Over the last few weeks we have heard about the proposed (and now passed) law in Arizona about illegal immigration.
Reading over the summary my first thought is: this sounds like war time in Nazi Germany.
In Arizona, the new law states that:
– “it is a misdemeanor crime of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registation document”
– “officers can arrest immigrants unable to show documents proving they are legally in the country”
– “it is illegal for people to transport illegal immigrants if the drivesr of ther vehicles knows their passengers are in the country illegaly and if transportation furthers their illegal presence in the country” (for more read here)
The lastest news however, is even more troubling to me because it shows the insidious effects of this law. Classes in Latino culture that have been in place for 14 years in elementary and high schools are being targetted.
Why? Because this new law is sanctioning Xenophobia.
Learning about ones own culture, history, literature and struggles for/perspective on social justice as a marginalized group is not just important, but necessary. It’s also necessary, in a global village, to learn about cultures and perspectives, literature and history that is not your own. Unfortunately, it is far too easy in North America to (still!) be taught from a Eurocentric perspective. The trouble is that when that’s all you are taught it’s easy to believe that this is all there is, and that this is the only “truth”. This is not just troubling for marginalized groups, it is troubling for all students. We should be educating students to be global citizens.
There is so much wrong with what is happening in Arizona.
But if we look closely, we can find examples of this here too…
© Copyright Annemarie Shrouder 2010