Arizona has been on the bleeding edge of multiple political fights that have endeared them to conservatives and infuriated liberals - and now, they may be joining yet another such fight at an unprecedented level. Specifically, Arizona is considering banning the teaching of some ethnic studies courses in its state university system. The proposed policy follows a similar policy two years ago which banned "Mexican-American" and "Chicano" studies courses from secondary schools, and has liberal outfits like the Center for American Progress up in arms just as much now as it did then.
Fox News Latino reports the rationale:
Arizona’s superintendent of schools, John Huppenthal, says Tucson’s suspended Mexican American studies curricula teaches students to resent Anglos, and that the university program that educated the public school teachers is to blame.
“I think that’s where this toxic thing starts from, the universities,” Arizona Superintendent of Schools John Huppenthal said in an interview with Fox News Latino.
“To me, the pervasive problem was the lack of balance going on in these classes," Huppenthal said.
Of course, the proposed move has drawn criticism, and not just from the Center for American Progress. Latino groups see it as an attack on the free speech of teachers, with one analyst even going so far as to compare it to McCarthyism, with "the browns" replacing "the reds." There is no indicator yet as to whether the policy will pass, though critics of Arizona's existing education regime suggest that the restrictions already instituted go too far by banning classic literature like Shakespeare's "The Tempest." Moreover, the ban on ethnic studies courses in secondary schools has, according to some reports, created "underground libraries" devoted to propagating books that have been banned under the policy.