America is supposed to be the melting pot; it’s supposed to be a country where everyone can come together and share their own culture with one another. This was a country of new hopes, new beginnings, and a way to share one’s beliefs they way they thought it should be shared without being condemned. Sounds too good to be true, right? That’s because in a way, it is. Take, for example, the war going on right now between Mexican immigration and the US. You don’t see us making a big deal about Canadians coming to the US. Nope. This all has to do with the issue of race. And not just racism itself, but cultural racism. But I’ll come back to that. Right now I want to give you a little history lesson to better educate you with the topic at hand.
What they teach you in high school is that we had a war with Mexico to take back Texas and to have the southern part of California. They also taught you to believe that Americans were always the good guys no matter what they did so therefore their actions were always justified. What they didn’t tell you was that Mexico was already calling that land in Texas and California home before America even wanted it. Our government is trying their hardest to inch their way into the minds of the young to have them think patriotically before they know what the truth of the matter at hand is. That truth is; America is not as perfect as our textbooks say it is, and has had as much of a dirty past as any other countries. This brings me to my main point; the story of the American government banning a Latino studies class in Tucson, Arizona and brainwashed people responding in ridiculous manors because of it.
In Tucson Arizona, with its large Mexican-American population, an attempt to address a high Mexican-American high school drop out rate, they created a Mexican-American studies program in the 1990s. The idea was to help students stay in school by making learning more relevant. Many there viewed this program as a big success, but others saw it as nothing more than a program that is anti-American, even subversive, and had to be stopped. You can watch the whole video on PBS here: <http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/video/need-to-know-february-15-2013/16294/>
In 2012, legislation passed a law banning the Latino studies class because the topic was inspiring rebellious thoughts about America in the minds of the students that participated in this class. In a response to this article:
Moderate1234 writes, “These aren’t ordinary history classes. They’re racially-charged nutso classes that preach hate. The white equivalent would be a Hitler Youth class. No joke. True Hispanic/Latino history would be much more multifaceted and unbiased.” I couldn’t believe what I was reading. This person genuinely believes that teaching young Latino students a different perspective of Aztec culture in Mexican history is the equivalent to someone teaching whites a Hitler Youth class. It is in no way comparable to a Hitler Youth class. In another comment someone tries to blame Mexicans for trying to start a revolt against the US. The comment says that the class was trying to build up the hate for America. These are both prime examples of cultural racism. What is cultural racism, you say? Glad you asked. Cultural racism is basically general racism at its finest. Instead of basing stereotypes on a specific race, they blame it on their culture. For example: someone could say XYZ’s are lazy and unmotivated, or they could say PQR’s are loud and obnoxious. (Substitute a culture for the letters).
Let’s get the facts straight. Before this Latino studies class came into the spotlight, Mexican-Americans are shown to be the second highest drop out rate in the nation. With their growing demographic rate in the country and the lower education rate on which they hold, it starts to become the issue of how to keep these kids in school. (Just because these are statistical data points doesn’t make it any less culturally racist) The solution: make a history class geared toward their culture. In doing this, the classes peaked the students interests and kept them in school. The students said that they could see themselves in the criteria and that helped them understand their place in the society. They formed bonds with others in their classes and were able to talk about their culture and heritage to others with similar backgrounds. Is that such a bad thing?
Potedmeat writes, “VIVA ARIZONA! This is America baby teach that crap in Mexico where it would be appreciated more than here. I bet the teachings are based on rhetoric and the fact that the southwest was once for 28 years or so part of Mexico until the US purchased it and that is where my ancestors are from but I am 100% American and loyal to the good old USA.” In this case, I strongly believe that this class was not a bad thing for students to learn about, mainly because it’s not going to hurt someone to know the truth of their history whether Mexican-American or otherwise. In this comment, let me point out, the US did not purchase that part of Mexico. They took it in a war by force.
What I find interesting is that some of the people who took the time to comment on the news posts were intelligent and well thought out posts, but then there were a few off-hand comments by people who seemed more upset that other cultures were learning more about a heritage that wasn’t “American” and seemed offended by something that didn’t concern them one bit. They were writing them down in the heat of the moment and they are filled with racial undertones. It’s almost as if they believe themselves to be invincible on the internet where no one can put a name to a face.
In the comments above, they don’t talk about how Mexican-Americans aren’t better or worst than anybody else. They talk about how as a culture, Americans are higher up on the food chain than other cultures. Just because they don’t discriminate the race, doesn’t mean they aren’t being racist. We are not saying outright that Mexicans are uneducated, lazy, or get labor jobs. We give racism a different light saying that they have a higher drop out rate and thus they are more likely to live in poverty as a whole. Do you see a difference between the two statements? Because I don’t.