White Privilege was on full display this week at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco this past Monday, January 12th, 2015 as the State of Arizona defended its Ethnic Studies Ban law that was being challenged by two Chicanas, Maya Arce and Korina Lopez, from TUSD.
White Privilege does not mean a white person has money, but refers to the privilege that whiteness brings to the person who is part of the dominant class.
For example, the “default” when speaking of American History is always the history of the European descendants and their journey westward to fulfill their Manifest Destiny.
The history of Mexican Americans does not begin until 1848 and somehow it is okay to look at the first century of “freedom and liberty” but not from the perspective of the slaves, which many of the Founding Fathers owned as they wrote that “all men are created equal.”
White Privilege is never having to think about one’s race throughout the day, because in America the term “ethnic” only refers to minorities.
Thus when one studies American History or Literature, the version focusing on the white people is of course just called “American” whereas the version that focuses on Mexican Americans, authors who are just as American as other Americans, then this version is termed “ethnic studies.”
In TUSD, where “American History – Mexican American Perspectives” and “Latino Literature” was banned, “AP European History” and a literature class focused on the Bible and its significance to Western Civilization continue to be taught. The Bible class was actually created the semester after MAS classes were banned in 2012, and somehow the Bible with all its “chosen people” who get to kill all the gentiles, leaving not even women and children alive during their conquests, was not found to be promoting “ethnic solidarity” or “resentment” against a race or class of people, which is the current justification for banning Latino Literature.
White Privilege is when the attorney for the State of Arizona says in federal court (see video above) that Mexican American history classes in TUSD were right to be banned because they taught a “separate history that is not applicable to all students.”
(Article continued below)
The truth of history applies to all human beings, and there are many histories to be taught, especially for those living in Tucson where human history begins long before cowboys, ranchers and bankers came here to take the land away from those already living here, justifying the theft and murder of humans as “progress.”
Mexican American history is applicable to all students especially those living in Tucson, and to think it is not, that it can just be discarded as irrelevant is a prime example of White Privilege.
Another example of White Privilege that was on display in the federal courtroom (video above) had to deal with a question from the judge regarding whether the state law in Arizona would ban a class in San Francisco on Chinese History just because the majority of students that took the class were Chinese American. This question is especially relevant since San Francisco just passed an Ethnic Studies requirement for all high school students last month.
The attorney for Arizona said that in Arizona, yes, these classes could be banned under this law.
Meanwhile learning the history of Europe and the Catholic Church, the Roman Empire and the Greeks along with groups living along the “Cradle of Civilization” as if there were never Native Americans living on this earth who had their own agricultural revolution, writing and mathematics, can continue in Arizona. None of this is Ethnic Studies because white folks are not “ethnic” so their history is allowed, and according to the state of Arizona this history is “applicable to all students” since only the history of white people matters in the Papers Please state that censors classes and bans books…
… Speaking of those who do not know history repeating it, the state of Arizona might want to learn about what Germany in the 1930s was doing to a subclass of its citizens…
Because race does matter, a special exception was included in the state law that allows for the teaching of the Holocaust, which the author of the Ethnic Studies ban Tom Horne, a Polish Jewish immigrant to this country, decided was worthy of still being part of history whereas the genocide that took place on this very soil in America is someone not applicable to all people and worthy of being banned in Arizona.
Apparently in Arizona there was only one capital “H” Holocaust and mass genocide, which is the type of ignorance that results when you ban the history of the indigenous people living here.