*

 

4.21.2008

arizona proposal would ban race-based student groups

I've been hearing from quite a few concerned people about this... According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, an Arizona legislative committee has passed an amendment to a routine homeland-security bill (WTF?) that would prohibit students at the state's public universities and community colleges from organizing groups based on race. The amendment was approved by the Arizona House Appropriations Committee last week, and awaits a vote by the state's full House and Senate: Arizona Proposal Would Prohibit Race-Based Student Groups. This is ridiculous.

The amendment, introduced by State Rep. Russell K. Pearce, would also allow state officials to withhold funds from public schools sponsoring activities that "denigrate American values and the teachings of Western civilization." The proposal was added to Senate Bill 1108, a measure that has nothing to do with education but was intended to allow designees of mayors and police chiefs to serve on homeland-security advisory councils. Are you kidding me?

Dude, how is this possible? What the hell is going on here? Obviously, they're thinking of something very specific when they refer to "American values" and "Western civilization," and it sure as hell doesn't have anything to do with Asian American culture nights or conferences. This bill passes, and Arizona schools can say goodbye to Asian American student orgs, and all culture-based student groups and ethnic studies, for that matter.

In the words of State Rep. John Kavanagh, "This bill basically says, 'You're here. Adopt American values... If you want a different culture, then fine, go back to that culture." Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. Kavanagh. I was under the impression that my "culture" was actually part of what makes America so awesome. I have no culture to "go back to," because, well, I'm already here. Get used to it, you racist ass.

The implication here, of course, is that any group that gathers in the on the base of race or culture, such as, say, the Asian American Students Association, is inherently un-American. That's racist! Read the full text of the legislation here. Somebody, please tell me what "American values" are? Because I can't make it out through all the coded white supremacist language. Good Lord, something must be done about this... Stay tuned.