Friday, May 14, 2010

Help Me Understand? Ethnic Studies Ban in Arizona Debated by Michael Dyson and Tom Horne

I am at a loss. This one is yours.

Please help me understand this lunacy, stupidity, and screed against critical thinking as offered by white racial reactionaries in Arizona. And Lord why do these knuckleheads keep talking about Dr. King, a man they would hate if they truly understood the breadth and genius of his radically humanistic philosophy?

Are these Right Wing, Conservative Tea Bagger, Xenophobic, Vox Populi types:

A) Dumb

B) Stupid

C) Bigoted

D) All of the Above

E) Something else


diptutod said...

if by "something else" you mean "all of the above," then yes. i'm a native tucsonan, and i think part of the problem is that there has been a huge influx of people moving to AZ from other states over the past couple of decades, and, generally speaking, these people are old, white, and bigoted, and proceed to vote old, white, bigoted people into office, overwhelming the votes of people who have lived here for decades and appreciate the state for what it is. they bring their prejudice with them when they come here, and seek to change the state to match it, to cleanse it of the very things that make it beautiful, interesting, and worthwhile. it breaks my heart to think of all the angry idiots who have taken over the state and are trying to remove all of the wonderful influence mexican and chicano culture has had on AZ, including the people themselves. i sincerely hope we throw them all out of office this fall.

k.alane said...

I'm with diptutod. These right wing xenophobes are dumb, stupid, & bigoted.

OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin said...

I would go with D: Deliberately ignorant, and desperate to force everyone else into living that way, too.

I actually feel bad for Dyson, that he had to appear in the same frame as that POS dumb bigot Horne, who apparently believes telling the full story about American society is "just like the old south". Where is the "hahaomg" smilie when you really need one.

Max Reddick said...

The test item is faulty. It doesn't include the answer choice "All of the above."

These people are on that new and improved. I've watched watched a number of Conservatives who have attempted to defend what is going on right now in Arizona. They all seem to reach for the simplest, most transparent, most ridiculous arguments.

Truth is that Mr. Horne has been pursuing this for about the last four years or more. However, only now does the political climate give him the impetus and cover to get it passed.

These people are attempting to hold on to the very last vestiges of white power and white privilege. And I don't believe they can really see the racism inherent in their actions. They do what they think to be right without exploring further just what right really is.

Anonymous said...

You know, I thought one of the most interesting points in the debate was when Cooper asked Dyson about the Chicano kids all dressed up in their Revolutionary garb. Dyson responded by comparing them with Tea Party extremists.

I am inclined to agree with Dyson on that one. The Chicano movement is mistaken if they think we (meaning brown/black people in the U.S.) can get away with acting as theatrical, irrational, and angry as white people can (and do) in this country.

I come from a working class Mexican-American neighborhood in California where Chicanos are considered a fringe group with a reputation for erratic behavior. Their anger is justified (yes, the U.S. economy exploits Mexican labor) but their approach to dealing with that injustice is all over the place.

I certainly don't agree with Horne that Chicano studies should be banned, but i do think that teachers who rile up high school students with political propaganda is a problem. La raza is all fine and good but these kids need to be taught how to read, write, and think critically before they are given bullhorns, microphones, and bandanas to wrap around their faces.

earthenfoothold said...

the right wing is trying to confuse the meaning and dissolve the potency of words like "racism" and "oppression," of figures like Martin Luther King, Jr., and so on. They are co-opting everything these symbols stand for, twisting their meaning, and applying them to reactionary views that stand for the exact opposite of their original meaning.

So, the legitimate concern that people are not viewed as individuals but merely as "exemplars of their race," originally a response to white supremacist narratives that dehumanize individuals based on their ethnic identity, is ripped from its context and intentionally misapplied to academic programs that empower marginalized youth by recovering their supressed histories.

the legitimate concern about policies that "divide students up by race" is taken out of its segregationist context and intentionally misapplied to academic programs that empower marginalized youth by recovering their supressed histories.

This is not simply a naive misinterpretation or misapplication of words like "racism" or figures like Dr. King. Right-wingers know how potent and poignant these symbols have been in the history of social justice movements, and they are threatened by them. One strategy of combating this unwanted power is to diffuse it: to "muddy the waters" of race discourse by co-opting its meanings and symbols and claiming them as their own.

So, anti-racist strategies like ethnic studies classes become defined as "racism," and the white supremacist agenda becomes the fulfillment of Dr. King's dream.

Now, when there's 180-degree confusion about what racism even *is,* it makes it an awful lot harder to figure out what to *do* about it. In this ingenious way, racists use the language of social justice movements against them, in an attempt to dissipate their momentum and prevent their strategies from gaining popular support and taking root in our communities, institutions, and in society as a whole.