Emily emailed me just now with this story from the Chronicle of Higher Education which, well...I'm at a bit of a loss, actually.

An Arizona legislative committee has passed an amendment to a routine homeland-security bill that would prohibit students at the state’s public universities and community colleges from organizing groups based on race. The amendment was approved by the Arizona House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday. It still awaits a vote by the state’s full House and Senate.

The amendment, introduced by State Rep. Russell K. Pearce, a Republican, would also allow state officials to withhold funds from public schools sponsoring activities that “denigrate American values and the teachings of Western civilization.”....

“This bill basically says, ‘You’re here. Adopt American values,’” State Rep. John Kavanagh, a Republican, told The Arizona Republic. “‘If you want a different culture, then fine, go back to that culture,’” he said. —JJ Hermes
It's hard to know where to begin with this quality of inanity, but I guess I'll start with Mr. Kavanagh's statement about a different culture. What exactly are "American values" and how are they under attack from groups who wish to celebrate the ethnic practices of their ancestors? In some cases--most African-American groups, for example--we're talking about people whose families have been here for hundreds of years. Some of the students in those groups may have ties to this land that stretch back farther than Kavanagh's family's do--with a name like Kavanagh, you've got to assume that at least some of his relatives came over as a result of the potato famine, and slavery certainly predated that. So where are those students who want to express their culture supposed to "go back to"? What about Latinos and Latinas whose families predate the very founding of the nation--they're living their culture. We're the interlopers, in their space. They can't "go back."

I could do this all day, but I think I've made my point. This is nothing more than bigotry, and it's not even cloaked very well. I'd argue that by passing this bill out of committee, Representatives Pearce and Kavanagh have done more to "denigrate American values and the teachings of Western civilization" than all the race and culture-based organizations on all the campuses in the United States.

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