But when an ethnically based education, which is bad enough, transmogrifies into an ethnically based education of grievance and oppression that vilifies the United States and anyone with white skin — well, this is simply untenable. And yet this product is exactly that which goes by the name Raza Studies and that Tucson blithely pushes.
Moreover, the city is intransigent about the whole thing. To valid concerns about its Raza Studies department, the school board responded last month, according to the Arizona Republic, “by announcing plans to hugely expand the [entire Ethnic Studies] program, making it a required course of studies for freshmen. And, eventually, expanding it into elementary schools.” Within a year, it seems, all of Tucson’s children will be taught based on their ethnicities distinctive curricula that will share no common denominator as strong as the condemnation of whites and of the United States.
The school district is also sponsoring in two weeks, in partnership with the University of Arizona School of Education, the 10th Annual Institute for Transformative Education seminar, at which “Classroom teachers will have the opportunity to learn … the areas of Latino critical race theory, critical race theory, critical multicultural education, Chicana/o studies, ethnic studies, cultural studies, critical pedagogy, and critical race pedagogy.” Ugh.
To defend and then expand an educational program that reveres Che Guevara, that paints American history as a series of lamentable and dishonorable events, that divides students by their ethnicities and then attempts to instill in them a defiant stance toward authority and country is a form of noxious educational malpractice. But beyond that, it’s a direct challenge to the values that millions of Americans hold dear and will this Friday, on the Fourth of July, celebrate. One hopes that the citizens of Tucson have had their fill of this nonsense in their schools, and that they’ll stand up and say so. – Liam Julian is a writer at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.