Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Arizona: Going Deeper Into Psychosis

Arizona is not in a good way. Jared Loughner shoots up a crowd, an elementary school paints over a mural that depicts children considered a shade too brown for the liking of Arizona's racists, laws persecuting people who might be suspected of being immigrants are introduced making the entire world think that the American Constitution is now officially dead, barbaric anti-choice laws are being passed: the state of Arizona is unraveling before our very eyes. It's scary to observe such an instance of mass psychosis happening in front of one's own eyes. When I discovered that one of my blog's craziest stalkers was from Phoenix, Arizona, I wasn't surprised at all. Arizona is really not in a good way.

The most recent instance of Arizona's racism-fueled insanity is a bill that would make my field of knowledge banned in that state:
A new law banning ethnic studies programmes has gone into effect in the southwestern US state of Arizona. The state's Latino community claim the law targets them and say similar programmes in African American, Asian and Native American studies are not affected.
Arizonian racists who have been driven completely nuts by living in this barren, scary place (I am yet to meet a person born in Arizona who doesn't refer to their native state as "a hell-hole"), are now suggesting that the field of Hispanic Studies (to which they have obviously not had any actual exposure due to their irrepressible ignorance) is dangerous:
The state claims that the Latino program is more about creating future activists and less about education.
Activists, of course, are scary. Arizona's political leaders realize that the only people who will buy into their racist insanity are those who have been rendered completely passive by stupidity and ignorance.

I don't think there is any hope for Arizona at this point. They will start burning witches soon. But, hell, I'm one of those scary Hispanists whose goal in life is to turn people into political activists, so who cares what I think?

P.S. If you have any respect for human rights, please join those of us who hate Arizona's racist policies and boycott this state. Make you outrage known to Arizona's politicians, boycott Arizona's goods and services, don't visit this horrible state. Let the people of Arizona know that no decent person can respect their leaders' racist policies.


Anonymous said...

I think it is within their right to legislate what goes on in public schools. After all, state public schools respond to the state.

I'm not a fan of ethnic studies. I think it's a field that is easily exploited by "activists" to instill racist ideologies and guilt in their students. Not saying it should altogether banned, but it's a field that needs to be observed very closely.

Clarissa said...

Observed by whom exactly?

I observe the field of Hispanic Studies on a daily basis because that's my field of knowledge. I have five degrees from world-famous universities in this field. Could you share your credentials in this branch of knowledge that allow you to pontificate on what it is about?

I just love it when an illiterate idiot comes here to take a Professor of Hispanic Studies that she instills racism in students by teaching them about Cervantes.

Anonymous said...

Dammit, I want some stalkers!

I love toying with them.

I think I am too scary for stalkers, though.

But I still want some. Won't you come play?


Anonymous said...

If you are in the field of ethnic studies then you must have heard of controversies that surround the field. There have been cases where teachers have down right lied to their students and made up stories to instill a false sense of pride and accomplishment.

I took an ethnic studies course at college and it was a good course. I feel like a learned a lot. He just presented the facts and the context and left it to ourselves to draw our own conclusions. That's how it should be, not having some professor preach at you.

By observed, I mean there should be direct supervision by people within the department to make sure the teacher is objective and does not outright lie to his/her students as it has happened before.

PS: If I am illiterate, how come I can understand your writing and respond to it?

Clarissa said...

No, you don't understand my writing and neither do you respond to it. You respond to voices in your head. On what crazy planet is a professor of Hispanic Studies more prone "to outright lie" to students than a professor of American history, English lit or Sociology? Do you realize how unhinged you sound?

Crazy people abound.

Tom Carter said...

Clarissa, you're overreacting. If I understand your field, you primarily teach Spanish language and literature, with
some history mixed in. You don't teach, as I understand it, that the southwestern U.S. legitimately belongs to Mexico, that the Mexican flag should have co-equal status with the American flag, that American is a racist nation intent of oppressing all Latinos, etc. That's the kind of thing Arizona is objecting to, and to the extent it happens they have a point.

Rimi said...

Sigh. These darling, darling people. They forget the current model of a globalised world is based on the propogation of a branch of ethnic studies: the Anglo-American English programmes. Till this day we study Shakespeare, Marlowe, Hardy, Austen et al at middle and high school in India, and our Constitution is based on Anglo-Christian ideas that, to take an often overlooked example, banned homosexuality and transgendered identities legally in India, where they have been part of the cultural fabric for centuries.

Or maybe that's exactly what they're scared of. None but a tyrant is more scared of future tyrants usurping their places, because the know first-hand how it is done.

Rimi said...

I personally do find some branches of activism distasteful, because I find irrational hatred and violence distasteful. But irrational fear, hatred and violence were the building blocks and cornerstones of establishing and maintaining states with a racial or religious majority. The Native Americans and Australian Aboroginies and would attest to that, as would several groups from the Middle-East and Asia.

So the people who are now complaining about hatred being preached in classrooms would do well to remember that acts inspiring a great deal of hate and pain were meted out on a regular basis by their ancestors to the "ethnic" people. Our current social realities were shaped by these acts, they influence our lives to this very day. Surely, talking about them within a classroom is the least members of marginalised groups could do?

I also notice most protestors here are swallowing Arizona's own excuses for this behaviour at face value. Because why would a racist, secessionist state lie about it's seditious laws?

And that's the crux: this proposed law is seditious. The white male patriots might want to keep that in mind too, instead of jumping right on board. Unless beneath their patriotism they do really despise their country.

Patrick said...

What this smells like is Arizona's irrational fear of illegal immigrants.

I've got a simple solution: You (Arizona) don't want illegal immigrants in state - then stop hiring them. Stop profiting from their cheap labour. If they wanted to be unemployed, they could have stayed in Mexico (or other Latin American countries) - they come to the US to work.

Clarissa said...

I have a sneaking suspicion that there are at least two people named Patrick who are commenting on the blog, and I've been addressing them as if they were the same person.

"None but a tyrant is more scared of future tyrants usurping their places, because the know first-hand how it is done."

-That's so well-said!

Patrick said...

No - I'm pretty sure I'm the same person.

Clarissa said...

Are you the person who wrote me emails?

Patrick said...


My brother-in-law complains that arguing with me is like arguing with someone with multiple personalities.

The world is a complex place. One should never be so married to their world view that they can't see the unreasonableness of their own ideology.

Clarissa said...

Oh, that's interesting. We have a lot in common then. I know if I were to publish my political beliefs in one post, I will anatgonize every single one of my readers.:-)

You do read like completely different people at times.

Patrick said...

I really should have asked which emails? You may in fact be getting hate mail from another Patrick. That would not be me.

I would be the guy that 'inspired' your post about professional responsibilities. I found your blog during the "Homeschooling is abuse" post - which I vehemently disagree with, but have found your opinions intriguing. And a majority of your commentators are intelligent and vibrant. It pays to get alternative points of view.

Clarissa said...

Yes, that's what I meant, the nice interesting emails.

And it's true that the readers here are great.

Rimi said...

Actually this patrick sounds like the same person. He sounds quite sensible from his comments, he just a few ideas about gender that I personally find ill-thought-out (or not thought-out at all, merely gender-based gut reactions) and presumptuous. Even then, I find he's not in favour of legislating based on his personal gender ideology or morality, which, frankly, is an enormous relief, compared to some others who share these beliefs with him.

sarcozona said...

Not all of us in AZ are crazy! My town (including the government) is very anti-SB1070 and you'd be hard pressed to find many people who support the other nasty things our legislature has done. It's incredibly frustrating to live here and watch such horrible laws be passed, to see the racism and sexism and homophobia - how do you change the mind of someone whose decisions are based primarily on fear?

Even worse, the people being elected aren't just pandering to these frightened and ignorant people - they are ignorant themselves.

Take this line from an email I received from Paul Gosar (a US Congressman!) as an example: "The office is has been experiencing a high influx of incoming mail since the beginning of the year." Carelessly edited, redundant, and unprofessional.

Of course, the AZ education system has been underfunded for decades now, so it shouldn't be a surprise that our elected officials (and their staff) can't even compose a short email properly.

Patrick said...

Here's a radical proposition. If you oppose the actions of the legislature, then do more than complain about it. Get out, get involved, get elected. Instigate change.

sarcozona said...


It's a bit silly to make assumptions about the real lives of people based on a single blog comment. I am indeed out and involved in politics, especially local, though I am not at all interested in running for office. Besides, there aren't many places in the country that elect openly poly and kinky dykes :p

But even if I wasn't politically active in ways you consider valuable, I also believe that "complaining" - describing and sharing our problems is not just a right, but a useful political action in and of itself. It is awfully hard to fix something when people don't agree on what the problem is. To put a more positive spin on my last statement, framing a problem in different ways can suggest different (and possibly better) solutions.

Clarissa said...

"I also believe that "complaining" - describing and sharing our problems is not just a right, but a useful political action in and of itself."

-I agree! Discussion is a necessary element on the road to any change. Of course, if I didn't think so, I wouldn't have a blog at all. :-)

Clarissa said...

"Not all of us in AZ are crazy!"

-I completely forgot that one of my favorite readers and bloggers is from Arizona. Of course, it's sad that so many intelligent, progressive people are trapped in places where crazies have escended to power.

Patrick said...

You may be surprised what people will vote for, given the opportunity. Who ever thought that Naheed Nenshi, a Muslim and whose parents emigrated from Tanzania, would be elected Mayor of Calgary. And by all accounts, is doing a fabulous job.

Furthermore, the comment that 'you' should do more than complain wasn't the singular 'you', but the plural 'you'. That is, the silent majority in Arizona waiting for someone else to come and solve their problems. When you (plural) abdicate your responsibility to participate, then you get the government you deserve.

And to be clear - it's not a phenomenon limited to Arizona. The general rate of political participation in North America is dreadful, to be generous. We've become complacent with our freedom.

sarcozona said...

@Patrick -

Low voter turnout and voters who know almost nothing about the candidate they support are really discouraging. This last election in AZ has convinced me to spend more time on the first problem - despite the opportunity to vote by mail and endless nagging from me, my very progressive and compassionate roommate just didn't find the time to vote. And Paul Gosar was elected. I was so mad!

Of course, many people (sometimes even me!) feel that voting just doesn't help - that all the candidates are crazy or owned by corporations. And that's a hard attitude to combat.

Patrick said...

But it is the fight worth having. Keep at it. I would rather have someone I oppose in power because they were elected by the majority than 'my guy' in simply because of apathy.

Canukistani said...

Reading the comments on this thread, I’ve come to realize that you aren’t aware of the full extent of the HB 2281 situation. Two weeks ago, Dr. Roberto Cintli Rodriquez, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona and four others were sentenced for protesting the ban on Ethnic Studies the day after it was signed into law. The Tucson citizen newspaper made the following statement after his conviction:

"John Pedicone, new superintendent of TUSD, wants us to comply with the racist law.

If a law is unconstitutional, and will be found to be so, and is rooted in racism and targeted at Mexican-Americans in Tucson, is it moral to comply with the law, or is our moral obligation to stand up against racism and injustice?

Do we just comply with slavery because the law says it is allowed? Do we return an escaped slave to his master because the law says to? Do we tell a black woman she cannot sit where she wants to on the bus because of the law?

Laws come and go, they are not sacred, and they come directly from the minds and beliefs of the men that write them, such as the ban on interracial marriage, the inability of women to vote, and the enslavement of mankind. Today the plantation system continues to exist with the exploitation of migrant workers that form an underclass of our society, and it is all legal."

Although this particular bill deals with public schools, the Arizona legislators have already stated that the next stage is to eliminate Ethnics Studies which is a code for Hispanic Studies at the state’s universities. This is part of an overall scheme for ethnic cleansing in Arizona.

Clarissa said...

Oh sweet Jesus on the cross. No, Canukistani, I was not aware of the extent of this insanity. I am strongly convinced that a university that does not offer Hispanic Studies to its students isn't worthy of the name. I have no words. But I think I need to find them and write a separate post about this.

Please keep supplying is with this important information. Without your input, I wouldn't have known what was going on and how far things have gotten on this issue.