Arizona Republicans Take Another Whack at Arizona Hispanics
SANTA FE, NM
Jessica Pieklo, Care2)
May 13, 2010
― With midterm elections coming
up, it appears as though the strategy
for Arizona Republicans focuses on using
race as the new wedge.
With the ink not even dry on the
controversial immigration law, Arizona
Gov. Jan Brewer signed yet another
measure aimed squarely at the state's
significant Hispanic population.
This measure bans ethnic studies
programs and was inspired in large part
by the successful Tucson Unified School
District's Raza Studies programs,
leading many civil rights activists to
name the legislative efforts in Arizona
the rise of "new Juan Crow."
This particular measure prohibits any
classes that advocate for ethnic
solidarity, that are designed primarily
for students of a particular race, or
that, curiously enough, promote
resentment toward a certain ethnic
The ethnic studies programs in the state
are open to all students, regardless of
The ban was enacted despite quantitative
data that shows students enrolled in
these programs have a significantly
higher graduation rate than there peers
enrolled in the traditional history
programs in Arizona.
Not surprisingly, the most vocal
proponent of the measure, Arizona
schools chief Tom Horne, is running for
Attorney General as, you guessed it, a
He applauded the measure as one that
finally rids the state public schools of
"ethnic chauvinism" and even had the
audacity to compare ethnic studies
pedagogy to the Old South.
Unlike the immigration law, which
arguably can be viewed at attempting to
a significant criminal justice issue,
there can be no doubt this latest move
is a direct attack at the state's
ever-growing Hispanic presence.
This is a reaction by a group of
legislators that feel threatened
in number, in power, and in influence.
And much like those who resisted early
integration efforts in the South, the
more backed in a corner they feel the
more insidious their response.
Thankfully though it appears as though
the rest of the country does not have
the stomach for the kind of
hate-mongering going on in the Arizona
The state has already reportedly lost
millions from economic boycotts, and it
appears that even the national
Republican party is doing its best to
distance itself from the state as Tampa,
Florida, rather than Phoenix, Arizona,
has been selected to host the 2010
Republican National Convention.
Perhaps the strategy of demonizing an
entire demographic won't pan out the way
Arizona conservatives bet it would.