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FASCISM. April 30, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Observations, Politics, Racism.
Tags: ,

Thought that Arizona’s new immigration law was bad? Thought that it couldn’t get any worse?

It just did.

After making national headlines for a new law on illegal immigrants, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill Thursday that would ban ethnic studies programs in the state that critics say currently advocate separatism and racial preferences.

The bill, which passed 32-26 in the state House, had been approved by the Senate a day earlier. It now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer for her signature.

The new bill would make it illegal for a school district to teach any courses that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

The bill stipulates that courses can continue to be taught for Native American pupils in compliance with federal law and does not prohibit English as a second language classes. It also does not prohibit the teaching of the Holocaust or other cases of genocide.


Why did I title this post “FASCISM”? Because this is exactly what this “law” is. While its supporters would say–and have said–that there’s no prohibition on the teaching of the Holocaust and other genocides, this law is specifically targeting Tuscon’s popular Mexican-American studies department. What’s worse, is that in conjunction with this “law,” the Arizona Department of Education “has told schools that teachers with ‘heavy’ or ‘ungrammatical’ accents are no longer allowed to teach English classes.” source

Let’s be real. This is an attempt to purge the school systems in Arizona of Hispanic teachers. By labeling a Mexican-American studies department as “ethnic chauvinism,” the state superintendent is implicitly imposing an ideological purity test–what on earth makes anyone think that once they’re done purging all the undesirable Hispanics out of the education system, they won’t then come for African Americans?

These fascists are so obsessed with “being American”–they claim to stand for the principles upon which this nation was founded, yet subvert them at every turn. They claim to be Christian, but show nothing of the love of their religion’s founder; rather, they use their perverted understanding of their religion as a blunt instrument to be wielded against the very people with whom the religion’s founder would most identify.

Robert Paxton defined fascism as:

a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.


The laws that the state of Arizona has enacted this week, coupled with the more covert attempts by the state department of education, are nothing less than attempts at ethnic cleansing with a goal of creating a “pure” American (read: white) state. Their preoccupation with a mythic “America” contains some rather seedy implications: what does this America in their minds really look like? June and Ward Cleaver? Does this mythic America return to a past wherein blacks “knew their place” and white men rested in the assurance that this nation was theirs and theirs alone?

I am reminded of the words of Rev. Martin Niemoller:

In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.

Think about it.



1. Heidi - April 30, 2010

Great post, Roger. I hadn’t heard about the educational components of this legislation. Wow. It is incredibly scary. Thanks for writing about it.

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