Arizona Proposal Would Prohibit Race-Based Student Groups
Arizona attempts to outlaw MEChA and Chicano StudiesLA VOZ DE AZTLAN Los Angeles, Alta California April 17, 2008 Arizona legislation will outlaw MEChA and Mexican-American Studies
The Appropriations Committee of the Arizona House of Representatives has approved provisions to a "Homeland Security" measure that would essentially destroy the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) and Mexican-American study programs in the state's public schools, colleges and universities. The anti-Mexican provisions to SB1108 were approved yesterday and the bill is now scheduled for a vote by the full House. The provisions would withhold funding to schools whose courses "denigrate American values and the teachings of European based civilization." One section of SB1108 would bar public schools, community colleges and universities from allowing organizations to operate on campus if it is "based in whole or in part on race-based criteria," a provision Rep. Russell Pearce said is aimed at MEChA. Pearce is a Republican and the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee out of Mesa, Arizona. According to Chairman Pearce, SB1108 would
also bar teaching practices that "overtly encourage dissent from American values" such as Raza Studies at the Tucson Unified School District. In addition, SB1108 mandates the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to confiscate books and teaching materials that are deemed anti-American. Chairman Pearce said some of the teaching materials amount to "sedition" by suggesting that the current border between the United States and Mexico disappear with La Raza taking over the American Southwest. One book that would be confiscated mentioned by Pearce is "Occupied America - A History of Chicanos" by Professor Rodolfo Acuña.