Gettin’ Dark

Meet the man behind Arizona’s new ban on ‘ethnic studies’ classes in state schools.

It’s still not clear just what the effect of this law will be. But I think it’s being underreported nationally. I think this takes the situation in Arizona in a significantly new, uglier direction. We all know that the crackdown on illegal immigration in the state is filled with xenophobia and ethnic politics. It’s not just about enforcement immigration laws in some narrow sense. Even so, it’s pitched that way and many middle-of-the-road voters do see it that way. And we need to remember that violence spun off by the drug trade (as opposed to illegal immigration per se) is a genuine issue in the state.

But this isn’t about law and order or undocumented status. But this is much more clearly a law … to put it right out there, about white folks in Arizona who want the people in the Latino community to stop complaining so much. I mean, that’s was this is about. And there’s not even much of a veneer of anything else. It’s about stopping local school districts with large Hispanic populations from teaching their history the way they want to in their local schools. The whole push gets you much more into the realm of explicit ethnic or even racial conflict.