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After immigration crackdown, Arizona targets ethnic studies

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, fresh from approving a controversial immigration law, riles Latinos anew by signing a bill to discourage ethnic studies classes that 'advocate ethnic solidarity.'

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed a controversial law this week targeting ethnic studies classes in public schools. In the wake of international reaction to the state’s illegal-immigration law, Arizona is once again roiling the Latino community and stirring up issues of racial identity, national pride, and respect.
The new law threatens to withhold 10 percent of state funding from any school district or charter school that offers classes that are designed for one particular group, “advocate ethnic solidarity,” “promote resentment of a race or class of people,” or “promote the overthrow of the United States government.”

Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction Tom Horne sees the law as a victory in a two-year quest against classes in Tucson schools that he believes cause Latino students to resent whites. The law “is consistent with the fundamental American value that we are all individuals, not exemplars of whatever ethnic groups we were born into,” he noted in a statement last month when legislators passed the law. “Ethnic studies programs teach the opposite, and are designed to promote ethnic chauvinism.”


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