May 12th, 2010
09:11 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Arizona's New Controversy

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/05/12/arizona.ethnic.studies/story.jan.brewer.cnn.jpg caption="The new law comes less than a month after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a controversial immigration law." width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Arizona is facing new criticism tonight. Less than a month after state lawmakers approved a controversial immigration law, Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill banning ethnic studies classes that, among other things, "promote resentment" of other racial groups.

Tom Horne, Arizona's superintendent of public instruction, pushed for the bill. Horne has been trying for years to get Tucson school district to drop a Mexican-American studies program he said teaches Latino students they are an oppressed minority. Horne, a Republican running for Arizona attorney general, also said the program promotes racial resentment toward whites while segregating students by race.

We're keeping them honest. Tonight on 360°, we'll break down what's in the bill. Anderson will also talk with Horne to get his take on why he thinks this legislation is needed. You'll also hear from sociologist Michael Eric Dyson, who sees things a bit differently.

Tucson Unified School District officials said the classes benefit students and promote critical thinking. "We don't teach all those ugly things they think we're teaching," Judy Burns, the president of the district's governing board, told the Los Angeles Times.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles City Council has approved a boycott of Arizona in hopes of getting the state to repeal its tough new immigration law. The Arizona law requires immigrants to carry their registration documents and allows police to question anyone's immigration status. Critics say the law encourages racial profiling. Supporters say it’s needed to stop the rising crime linked to illegal immigrants.

In northwest China, another deadly school attack. This time a man stormed into a kindergarten with a kitchen cleaver and hacked to death seven children and two adults. 11 other children were wounded. This is at least the fourth attack on school children in China in less than a month. We'll get the latest on the investigation in a 360° Dispatch from John Vause in China.

We're also looking for your suggestions to stop the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. After all, BP, which owns the well, hasn't had much luck stopping the mess. We'll share some of your suggestions tonight on the program.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. frank burns

    I never heard that English was America's language. As far as I have ever known, people could speak Yiddish, Norwegian, Italian, Spanish or anything else that suits them. Why do people want to change America into something it has never been? We have always been the Land of the Free, why espouse that we become the Land of the Spiteful, Hurt and Fearful?

    May 13, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  2. doris

    what is our national language? why can't spanish speaking immigrants learn English?can you imagine all the different ethnic groups speaking their native language? what's next ..school textbooks available in English and Spainish??

    May 13, 2010 at 6:12 am |
  3. Lee ~ Arizona

    I am a proud Arizona Native and this is all being so blown out of porportion it makes the mind spin. Civil war and Martin Luther King being thrown about with all the glory of saying "Bad Arizona you racist Bast**ds." First it is just as wrong to teach our children that the only reason for the civil war was slavery... secondly during Martin Luther Kings day and the integration of the school system, the Arizonan people were already integrated and really did not understand what was wrong with the east coast. We have the right to protect ourselves and do what is best for our children. Teaching our children not to look at the color of a persons skin really is not such a bad thing. Segregating any class in the public school system is wrong. Asking our law inforcement to be more aware of illegals is NOT a bad thing. Watching as our borders are over run, ranchers loosing property and lives, and in a stressed economy not taking action on the issue is simply an injustice to the AMERICAN people.
    Stop thinking with a racial mind and look at these bills for what they are.
    OO bad Arizona.. protecting your people and reducing the idea of separatism.. oo bad.
    I am extremely proud of my state for pulling up its boot straps before we end up looking like california.
    Get a grip.. its not racial its smart.

    May 13, 2010 at 5:36 am |
  4. Ron in Humble

    Teach Multiculturalism in schools, let parents teach ethnic culture.

    May 13, 2010 at 5:25 am |
  5. David Guimond

    I'm sorry I DO NOT havce any sympathy for Illegal Aliens in this country. My father became a Naturalized Citizen. If it was good enough for him why isn't it good enough for and I WILL pick on Mexicans or LATINO"S if you wil. WHY WHY WHY?

    May 13, 2010 at 5:18 am |
  6. JeanM

    The immigration law may not be the way to go , but I dont think one should pass judgement on AZ without actually giving an alternative to the problem.People need to understand that people from AZ are Americans with legitimate complaints and worries. I think this is more the Obama administrations problem and they should be held accountable.To be 100% objective if Bush was in office we would deffinately be asking him a question or 2

    May 13, 2010 at 3:47 am |
  7. Daniel

    I live in Phx, Arizona and I like the new laws that are coming out.
    Racial profiling will be illegal and we have many, maybe 30%, of our Phoenix police are Hispanic. We also have many Hispanic officers in our Maricopa County Sheriffs Dept. There will be no profiling. Our policemen are just and honest. Don't you trust the police?

    Anyone that wants these boycotts are against American laws and values. They are against the policy of giving all immigrants the American way to better themselves and prosperity. Illegal immigrants are subjected to crimes and kidnappings and rapes and exploited as slave labor. Don't you want to put a stop to this violence? Our country gives everyone opportunity to become the best they can, but we only want you to come in the front door. SB1070 only reinforces the federal laws that are already in the books, so if the state law is wrong, then you are saying our federal laws are wrong.

    The new education law does not take away the possibility for children to learn their own history. It only eliminates segregated classes. World History and American History will still be taught with all the details they can put into the 4 years of high school. If a person wants to learn more then they can do it on their own, but not on the public schools dime.

    Why are we fighting a war in a far away country that doesn't want us? Why can't we help fight the war against the drug cartels in Mexico and help our neighbors?

    May 13, 2010 at 2:49 am |
  8. Linda

    I am so impressed with Governor Brewer and Arizona! They are leading the way. American school children should be learning what they've always learned, reading, writing, math, history, geography. If someone chooses to go into continuing education to study something other than what's been taught in American public schools, they can, but NOT on my nickle!!! I'm sick of my increasing taxes for PUBLIC American schools and programs to support those who CHOOSE NOT to learn this country's language and then expect, at my expense a translator in court, at the registry, in school, etc. If you don't like it, go back where you came from.

    Learn the languge or leave...it's that simple. Come into my country legally like my grandparents did, expect to work and pay taxes like the rest of us...come on in!!!! Sneaking across the border and expecting me to support you? Give me a gun, I'll stand at the borders myself. Businesses?? STOP printing in multiple languages. We as Americans should be boycotting every company that prints in anything but English to be sold in this country.

    I'm from the Boston area in MA, and I'm emvbarrassed and ashamed of what Boston is trying to do to Arizona. We in the burbs have begun our own boycot. No restaurant or visits to Boston, and it's spreading like wildfire. Maybe when businesses start feeling the impact, they'll pressure the idiots on the city council and the moron babbler Menino to rethink their position. Of course, MA IS the welfare and social services capital of the country. Sales taxes were recently raised to support health care, education, and freebies for all the illegals in our state. It's disgusting!

    The only oppressed people in this country were and are native Americans and the descendants of Africans stolen from their homelands to be used and abused by our forefathers, and we owe both a HUGE apology...the rest of the "oppressed" complainers, shut up, be here legally, and get to work!

    KUDOS to Arizona!!! You make me proud.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:49 am |
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