ALONE. Let's teach many histories.

With all my heart, with all my soul, I beg others to join me and many others in saying: AMERICA, THIS BILL IS RACIST, XENOPHOBIC, AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL.



  1. hey i feel you sister. it is funny how they don't target frats or sororrities, but thats prob cuz they promote the Latino greek culture.

    im at humboldt state university, where ethnic studies, native american studies and women's studies are being cut in terms of classes and qualified appropriate faculty.

    how do we fight this outside of writing letters to congress? i hate to think that is the only way to deal with racist laws.

    how bout starting a petition? our people they call "hispanic" or "latin@" are the majority in terms of population in the U.S.

    more and more issues will continue to appear as the Eagle and Condor Prophecy of North and South America's unity becomes more crucial to our survival as children of the earth. i know this is new, but are folks talking about this in Berkely?

    i am a broadcasting major, and i will do watever i can to spread the word and get people talking about it.

  2. Hi DJ,

    thanks for getting in touch with me, I am so glad you made the point about doing more than writing letters. I am trying to think, since you are a major in broadcasting you would probably be more in touch with what's going on with the media--have you felt that there is much coverage on this? Here in Berkeley I have only heard it in my Ethnic Studies class (where my fellow classmates and professor were ranting about it like crazy) and through a couple of bulletins on myspace. I was thinking right now, petitions are good but what about using an internet medium like youtube? I know legislators don't go on youtube, but if there were a way to get people's attention and spread this information through a site like that, it could force more mainstream media attention on the issue. Not sure, I have no experience in the area, but I do feel like blogging my rant about it is barely enough.

    By the way, I didn't know much about the Eagle and Condor Prophecy but i'm looking it up, haven't heard about it in Berkeley myself

  3. Hello

    We are documentary filmmakers based in Tucson Arizona and are working together with Tucson High School students to bring attention to this racist bill.

    We are doing a three minute short, and here is a link to the pitch that encouraged WGBH in Boston to help us with a longer piece.

  4. Here is the link, you will need all the pieces.