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May 13th, 2010
09:05 AM ET

Must-See AC360: AZ ethnic studies discussion

Last night on AC360°, Tom Horne, Arizona superintendent of public instruction, and sociologist Michael Eric Dyson debated whether ethnic studies should be taught in the classroom. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Arizona • Education • Race Gender & Politics • Race in America
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Tom

    This doesn't ban ethnic studies, just those that promote resentment of other racial groups. This does not ban the studies of other cultures as some report. Please read the bill in it's entirety before making comment.

    May 13, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  2. Kathryn Kilgore

    This ban on ethnic studies is an out an out stab at non-white Americans.

    May 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  3. Bell

    Honestly, racism is never going to diminish. The teaching of ones’ culture needs to start at home. I watched “Roots” at the age of 8, from that point on everything I learned in American History and European history I knew there was another side from what was being taught in the classrooms. When I had my chance in high school to take African History I did so because I knew it would benefit me and tell the ugly truth.This debate was all about Tom Horne, he’s in it for politics!

    May 13, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
  4. Marques

    I think that it is completly Racist. How are you going to take away cultural studies. Deny ethnic children the history of thier past. They have to understand where we came from...to understand where we go MOVING FORWARD (in positivity). It is unfortunate that people think dening culture in schools is the way to make things better. So – we should become in-tune with American history...and only White american history? That is crazy.

    The only reason this is an issue is because EVERYONE learns white american history in school. Noone speaks to the importance of ethnic history and how they all helped each other...(EXAMPLE – how the battle on Cinco De Mayo in Mexico defeating the french forces helped the Northern forces in the civil war – which eventually helped Black history). It is important to learn about Cesear Chavez...as it is MLK, and Malcolm X etc.

    Running from a violent past and history in this country is only a way to help DENY the racial tensions that still exhist in this country. I would advise the Republicans (probably mostly white) to stop running and hiding the truth about Arizona.

    HONESTLY – if I teach my children the truth...it will be much more realistic. Is that what you would rather have?

    May 13, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  5. Neil

    @ Marlene I think Michael Dyson did a wonderful job stating his case. I understand Tom Horne's view but it is untrue. There is a bigger issue going on in this case and that is the truth of American history. We the people get told what to believe and rarely are given the truth so we won't go against what America's ambitions. So when you lie to ethnic groups and make them learn what you want them to learn then of course there is going to be a problem. Who doesn't want the truth? The one giving the lies of course. So if the truth is being taught in the main curriculum then there wouldn't be a need for additional ethnic classes. Tom Horne stated that this is a standard. He is correct they do touch on other ethnic groups but they are not fully telling the truth of the history of these groups, which is what is important.

    May 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  6. JBEE

    Any student of any race can take the class. This is like book banning. Students should be exposed to all ideas. White kids protest against the government ( the Hippie movement) when become aware of the the hypocrisy of what they have been taught.

    Horne's actions are about by the politics of fear. I think all kids should take the courses.The more all ethnic groups learn about each other the more respectful people become of all races. He wants to deny their history and give them the old "work hard " speech. in reality they were working hard all the time they were oppressed !!! Maybe it is the teachers who reported alleged resentment who are ignorant of the facts. Maybe they even misinterpreted the students statements or perhaps they lied.

    How do people react if they see KKK or Neo Nazis or women rights activist dressed in their outfits ???

    Also should women studies be banned becaus it may cause some women to resent men???? Maybe it is the fact tha their history has been denied that causes the resentment !! Teaching is not brainwashing. You cannot control how someone may react to historical facts and the teacher should not. If a student supports the ideas of Hitler that is his/her right ( and some do)
    Does Horne want to top teaching about the Holocaust because Jewish kids may feel they were mistreated ???

    May 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  7. Ann

    First of all, why is it that everyone non-white is considered an Ethnic group, aren't whites Ethnic too?? And ANYONE can take Ethnic studies if they want, the problem is most don't. What they should have done is make it so EVERYONE will learn about EVERYONE's culture and history.

    May 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  8. Vikki

    As an Arizona resident – I have to agree with EVERYTHING that Govenor Brewer is doing to protect Aamerican citizens in Ariizona.

    Any of those states who are "boycotting" us – the Constitution supports our every action. If the Governmnet won't act, it is up to the states to act.

    Pretty scary when you have schools teaching radical ideals (remind you of any other country?) Pretty scar when you have undocumented people killing police offices and citizens, dirving without insurance, coyotes randsoming undocumented people and keeping them in the most terrible conditions.

    Walk a mile in our shoes!!

    May 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  9. lreedlarry

    Dr. Dyson was having a philosophical debate and if you've watched him, you his always "passionate" not confrontational, bitter or angry. You can speak calmly like Horne and be totally wrong. However, people who are uncomfortable being challenged get threatened instead of hearing an opposing view. Dr. Dyson is an educated man who happens to be passionate about his views. Simple.

    May 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  10. Marlene

    Michael Dyson came across as confrontational. I was very turned off by his "argument" and lack of civilized debate. I was against the law change on ethnic studies at first, but after listening to Tom Horne's explanation and that photo that was showed of students in "rebel" dress, I understood the reasoning behind this change. I also appreciated Tom Horne's level-headed and more civilized debate skills. Michael Dyson just wouldn't shut up or lower his voice – this made him look bitter and angry, rather than a professional expert out of Georgetown.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  11. myrto

    Of course ethnic studies should be taught in school, our devised country is what makes America great! To take away that takes away part of it's greatness.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  12. Chi

    It is accidentally racist and scientifically incorrect.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:23 am |
  13. Lilo

    I think kind of yes but if there are so many ethnics mixed class umm .....maybe more important to be taught in the clasroom is ethic/morals of humanity (Understanding each other, help each other, sharering with others, cope with others...etc) then I believe even many different ethics, student will try to be self-motivated to understand diffent between one's self and others and cope with them :)

    May 13, 2010 at 9:22 am |