I love this country. Though sometimes my anxiety about becoming a bilingual educator mixed with excessive studying for the CSET (one of 2 certification tests California needs me to pass to be a teacher) makes me shake my head in shame, Let me recap:
- Arizona essentially makes it illegal to be / look Mexican
- Arizona bans certain ethnic studies programs (so it bans Mexican History but not AP European History. Hot mess)
- Arizona was Mexico before it was Arizona.
- Arizona establishes an immigration law that scarily resembles the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.
I started this list innocously, but now have to ask: what’s the matter with Arizona? This is obviously not to the exclusion of problems in other states, but honestly, Arizona, what’s your problem? Why did lawmakers in Arizona try to resist celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Day until recently? Why does Arizona detest brown people so much? Most people recieving direct transers and social services in Arizona are non-brown (read: white) so why all the haters? Most of the employed folksinArizona are non-brown. Brown folks make the economy grow. I mean I know this discussion has been had and will be had for (please don’t say) time eternal. Arizona’s gross human rights violations are a direct attack on my future students, and I’m not having it.
I’ve already had a dream in which I went all Mama Bear on a kid mocking my students speaking both English and Spanish. I’m already in Mama Bear mode – because I know not everyone thinks Arizona’s decisions are as abhorrent as I do. I have no illusions of making the world love and appreciate my students as much as I already do – BUT I want to be clear about the direction of my focus (which is two fold). I plan to love my students, to support them as they grow, to listen to them and help them facilitate their own empowerment processes. I plan to support them as the develop critical insight into things like the wackness of Arizona, I plan to show them that’s it’s okay to name problems and address them AND I plan to show them that my classroom will be a loving and affirming place because I will fight tooth and nail for them.
Si se puede Arizona and all the other haters. Let’s do this.