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Martha MacCallum Says AZ Ethnic Studies Are Anti-American?

Reported by Priscilla - May 19, 2010 -

If you’re a young brown/black person, in Arizona, not only could you be asked for your “papers,” but you (and your non brown/black friends) won’t be able to take Mexican/African American studies in the Arizona public schools because some non brown/black Arizonans are afraid that this course will make you want to overthrow the government of the USA – something that Glenn Beck’s audience is frequently encouraged to do! Those who think that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing (hmmm, isn’t that why American slave owners didn’t educate slaves?) passed a law, signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, to abolish this type of curriculum. Not surprisingly, “America’s Newsroom” (LOL) did a piece that provided a platform for the views propounded by those folks of Arizona who seem to be fraidy scared of brown/black people. And once again, despite the Fox claim that “America’s Newsroom,” is part of Fox’s “fair and balanced” lineup, the content of the interview demonstrated that the America of “America’s Newsroom” is monochrome.

Martha MacCallum began (May 14th) by describing a new Arizona law which bans teaching of ethnic studies which include Mexican American and African American studies in their classrooms. She claimed that critics “have been blasting” the programs since 2007 because they say that books and teachers of these courses are trying to “fire up” young people to “take back the Southwest and reconnect it to Mexico.” She played, as an example, a quote from “Aztlan, the Lost Land, by John Chavez.” The quote was about how Chicanos view the Southwest as their conquered homeland.” (Not noted by Martha was that the author then goes on the describe all the land, once owned by Mexico, that became part of the US) Nowhere did it urge Chicanos to revolt. Martha asked “what do you think about that.” She gave a warm welcome to Arizona Superintendent of Education, Tom Horne. She did not mention that Horne is a very conservative Republican who is running for Attorney General. Martha then showed a “study question” about what Chicanos need to do to have political, cultural, and economic self determination.”

Rather than discussing what seems like a valid question – the kind of questions America’s early ethnic communities faced – MacCallum asked Horne “how he got into this” He said that, in 1963, he attended the March On Washington and was inspired by MLK’s speech “about the content of our character and not the color of our skin.” He claimed that Tucsan ethnic studies programs divides students by race. (According to school administrators, Horne has not visited any of these classes.) Horne did not note that the Mexican Americans Studies program came about as part of a settlement of a lawsuit over racial bias in the Tucsan school system. MacCallum claimed that she has read other texts which “suggest to these students, you need to reach out to your Mexican identity more than your American identity…” After she said that is wasn’t “a reach” to make the kind of conclusions reached by the opponents of the curriculum, she played a quote from a young woman who said that the class provided her with a positive self image. Martha played a quote from an evil United Nations group which referenced the importance of developing cultural knowledge. Horne responded that “kids together” should learn about all cultures and should not be segregated in order to learn about “their own culture.” He described the UN group as “narrow minded.” He alleged that he had testimony that teachers in the programs were “anti western culture, anti capitalist, anti free enterprise” and “use ethic solidarity to convey these left leaning philosophies” and described the programs as a total abuse of tax payer money. MacCallum asked him if the classes were actually segregated according to ethnicity and Horne, despite having said so, was forced to admit that others can take the course. At this point, a side panel noted that Horne is running for Attorney General (with no party designation).

Comment: So not only did Martha MacCallum, by providing tacit agreement that these “texts” could be subversive, give the Fox “News” imprimatur on the new law; but Tom Horne got to smear the teachers in the program as being subversive. Nice. Too bad that there weren’t any district officials present because they might have said that program “provides only historical information. In the Mexican American Studies program, an American history course explores the role of Hispanics in the Vietnam War, and a literature course emphasizes Latino authors. The kids learn, for example, that Arizona was once part of Mexico and that in the 1960s, Chicano radicals called for reclaiming the land.” Now that’s downright seditious! We don’t need no education…