Thursday, May 13, 2010

Arizona Is a Stupid Place

In 1908, horse-drawn buggies and wagons pepper...
In 1908, horse-drawn buggies and wagons peppered the intersection of Mesa and Mills streets in Downtown El Paso. Photo courtesy of El Paso Public Library. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I honestly can not believe how stupid Arizona is. Their governor signed a bill that targets ethnic studies programs because the programs are supposedly racist. And looking at the comments on this azcentral.com story just confirms how stupid some people are.

According to these people, studying the contributions of Hispanics is nothing less than total racism. I wish I had the opportunity to take classes like those when I was in school. In middle school we were required to take Texas History. Since I really do not like Texas I did not care for the class. Plus I lived in El Paso and we learned almost exclusively about white people and all the "awesome" things they did (like the Alamo or whatever). So I took the class, who cares really. I certainly did not.

But if I would have had the chance to learn about people who maybe had anything at all to do with my family or the development of the are I am from (there is a majority of Hispanics here you know), I would have jumped at the opportunity. Why do we only get to see history from the side of whites? Sure, much of American history, especially early American history, does deal with white people, but there should be at least a little room for the rest of us. And in places where there is a majority of one ethnic group it should not be a terrible thing to teach them a little about what their people contributed to this melting pot of America.

Look, we have to learn about white people all the time, why do these people get so worked up about a few classes about us? They say they are not racist. Okay. Maybe they think they are not racist. But the vehemence with which they oppose even learning about the history of another culture suggests that they are.

At this point it seems almost comical. These people do nothing but whine. America is not owned by white people. That is not a terrible thing. White culture does not make up the culture of America. That is also not a terrible thing. But these people are afraid of change. They want to go back to the 1950s. Back then everything was right, right? For middle class white people it was. For the rest of us it was not exactly that amazing (and, hey, let's just add all women to that too; they were also extremely limited).

I wish these people could see they are forcing their ideals down everyone's collective throat. Nobody likes that and it creates animosity. Some of them are mad that there is animosity towards them. But if they did not oppose every slightly different culture it would not happen! It is frustrating. But the times will change. We are never going back the the 1950s. And when those small-minded people die away, hopefully their children will be more accepting.
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