Lowrider Librarian (aka, my buddy Max I wrote of last night) has responded to the Arizona State Legislature bill threatening to de-fund education programs that include content critical of so-called “American Values” and “Western civilization.”
Lets look at some American Values (Notice how weak that term is—how it can be interpreted by whoever reads it differently)this bill does NOT want kids to learn about. One is the value of Genocide, and the active and sustained denial of this horrific crime against humanity. The refusal to acknowledge this also prevents any real advances in race relations and communications. I mean if our culture can’t accept that there was widespread genocide in the so-called Americas (oh oh–I said “so-called”–does this mean I’m a bad American, or is it as I believe–that I’m NOT regarded as FULLY American and am NOT allowed to criticize my government?), then how is it going to accept the fact that slavery built this country and our debt has never been paid, among many other atrocious acts? I’m not talking about giving anyone anything, but what about a little equality? Or what about the land theft–what happened to all the indigenous land? Acknowledgment of the past instead of attacks against minority groups in this country are what we need.
In other words, such a bill threatens to deprive our students of a well-rounded education. If they learn only the squeaky-clean Lynne Cheney version of history, then they will have no real understanding of the persistent social problems that arise from that history. They won’t be able to explain inequality, poverty, the disproportionate struggles affecting people of color, or any other facet of the situation that they find themselves in.
Now, you may start wondering, “Whaddaya mean by ‘they’, white dude?” I mean all students, regardless of color, gender and social privilege. Programs like the ones created by MEChA are designed to address the huge gaps in standard versions of history that leave little room (if any) for the historical experiences of the poor, the oppressed, workers, people of color, and women; these gaps affect all of these groups, depriving them of important historical pieces of their social identity. They also affect the white people whom racist scum like Russell Pearce claim to defend by creating false impressions of white supremacy, of a civilization founded solely on the Olympian pronouncements by a select group of Northern European elites. What better way to oppress white workers than by fooling them with such nonsense? “Hey, don’t blame capitalism – blame the illegals! They’re invading! Destroying our culture! Look over there! Watch this hand while I lift your wallet!”