Zack de la Roca Speaks to Arizona’s Harsh Immigration Law-Congressman Gets Death Threats

In the wake of Arizona passing what amounts to an Apartheid style anti-immigrant bill Zack de La Roca from Rage Against the Machine speaks out. He lets folks know just how bad this bill is and what we should be doing…For  Zack this is not his first time speaking to the immigration battles in Arizona. It was just a few months ago (january 16th that Zack was present at a March which was broken up by police..

Rep. Raul Grijalva closes Tucson office after death threats

The Arizona Democrat had called for a boycott of the state over its harsh new immigration law

Congressman Raul Grijalva

WASHINGTON — Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., closed down his Tucson and Yuma district offices Friday afternoon, after a man called the Tucson office twice threatening to “come in there and blow everybody’s head off,” and then go to the U.S.-Mexico border to “shoot any Mexicans that try to come across,” an aide says.

Grijalva, the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, had been very critical of Arizona’s harsh new immigration law, which would require law enforcement authorities to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect isn’t in the country legally. That could, needless to say, lead to significant racial profiling and harassment in Arizona, where 30 percent of the population is of Hispanic origin. Grijalva called for conventions to boycott Arizona until the law is defeated or, if signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, overturned. (UPDATE: Brewer signed the bill into law Friday afternoon.)

“Just as professional athletes refused to recognize Arizona until it recognized Martin Luther King Jr., we are calling on organizations not to schedule conventions and conferences in Arizona until it recognizes civil rights and the meaning of due process,” he said Thursday.

So the calls Friday morning left staffers feeling uncomfortable, spokesman Adam Sarvana said. The offices were closed as a precaution, and are set to open Monday as planned. The FBI is investigating the threats.

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15 comments on “Zack de la Roca Speaks to Arizona’s Harsh Immigration Law-Congressman Gets Death Threats

  1. Big ups to AZ gov. It is too bad the progressive communists continue to destroy the rule of law. I live in cali. I am considering a move to AZ. That state is getting it right.

    I would expect leftist socratic communists will work with the SEIU, The good ol NCLR to destroy the rule of law.

    I love how immigrants fight for rights in america, yet in mexico for a trial you are guilty till proven innocent. Ya dont see no marches in mexico city.

    Maybe we should try the mexican justice system. I am sure they would just run from that.

    I would expect outlets like this to continue to try to stoke up hate. Thats all it is about now.

    Immigrants activists are the real racist xenophobes. I can no longer stomach you communists and your propaganda.

    Good luck with your ongoing struggle.

    Black American Citizen

  2. i really used to like Rage, but they got it all twisted. Misinformed propagandized socratic communists.

  3. ^^^Nah, you guys just don’t know the history of our land.

    Why the black and the brown got to fight in the Pen.
    The black and the brown, they squabbin again
    Them God damned sheriffs, is laughin again
    It all stink, keep yo ass out the wind
    See the black and the brown, we can share the same land
    When I was a slave, where the hell did I ran?
    California man, it was full of mexi-cans
    Look mu-fasa, this is they casa – Ice Cube

  4. Before California was in the U.S. it was a part of Mexico true, but before that it was a part of Spain, and before that it was French, and before that it belonged to various indigenous tribes, the Olhone and such… So when cats be on some “the border crossed us!” trip, um not true… I don’t see any Spaniards or Frenchmen screaming that sh#t. And actually it was really a Catholic Church thing, they set the missionaries out here to build all the missions and civilize the natives, the Catholic Church started the nation building out here really.. that’s why so much of the cities are named after Spanish Catholic Saints and such… San Jose (Saint John), San Francisco,(Saint Francis) Los Angeles (The Angels), Sacramento (The Sacraments) … an argument can even be made that the Catholic Church built the state up from nothing… anyways I digress.

  5. The governor of Arizona signed into effect perhaps the most aggressive immigration law in the history of the country today. Under the new law, immigrants must carry papers at all times or risk being detained, or even facing other potential criminal charges. The law gives police broader power to detain immigrants or suspect immigrants, encouraging racial discrimination against the general Hispanic population

    It’s Ironic that such discriminatory politics are coming out under our first ever non-white president. What it’s asking is so absurd it’s almost surreal, as if we’ve turned the clock back decades, negating all of the progress we’ve made in civil rights.

  6. Peace & respect to Davey D and all who uplift this important issue. Respect to congressman Grijalva for being bold enough to stand up for the right thing.

    Respect to Zach de la Rocha for being a hip-hopper and progressive activist that’s not afraid to speak out on political issues like this.

    I encourage all heads to contact their state and congressional leaders (phone, mail, email) to not support the Arizona anti-immigrant law, and look into other measures of economic pressure to get Arizona to repeal the law, but also pressure a progressive immigration reform bill at the federal level

    my open letter on immigration reform:

  7. The Social Construction of “Whiteness” and “Race” in the United States

    Education historian Joel Spring attempts to explain (in the numbered excerpts below) the invention of the shifting “now you see it, now you don’t” social constructs of “whiteness” and “race,” whom and what they served – and how and why. What might these histories “laws,” and ever-changing “definitions” of “whiteness” and “legality” illuminated by Spring have to do what’s happening in Arizona TODAY regarding the kind of immigration reform unfolding there? How may these histories complicate the claim made by the bill’s sponsor, GOP State Senator Russell Pearce, that: “This law is not about race,” he said. “It’s about what is illegal”?

    (Excerpts are from Joel Spring’s The American School: 1642-2004, Sixth Edition, New York: McGraw Hill, 2005 – with an excerpt from historian Tim Tyson’s Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story, New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004.)



    Certainly, a major strand of American history has been the quest for democracy and equality. However, another strand dating from the first arrival of English settlers is characterized by claims of racial and cultural superiority. The most violent and troubled parts of American history were a result of the clash between racism and demands for equality, including:

    • Almost 1 million dead from the U.S. Civil War
    • The Trail of Tears covered by the bodies of European Americans and Native Americans who died as a result of the Indian wars that began with the arrival of the first European settlers and lasted through the nineteenth century
    • The lynching and beating of Chinese in nineteenth-century California
    • The killing and beating of enslaved Africans
    • The lynching and beating of African Americans during reconstruction and segregation periods in the South
    • Race riots in northern cities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
    • The murder and beating of Mexican Americans during the “Zoot Suit” riots in 1943
    • The murders, riots, and church bombings during the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s

    Violence and racism are a basic part of American history and of the history of the school. From colonial times to today, educators have preached equality of opportunity and good citizenship while engaging in acts of religious intolerance, racial segregation, cultural genocide, and discrimination against immigrants and nonwhites. Schooling has been plagued by scenes of violence, including:

    • Urban riots between Protestants and Catholics in the nineteenth century
    • The punishment of enslaved Africans for learning to read
    • Racial clashes over the education of African Americans, Asians, Native Americans, and Mexican Americans
    • Riots and killings over the integration of schools from the 1950s to the 1970s
    • The racially motivated killing of a black student along with fourteen others at Colorado’s Columbine High School in 1999

    How is it possible to believe in a republican form of government and political equality but still be a racist? How is it possible to argue that public schooling is the backbone of democracy but still engage in discriminatory and racist educational practices?

    It is important to understand that from colonial times to the present, racism and religious intolerance have been part of the beliefs in republicanism, democracy, and equality held by some – I emphasize the word some – Americans of European descent. This intertwining of what is on the surface appear to be contradictory beliefs has been a major tragedy and a deep flaw, from my perspective, in the unfolding history of the United States and American schools. It is important to understand that for some Americans, racism and democracy are not conflicting beliefs but are part of a general system of American values.

    Rogers Smith contends in Civic Ideals, his massive and award-winning study of U.S. citizenship, that most historians neglect the importance of racist viewpoints in the forming of U.S. laws. As Smith demonstrates, U.S. history is characterized by a long tradition of discrimination and bigotry. After evaluating the combination of legal restrictions on voting rights, and immigration and naturalization laws, Smith concludes that “for over 80 percent of U.S. history, American laws declared most people in the world legally ineligible to become U.S. citizens solely because of their race, original nationality, or gender. For at least two-thirds of American history, the majority of the domestic adult population was also ineligible for full citizenship for the same reasons.”4

    Understanding how republicanism, democracy, and equality are compatible with racism and religious intolerance in some people’s minds is key to understanding American violence and the often tragic history of education. However, I want to emphasize that many Americans of European descent have fought against racism and religious bigotry. For those believing in racial equality, the European Americans who were abolitionists and civil rights advocates are the real exemplars of democracy and equality in American history. (5-6)

    from Chapter 1: Thinking Critically about History: Ideological Management, Culture Wars, and Consumerism


    “Come over and help us,” a Native American is depicted as saying while standing as the central figure on the Seal of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay, 1629. This figure is holding an arrow in one hand and a bow in the other; a band of leaves covers his midsection.1 Undoubtedly, English colonists sincerely believed they were bringing a superior civilization to a “heathen” and “uncivilized” people. This seal symbolized the feelings of cultural superiority that the English brought to the soil of North America.

    To the surprise of the colonists, Native Americans did not rush to accept the offer of religious and cultural conversion. Native Americans responded by offering food and aid, which made it possible for Europeans to survive and expand while Indians experienced the catastrophic effects of European-introduced diseases. For Native Americans, the primary problem presented by the European invasion was physical and cultural survival. Frequently, this meant warfare or finding a means of protecting cultural traditions while adapting to the social and economic changes brought by Europeans.

    For English colonists, the cultural resistance of Native Americans was an affront to the teachings of Christ and a hindrance to colonial expansion. Motivated by sincere religious convictions and a belief in the superiority of English culture, European Americans engaged in an educational crusade to turn “heathen” and “uncivilized” Indians into models of Protestant and English culture.

    It is my hypothesis that the educational crusade for the religious and cultural conversion of Native Americans contributed to the nineteenth-century vision of the public school as the primary means for ending crime, poverty, and social and political conflict. As I will argue in later chapters, there was little difference in the minds of nineteenth-century Protestant public school advocates between “savage” Indians, unrepentant criminals, the rebellious poor, and the “heathen” Irish-Catholic immigrants. In fact, the English and Protestant sense of cultural and moral superiority originally developed during the twelfth-century English invasion of Ireland. Many English colonialists likened the “savage” Indian to the “savage” Irish.2 (9 – 10)

    from Chapter 2: Religion and Authority in Colonial Education


    Attitudes of cultural and racial superiority underpinned plans for the religious and cultural conversion of Native Americans. English colonists brought with them a sense of righteousness about their Protestant beliefs and the superiority of English culture. Colonists branded Native Americans as “heathen savages.” These attitudes of superiority would accompany the English around the world as their colonial empire was extended from North American to Africa and India.

    For the English, the invasion of Ireland in the twelfth century initiated a colonial expansion based on the supposed superiority of English culture. From Ireland in the twelfth century to India in the nineteenth century, the English were convinced that colonialism was just because it spread Anglo-Saxon culture around the world. According to historian Ronald Takaki, when the English invaded Ireland in the twelfth century, they felt the Irish were inferior savages who could be redeemed only by adopting English culture. Eventually, English opinion was divided between the possibility of civilizing the Irish and a belief in the innate inferiority of the Irish. The latter position became part of a generalized English belief in their racial superiority.

    English colonists in North America compared their experiences with Indians to their experiences with the Irish. Takaki found many written comparisons during colonial times between the “wild Irish” and the “wild Indians.” As with the Irish, English opinion was divided over the possibility of civilizing Native Americans.30 Extreme racist opinions led to the conclusion that the only solution to the Indian problem was genocide. This attitude continued into the nineteenth century and is reflected in General Philip Sheridan’s comment in 1967 after defeating the Cheyenne, “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead.” This statement was refined by one of Sheridan’s officers to the famous saying, “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.”

    Also, many European Americans envisioned North America as a land that would be primarily inhabited by whites. Benjamin Franklin worried that there were larger numbers of Africans and Asians in the world than European whites. He considered expansion into North America an opportunity to increase the white race. Shortly before the Revolution, as Takaki points out, Franklin argued that the English were the “principle body of white People” that should populate North America. The clearing of the forests, Franklin noted, would serve to make room for more whites. “Why,” he asked, “increase the Sons of Africa, by Planting them in America, where we have so fair an opportunity, by excluding all Blacks and Tawnys, of increasing the lovely White…?”32

    In the British colonial empire, English feelings of cultural superiority and racism were used to justify economic exploitation and the expropriation of lands. For many European Americans, Indians were an obstacle to the spread of white Europeans from coast to coast. To make room for the expansions of whites, the options were genocide or containment on small farms and reservations. In Takaki’s words, “This social construction of race occurred within the economic context of competition over land.”33 (23 – 24)

    from Chapter 2: Religion and Authority in Colonial Education


    …In the 1830s, Irish immigration along with the continued impact of African and Native American cultures made the goal of achieving a common culture through schooling difficult. The common school movement of the 1830s and 1840s was, in part, an attempt to halt the drift toward a multicultural society. Self-proclaimed protectors of Protestant Anglo-American culture worried about the Irish immigrants streaming ashore, the growing numbers of enslaved Africans, and the racial violence occurring in northern cities between freed Africans and whites. Also during the 1830s, President Andrew Jackson implemented his final solution for acquiring the lands of the southern Indians by forcing the tribes off their lands and removing them to an area west of the Mississippi. Upon completion of this forced removal, the government was to “civilize” the southern tribes through a system of segregated schools. In addition to the concern about the risk posed to Anglo-American culture, there was a hysterical fear among European Americans during the common school period that Africans and Indians would contaminate their white blood. This fear resulted in a demand by some whites for laws forbidding interracial marriages.* (102)

    from Chapter 5: The Common School and the Threat of Cultural Pluralism

    [*NOTE: For further history regarding the social construction of “whiteness” and race in the United States in direct relation to maintaining the institution of slavery, see Tim Tyson’s Blood Done Sign My Name (2004), particularly the following excerpt below:

    …The sexual obsessions of white supremacy, which were so evident to the children of Jim Crow, had their origins in the fundamental structure of the colonial economy three hundred years earlier. In 1662, the Virginia legislature passed a statute that read, “Children got by an Englishman upon a Negro woman shall be bond or free according to the condition of the mother.” This reversed English common law, under which the status of a child followed that of the father.

    The new statute meant that white men who fathered children by their slave women increased their own material worth. Violating their own deeply held beliefs, they sired offspring that would work in their houses and fields without fee and care for them in their old age without fail. Children born of white fathers and black mothers became black, not white, and remained slave, not free. Without that provision, growing numbers of apparently “black” people who were legally “white” would have populated the American colonies. The whole system of racial bondage rested upon the fact that free white men could father “black” slave children, while black men could never father “white” children. The children of slave mothers or fathers must always inherit that status. If large numbers of white women had birthed mulatto children by black fathers, the system of slavery based on racial caste would have been undermined and might have been rendered unworkable. Some from of unfree labor would have persisted for a time but racialized slavery, justified in the name of white supremacy, might well have never evolved the way that it did. “Race” itself could have meant something entirely different without these rules about sex…

    It was a different thing, of course, for a white man to father “black” children. Annie Bell Cheatham remembered her grandfather, born a slave in Granville County, telling her that white men would often have sexual relations with the slave women who worked in their houses, even if the woman had a black husband. “They would keep the woman in the house,” Cheatham said, “and she would do the cooking, and the white men would go with the black women. They didn’t have no choice.” The slave husband, her grandfather explained, “better not say anything about it – they will hang him.” Some white men who had black families on the side chose to free their black children, who were often called “free-issue Negroes,” “’Free-issue’ people was white men taking black women and them having children,” Rachel Blackwell, born in Oxford 1891 remembered. “And they would call them ‘issued free.’ The white man would help support that old colored woman and them children, and they would be real light-skinned but the other children would be black. My mother told me about this,” Blackwell continued, “but she couldn’t say or do anything about it.”

    The sex and race taboo that grew from these roots in slavery remained a mighty oak in my boyhood. The challenge to segregation that arose in those years shook that tree like a hurricane, and the white supremacists clung to its trunk for dear life. “What the white man fears and what the white man is fighting to prevent at any cost,” the editor of the Warren Record wrote in 1955, “is the destruction of the purity of this race. He believes that integration would lead to miscegenation, and there is some basis for his fears.” Of course, “miscegenation” was not the real concern; a system that gave all the power to the men in one group and virtually no power to the women in another group made “race mixing” in one direction almost inevitable, as many African Americans in Granville County could attest. The social order permitted white men in the South, by virtue of their position atop the race and gender hierarchy, to take their liberties with black women, while white women and black men remained strictly off-limits to each other. The much traveled sexual back road between the races was clearly marked “one way.”

    When I was growing up, many whites assumed that “race-mixing” in schools would lead to rampant interracial sexual activity and that “the death of the white race” would inevitably follow. White purity and white power were imperative, all things good and decent hung in the balance, and sex was the critical battleground. Mainstream white conservative James J. Kilpatrick, whose national influence would persist well into the Reagan era, declared that white Southerners had every right “to preserve the predominately racial characteristics that have contributed to Western civilization over the past two hundred years.” William F. Buckley’s National Review agreed, and justified not merely segregation but disfranchisement for blacks, arguing that “the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in those areas where it does not predominate numerically.” The race-sex complex, with all its hypocrisies and contradictions underlay the entire struggle. James Baldwin’s was one of the few public voices that could pierce the fog of “miscegenation” rhetoric, and he offered a timeless retort to the question “Would you want your daughter to marry one?” In a television debate with Kilpatrick, he explained, “You’re not worried about me marrying YOUR daughter – you’re worried about me marrying YOUR WIFE’S daughter. I’ve been marrying YOUR daughter since the days of slavery.” (36-39)]


    Many New Englander hoped common schools would eradicate these “savage” cultures The sensuous and emotional rhythms of African and Indian drums and the incense and ritual of the Irish Catholic Church offered a start contrast to the stiff, repressed, and self-righteous way of life of white New Englanders. With the possibility of a multicultural society existing in North American, many European Americans hoped the common school would assure that the United States was dominated by a unified Protestant Anglo-Saxon culture.

    As Carl Kaestle argues in Pillars of the Republic: Common Schools and American Society, 1780 – 1860, the common school movement was designed to protect the ideology of an American Protestant culture. Most of the common school reformers, Kaestle documents, were native-born Anglo-American Protestants, and their public philosophy “called for government action to provide schooling that would be more common, more equal, more dedicated to public policy, and therefore more effective in creating cultural and political values centering on Protestantism, republicanism, and capitalism.”1

    “No Irish Need Apply,” a famous folk song of the common school period, referred to rental and employment signs telling Irish Americans they were not welcome as residents or workers. English colonists in North America stereotyped the Irish as “savages” and “slaves of their passions.” These stereotypes developed during the long course of English domination of Ireland, which by 1700 left the Irish owning only 14 percent of Ireland.2

    By the time of the great Irish immigration to the United States, English exploitation of Irish workers had reduced the average Irish family to a life of misery and famine. Living in one-room mud huts with straw roofs with only a hole cut through the straw for a chimney, the typical Irish family ate little more than a daily ration of potatoes. By 1845, one million Irish had immigrated to the United States. When the smell of decay from the potato blight crossed the land in 1845, another million-and-a-half Irish set sail to escape starvation. For those who stayed behind, the choice was often a deadly one. By 1855, the potato famine had killed one million people.3

    As the Irish arrived at the great port cities, such as Boston and New York, they found themselves greeted with open hostility. Competing with freed Africans for jobs, the Irish found employment building roads and railroads, working in mines, and digging canals. Irish workers were thought of by other European Americans as “dogs” and “dray horses” to be worked like animals in the building of a new nation.4

    Protestant Anglo-Saxons feared that the “drunken Irish,” acting mainly out of “passion” rather than reason, might destroy the American dream. The Reverend Theodore Parker warned his congregation of “The Dangerous Classes,” who were “inferior in nature, some perhaps only behind us in development…a lower form…[consisting of] negroes, Indians, Mexicans, Irish, and the like.”5

    The Catholicism of the Irish also bothered Protestants. By the nineteenth century, many Protestants feared that the Catholic Church was the church of Satan, and they worried that the pope had sent an army of Irish Catholics to undermine Protestant churches. Ironically, it was the English who forced the Irish to become Christian and, after the Church of England became Protestant, most Irish remained Catholic. The majority of Irish immigrating to the United States in the nineteenth century were Catholic.6 (102- 103)

    from Chapter 5: The Common School and the Threat of Cultural Pluralism


    In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the educational treatment of Mexican, Asian, Native, African, and Puerto Rican Americans ran counter to the common school ideal of uniting all children in the same schoolhouse. Issues of racial segregation, language policies, and attempts to destroy cultures clouded efforts to provide equality of educational opportunity for all children. Entangled in the educational issues was the problem of citizenship. The Naturalization Act of 1790 provided for naturalized citizenship only for those classified as “white.”

    ….The educational treatment of Mexican Americans reflected the racial attitudes of Anglo-Americans toward Mexican Americans who generally were of Native American and Spanish ancestry. Popular Anglo-American writers in the nineteenth century argued that the mixture of Spanish conquerors and Native Americans resulted in “wretched hybrids and mongrels [who were] in many respects actually inferior to the inferior race itself.”1 At the time, Anglo-Americans did not consider the Spanish to be “white” and therefore believed they were an inferior race. Representative William Brown envisioned “the Anglo-Saxon race, like a mighty flood [spreading over] all Mexico.”2 This flood of Anglo-Saxons, Brown hoped, would eventually cover all of Central and South American, creating republics whose “destinies will be guided by Anglo-Saxon hands.”3

    At the time of the U.S. invasion of Mexico in the 1840s, Secretary of State James Buchanan and Secretary of the Treasury Robert Walker expressed their views that northern Europeans, whom they identified as Anglo-Saxon, were the superior racial group. Within the racial ideology of these American leaders, Mexican mestizos were a substandard racial mixture because they were descended from an inferior European race and Native Americans. The Mexican-American War was, among other things, a race war.

    The struggle over inclusion of Mexican Americans and other Hispanic Americans as full citizens of the United States became a serious issue in 1848 with the ending of the Mexican-American War and the ratification of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. During treaty negotiations, the Mexican government demanded that Mexicans remaining in the territory that Mexico lost become U.S. citizens. This demand created a dilemma for U.S. leaders.

    Today, few U.S. citizens are aware of the importance of this war for the territorial expansion of the United States and the disaster for Mexico in losing almost one-half of its total territory. At the war’s conclusion, the United States added territory that included major parts of the future states of California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Texas. While many U.S. citizens fail to remember the territorial gains, Mexicans are constantly reminded of their loss by the huge monument standing at the entrance to Chapultepec Park in Mexico City commemorating the young Mexican boys who died trying to defend the spot against the U.S. military.

    The events leading to the Mexican-American War occurred during the period of the racial and cultural genocide of the Five Civilized Tribes as they were removed from the Southeast to Indian Territory. In the area that is now Texas, U.S. settlers had been waging a war that culminated in 1837 with the Mexican government accepting the loss of part of its land and recognizing Texas as an independent nation. While the Five Civilized Tribes located on land just north of Texas and organized their governments, the U.S. settlers controlling the nation of Texas formed a government and debated whether or not they should remain independent or allow themselves to be annexed by the United States.

    In the minds of some Anglo-Americans, the United States was destined to rule the continent because of its Protestant culture and republican form of government. In the minds of many U.S. citizens, Mexico stood for Catholicism and feudalism. After the Texas government agreed in 1845 to be annexed to the United States, President James Polk sent a small army to the Rio Grande. Under the leadership of General Zachary Taylor, the army was to protect the Texas border. Taylor’s presence sparked a military reaction by Mexico that resulted in the U.S. Congress declaring war – on May 13, 1846. Later in the century, former president Ulysses S. Grant wrote about the declaration of war and the subsequent military campaigns as “the most unjust war ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation…an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies.”4

    The United States did not confine its military actions to Texas. Within one month after the congressional declaration of war, President Polk ordered a war party under the command of Colonel Stephen Kearny to travel from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and occupy the Mexican city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. After entering Mexican territory, Kearny issued a proclamation saying: “The undersigned enters New Mexico with a large military force for the purpose of seeking union with and ameliorating the condition of the inhabitants.”5 Kearny promised, without authorization from President Polk that all Mexican citizens in New Mexico would be given U.S. citizenship, and he convinced many local officials to take an oath of allegiance to the U.S. government. The Mexican governor fled Santa Fe, and Kearny entered the city on August 17, 1846, without encountering any significant resistance.

    One month later, on September 25, 1846, Kearny left Santa Fe for the Mexican province of California. A year before Kearny’s departure from Santa Fe, a small military force under the command of Captain John C. Frémont had arrived at Fort Sutter, California. Aided by the presence of Frémont’s force, a group of American settlers declared that California was the Bear Flag Republic. Their action was similar to that in Texas on July 4, 1846. The leaders of the new nation created a flag featuring a single star and a crude grizzly. At the celebration for the new republic, Frémont announced that he planned to conquer all of California. Military historian General John Eisenhower writes regarding Frémont’s proclamation: “This pronouncement was remarkable because it was made at a time when Frémont had no knowledge of whether or not Mexico and the United States were at war.”6 On December 12, 1846, Kearny arrived in San Diego to complete the final conquest of California.

    Eventually, the expanding war led to the occupation of Mexico City by U.S. military forces on September 14, 1847. The war ended on May 30, 1848, when the Mexican congress ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ceded to the United States Mexican territory from Texas to California. Besides creating lasting resentment toward and suspicion of the U.S. government by the Mexican government, the acquisition of Mexican lands presented the problem of what to do with the conquered Mexican citizens. During negotiations regarding the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexican leaders were concerned about the racial attitude of U.S. leaders and demanded that Mexicans living in ceded territory be given full citizenship rights in the United States. However, when the treaty was discussed in the U.S. Senate, the majority of senators did not believe that Mexicans were ready for “equal union” with other U.S. citizens. Consequently, the final treaty postponed the granting of U.S. citizenship to the conquered Mexican population. Article IX of the treaty stated that Mexicans in the ceded territory “shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States, and be admitted, at the proper time (to be judged by the Congress of the United States), to the enjoyment of all rights of citizens of the United States.”7

    Despite the treaty’s provision for citizenship, citizenship rights were abridged throughout the Southwest through limitations placed on voting rights and through segregation in public accommodations and schooling. As with cases involving Asian Americans (discussed later in this chapter), courts wrestled with the issue of racial classification. In 1897, Texas courts ruled that Mexican Americans were not “white.” In California, Mexican Americans were classified as Caucasian until 1930, when California’s Attorney General Webb categorized them as Indians; he argued that “the greater portion of the population of Mexico are Indians.” Therefore, Mexican Americans were segregated in accordance with a provision of the California school code, that gave school districts the “power to establish separate schools for Indian children, excepting children of Indians…who are the descendants of the original American Indians of the U.S.” Though classified as Indians, Mexican Americans were not considered “the original American Indians of the U.S.”8

    The attitude of racial, religious, and cultural superiority provided motivation for the United States to take over Mexican land, fueled hostilities between the two countries throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and was reflected in the treatment of Mexicans who remained in California and the Southwest after the U.S. conquest and later Mexican immigrants. Segregated schools, housing, and discrimination in employment became the Mexican American heritage. Reflecting the attitude of the Mexican government toward the anti-Mexican feelings in the United States, the president of Mexico, General Porfirio Diaz, was reported to have remarked in the latter part of the nineteenth century: “Poor Mexico! So far from God and so close to the United States.”9

    The evolution of discriminatory attitudes and practices toward Mexican Americans occurred in two stages. The first stage involved the treatment of the Mexicans who remained after the conquest. The second stage occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when U.S. farmers encouraged the immigration of farm laborers from Mexico and political and economic conditions in Mexico caused many Mexicans to seek residence in the United States.

    In Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1936-1986, David Montejano argues that a victor has the choice of either eradicating the conquered population or assimilating them into its own culture.10 Montejano identifies two patterns in the treatment of the Mexican Americans in Texas in the nineteenth century. The pattern of extermination and ejection occurred in central and southeastern Texas with the uprooting of entire communities. Mexican Americans were physically driven out of Austin in 1853 and 1855 and out of the counties of Matagorda and Colorado in 1856. A large part of the Mexican population of San Antonio was driven out by 1856.11

    The ejection of the Mexican population was justified by racist attitudes. Frederick Law Olmsted recorded many of these attitudes while traveling through Texas in 1855 and 1856 as a reporter for the New York Times. Olmsted overheard newly arrived settlers complaining that Mexicans “think themselves as good as white men” and that they were “vermin to be exterminated.”12 He found a general feeling among Anglo settlers that “white folks and Mexicans” were never meant to live together. He quoted a newspaper article published in Matagorda County that began: “The people of Matagorda county have held a meeting and ordered every Mexican to leave the county.”13 The article went on to justify the expulsion by calling the Mexicans in the area “lower class” and contending that the Mexicans were likely to take black women as wives and to steal horses.

    One of the important consequences of this negative action against Mexicans was to make it easier for American settlers to gain land in the area. In this case, racism served as justification for economic exploitation. While the Mexican population declined in these areas after the war, it rose again during the twentieth century. The same racist arguments were then used to justify paying Mexican farmworkers lower wages and establishing a segregated system of schooling.

    In the southern part of Texas, a different pattern developed for the treatment of the conquered Mexican population. Montejano calls this pattern a “peace structure” with two major components. One component involved bringing the Mexicans under the authority of the Anglos in political matters; the other involved an accommodation between the Mexican and Anglo elites.14 This accommodation served as a basis for the creation of large cattle ranches. Anglo cattle raisers gained access to large tracts of land either by marrying into elite Mexican families or through direct purchase. In this accommodation, Anglos made a distinction between what they identified as the “Castilian elite,” who controlled vast amounts of land, and the average Mexican, who was identified as a “peon.” In the minds of Anglos, this division involved a racial distinction. Peons were considered racially inferior to the Castilian elite because they were mestizos. The Castilian elite were accepted because of their supposed lack of Indian heritage and their Spanish ancestry. In other words, Anglos held the same racist attitudes toward peons as they did toward Indians.15

    One of the keys to understanding the continuing patterns of racism and segregation is the fact that the immigration of Mexicans was encouraged by U.S. farmers – because Mexicans were an inexpensive source of labor in the booming agricultural regions of Texas and California. By the 1890s, the era of the cowboy was drawing to a close. Railroads had penetrated Texas, making the cattle drives across Indian Territory unnecessary. In addition, because of a variety of economic changes, the cattle industry itself was in decline. Consequently, many Texans turned to farming. As the twentieth century unfolded, the expansion of the railroad made it possible to ship agricultural goods from California to the East. Similar to Texans, California farmers needed cheap labor. For some farmers, Mexicans were ideal laborers. As one Texas cotton grower put it: “They are docile and law-abiding. They are the sweetest people in this position that I ever saw.”

    Anglo attitudes about the education of the children of immigrant Mexicans involved two conflicting positions. On the one hand, farmers did not want Mexican children to go to school – because school attendance meant that they were not available for farmwork. On the other hand, many public officials wanted Mexican children in school so that they could be “Americanized.” In addition, many Mexican families were reluctant to send their children to school because of the loss of the children’s contribution to the family income.

    These conflicting positions represent the two methods by which education can be used as a method of social control. One is to deny a population the knowledge necessary to protect its political and economic rights and to economically advance in society. Farmers wanted to keep Mexican laborers ignorant as a means of assuring a continued inexpensive source of labor. As one Texas farmer stated, “Educating the Mexicans is educating them away from the job, away from the dirt.” Reflecting the values of the farmers in his district, one Texas school superintendent explained, “You have doubtless heard that ignorance is bliss; it seems that is so when one has to transplant onions….So you see it is up to the white population to keep the Mexican on his knees in an onion patch or in new ground. This does not mix very well with education.”25 A school principal in Colorado stated, “never try to enforce compulsory attendance laws on the Mexicans….The banks and the company will swear that the labor is needed and that the families need money.” 26 (168-175)

    from Chapter 7: Multiculturalism and the Failure of the Common School Ideal


    The hostility of Anglo-Americans was a rude surprise to Asian immigrants….

    Nineteenth – and twentieth-century – court rulings specifically denied Asian American immigrants the right to be naturalized citizens. However, unlike most Native Americans until 1924, Asian Americans born in the United States were considered native-born citizens after the passage of the 1866 Civil Rights Act. A legal issue was the racial classification applied to immigrants from northern and southern Asia, southeast Asia, and India. In the nineteenth century, California laws simply classified immigrants from all these areas as “Mongolian.” Later, despite the wide-ranging cultural and language differences among these regions, European Americans used the term “Asian” in reference to immigrants from these areas.

    Confusion over the legal racial category of Asians began in 1853 with a California court case involving the murder of another Chinese immigrant by one George Hall. The California Supreme Court overturned the murder conviction of George Hall by applying a state law that disallowed court testimony from African Americans, mulattoes, and Native Americans. The state law was a reflection of the racist undertones of the state government of California. California’s chief justice ruled that the law barring the testimony of Native Americans applied to all “Asiatics,’ since, according to theory, Native Americans were originally Asians who crossed into North America over the Bering Strait. Therefore, the chief justice argued, the ban on court testimony from Native Americans applied to “the whole of the Mongolian race.”

    U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of the Naturalization Act of 1790 made it clear that race was primarily defined according to skin color. In denying citizenship to Chan Yong in 1855, a federal district court in California ruled that under the 1790 Naturalization Act citizenship was restricted to whites only and, consequently, immigrant Chinese were not eligible for U.S. citizenship.31 In addition, the Naturalization Law of 1870 extended U.S. citizenship to “aliens of African nativity and to persons of African descent” while retraining the word white, which meant the continued exclusion of Asian immigrants and Native Americans from citizenship.

    After the Chan Yong decision, California continued to be a hotbed of anti-Chinese and anti-Japanese sentiment. Race riots accompanied laws designed to deny Asian Americans full citizenship rights. However, despite the sentiments of California congressman James Johnson, who labeled Asians “barbarians” and considered them an “inferior” race, the U.S. Congress in 1864 ratified the Burlingame Treaty with China, allowing unrestricted immigration of Chinese nationals to the United States but continuing to deny them U.S. citizenship.32 Then in 1875 Congress limited unrestricted immigration with the passage of the Page Law, which forbade entry into the United States of Chinese, Japanese, and “Mongolian” contract labor.33

    Many California Anglo-Americans objected to the Burlingame Treaty. Demanding an end to Chinese immigration, John Miller told the 1878 California constitutional convention: “Were the Chinese to amalgamate at all with our people, it would be the lowest, most vile and degraded of our race, and the result of the most detestable that has ever afflicted the earth.”34 Announcing that the “experiment of blending [the] habits and mutual race idiosyncracies [of Chinese and European Americans was] unwise, impolitic, and injurious to both nations,” President Chester Arthur signed the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Law denying entrance into the United States of all Chinese laborers for ten years while allowing merchants, students, teachers, and diplomats.35 The legislation specifically banned the naturalization of immigrant Chinese. In addition, it required all Chinese residing in the United States to obtain certificates of registration. The Chinese Exclusion Act was one of three immigration acts passed in 1882 that gave major control over immigration to the federal government (as opposed to state governments).

    Massachusetts senator George Hoar led opposition to the Chinese Exclusion Act. He argued that the principles of republican government, the Declaration of Independence, and Christianity required racial equality in the United States and in immigration laws, and he rejected the “doctrine that free institutions are a monopoly of favored races.” 36 Tennessee senator William Moore opposed the law because the United Stats, as “the recognized champion of human rights,” should be “the land where all men, of all climes, all colors, all conditions, all nationalities, are welcome to come and go at will.”37

    Those who “won the day,” however, were proponents of the idea that a republican or democratic government could only survive only with a population limited to “whites.” Vermont senator George Edmonds and Wisconsin representative George Hazelton declared that the survival of republican institutions required a “homogenous population.”38 Survival of the U.S. government would not be possible according to Ohio representative Alden McLure, with an “ethnological animal show.”39 California senator John Miller referred to the Chinese as a degraded race unfit for citizenship when compared to the higher “Anglo-Saxon.” California representative Romualdo Pacheco argued that the “Chinaman [is] a lithe, sinewy creature, with muscles like iron, and almost devoid of nerves and sensibilities. His ancestors have also bequested to him the most hideous immoralities. They are as natural to him as the yellow hue of his skin, and are so shocking and horrible that their character cannot even be hinted.”40

    While Chinese were specifically excluded from citizenship by the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and the 1790 Naturalization Law, a Japanese immigrant in 1894 was denied citizenship by a U.S. circuit court in Massachusetts with the argument that Japanese were not eligible because they were “Mongolians.” In 1909, a person with an English father and a half-Chinese and half-Japanese mother was denied citizenship for not being sufficiently “white.”41 (175-179)

    from Chapter 7: Multiculturalism and the Failure of the Common School Ideal

    “America was settled by peoples of all nations….You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world. We are not a narrow tribe.”

    – Herman Melville

  8. And, how does Capitalism – i.e. Neoliberal economix – play into that?

    (from Joel Spring’s The American School: 1642-2004, Sixth Edition, New York: McGraw Hill, 2005)

    McGuffey Readers and the Spirit of Capitalism

    The popularity and importance of Williams McGuffey’s Readers in the latter half of the nineteenth century can be compared to the role of The New England Primer during colonial times and Noah Webster’s spelling book in the first half of the nineteenth century. The New England Primer prepared readers for submission to the authority of the family, the Bible, and the government, and Webster’s spelling book taught republican values designed to maintain order in a free society. McGuffey’s Readers contain numerous moral lessons designed to teach appropriate behavior in a developing industrial society with increasing concentrations of wealth and expanding social divisions between the rich and the poor. Within this context, the readers provide an example of the actual meaning given to attempts to reduce social-class tensions by mixing the rich and the poor in the common school.

    The growth in popularity of McGuffey’s Readers paralleled the development of the common school. Ironically, even as the nineteenth-century schoolmarm took over the schoolroom, girls occupied little space in the new reading series. Females are seldom discussed characters in these moral tales dealing with social behavior in a developing industrial society. If the McGuffey Readers were our sole source for understanding human conduct in the latter half of the nineteenth century, we would have the impression that the only role for women in the development of a capitalistic and industrial society was to serve as models of charity. The concept of charity is important because it justifies the concentration of wealth by making the rich the stewards of wealth for the poor. Even in their role as models of charity, however, girls were less frequently portrayed than boys were. As depicted in the moral tales in McGuffey Readers, girls were almost invisible in the school relationships of developing capitalism….

    There are several ways to explain the neglect of girls in these didactic tales. One could assume that it reflects the subordinate, secondary role of women in society. In other words, McGuffey’s attitude toward females reflects that more general vision men had of women’s place in society. Another explanation could be that the female character was considered to have few moral defects. This explanation is supported by one of the major reasons given for recruiting women into teaching, namely, the purity of their moral character. In face, in the stories in the second reader, the range of moral problems for girls is very narrow as compared with that for boys. In two of the stories dealing with girls, “Mary and Her Father” and “The Little Letter Writer,” the theme is learning and the value of education. In another story, “The Greedy Girl,” the moral problem is gluttony, which is illustrated by a little girl who eats so much that she constantly gets sick. Untidiness is the central theme in “A Place for Everything,” a story about a girl who constantly loses things and learns from another girl to put everything in its proper place.

    One could conclude from these stories that in the nineteenth century the central problems in the character of girls were considered to be overeating, a lack of appreciation for learning, and untidiness. The other four stories dealing with girls present not problems of character but models of charity. In “The Kind Little Girl,” the central female character shares with animals and hungry people; in “A Dialogue on Dress,” a girl refuses new clothes so that she can save to buy clothes for the poor; in “The Two White Doves,” a girl and boy give their doves to a sick child; and in “The Last Two Apples,” a girl gives the last apples to her siblings. Thus, in half the stories dealing with female character, girls are presented as acting charitably in certain situations.

    The theme of charity is also important in the stories dealing with boys. As mentioned previously, this was an important theme in the developing social relationships of capitalism. The range of character problems exhibited by boys in the McGuffey Readers is much greater than that associated with girls. In the twenty nine stories dealing with boys, the themes include relationships to nature, value of learning, gluttony, mercy, pranks, charity, industriousness, honesty, courage, envy, alcoholism, insolence, and thrift.

    Interesting, the most frequent theme in McGuffey’s Newly Revised Eclectic Second Reader, one that appears in six of the stories, is a boy’s relationship to nature. This probably reflects the importance of the expanding West and the role of nature in nineteenth-century life. In the second story of the reader (the first story deals with the importance of reading), a boy is depicted reflecting on the loveliness of the sun and the goodness of God. In contrast to the boys who love nature are the boys in “The Bird Set Free,” who rob birds’ nests. The second most frequent theme, which appears in five of the stories about male character, is charity, and the third most frequent theme is the value of education.

    To understand the importance of charity, consideration must be given to the general social and political messages in all the McGuffey Readers. This analysis is done by Richard Mosier in Making the American Mind: Social and Moral Ideas in the McGuffey Readers. As the title suggests, Mosier approaches his analysis from the perspective that the wide use of the McGuffey Readers had a profound impact on average Americans by shaping their attitudes toward political, social, and economic institutions. In general, Mosier argues that the political messages found in the pages of the McGuffey Readers are conservative and express a distrust of popular participation in government. Within this conservative framework, the primary purpose of government is the protection of property. Mosier contends that most of the political ideas in the readers express the values of the Whig Party as opposed to the Democratic Party of the early nineteenth century. This, of course, means that the books agree with the political values of the leadership of the common school movement.

    The fear of spreading democracy, or suffrage, is expressed in the McGuffey Readers’ support of the common school system. In Mosier’s words, “The antidote for these new forms of demagoguery and radicalism [Jacksonian democracy] was religion and education, the fire engines of Church and State, to which conservatives turned in their darkest hours.” He argues that the purpose of education, as reflected in the readers and in conservative political thought, was:

    for education…[to] be linked particularly with a call to return to the stern moral code of the Puritan fathers…[when]the objects of education were considered largely in terms of religious and moral culture…[T]he McGuffey readers voiced their fear for the corrupting influences of the new age that had come upon them, and hinted that in the metaphysical subtleties of the great New England theologians lay the appropriate foundations for state, school, church, and society. 52

    The treatment of economic issues in the McGuffey Readers, Mosier maintains, is premised on the Calvinistic concept that wealth is an outward sign of inner salvation. This economic argument allowed for an acceptance of a society that was experiencing increasing concentrations of wealth and an expanding social distance between rich and poor. Wealth was a sign of God’s blessing and poverty was a sign of God’s disapproval. Within this economic argument, the poor had to be godly and industrious to gain wealth, and the rich had to use their wealth in a godly fashion to continue receiving the blessings of God. Therefore, charity was a means for the rich to remain worthy of their wealth in the eyes of God and a justification for a concentration of wealth in their hands. Mosier states about the contents of the McGuffey Readers, “Those who are wealthy are reminded that they are so by the grace of God, and that this grace and concession implies a responsibility toward the poor…Many are the lessons that praise the charitable activities of the merchant, and many are those that show the kindness of the rich to the poor.” 53 This conceptual framework gave the wealthy a stewardship over the riches of the earth and the destiny of the poor.

    Within the context of this gospel of wealth, the poor were placed in a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, the existence of the poor was considered to be inevitable and therefore an acceptable part of the social order. On the other hand, some argued that poverty existed because the poor did not have the virtues of the rich and that the poor could escape poverty being industrious, thrifty, and moral. As Mosier summarizes the dominant attitude in the McGuffy Readers: “It was argued that the poor will always be with us, that the best for them was charity and benevolence, but that no one need be poor. There are, argued the apostles of acquisition, numerous avenues to success that stand open for the sober, the frugal, the thrifty, and the energetic. 54

    The best examples of this gospel of wealth are two successive stories in the 1843 edition of McGuffey’s Newly Revised Eclectic Second Reader, having the descriptive titles “The Rich Boy” and “The Poor Boy.” The reader is informed in the first story that the rich boy knows “that God gives a great deal of money to some persons, in order that they may assist those who are poor.” In keeping with the idea that the rich are elected by God, the rich boy is portrayed as being humble, kind to servants, and “careful not to make a noise in the house, or break anything, or put it out of its place, or tear his clothes.” The reader is also told that this model of virtue “likes to go with his parents to visit poor people in their cottages, and gives them all the money he can spare. He often says: ‘If I were a man, and had plenty of money, I think no person who lived near me should be very poor.’” The story ends with the rich boy dreaming of how he would use his future wealth:

    I would build a great many pretty cottages for poor people to live in, and every cottage should have a garden and a field, in order that the people might have vegetables, and might keep a cow, and a pig, and some chickens; they should not pay me much rent. I would give clothes to the boys and girls who had not money to buy clothes with, and they should all learn to read and write, and be very good. 55

    Certainly, a child reading “The Rich Boy” would easily conclude that God is just and that the rich boy deserves to inherit his parent’s wealth.

    In a similar fashion, the reader of “The Poor Boy” might conclude that poverty is good because of its effects on moral character. The poor boy is portrayed as industrious, helpful, moral, and eager to learn. The story opens, “The good boy whose parents are poor, rises early in the morning; and all day long, does as much as he can, to help his father and mother.” It goes on to explain that the poor boy studies hard so that when he grows up, he can read the Bible and find gainful employment. The story makes a clear distinction between the poor boy who is good and poor boys who are bad. In the story, the poor boy hurries home from his lessons to help his parents. On the way, the reader is told, “he often sees naughty boys in the streets, who fight, and steal, and do many bad things; and he hears them swear, and call names, and tell lies; but he does not like to be with them, for fear they should make him as bad as they are; and lest any body who sees him with them, should think that he too is naughty.” Unlike the rich boy wanting to help the poor, he dreams of earning his own living. The poor boy likes his food of bread and bacon and does not envy the rich little boys and girls “riding on pretty horses, or in coaches.” At the end of the story, the poor boy states his acceptance of his social position:

    I have often been told, and I have read, that it is God who makes some poor, and others rich – that the rich have many troubles which we know nothing of; and that the poor, if they are but good, may be very happy: indeed, I think that when I am good, nobody can be happier than I am. 56

    In summary, the two stores provide a justification for economic inequality and a rationale for accepting one’s position in life. After reading the stories, poor boys might have been pleased to learn that they could be happy if they were good and that they were free of the burdens and responsibilities of the wealthy. Rich boys might have been pleased to learn that their good fortune was a blessing from God that required them only to adopt paternalistic attitudes toward the poor.

    The economic arguments embodied in the McGuffey Readers provide another means of understanding the goals of the common school. One of the basic reasons given for the establishment of a common school system was that it would reduce antagonisms between the rich and the poor. In addition, consciousness of one’s particular social class was to be changed into a consciousness of belonging to the more general social class of humanity.

    Because McGuffey’s Readers were written for the common schools and were among the most popular texts during the time the common school system was growing, it can be assumed that they offer an important perspective on how the reduction of tension between the rich and the poor would take place. In other words, the readers provided part of the real content of the more general educational rhetoric. From this perspective, one might conclude that the common school was supposed to solve the problem of social-class tension by educating children to accept their positions in society and the existing economic arrangements. The poor were educated to accept the existence of the rich – to learn that the rich would take care of them and that they were free of the responsibilities that accompanied wealth. Indeed, the poor were taught that their happiness depended on behaving in a manner that would not antagonize the wealthy. For their own good and obviously for the good of the wealthy, the poor were taught to be free of envy and to be thrifty, industrious, and moral.

    From the standpoint of the rich, social-class tensions would be reduced by learning humility and charity toward the poor. The rich were not to disdain the poor but were to learn to love them. Therefore, educating the rich in the common school was meant to reduce social-class antagonisms in two ways: first, by disarming the rich of negative feeling about the poor, and second, by teaching the rich to perform acts of charity as a means of disarming the poor of hostility.

    The McGuffey Readers’ concerns with morality and with developing virtuous character made them an ideal companion for the growth of the common school and the industrial society. In the readers, the concept of republican motherhood is enlarged to include behaviors considered important in a society of increasing economic and social tensions. In the early nineteenth century, men and women considered the traits of motherhood to be ideal as methods for educating good republicans. In the latter half of the century, it was easy to extend the nurturing qualities of motherhood to include acts of charity. Furthermore, charity, as discussed earlier, was an essential concept for justifying inequalities in the distribution of wealth. Therefore, females, particularly women teachers, became symbols of the virtues needed to maintain order in a republican society and of the kindness and acts of charity required to maintain order in a capitalistic society.

  9. What do Tex-books (textbooks/Texas board) got to do with it?

    Since the disappearance of Soviet-style communism in the 1990s, the primary enemy of consumerism has become environmentalism. A threat to consumerism is seen in calls for reduction of air pollution; improved mileage standards for cars; criticisms of the mass production of sport utility vehicles (SUVS); demands for more stringent controls on pesticides and herbicides; restrictions on the use of snowmobiles, jet skis, all-terrain vehicles, and motor bikes in public parks and recreational sites; reductions in the use of packaging material for consumer items; protests against the building of mega-discount stores; and protection of green spaces in urban and suburban development. Supporters of consumerism see these demands as threats to the American way of life.

    At the 2002 hearings of the Texas State Board of Education, science textbooks were condemned for saying that there was a scientific consensus that the earth’s climate is changing because of global warming. This claim was labeled as “anti-technology,” “anti-Christian,” and “anti-American.”104 Textbook approval by the Texas Board was important because Texas was only one of two states, the other being California, in which approval occurred at the state level. The board rejected Jane L. Person’s Environmental Science: How the World Works and Your Place in It because of statements such as “Destruction of the tropical rain forest could affect weather over the entire planet” and “Most experts on global warming feel that immediate action should be taken to curb global warming.”105 To gain acceptance by the Texas Board, the statements were changed to “Tropical rain forest ecosystems impact weather over the entire planet” and “In the past, the earth has been much warmer than it is now, and fossils of sea creatures show us that the sea level was much higher than it is today. So does it really matter if the world gets warmer?”106

    In 2001, the Texas Board singled out for censorship Daniel Chiras’s Environmental Science: Creating a Sustainable Future. The book opened with the phrases such as “Things can’t go on as they have been,” “We must change our ways,” “throwaway mentality,” and “obsession with growth.” The board attacked the text for using the “oft-used falsehood that over 100 million Americans are breathing unhealthy air.”107

    One textbook that did win approval was financed by a consortium of mining companies. Global Science: Energy, Resources, Environment was praised before the Texas Board of Education by Duggan Flanakin, formerly of the U.S. Bureau of Mines and currently a member of Texas Policy Foundations. The book was also commended by Ms.Shore, chair of Texas Board and co-owner of TEC Well Service. TED is a producer of gas and oil and repairs and deepens oil wells. Ms. Shore remarked that the oil and gas industries “always get a raw deal” in the environmental textbooks.108 (471 – 472)

    Joel Spring, American Schools: 1642 – 2004 (Sixth edition)

    Hmmm. Drill, Baby, Drill Oil Interests, Mining Disasters, Thousands of Safety Violations, Denial of human-caused climate change. They’re not doing very well lately, are they?

    But they ARE diligently writing textbooks and histories in Texas – and elevating “Calvinism.” (which influence all states as the largest textbook industries come out of Texas)

    (And contemplating a similar Arizona-style immigration bill, too.)

    Texas Bans Hip-Hop. How’s That for Enlightenment?

    Joel Spring and others make those interconnections real clear.

  10. Postscript:

    These neglected and complex histories (along with those regarding Hannah Arendt on the other thread – See: Skip Gates) – their implications regarding the kind of “reform” in Arizona or anywhere else, and all else that they reveal – are profound, shall not be denied, and MUST BE carefully understood and considered in ANY socially just and comprehensive “immigration” reform in the United States of America. I cannot NOT share these histories – or remain silent about them.

    I STRONGLY encourage everyone to carefully read them, read the book (and more of the historians referenced by Spring), and share them and discuss them with everyone you know.

    Spring, with others, carefully reveals how the legal definition of “whiteness” strategically changed and changed – and changed, again – and often across states at the same time – and always to exclude certain groups who had land that was desired by those defining themselves as “white.” In one state you were legally “white” – and, thus, a citizen, while in another, at the same time, you weren’t. Furthermore, during one year you were “legally” “white” and a citizen, but in later years you weren’t. Then, maybe, but only AFTER anything and everything you ever had was taken, you may be deemed “legal” and “citizen.”

    It got “confusing,” as was intended.

    And those definitions often had very little to do with the actual color of one’s skin, even as skin-tone was used to create the “bogus” category.

    The shifting and floating legal definition of “whiteness” – and its relation to any “race” – was “made up” and used to carry out and to justify the invasion, occupation, and cultural AND economic domination of lands and people.

    So, in response to the new Arizona Law and State Senator Russell Pearce’s statement: “This law is not about race…It’s about what is illegal.”

    I can only say that THIS IS WHAT CAN HAPPEN when honest, in-depth, and critical thinking and talk about the social constructions of “whiteness” and “race,” and moreover their uses throughout the history the of United States, are silenced and made shallow, if talked about at all.

    And moreso, when we fail to illuminate how these political and social constructs are related and intertwined with those of gender and class.

    THIS IS WHAT CAN HAPPEN when histories are forgotten, glossed over, and outright erased, by those, disingenuously and ingenuously, making the claim for a “post-racial” world where we don’t need to study and discuss them anymore. The constructs and their same uses still remain in operation, they just become more “invisible” and, thus, more dangerous when they are not discussed or talked about.

  11. Thank you – if you took the time to read and think about this.

    And thank you, DaveyD, for opening up a space where we can do that.

  12. i dont care about what anyone says about my hispanic people.i am mixed with black and mexican and all this racial profiling against hispanic people makes me sick and very upset.there is no way that you can justify this or say its right because either way its all wrong.they need to find better ways to spend their time and make laws to stop real problems.there needs to be more people that are willing to stand up against the people that support this law.they all need to find better ways to spend their time and make some real laws for real problems.

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