GOP Attacks on Diversity
Education, State By State
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Condensed by Native Village
Republicans now control 20 state
legislatures. The Tea Party and the GOP have wasted no
time in narrowing school curriculum and attacking
diversity in education. To many, these attacks undermine
the freedoms and rights earned through the Civil Rights
Act of 1965. Here are some examples of what's going on:
Tea Party activists
have presented a list of demands to state
representatives. One involves teaching the
"truth" about the state's history. "Truth"
is defined as: "No portrayal of minority
experience in the history which actually
occurred shall obscure the experience or
contributions of the Founding Fathers, or
the majority of citizens, including those
who reached positions of leadership."
Hal Rounds, the groupís
spokesman, said they want to address "an
awful lot of made-up criticism about, for
instance, the founders intruding on the
Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites
in one way or another."
Many argue this would
eliminate Native and African American
contributions because one must prove it
"actually occurred." Instead, schools
would teach a selective history of the
Founding Fathers. For example, Thomas
Jefferson wrote the famous words, "All men
are created equal. Yet the fact that
he owned slaves could be struck from
Many claim such teachings
are dishonest to the truths of how America's
history unfolded. It also disrespects
research by generations of scholars who
established what we know.
Arizona is 31% Mexican
American and Native American, yet the state
has banned ethnic studies. This has pit
teachers who value multicultural education
and academic freedom against a school board
that won't defend them. Many teachers are
willing to go to court to defend the freedom
to teach accurate history.
North Carolina is 22%
African American. Recently, right-wing
activists in Wake County dissolved an
integration program that had become a model
for the nation. The program had created
thriving schools in the poorest
African-American areas of the school
district. It also achieved diversity in
schools located within wealthy white areas.
The Tea Party efforts were funded by
billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch
who worked with the party to change Wake
Countyís school board.
The GOP has introduced a
bill making English the official, and only,
state language. Translations would no
longer be offered for non-English speakers.
"No law, ordinance,
order, program, or policy of this state or
any of its political subdivisions, shall
require the use of any language other than
English for any documents, regulations,
orders, transactions, proceedings, meetings,
programs, or publications, except as
provided in subdivision 3." This
includes motor vehicle paperwork, voter
registration information, and legal
paperwork. The bill would limit access and
stigmatize people despite their legal right
to use services and participate in
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